Leaving the nest hard for son

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I need your advice. My very musically gifted high school senior appears to want to go to college and major in music performance. But he is refusing to visit colleges. He won’t discuss why; he just gets very belligerent when the subject comes up and won’t expand on any reasons. Should I let it be or make the contacts for him and force him to go? — Music Man’s Mom

Dear Music Man’s Mom: It’s possible that your son is afraid to leave home — which would show his intelligence; it’s a big scary world out there. Courage arises not when we suppress our fears but when we find something so worthwhile we temporarily forget them.

So do what you can to help him find exciting possibilities. There are many amazing colleges that specialize in music, which you can research together. See whether any schools within a short driving distance have solid music programs. In the end, though, this is his search process, and he should take the lead.

It’s the first step he’ll take as an independent adult, and it’s healthy for him to take ownership of the decision.

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