The reason that parents and students sometimes have difficulty talking about college is that students feel a responsibility to take care of college decisions and tasks themselves. They may feel that inquiring parents are butting in to something that is the decision of the student.
At the same time that students feel that they should manage the college process, many feel unsure of the process and timeline and put college tasks off. Parents, concerned about student success, feel the need to question students about where they are in the process: "Have you written your essay yet?... What major have you chosen?...Where will you apply?...Did you sign up for SAT yet?...Have you asked your counselor to send transcripts?...What teachers did you ask to serve as your references?"
A balance of reassuring students that they have ownership of the process while providing support that allows them to be aware of deadlines and required tasks can help them feel confident about moving forward and less hostile toward parents.