Dear Ilana and Jess: We’re down to the wire with college applications and my daughter still hasn’t made any headway. They’re due within the next week or two, but she hasn’t even started. How do I get her to get them done? — Spencer
Dear Spencer: When it comes to procrastination, college applications hit the trifecta: boring, tedious and daunting. Avoidance always occurs for a reason, and most often, that reason is fear-related. Read between the lines of your daughter’s excuses and you’re likely to find that she is overwhelmed by what she has to do.
To help her out, take apart the task and break it into smaller parts. When the looming goal is, “get into college,” every little step can feel huge. Take one application at a time. To do this, have your daughter clarify the applications she’ll be completing, then lay out the deadlines for each in a calendar or planner. Create smaller goals that are centered on each, individual application. For example, if your daughter’s first application is due next Thursday, you might create the goal of writing her personal statement by Monday. (It’s always a good idea to get the hardest work done before the school week starts back up again). Make sure that your daughter looks at each component of the application when planning her approach, so you don’t have to contend with any last-minute surprises.
Say This: “It seems like you’re feeling really overwhelmed and I want to help you out. Here’s the plan: Tonight, we’re going to go through all of the applications, and put the deadlines for each into the calendar. We’ll work on one a day, beginning with those that are due first.”
Not That: “I can’t believe these aren’t done yet!”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
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