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  • Kristie G. Haskell

Time to Take a Step Back - College Admissions Scandal


I thought it apropos in light of the #college admission scandal unfolding to reintroduce an article I published a couple of years ago – Preparing Students for Life? The scandal, if you hadn’t heard, exposes thirty-three parents and a handful of coaches in a scheme of cheating and bribery - Felicity Huffman And Lori Loughlin Are Among Dozens Charged In A Massive College Admissions Scam. My article directly addresses the very issues this scandal highlights. I pose what I see to be at risk and, it seems, these risks are coming true and continue to be a problem, four years after writing the original piece. It is my belief that children are overly influenced by outside forces in an era marked by a high level of entitlement. It's alarming to see so many kids marching along with a limited sense of the broader, longer-term context. Many youth of this generation struggle to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing or where they’re headed beyond the next few years. Throughout this process, they hear adults say, essentially, “We know best what you need; we’ll take care of you; just listen to us.” This is dangerous in a #knowledge economy in which #change is the new normal. Do we believe that we are truly doing the best we can to instill this capability in our children? If so, is the best means of doing this really by pushing them hard to compete for spots in #top colleges without any serious consideration for who they are, for what interests them most, for what excites and engages them?

As #parents we need to remember what the critical role of a parent is: to #raise children who can #think, #fail and #succeed for themselves. Otherwise, we set our children up to see that someone else is driving their future and they are not responsible for it. Avoiding this method is necessary if they are to go on to become adults who are #self-directed, #resilient and strong. Personally, I am thankful I didn’t fall into the trap when my children were choosing a college. If I’m honest I came close, fortunately my kids pushed back when I tried to become too involved and I thank them for that. My heart goes out to the kids who are being robbed of the opportunity to make their own decisions about college and choose the future for themselves. My only hope from all of this is that parents on the sidelines of the college admissions process now with their own children pause to consider whose #life this is anyway and how they can best be supportive. #collegeadmissionsscandal #loriloughlin

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