So those college envelopes finally arrived. Hold on tight. Here’s what our Family advisor Francine says you should try really hard not to do …
When those college letters come in, NOTHING YOU CAN SAY IS RIGHT.
Okay, if your kid gets into her dream school and throws her arms around you, it’s okay to hug her back and say, “Congratulations” or “I’m so happy for you.” But beware. “I’m so proud of you” is a potential minefield. (“You mean you wouldn’t have been proud of me if I DIDN’T get in?”)
If your kid didn’t get into his dream school, things get trickier. I say, do a lot of listening and reflecting back. Don’t jump in and try to tell him it doesn’t matter, and there are lots of other good options. He’ll tell you you don’t understand how he feels. Don’t say, “Harvard wasn’t right for you anyway.” Don’t say, “Remember how much you liked the campus at Skidmore?” Basically, don’t, don’t, don’t.
What if they ASK you where to go? Another minefield. Here’s where you are cagey and don’t express your opinion. Draw your kid out. Ask, what are the pros and cons of each school? Help THEM see all the possibilities and make their own decision.
And what if you really think School X is the best one for him? Well, it’s his decision. Besides, if he sniffs out that’s what YOU want, he may jump in just the opposite direction.
So be happy with them, be sad with them, but most of all, be QUIET.