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How Parents Can Effectively Help Cultivate Their Kids' Passions During the Admissions Process

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey Editor Posts: 180 Editor
Dave Berry discusses how parents can help their children navigate the college admissions process: https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/parents-discover-your-children/

Replies to: How Parents Can Effectively Help Cultivate Their Kids' Passions During the Admissions Process

  • Dancingmom518Dancingmom518 Registered User Posts: 282 Junior Member
    edited February 24
    This link does not appear to work, at least for me, but it sounds like it would be an interesting read.
  • Grrr123Grrr123 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    edited February 24
    Love the article! Wise words!
    One thing I cannot get to do/have not done is to increase communication with teachers/counselors during middle school years.Atleast in our school district, the teachers want very minimal parental involvement in an effort to increase students' independence. Not sure if this is best for the kids or not.
    Cannot wait for the high school years' section!
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,604 Senior Member
    The link did not work for me.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,170 Senior Member
    edited February 25
    Link works for me. However, "passion" isn't what gets you anywhere in life. It's how you pursue it, the quality of that pursuit, along with other assets or attributes. Not just claiming it. Not knowing what your passions are. You have to act.

    And as we often say on CC, not just any old passion. You could have a "passion" for animals and it won't get you into a tippy top unless your goals are animal related. These things need to be relevant- to your goals and to what the college targets want.

    Many kids claim, eg, a passion for helping people. Then they do nothing first hand (or just easy, default things.) Actions speak louder than words, "show, not just tell."
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 2,213 Senior Member
    I guess I don't think you can light passion in a child. the chid has that or does not. So the article is a bit lame, it says things like "track leadership" in middle school, but some kids are not leaders,in middle or high school. so this will not be helpful. to me, the most helpful thing a parent can do is

    1. help the child pick the best fit and most challenging high school program available

    2. identify many and challenging ECs in a broad range of areas (sports, academics, music, art, travel, service, entrepreneurship, internships, summer programs etc ) in their region, let the child picks some, and arrange to get the child there.

    3. Make sure the child is on track with his choices, is staying healthy and eating well, sleeping well

    After that, its up to the child.

    If they have leadership potential, they will rise to the top. Nothing any parent says or does will create leadership potential, but there are some programs that attempt to develop good leadership skills such as listening.

    A good dinner conversation every night, and enough rest are important. Lots of books, and conversations and then let the child develop as he/she will. Not every child is a super star. Not every child matures at the same rate. Not every child even wants to lead a club. Let children develop at their own rate and then just match their achievement to the school, and don't get fixated on a small subset of schools or the legacy schools, which may not even offer a leg up to legacy students anymore

    Neither of my sons did ANY leadership activities as they were not ready in high school. they played to their strengths, which were music, and math. Both got into great schools, based on playing to their strengths.

    Leadership comes with maturity or sometimes not at all. Some students are meant to be coders, and not leaders. Some students are musicians in an orchestra, and not leaders. Some students are chemists and team players but NOT leaders. all those are viable career options that do not need any leadership skills, but might be OK to add leadership skills, for some of these over time.

    Leadership is totally over focused on and almost meaningless. It adds so much stress to the college application process thats not needed. Lets face it most of us are NOT leaders. We are team players, or like to work alone and want someone else to lead.
  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 546 Member
    I entirely agree with @colorado_mom - this overemphasis on "leadership" is silly. Besides the fact that almost anything can be considered "leadership. making the term almost meaningless, most of the best work in sciences, engineering, the humanities, and the arts was done by maverick types, who do not fit in any leader-follower system. Was Einstein a "leader"? Was Da Vinci and "leader"? Was Dmitri Mendeleev a "leader"? Was Picasso a "leader"?

    If a college is looking for future top scientists, engineers, artists, etc. they should be looking at creativity, not whether a person wants to be in charge of something. Moreover, there is often little evidence of how good a leader one is from "leadership" ECs. Besides all the leadership activities that show nothing of the sort, there are things like elected leadership positions that just demonstrate the ability to get people to vote for a person, but do not demonstrate that the person is worth much as a leader. How many elected officials suck at their jobs?
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,969 Senior Member
    edited February 26
    To me leadership wasn't a social or psychological or personality characteristic but a behavioral pattern, for example:

    a) does someone take initiative, does someone work well with others in identifying or accomplishing collective goals, does someone set a good example for others to follow? One's colleagues, cohort, fellow students, or teammates will regard one as a leader, someone to emulate or imitate.

    But beyond this, to me leadership also means:

    b) winning things, distinguishing the individual from others. Winning competitions, prizes, awards, games. If a kid wins prizes in math, sports, debate, journalism, or art, those are marks of distinction. If those are related to raising the performance of a group or team, that's also leadership.
  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 546 Member
    @mackinaw The things you list under b are more correctly "Excellence". More important, IMO, for success in college, and more important for a career in research or teaching, but not "leadership" in the sense that these are demonstrating that these people will be good leaders.
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