New Year’s Resolution Advice for Parents

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by: Dale Price, Founder, Access College America

This is one time of the year everyone looks forward. People all over the world get an opportunity to start over and create a game plan for the rest of the year. “Out with the old and in with the new”, as we all say. Millions of people are deciding the type of relationships, careers, finances and family they want to have with the launch of 2018. As a college consultant, I encourage my parents to include their child in these moments of reflection too, an ideal family talk at the dinner table. These conversations should be encouraging and candid open exchanges about the past year with the anticipation of things to come, an opportunity to really bond with your child by inspiring them to participate in an exciting New Year’s tradition (that is healthy of course). This is a time for kids to create resolutions as well, but are they aware of their fresh start too? Does your child know they also get to hit the reset button, changing the story of their life? We help our clients find the right college fit through self-discovery and reflection. Our team at Access College America is sharing four ways to help your child create their New Year’s Resolutions so that they can prepare, apply and achieve:

  • Start with a Conversation

Sometimes parents forget to include their child in this annual goal setting activity, and that is why we say start with a simple conversation then build from that progress. Now is the time to talk with your children, get the wheels spinning on how to really embrace the new year. Share your thoughts about the symbolism of the year changing from 2017 to 2018, why it is so exciting and what it means. We know that high school students are challenged everyday with decisions of all types and circumstances. There is pressure to be accepted by classmates, course load is increasing more difficult plus so much more. We encourage every parent to have thoughtful conversations that spark interests in their child to consider where they are today and where they would like to see improvement.

  • Create Different Types of Resolutions

Defining the circumstances that students have control over in their life is the starting point for creating a New Year’s Plan. Parents can encourage academic, health, personal growth and improvement with their child’s circle of influence. Keep in mind, these must be goals that your child has created, it must be personal and itemized with enthusiasm by them. Allow your child to create their own categories, explore their own areas of improvement but be the voice of reason at the same time. Their goals can be as complex and as big as they want but help them maintain achievable perspectives.

  • Create an Accountability Plan

What is a goal without a plan? A dream. This is where we encourage our parents and clients to assign obtainable targets for their new resolutions. For example, if the student wants a better circle of influence, encourage them to participate in a new club by midterms. Display their goals and plan of action, post the goals where the child sees them regularly such as the refrigerator or bedroom. Set up time each month to take inventory of progress and discuss the status with your child. It can be so rewarding when progress is made and that ultimately builds self-confidence.

  • Encourage Them

These resolutions should be obtainable, ambitious and really encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone to be better than they were the year previously. Taking on the challenge to improve is worthy of praise and encouragement. These activities should be followed up with positive reinforcements, discussion and interest. We recommend creating an environment of support and making this a fun activity so that your child will eventually practice this global tradition year after year out of habit.

As a parent there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you helped your child succeed! Access College America is here to help your child find the right college fit through self-discovery, please visit us at: Happy New Year!

Dale Price, MBA is a college admissions expert and Founder of Access College America LLC, a nationally recognized educational consulting agency based in Charlotte, North Carolina. His college consulting practice assists parents with high school kids find the right college fit through self-discovery. He has an MBA from the University of Redlands and Bachelors of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. To learn more about Access College America, visit, or via email Search @AccessCollegeAmerica on Facebook for tips and admissions strategies.

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