This is the week that, with hands shaking, parents open the acceptance and rejection letters from private schools around town. It’s tough to get past the feeling that it is a judgement of your child, and ultimately you as parents, but of course it isn’t. And while rejection may feel like the end of the world….it isn’t that either.
Parents need to be aware that kids are highly sensitive to their parents’ moods and are listening even when they don’t seem to be. So at this particularly sensitive time, I’ve put together a list of do’s and don’ts for dealing with private school rejection.
Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Private School Rejection
- Do take a moment to breathe if you open a rejection letter. For the sake of your child, contain your emotion.
- Do let your child express disappointment and upset. Explain that lots of kids are rejected, and it’s not anything personal. Reassure them that it’s the school’s loss.
- Do express your disappointment for your child…not in your child.
- Don’t blame your child. Keep the rejection in perspective and know that your child will find happiness at the school you end up choosing. Turn the situation into a learning experience…we all have disappointments in life.
- Do be especially loving, accepting, and encouraging at this time. Watch for signs that your child is upset as time passes and deal with this accordingly.
- Don’t call the admissions office when you are angry. Don’t complain or call expecting to talk them into accepting your child. That won’t happen.
- Do make an appointment for a visit with the admission counselor if your child didn’t get accepted. Most schools are happy to provide parents with specific information as to why they didn’t accept your child. Be polite and keep an open mind when listening to their feedback. If they identify any “problem” areas, check with your child’s teacher and see if they concur. If so, consider addressing the issue.
It’s never too early to start thinking about next year. Consider working with an educational consultant, such as myself, to get help in coming up with a solid plan for the admissions process for the next year. An educational consultant can work with you to develop a list of reach and safety schools.
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