Decisions Are Rolling In – Parents, Prepare Your Kids

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions….

Watching a lot of videos online from a group of students finding out they were admitted to a dream school…together. Hope, excitement, celebration and the anxious waiting to gratitude enable me to relive the way in which I opened my decision letter for Georgetown. My friend Julia and I called each other and opened our decision letters at the same time, full of hope.

A moment later, I was accepted, and she was not. We equally wanted to go to Georgetown and my heart ached for Julia. She was offered admission to a number of great institutions and she ended up enrolling at Northwestern University. So, when I see the group videos of students celebrating their admission, I feel for anyone’s disappointment that would be caught on camera.

I think that life turned out just like it was supposed to be.

Here are my #LifeSuccessTips on how to help prepare our kids for the decision letters:

1. Talk about the worst case scenario.

Often, we feel that the world will fall apart if something doesn’t happen. It doesn’t. Most of us have said or sure heard the comments like “But mom, nobody will talk to me if I wear this”.  I know a lot of adults who fear the worst case scenario instead of making a plan to deal with it. What would happen if? If your best-friend is accepted and you are not and vice versa or if you don’t get into any school? Mitigate this risk by applying to a range of reach and safety schools.

2. Decision making process – discuss it.

When you apply for something, always be aware of the criteria and how decisions are made. Yes, I am not a fan of generalizations and all encompassing statements, but I can stand by this one. The truth is, many times we fail to get what we want because we are not fully informed or delivering on all the aspects of a decision. We can prepare the best application only when we can understand that it is NOT personal.

3. Talk about the implication of the decision.

The decision is not personal. It is a determination. Based on certain criteria, defined and clearly outlined in the decision making process (see #2 above – i.e. standardized tests, transcript/GPA, essays and interviews). This is not judgement of your son or daughter’s potential or capacity. It has nothing to do with how strong they have been to deal with illness/death/separation or how proud you are of the person they have become!

Side story: A principal assessed Albert Einstein as someone who would not amount to anything. Well that’s a more personal judgement than the judgement of the admissions committee, because he met and observed Albert Einstein, and yet, get this, he was still wrong!)

Despite all the accomplishments, our kids need to know that when a school (a company/job/internship or even a date) rejects them, it’s not because they are not good enough. They might just not be the right fit for that school/position/person. And, at the end of the day, we all need to find the right fit for us: school/position/person.

Share your successes or challenges with us – we’re happy to chat.

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