#117 The Supportive Parents’ Guide on the Road to College with Kristina Dooley

In this episode, Lisa and Kristina discuss:

  • Strategies for striking the balance between parental involvement and teen independence.
  • How to listen to and validate your teen’s aspirations before giving advice. 
  • Why parents need to have honest discussions about their college budget and their financial realities. 
  • The importance of highlighting your student’s voice and ownership during the application process.


Key Takeaways: 

  • You do not want to project your experiences, achievements, or failures on your student. They need to live their independent life, not your life vicariously. 
  • If you believe your teen is wrong, you can still validate and empathize with them before redirecting them to more constructive thoughts and behavior.
  • It’s possible to help your students see the throughlines of their desires by asking why, without telling them your thoughts.
  • There are ways for you to talk to your student about college budget and finances without them knowing every detail of how much you make.
  • While the journey is the student’s it’s still possible for the parent to play an important, supportive role. 


Support has to be authentic and genuine from the parent, meaning if you’re going to support your child in terms of their life, their outcomes, all those things, they have to feel that it’s true.” – Kristina Dooley


About Kristina Dooley:

Kristina L. Dooley is a Certified Educational Planner (CEP) and founder of Estrela Consulting, an Ohio-based independent educational consulting firm. Kristina has more than 20 years of experience working with students from around the world, navigating the complex college and school search processes. Prior to launching Estrela Consulting in 2008, Kristina served as the Assistant Director of Admission at Hiram College (OH) and as the Director of Admission and Marketing at Andrews Osborne Academy (OH). A first-generation college student, she graduated from Hiram College (B.A.) and Kent State University (M.A.). 

In addition to her work with students, Kristina is an instructor for the University of California Irvine teaching College Consulting Resources, and also serves as a faculty member of the IECA Summer Training Institute for aspiring educational consultants. 

Kristina is the Past President of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and holds membership in AICEP, NACAC, and the Ohio and International Associations for College Admission Counseling (OACAC & IACAC). In addition, she has served on Admission Advisory Boards at several institutions including Lehigh University, Lynn University, West Virginia University, Belmont University, Kent State University, and Washington and Jefferson College. In her free time, Kristina volunteers for Beyond Type 1 and JDRF, and serves as a mentor for College Now Greater Cleveland. She resides in Northeast Ohio with her husband and their 13-year-old triplets. 


Episode References:


Get Lisa’s Free on-demand video: How-to guide for your teen to choose the right major, college, & career…(without painting themselves into a corner, missing crucial deadlines, or risking choices you both regret). 



Connect with Kristina:

Instagram: instagram.com/estrela_consulting 

Facebook: facebook.com/EstrelaConsulting 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kristinadooley 

Website: estrelaconsulting.com 


Connect with Lisa:

Website: flourishcoachingco.com

YouTube: youtube.com/@flourishcoachingco

Instagram: instagram.com/flourishcoachingco

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/flourish-coaching-co

Access the episode transcript here