Parenting goals in the time of college admissions scandal
Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)
You're successful, having secured a good berth in your chosen career train. You've excelled financially, and hold a responsible title in your firm - a proprietor, director, CXO, GM. you get the idea. Time is precious, of course, and your awake hours are spent mostly at work or fretting about work. Your spouse has a similar schedule - he has the same career compulsions. The kids? What about them? They go to the best school in town (of course!), have the best tutors for academic and extracurricular training, and you've never shied away from spending a pretty penny on their education or upbringing. They deserve all that you can afford - and more.
Welcome to helicopter parenting. It's relatively easy for privileged parents to buy their way into the best schooling for their kids, but that often hits a roadblock when it comes to the crème de la crème of college education. One can, of course, pay to get the best of copywriters to write their wards' college application, hire professional profile writers to burnish their credentials and prepare a host of internships, volunteer work and the likes. But what if that isn't enough for entry into Ivy League and other top schools? Where does one draw the line? Help them all you can to get there, but parents must have the courage to tell their child that it's okay to not end up at Harvard or Yale or Stanford. There is life - and a very successful one - beyond these campuses.
That's what seemed to be lost on celeb parents who have allegedly bribed their children's way into some of the top colleges. Parenting goals need to once again be about building stronger family bonds, about coaching your kids in the art and science of life, teaching essential life skills, encouraging empathy and respect, and creating a healthy balance between capitalism and altruism. The world is indeed hyper-competitive and it is survival of the smartest out there, but bribing to get their mark sheets doctored is like giving your kids a crutch to run the race of life. There is every chance that they won't be able to make it to the finish line - or what you consider the hallmark of success anyway.
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