Helping your Kids Cope with College Acceptance and Rejection

Parenting expert Laura Gauld of Hyde Schools is giving parents advice about the limbo their high school seniors experience as they wait to hear back about college acceptance/rejection. Parents interested in what positive role they can play in their children’s lives as they go through this process may find solid direction in Laura’s words. First, parents can:

1. Stay Calm.

If parents stay calm, it is likely their children will too. Try to adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude, letting your child know that acceptance and rejection to college does not define who he/she is…and rejection is not a personal failure. Who you are is more important than what you can do.

2. Plan Together.

Plan together in ways that support and guide your child, rather than in ways that attempt to control. It could be as simple as discussing, in general, what future vacations might look like or as important as helping plan a monthly budget.

3. Stay Flexible

Encourage your child to stay flexible about the plan – after all, the plan can change. Choosing a college may be the first adult decision your child makes. If accepted to a second- or third-choice school, he/she will still enjoy the benefits of a good education, make new friends, experience personal growth, and have life-changing experiences.

4. Turn Obstacles into Opportunities.

Turn obstacles into opportunities by remembering what is really important. Have conversations with your child about the things most important in life, such as the kind of adult he/she hopes to become, how to stay healthy, how best to stand up to successes and challenges in life, etc.

5. Step Back and Let Your Child Lead the Process.

Let your child take ownership of this process. You send a clear message you believe in his/her ability to get through it intact when you step back. Stepping in to over-manage only diminishes your child’s sense of confidence.

By Laura and Malcolm Gauld.

Categories: Education: Middle and High School