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Managing kid’s emotions...

msc3173msc3173 24 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
I’ve been lurking for a while and have decided to get my toes wet.

How have y’all (parents) managed your child’s emotions during the application/M10 process? I know that my daughter will be devastated if she does not get accepted to at least one of the schools she is applying to. Not only will she feel like she wasn’t good enough but also embarrassed because there are several girls at her school all applying to a lot of the same schools. She is good friends with a couple of them.

I have done my best to let her know that a lot of great kids don’t get accepted and so forth but I am still worried.

She is applying to very competitive schools....Andover,Exeter,Choate,Cate and Thacher. She is a normal 8th grader with no major hooks besides being a nice kid 😊

Any advice for this worried mom?
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Replies to: Managing kid’s emotions...

  • AltrasAltras 353 replies6 postsRegistered User Member
    That list of schools is a swing for the fences approach. My son did the same, with a great public school option. My wife and I were very clear that there was a good chance of no acceptances on 3/10, just based on the statistics. But beyond that, we encouraged him to approach it like any difficult challenge, driving 110% for success and dealing with the outcome later.
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  • busymommyof4busymommyof4 126 replies19 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We aren’t applying to any of the schools you listed (for geographic reasons) but I have a very high-strung, type-A child who will be devastated if she is not accepted everywhere she applied. She is just too hard on herself. If you are truly worried, are there any other schools that would be a good fit for her that might not be as difficult to be accepted to, but where she would still get a first class education?
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  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 409 replies26 postsRegistered User Member
    My kid is only applying to 3 schools saying that paying for a school she doesn’t love instead of going to a great public school is just silly. She is a day student not boarding so just going to boarding school isn’t one of our things. She has said flat out that not getting in will mean she has been rejected and her life found to be worthless. Nothing I say convinces her of anything else.
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  • AltrasAltras 353 replies6 postsRegistered User Member
    "Nothing I say convinces her of anything else."

    She's a teenager. It's her job to pretend like she's not listening. But she is. And hearing it will help her grow and learn from the process, regardless of the outcome.
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  • westcoastmom987westcoastmom987 39 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    You have gotten good advice so far. Based on that list, hopefully she is on board with her fallback option being a good one. I would approach with a combination of talking about the positives of Plan B along with emphasizing that the M10 decisions aren't a personal judgment (even though it may feel like it if not accepted). Or cast a wider net.

    We dealt with these emotions with our son last year. He had a narrow range of schools he was interested in and got 3 out of 3 waitlist decisions on M10 last year. He was disappointed, which turned to devastated as time went on into April and it was clear that none of those waitlists were going to turn into an admission. Our local public school is pretty decent, and we were trying to spin that in the best possible light for him, but finally the emotions got the best of him in early May and he realized a school of 2500 kids was not the place for him. He agreed to cast a wider net a little farther from home, and I began to make use of the Open Seat Listing on the SSAT website. He ended up at a fantastic school that is absolutely perfect for him! In hindsight, he should have started with a broader list and we would have saved a lot of heartache for the family. We're putting that lesson into practice this year with my daughter, who is going through the application process.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1716 replies34 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    It is not too late to broaden your list... there are so many amazing schools where she could get a wonderful education and where her chances of admission would be higher...

    edited December 2018
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  • msc3173msc3173 24 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for all the thoughts and comments. Her list is definitely tough but she only wants to apply for schools that she is willing to leave home for. We have had many talks about choosing less selective schools and she says she would rather stay at her current private school. We do not love her current school and don’t believe it is the best fit for her which is one reason we allowed her to look at BS. She is our only so it is hard to think of her leaving so soon.

    ChoatieMom...I love this idea and will definitely do this the night before. She loves this crazy expensive Italian restaurant in town so going there would make her happy.

    gardenstategal...I will definitely have her reflect on her experience.

    I have promised her that if she does not go to BS that we will put the money we are saving to good use by doing more travel, paying for outside classes and experiences. She wants to climb Kilimanjaro so my money is already spent. 😂😂
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1299 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    When we started the process as a family it was really to collect data and see what choices were available. My kid wasn’t pushing the process but was open to seeing what was out there. We had an excelkent public school option that would meet all needs as Plan A/B. A couple of months into the process my kid discovered there were a lot of things a BS offered that could not be found at the public. Applications and interviews continued. Feedback was collected. We talked about all this as a family including siblings. On 3/10, kid was surprised to be accepted to 2/4 and waitlisted at the other two. Kiddo thought acceptance would be 4/4 or 3/4. Finally came down to one school being more academicand all that offered. Not to mention the negatives were also considered-pressure cooker and inability to have time for two other major pursuits. Kid chose the other school and is very happy. It is highly rigorous ( even for a 99% no prep SSAT student) top name but not the tippity top. Has been able to keep the two ECs which was an important consideration.
    Honestly was a great experience to have honed interests and made choices based on wants and needs.
    In our family we embrace failure. Kids are in sports and used to losing at some point in the season. Kids also do academic things in a high level so perfection isn’t our expected norm.
    Knowing what I know now, I would tell all my friends who are going through the process to broaden the number of schools and have a few safeties. I would also tell them to feel free not to apply. There are so many great kids out there!!!
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1299 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @gardenstategal such an excellent post. The experience is so important!!!
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  • PublisherPublisher 7605 replies79 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    @msc3173 : It is also important to be prepared to deal with being waitlisted. Often creates false hope or expectation of future admission.

    With "no major hooks" and applying only to ultra selective boarding schools, your daughter may be setting herself up for a very disappointing March 10 especially if seeking financial aid.
    edited December 2018
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  • Sue22Sue22 6112 replies108 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I love @ChoatieMom and @gardenstategal's posts. They give great advice.

    One thing we did with my kids was have them apply to a pretty much safe bet school even if it wasn't a school they were wild about attending. That way when the acceptances came in they could say to themselves (and if necessary their friends) that they had options but chose the local public school. If they ended up at the LPS I wanted them to feel like it was a choice, not something they were stuck with.

    This worked for us because we have a good LPS and our kids would have been fine with attending it, albeit disappointed at not getting into the private schools they were targeting. If you have a kid with a "private school or bust" mentality it may not be a good idea unless you'd be happy to pay all that tuition for a school that's not as attractive to you as the others on the list.

    In any case, I'd have a celebration when the last application goes in, and as others have suggested tell your child how proud you are of their hard work. After that put any mention of schools on the shelf until March 10.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1299 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @publisher Agree completely. IMO, a waitlist is a no only it’s more cruel because it gives a false sense of hope.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1716 replies34 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Does your daughter think “less selective” means she would be getting a lower quality education? Because that is definitely not the case.

    There may be schools she hasn’t visited yet that would be an even better fit than the ones she is applying to.

    We know a family with one kid at Choate and another st Thacher. They are both incredible schools, but according to that family, the cultures are completely different. Are both really fits?

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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1716 replies34 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Has she already visited and ruled out George, Tabor, Blair, and Berkshire, for example?
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5490 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ It's amazing how many families with kids at BS choose different schools for their kids to get the fit right. (And I really mean choose , not be forced into it through the admissions process!) I was amazed by how many of DS' friends had siblings at other schools!

    Sometimes it's as simple as one having a sport or art at a much higher level, but more often, it's about the environment that would be best socially and in the classroom.

    I feel like I have a much better grasp on this now (with the experience behind us) than I did when we were touring, btw, so lists that include only "name brand" schools are understandable to me. It's easy to see how applicants latch on to these, and the schools themselves are more than happy to promote this thinking.


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  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom 5181 replies237 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    ...are there any other schools that would be a good fit for her that might not be as difficult to be accepted to, but where she would still get a first class education?
    there are so many amazing schools where she could get a wonderful education and where her chances of admission would be higher...
    These schools should be at the top of EVERYONE'S list.

    Her list is definitely tough but she only wants to apply for schools that she is willing to leave home for.
    Also, these schools tend to be very good at figuring out who will really thrive there. Rejections are often not because you aren't "good enough" but because they know it won't be a good fit.
    Having never attended any of them, she can't possibly know which ones are worth leaving home for. Sounds like name recognition is what's driving her and, if so, @gardenstategal's comment will determine her outcomes, not a solid strategy for a kid who will be "devastated" by no options on M10. Heed posts #12 and #14 regarding waitlists (those are not options) and especially @Sue22's advice in post #13.
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  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 409 replies26 postsRegistered User Member
    My daughter has a great public school option and has said she prefers it to anything but her top choices BUT still will feel like a failure if she doesn’t get in to all three. That is the problem with being a type A household with a type A kid. Overachieving is the norm no matter what you say. By which I mean she’s seen everyone in her family overachieve even as we all say “it’s all about the process...”. I am thinking I will copy all the wise comments from this thread and use our hour long drive to practice to repeat them to her over and over again. I do love the sports analogy. She has had some big, crushing losses on sports teams (one in particular was expected to win a national title and choked as a team at the last moment) so I know she can survive.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1299 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Also, I can almost guarantee that litmus test-getting into all those schools, is nearly impossible. She's probably great in every respect but it comes down to statistics and these schools accept very few. When you throw in legacies, URMs, athletics, specialized talents, international students, etc,etc ........ There are only 75-300 spots per school with up to ten times the applicants for each slot. So thinking she is going to get into each school to which she applies isn't likely. Even if she can check each and every box. Does anyone know a kid who got into all the Ivies? Used to happen rarely does anymore. Competition is almost at that level at some BS schools. Wish her well. Hope she has choices. Hope it all turns out well.
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