The stakes are too high: why avoiding conflict over college makes no sense

By College Advice

“It’s her life.” So said a well-meaning set of parents from Madison, CT.   Their daughter snapped at them several times over the previous year when college or the SATs were brought up.   The parents decided not to broach the subject again.  The end result: the parents and the daughter were sitting in my office in October of senior year with deficient SAT scores and no college list.

As a parent of three, two already having gone through the college process, I get it.  We feel better when we are in harmony with our children.  But I’ll give another example of the challenge of avoidance:

We have friends who live in a different state than Connecticut. Both are highly educated and value education. We have known their son all his life.  He appeared not particularly different than most teen boys.  At some point, as we were told, he started to find school to be “BS’.  His parents had a couple of arguments and then, in their words, “preferred having a good relationship with him” over pressing him.

The end result: poor grades, poor SATs, and, ultimately, not going to college –  which is not a bad thing in and of itself – but he’s not going to college AND has no plan.  He has no interest in the trades or the military or any other career that doesn’t require college.  At the moment, he’s not working at all.  I doubt these facts will serve their long term relationship.

 

 

Daryl Capuano

CEO, The Learning Consultants and Connecticut’s top private education consultant
full bio