There is, without a doubt, a faction of parents who measure their own worth by the position their children are in. The more prestigious the school, the more prestigious the family. Likewise, there have been some parents that have shown a great reluctance to tell which school their child is attending simply because it wasn’t a Top Tier. So many times consultants and professionals try to stress the importance of matching the right school to the right child, but occasionally that philosophy falls upon deaf ears. The real problem, however, is when the children themselves overhear and take on a philosophy of elitism.
In a current AdmissionsQuest Blog, this situation was discussed as well how it may appear to others who overhear it and are affected by the views.
Other children are in schools where the majority of their peers are continuing on to public school, and their desire to go to an independent school is baffling at best and considered a sign of elitism at worst.
We encouraged our children to be open and honest about the schools they were considering but also to be sensitive to how they frame their desire to go to boarding school. We firmly believe the kids (and indeed all of us) end up in their right place.
A young public school friend of mine was recently told by a friend “I’m going to boarding school so I can be with other people like me.” Naturally my friend’s feelings were hurt. We encouraged our children to talk about finding the school that is the right fit for them, rather than suggest that one school is better than another. That said, parents and children need to be comfortable knowing that the school that is the right fit for them may not be the most prestigious or the one with the most social cache.
A part of educating our children is in helping them understand that they are individuals with unique needs and skills. They cannot be encouraged to grown and learn in only one area when the truth is that they may learn best in a completely different way and have a specialized skill that is best taught in a particular skill, not necessarily the most popular school.
Especially now, that acceptance letters are being mailed, counsel your children to be diplomatic about their discussions of Private School and stay mindful of the importance of the right school for each child.