“Great kids are denied every year…Admissions, unfortunately, are not a meritocracy; many factors go into the process, and yes, hearts get broken. But hearts heal. Let your kid be disappointed. Let yourself be disappointed. Be sad. Your kid and you might be sad for several days, in fact. You need to process the mind shift –– give everyone time and space to do that. Then, dust all of yourselves off and start moving towards excitement for their next step, wherever it is.”
~Allison Slater Tate
Discuss the possibility of a denial (And yes, language matters. The word denial is gentler than rejected.) well before the decision release date. Have a plan if the answer is yes (I addressed this in Part 1 & 2) but more importantly have a plan if the answer is not what you had hoped. Here are some suggestions:
~Parents and children should create time and space to process this potentially painful and disappointing information. Clear your calendar and have a strategy around the next meal, most likely dinner. Your child (and you) might need some comfort food and a place to curl up and process a denial from a college.
~This plan should involve how and when the information will be shared and with who. Let your child take the lead here. Feel free to turn your phone off.
~ The smart money will stay away from social media, where others might post about their childrens’ acceptances. Be aware of the possibility of hearing that someone you know was admitted to the school that denied your child. This can really sting.
~Take all the time you need. It might take days to get over this. It is fine to stay in limbo.
~Your child does not have to start sorting through their acceptances to pick a school right away. It is more than alright to acknowledge this disappointment.
~Be gentle with your child and with yourself. This is the first “No” that the universe has issued for many of these kids.
~If all else fails, keep reading the wise words above from Allison Slater Tate until you feel better.