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Parent statements . . .

dodgersmomdodgersmom Posts: 7,099Registered User Senior Member
edited February 2011 in Prep School Parents
Okay, I'll fess up: my kid wrote several essays and got them all in on time (and relatively painlessly), but the parent essays darned near killed me!

What's the point, anyway? Do they really want to know more about the kid - or are they just trying to find out of the parents are nuts? or is it a combination of the two? And all those little questions - do we really have to answer them? Or can we just grab a blank piece of paper and meander for a while? And what about the schools that don't ask for a parent statement at all: should we volunteer one anyway - or just be grateful and shut up?

For the record - yes, I think my kid is amazing, yes, I do want him to get into school, and, yes, I probably am a little bit nuts. (As far as I'm concerned, any parent who's made it all the way to teenage years and denies having lost a marble or two on the way is probably lying!)

I know that none of you has all the answers, but I'm just curious how the rest of you dealt with this. It's like the parent interview - none of us wants to be the reason our kid didn't get in!

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should state that I posted this query in order to avoid having to write the final two parent statements - which I still haven't started and which have to be in by tomorrow!)
Post edited by dodgersmom on

Replies to: Parent statements . . .

  • mountainhikermountainhiker Posts: 808Registered User Member
    I thought it was hard, too. It's a challenge to find the right "balance" when talking about your child - somewhere between "my kid is the most amazing creature that ever walked the earth and you'd be crazy not to accept said kid to your school" AND "my kid is driving me crazy today and if said kid doesn't finish their homework/pickup their room/get off facebook/quit annoying their sibling I'm going to strangle them and they won't be around to go to your school anyway!"
  • RellielouRellielou Posts: 509Registered User Member
    I look at the parent statement as an opportunity to tell the school more about my child. Every chance to share is a chance for the school to get to know him better. I can highlight things that he might not choose to or might not even think of, and also be candid about the areas he finds most challenging. Not many kids are going to talk about how they are very responsible, or good people to have as friends, or how they help out the elderly neighbor by shoveling for her. But schools DO want to hear this sort of information, and parents can call attention to them more easily than the students themselves.

    Dodgersmom, to help you write your essays, let me ask a few questions. What information about your child's character do you think would be appealing to the schools? Do you have stories to highlight this? How do you think your child differs from the average applicant, assuming that all have good grades and test scores? What is it about your child that other people tend to comment on?

    I hope this helps get the creative juices flowing!
  • kraordrawohkraordrawoh Posts: 593Registered User Member
    I found that the parent statements helped clarify issues of fit at least in the cases of schools which asked about it. It's surprising that schools like DA don't ask for one. SPS's was the most fun to write by a wide margin.
  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle Posts: 3,381Registered User Senior Member
    I am trying to forget the trauma of writing parent statements. ;)

    The trouble is, one has to think before writing them, which is always a problem.
  • kraordrawohkraordrawoh Posts: 593Registered User Member
    Just another way the application process is becoming more challenging!
  • dodgersmomdodgersmom Posts: 7,099Registered User Senior Member
    (A) my kid is driving me crazy today and if said kid doesn't finish their homework/pickup their room/get off facebook/quit annoying their sibling I'm going to strangle them and they won't be around to go to your school anyway!
    (B) The trouble is, one has to think before writing them, which is always a problem.

    Okay, so the trick is to do B above without focusing too much on A above!

    Which is why my last one was written sitting in an empty car in the supermarket parking lot the day before yesterday. My apologies to boarding school applicants everywhere, but during this oh-so-stressful time of year, it is sometimes much easier to remember how amazing you are when you're not around!
  • muf123muf123 Posts: 790Registered User Member
    OMG! Dodgermom, we are so on the same page! Thank you for posting what I`ve been feeling through this entire process. This thread will be my fav. now that I`ve been able to chuckle about it. :)
  • Linda SLinda S Posts: 1,570Registered User Senior Member
    Hated them!!!!!
    Actually, I LIKED the questions that were "why do you think ABC School is a good fit for your child?" or something like that. Being the second child, we had a pretty focused process. Knew the size we (we being my child and us) wanted, the distance from home we were willing to accept, the sports and other "must haves." So writing that one was easy.

    I HATE the ones "what are your child's strengths and weaknesses?"

    And I always find this one interesting: "Do you volunteer and tell us about it."
  • zuzu'spetalszuzu'spetals Posts: 344Registered User Member
    In my opinion, don't look for the balance. Sell them on your child. So what if you brag...that is what they are asking you to do. The field is extraordinarily competitive, now is not the time to be shy.
    Just don't be annoying.
  • RaintoMarsRaintoMars Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    My advice to parents would be to shoot from the heart and have fun with it...

    This was my Parent Statement :

    _______is hard working and smart. More importantly though, he is naturally resilient and is possessed of a good nature and a strong moral compass. Whether he winds up as an MD in Calcutta or as street musician in Memphis, he’ll be fun to watch. Either way, he will surely find a way to bring happiness and answers to the world.

    I guess it worked...at any rate he wasn't *not accepted* because of anything I said.

    huge mistake though to show this to my son, who now regularly claims the right to be a street musician -ergo-to be left alone.

  • dodgersmomdodgersmom Posts: 7,099Registered User Senior Member
    RaintoMars - Love it! Actually very similar to what I ended up writing. Minus Memphis, Calcutta, MDs and street musicians . . . but otherwise very similar! :D

    I'm down to my last one or two (depending on whether or not I send one to a school that didn't request it) and I'm finally finding a rhythm to it. Just please tell me I don't have to do this again for college!
  • cdnhockeymomcdnhockeymom Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    We just finished up the applications for my second son and since he is not applying to any of the HADES we chose to only fill out the common application through the SSAT site. One application to all schools with just some supplementals for each school. More like the college process and far easier. It does however have 5 questions that parent's must answer, including a parent statement.
  • dodgersmomdodgersmom Posts: 7,099Registered User Senior Member
    Oh yes, I saw that SSAT app! Kind of tricky, as far as I'm concerned - you fill in the parent recommendation for one school and it propagates to the app's for all the other schools. Which is just fine, unless you explained (in detail) why School X was ABSOLUTELY the best fit for your child . . . and then forgot to remove that bit before forwarding on to Schools Y and Z!

    And, yes, when it's 11:30 and the thing has to be filed by midnight, that is EXACTLY the kind of mistake I'd make! It really takes two parents to do the parent rec's - one to write and one to proof read!
  • wcmom1958wcmom1958 Posts: 345Registered User Member
    ^ LOL, I think that's what I did with one last year ("...why School X was ABSOLUTELY the best fit for your child . . . and then forgot to remove that bit before forwarding on to Schools Y and Z!") Freud is vindicated -- it was an "unconscious" mistake :)
  • pulsarpulsar Posts: 1,266- Senior Member
    Did your S/D get into the Y, Z schools?
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