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Are Parents Sabotaging College Preparation for their Kids?

By HERWriter
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college preparation: are parents sabotaging it for their kids? MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

The Right School: No Guarantee

So many parents desperately focus all their attention on trying to get their child into the “right” school because they believe that school will give their child a long-term advantage. Little do they know that all this effort may actually result in long-term disadvantages instead for their child. (1)

A study released in 2007 conducted by Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist, and researcher Stacy Berg Dale showed that students who attended state schools, even though they’d been admitted to an Ivy League school, had the same income as those students who attended Ivy League schools.

Pressure to Get into the Right School can Harm Kids

All the effort and focus goes into the college application and courses, but the stress the parents put on kids about grades and tests and extracurricular activities can have negative effects.

“Consistent exposure to stress and cortisol (the stress hormone) impairs the immune system and reduces emotional resilience. Sustained exposure over time is associated with increased rates of depression, divorce and substance abuse later in life.” (1) Not exactly the successful outcome parents assume their efforts will bring about.

It is important to be involved in your child’s academic life and career, but there is an effective way of being involved that will empower and prepare them for success.

What Kids Need to Learn to Succeed in College and in Life

Helicopter parenting is becoming more and more common, where parents are overprotective and concerned about preventing anything bad, even as small as a scraped elbow, from happening to their child. Unfortunately, this parenting method also doesn’t teach children how to manage and survive in a world that isn’t risk- free or has negative things that can happen and cause pain.

Tim Elmore, founder and president of Growing Leaders, has more to say about how parents affect their children's chances of success in this article on his Growing Leaders page.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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