Parents have a habit of embarrassing their children on college tours. Usually, they don’t intend to embarrass their children. It just happens. Even just being on the college tour can embarrass their children. It’s a fact of life. But what can parents do so as not to embarrass their children on college tours? There are a few things!
Parents should avoid prodding their children to ask questions. If a kid isn’t asking questions, chances are good that the kid doesn’t want to ask questions. Maybe she doesn’t have any questions. Maybe she’s too shy to ask. Maybe she can find out the answers online so there’s no point in asking the question. So many parents so obviously prod their child to ask a question on college tours (as well as at information sessions). They want their child to make a good impression. But really all the leader of the info session remembers is how you, the parent, embarrassed your child. Sometimes admissions officers do lead info sessions and sometimes applicants can leave an impression. But parents cannot force this. It just doesn’t work.
Parents shouldn’t ask embarrassing questions on college tours. Several years ago, one of the stars of the former ABC sudster “All My Children” was on a tour at Tufts University with his son. The actor asked how much it would cost to give the university a library. The child was mortified! How embarrassing! He quickly separated from his father and pretended he was with another family. Don’t ask how much a library would cost. And don’t ask if there’s drinking inside fraternities. Assume there is based on common sense!
Lastly, let your child form an impression of the university. Don’t form an impression for them by letting them know what you think of the school. Let them tell you what they think of it first as, otherwise, you’re priming them with information that will influence their opinion. And the school that you like may well not be the school that they like.