What Should YOU Do During Your Child’s Visiting/Testing Day?

While You Wait

One of the best bits of advice somebody “in the know” could have given me is what I should do while I waited for my daughter to finish her testing day/visiting day at various schools. Each school structures their testing/visiting day differently. You know your kid will participate in some form of “playdate” or test, while you do….what? If the school has parents meet with the head of school or admissions director while you wait?

If the school sits you at tables with a few other parents to wait, try to make polite small talk. However, finding out that you’re seated next to an MA/MD/PhD who is married to the same, really won’t help your state of mind unless you are also an MA/MD/PhD. Now, of course the person with those credentials will make sure you know right away that she has those titles.
At one school where we applied, the kids were ushered off to their group playdate while the parents were invited to wait in a lounge. For the duration of the playdate, parents waited. And waited. With nothing to read. Some parents knew each other. I’m not sure if this made the event more stressful for them or less. Unclear.
What I do know is that I wish somebody had told me to bring something to read. Or a gadget to fiddle with. Or some sort of distraction. Because without it, sitting in a room filled with parents who are competing for YOUR kid’s spot, can get really stressful. Your mind may start wandering to places you just don’t want it to go.
“She’s wearing an outfit I recognize from Vogue Magazine…Chanel. Pricey for a Saturday morning. Even her shoes are Chanel. I know it’s tacky to wear head-to-toe in the same designer, but…Oh, god. I’m in jeans and a…oh, never mind!”
“That group of moms definitely seems to know each other. Thinking to myself… “Maybe I should listen in on what they’re saying.” I “overhear” them and find out they vacationed together in paradise last year. One of them already has a kid at the school. They’re all in, I assume.”
To avoid that kind of mental chatter, I should have brought a book. Or a bag of knitting (who cares that I don’t knit!) or an iphone, or a laptop. Anything to avoid sitting there playing mind games with myself.
Don’t make the same mistake I did. Be prepared! Gadgets are good. 
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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at csimon2007@gmail.com

2 thoughts to “What Should YOU Do During Your Child’s Visiting/Testing Day?”

  1. This is such a helpful post, Christina. Thank you! We have our playdates/assessments coming up in the new year and I was definitely wondering about this part of the process! I will certainly be bringing some reading material (maybe even read some Beyond The Brochure blog posts)! 🙂 Thanks as always for such great advice!
    – Gina

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