#029 Decision Coaching Tips for College Bound Families

Show Notes


Today, we’re kicking off our August series by speaking with Kirsten Parker about how to create a solid framework for decision making so you and your teen can move forward with confidence during the often stressful college-bound journey.


 I’ve never done a series on the podcast before, and I’m excited my very first is focused on how to build a college list so that you know where your family should visit and where your student ultimately apply. But before you even begin this process, it’s important to take stock of your core values so your family can be intentional about your decisions going forward. That’s why I’ve invited Kirsten Parker to share her nuggets of wisdom with us on how to coach yourself and your teen through these tough and important choices.

Kirsten works as a decision coach, and while she generally works with adults, I think she has a lot to offer to you as a parent and to your teen or young adult as you all face a mountain of choices during the pivotal season of college and career selection. We talk about how to define your core values, both as an individual and as a family working together as a team. Kirsten reminds us to realize there will be bumps in the road, that we should plan for them, expect them, and not see them as failures. And she gives us a very timely reminder, especially for us overachieving types, that sometimes we need to validate how our teens are feeling and let them sit with it, rather than rushing in and trying to fix their problems right away.

I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation as much as I did having it, and I also hope you stick with us throughout the month of August as we continue our series on identifying what matters most so you can successfully build a college list.


  • How your family can get clear on values before making decisions 
  • What to do when things go wrong in the decision-making process
  • Validation tools you can use
  • How to leverage intention in making decisions you can trust

Meet Our Guest

Kirsten helps Overthinkers trust their choices. She spent years moving her life & career forward, Yale Masters Degree in tow, feeling way more angst than certainty! Despite “success and smarts,” she second-guessed big & small decisions, over-valued others’ opinions & catastrophized about what could go wrong, non-stop. Coaching allowed her to finally feel calm, clear & confident – so she could feel present in her life and sure she was making the right choices – and that’s exactly what she helps clients do now.

Listen on…the Flourish Site, Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon Music, Stitcher, or your favorite platform. 

“College & Career Clarity with Lisa is so helpful!”  ← Is that you? If so, please consider rating and reviewing my show so I can resource more families and eliminate overwhelm. Thank you!!

Links mentioned in this episode

College List Building Challenge

Launch College & Career Clarity Course

Launch College and Career Clarity Facebook Community

Free Overthinker’s Checklist: The 6 Essentials to Simplify Decisions & Get Out of Overwhelm this Instant!

Decision Masters Podcast

Kirsten’s Instagram 


[3:04] Kirsten describes her clients and the experiences that drive them to seek out a decision coach.

[5:25] Making decisions for college involves the whole family, not just the individual.

[5:58] Step one: have a clear idea of what you want.

[6:49] What are your core values? Find joint core values that everyone shares.

[11:56] Plan in advance that unexpected things will happen. This is a form of acceptance.

[14:21] The importance of knowing your core values and being intentional.

[16:33] Validating stress as a crucial part of stress management

[25:25] Sometimes, our eagerness to immediately fix a situation can actually be a form of invalidation and disconnection.

[23:20] This week’s college-bound challenge: identify two or three of your family’s core values.

Access the episode transcript here.