This week news broke about wealthy parents paying Rick Singer a college admissions coach, to fraudulently collude with others, to grant admission into ivy league and prominent colleges and universities. Like many others, this story was very unsettling to me. Having a daughter that is nearing the end of her sophomore year in high school, we have began the conversations surrounding colleges and this story made the thought even more overwhelming.
We all love our children and want the best for them, however there is a such thing as “doing too much.” I am a huge advocate for showing up for your child, and speaking up for them in situations where they are not mature to speak eloquently for themselves or their rights. Nevertheless, paying their way through life in the form of fraud and other unethical practices is where the line is drawn. There are many other ways to advocate and support your child without the institution of fraudulent behavior, here are a couple:
Seek Mentorship Opportunities - Mentors are great to have in place for tween and teens because they offer the child an unbiased ear. They serve as a coach and adviser through life and sometimes, if this type of relationship is not formed with a parent (or even if it is), it is great to seek someone who is qualified to do that, that the parent approves of. This can easily be a family member.
Therapist - There are some situations where professional help is necessary. As parents we want to help our children through struggles but sometimes we simply don’t have the intellect, know how or ability to carry it out in a way that progresses situations. I look at a therapist and mentor as a parenting liaison. This is an individual that is proficient in reaching a person through tough times.
Show up - Showing up for our kids during times we are aware they need us is detrimental to their emotional growth. We live such busy lives nowadays that showing up for our children sometimes seems a little optional. We are so busy and consumed with other things that we tell our child to "wait a minute" or "Not right now." Check out an example of this here. WARNING: The video have scenes that may be upsetting.
Encouragement - Sometimes tweens and teens need words of affirmation. Growing up during the social media era for our kids is tough. They feel they have so much to live up to. Hearing positive words from parents is a huge deal.
One on One - Open and honest dialogue is always a great way to reach your child. It is through these conversations you can determine if therapy or mentorship are avenues they would like to explore. In addition to this, it lets them know you are listening.
Advocate For Them - When your child witnesses you advocating for them, its reassurance that you have their back. This lets them know you have their best interest at heart and it's a reminder to them of your love. We do not have to advocate by cheating or begging for favors. Meet your child where they are and build upon that.
No one said Parenting would be easy. It's a truly difficult assignment. You have to be fully invested in the relationship. You shouldn’t have to participate in fraudulent activity or any unethical practices to solidify the brilliance of your child. Maybe they do not have the aptitude for Harvard but it doesn’t negate their brilliance or awesomeness. Your child's future or success should not be judged by others. It should be tailor made for them and their journey. FYI - Ivy leagues are not the gateway to success. There are many successful people in this world that attained that success from determination and hard work.