NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Q: My son is a senior, who has been at boarding school for the last three years. He is beginning to finalize his top college choices. One school is across the country -- the other is close to home. This is tough for me. I don't want to be selfish, but I want him home! What can I do?A: There's nothing wrong with voicing your opinion. That's what mom's do, although you cannot force your son into a decision. He's been away for a long time, and for better or worse, he's probably gotten use to making his own choices. It's more likely for kids who live at home, to lean heavily on their parents when choosing their college. Your son's situation is more unique... you need to respect his independence. Still, it's very natural for you to be an integral part of the conversation. Here are the tips:
- RESEARCH the schools he's strongly considering. Try in an unbiased fashion to assess which college will best fit your son's needs. Ask yourself this: "If I were his guidance counselor and not his mother, which school would I advise him to select."
- LISTEN to your son. Give him the opportunity to express his preferences, and what excites him about each school. If you haven't visited the campuses, offer to do so.
- REACH OUT to his boarding school's college counselors. Ask them to educate you on more than the selling points of each school, and furthermore where they believe your son will be most happy.
- ACCEPT that ultimately he will have to make his own decision. It is not selfish to want him close. There is nothing wrong with expressing that to him. It would only be selfish to demand that he stay close to home, which would result in resentment.