It’s nail biting time for college seniors and their parents as they anxiously await letters from early deadline schools. As a parent, what can you do to calm the fears of your stressed out children?
I think the most important thing is to have the conversation before any decisions are received. You have the advantage of having an exceptional child who will, undoubtedly, be successful wherever he or she ends up. Your child has a lot to offer and any college would be lucky to get them. If, for some reason, he or she is not offered admission, it is simply a numbers game. Too many great candidates for too few spots.
One idea might be to have a celebratory dinner before decisions are mailed – to celebrate the extraordinary person your child is and the incredible impact he or she will have – regardless of the decision outcomes. Or, you could write a letter like the parents in the following article (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-how-to-survive-the-college-admissions-madness.html?_r=0). A tangible announcement of how proud you are, regardless of decision outcomes, such as a dinner or a letter or even something engraved will have more impact than words at the time of the decision. Then, regardless of what the decision is, reiterate the message you gave your child before you knew the outcome. That’s just as important if the decision outcome is a yes. So, celebrate the “yes,” console the “no” but remind your child that his or her worth and potential are not dependent on what the letter says.
And, remember, if your child really has his or her heart set on a particular school and does not get accepted this go around, there’s always the option of transfer and graduate school.