December 6, 2010
Checking the mail box is a daily ritual for students who applied early decision or early action to colleges this fall. It is also a tough time for many (even those that did not apply early) who are hearing that their friends or the kid who sits next to them in math class just got into XYZ College. We as parents can make this process a bit easier on our kids by the way we act.
It’s really important to talk to your child and let them know that it will all work out just fine, even if they don’t get into a school (s) that they had their heart set on. Try not to let yourself get too attached to the idea of a particular school as that will come across to your child and will make it even harder if things do not go their way. We need to encourage our kids know to work as hard as they can in school, spend time on making decisions to apply to schools that are a good fit and then know that it will all work out for the best.
It may be helpful (when the time is right) to share a story about yourself or another who didn’t get their first choice in a college, in buying a house, etc and that later on they looked back and realized the 2nd choice really was a better fit.
If your child gets disappointing news, it is good to empathize and let them have a chance to be sad. Then they may need some support to begin feeling good about Plan B. There are numerous great schools that will be a good fit for all of our kids and it will be easier once your child begins to get excited about the next school (s) on the list.
Most importantly, our kids should hear loud and clear that a rejection letter is not a commentary on them as a person. It is an opinion based on a paper record of their achievements and as wonderful as we know our child is, this paper record may not be what a school needed to round out their class this year.
This is a good time to let our kids know that we think they are great, no matter where they go to college.