Bribing to get a child into college over modeling values

It has come to light that parents have been “buying” their children a spot in the athletic department of top colleges despite not ever having participated in a sport. Around 50 highly influential parents were caught in this scandal. In today’s competitive parenting world, has teaching morality taken a back seat?

In conversation with the ring-leader of this scandal, the co-chairman of a prestigious law firm is quoted saying, “to be honest, I am not worried about the moral issue, here.” The scheme was to fake a psychology test to allow the child to have extra time to take the ACT test. My hunch is that this parents thought they were well intended, though their actions implied they do not trust in their own child’s ability to grow.

Even if the child does get accepted by means of manipulating the system, then what does it say about the parents’ belief in their children’s abilities? The assumption is if my child attends a good college, his/her successful future is on its way. He will get better jobs and live in a nice lifestyle.  On the other hand, parents will feel they have done their job of providing for their children and, as a result, being seen as successful and competent parents.

Even attending a good college does not guarantee success, happiness, or competency. After 4 years in college, the reality of life will kick in and those who are mentally well prepared, self-motivated, and have a passion for what they want to achieve will be better ready to navigate life challenges. Hand-holding eventually backfires. It becomes a detriment in the child’s ability to mature, grow, and develop a healthy self-esteem. They become used to having others doing for them at the expense of not learning through pain of frustration.

Facing challenges and the possibility of failure and knowing how to overcome it provides the mental resilience children need to navigate life obstacles. Knowledge is better attained when we learn from lived experiences and that wisdom becomes the back bone to elevate self-esteem and confidence.

Cheating the admission process is another example of well-intended parents over-doing for their children. These children will eventually pay for the consequences of not being fully able to fend for themselves, not the parents.

Successful children learn to navigate challenges, not to avoid them.

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