We got a question from a reader who is concerned about talking to her friends and people she knows about her admissions decisions. I love that she is doing everything possible to be sensitive to her friends’ feelings.
Here’s the situation she described. Her child was accepted to several schools, including one where a friend’s child was declined a spot and one where another friend was wait-listed. The reader is very anxious about telling her friend she plans to turn down a spot the schools where her friends were declined admission and the other was wait-listed.
This is such a delicate and awkward situation that many of us have been through. This is a personal process, no question about it. It involves our kids!
I remember a friendship between two moms I knew in preschool ending because one mom told the other mom the school she had chosen was “filled with weirdos.” Obviously nobody wants to hear such a snarky, mean remark from a friend that calls into questions her education choice for her kid.
Here are some tips that might be helpful:
- Don’t hide your happiness about getting into schools. That will just seem fake.
- If you’re planning to turn down a school that your friend really wanted her child to attend, don’t bash the school, but instead use a reason like geography or something non-controversial. After all, your friend may end up at that school if they were wait-listed!
- Consider saying something like, “I’m sure you need time to sort out your options” or “my fingers are crossed that a spot opens-up from the wait-list.” What not to say? “Here’s what we did to get in” and then proceed to list all your tactics. But, if your friend would like some advice, do offer it. If you had an “insider” connection, why not be honest about it? And, don’t imply your friend is getting your “rejects.”
- The absolutely worst thing to say? “Grace got Grace into The Center For Early Education.” A mom in our preschool went around saying something like that and it came across as incredibly pompous and smug.
- You may hear a lot of blaming the preschool director for what went wrong in your friend’s situation. Try not to attack the director. You have no way of knowing what went on behind closed doors.
- Let your friend know you value her friendship and you think her child is wonderful.
- Implore your friend not to beat herself up over getting bad admissions news. She’s going to do that anyway, but let her know she made the best decisions possible at the time.
- Remind your friend that kids get in off wait-lists throughout the summer. Once they are at the school nobody knows or cares that they were wait-listed.
- Whatever you do, don’t beat up on public schools. Your friends may need to send their kids there!
- A lot of times, parents think a school was their 3rd choice or last choice. Once they pay the deposit, start going to new family events and enroll at the school, that changes. What was once low on their list is now their kids amazing school. How cool is that?
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