Parents dealing with their first child’s experience navigating the high school to college transition often defer to parents who have done so previously. In doing so, they make an enormous mistake: the older parent is – at best – an expert on what worked for one or two children. Those children and their goals might not be similar to yours.
Unfortunately, most parents with their first child taking the SATs or applying to college are so stressed that they assume that someone with such singular experience is an expert. Most are not and some give downright harmful advice.
This occurred recently when a parent in the Old Saybrook system quoted another Saybrook mom regarding a certain college. “Mrs. Smith said that X college is not good.” I like Mrs. Smith but she is not a college expert. She simply reported her specific experience from visiting the college in question. I can’t blame her for giving an opinion. But I do caution parents who are experiencing the college process for the first time to give much weight to older parents. Within a couple of years, you’ll be in the same position as them… and you won’t be an expert either!