- If your kid gets into their dream school, by all means celebrate as a family! It’s a big deal for your student. They’ve climbed for 4 years to reach this summit. Go out to dinner, call grandma and do the happy dance.
- It is important to help your student manage his accomplishment. A great dinner conversation is to discuss how you will share the news and who with - especially friends and peers. If possible, it is best to not widely promote the news. Let it (and it will) leak out on its own. This takes some of the jealously out of the equation.
- Discuss, even role-play, a graceful way to acknowledge the college acceptance when peers (both parents and students) ask if it’s true. It may sound odd but how this acknowledgement is handled can be the difference between keeping and losing a friend.
- Now would also be a time to talk about how difficult it is for some students who were disappointed. Another great opportunity to role-play how it would have felt to be on the other side of the acceptance/rejection coin. Or perhaps talk about a time they were disappointed, how they felt and what others did or said that helped/hurt the situation. This is a great teaching experience for everyone. Learning to handle a ‘win’ with grace and ease is just as important as learning to gracefully handle a loss.
- Help your kid understand that anger and jealousy from others are usually not about him or her personally. The joy of the acceptance can be tarnished by reaction of peers. I remember my daughter felt badly that she got into a highly competitive school that her friends did not. It wasn’t her dream school and she knew that it was their #1 choice, which made it more uncomfortable. Her friends didn’t think it was fair and she felt guilty. It was almost like survivor guilt. This kind of jealousy is a reflection of their hurt and loss – not your student’s success. A good question to ask is: “If they’d been accepted to their dream school, would they still be upset that I got into this school?” If the answer’s no, then it really isn’t about you. It’s about the circumstances. This can ease some of the hurtful words and looks.
If you have questions or would like to talk through your specific situation, please contact me. I offer 30-minute complimentary laser coaching sessions. In the meantime keep your eyes open for Part 2 where I’ll dole out tips and suggestions for handling the disappointment of the college acceptance/rejection process.