The Eames family has been a P&A client for several years, and working with their oldest sons was both exciting and rewarding. Alison, their mom, was actively engaged and supportive throughout our work together. We are thankful to Alison for taking the time to share her insight and tips with our readers and congratulate her son, Brad, on his graduation this spring!
Please tell us a little about yourself. Where do you and your family reside?
My name is Alison Eames and I live in Mansfield where I am a stay-at-home mother of 4 boys, ages 21, 18, 15 and 13. My oldest son will be a junior at Wake Forest University and Brad is attending Bucknell University in the fall.
Please reflect on the college search and application process experience for your two oldest children. As a parent, did you take different approaches to supporting your children given their individual interests? Is there anything you would do differently if you could? What aspects of their application processes felt most successful? Were there any surprises or lessons learned? As you anticipate experiencing the college application process for a 3rd time in a few years, what are your expectations for your role?
The college search and application process with my 2 oldest children could not have been more different. My oldest was very focused and sure of his path and college choices, while my second was much slower to come around to the process. He needed help identifying a potential career path, as well as a list of colleges that met his limited criteria. Mindy Popp kept the boys on task and held them to deadlines they needed to meet. Procrastination was kept to a minimum as well as my nagging them. The essay writing and coordinated research necessary was most successful with Mindy’s guidance. We started with Mindy in August of his senior year with my oldest, and in November of junior year with my second – thank goodness!!! I do not believe you can start thinking about college soon enough once your child enters high school. My role in the whole process is to be a support system for my child. There will be arguments, tears and nagging, but that is definitely kept to a minimum with Mindy and a college counselor in general. Senior year is stressful enough and whatever you can do as a parent to assist and support your child is crucial.
To read more advice for parents from our interview with Alison Eames, check out our May newsletter!