Deborah Owen is a youth mindset trainer, parent coach, and #1 best-selling author who coaches parents through the stress of getting a teen into college. In this episode, she has the advice you need to help your teen use social media effectively for college and to distress the application process for both parents and children.
Social Media is Having an Impact
“Social media is a communication platform and kids are at a point where they don’t always recognize that what they put out on the internet is permanent,” says Owen.
One of the strengths of social media is that you can talk to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. A weakness is that what people put out there might not be the most positive.
Colleges are more and more checking online to see what kinds of images students portray. Owen warns, “If students have posted pictures of themselves in compromising positions, it will affect their ability to get into colleges.”
Universities are also using the more heavily used social media such as:
Colleges are using these for marketing and to connect with potential and current students.
“When you have a younger teen, it is within your rights to say to your child that you need to know what their password is,” notes Owen.
Important skills to be sure you discuss with your child about the internet highway include:
- Respect for other people.
Don’t make rules that are unenforceable. If they don’t use a computer at your house, they will at a friend’s house.
“To the best of my knowledge, once something is on the internet, it is out there,” explains Owen who suggests the rule, “You do not put anything up on the internet that you don’t want your grandmother to see!”
If parents aren’t teaching children how to use these social media platforms, and schools aren’t, then where are they learning how to use these tools? From their friends!
Applying to College
The biggest struggle with college application is that parents become obsessed with the application itself.
Owen recommends that parents do the following to ease the stress of college applications:
- Schedule only 2 times a week where you get to talk about college.
- These are the only times a parent can sit down and check on their child.
- Children are allowed to bring it up anytime they like.
- Leave it on your child’s plate.
- Parents can get a phone number or email for their child, but the main responsibility must be on the child themselves.
- Offer help, but do not take large parts on yourself.
- Be informed about deadlines, but let the kid be in charge.
It is developmentally appropriate for your child to be somewhat self-centered. You will have to be supportive and Owen suggests scheduling a tour of a college or to stop by a campus when you are on vacation.
This will help them to picture themselves at college and, despite themselves, they will work backwards to figure out how to get there.
If your child has something they are particularly interested in, find a college with a strong department and go look at it.
“There are so many options that you can major in that aren’t offered in a high school,” mentions Owen. If your child is going to begin college as an undeclared major, that is just fine.
“It is really, really important to step back and let your child live the life they have chosen, not the one you have chosen for them,” Owen stresses.
More about Owen
The book “Social Media Fascination” was created through Owen’s own frustrations as a librarian.
There are 6 skills that young people need to learn and social media is a great way to learn them:
- Care and service.
- Be a good person and treat others with respect.
- Find, evaluate, and use information efficiently and effectively.
These are life skills that everyone will need to be successful out in the work force, regardless of what profession they end up in.
Brad also suggests podcast episode 25 to learn more about LinkedIn. https://tamingthehighcostofcollege.com/25/
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
- Host of the award-winning podcast, “You Can Raise Great Kids”: http://bit.ly/YCRGKpodcast
- Co-host of the podcast, “Mighty Married Moms”: http://MightyMarriedMoms.com
- Author of the #1 Amazon best-sellers, “Social Media Fascination” and “Cupcakes for Dinner!”
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