When the college admission cheating case broke out in March 2019, it shocked America. This serious incident would make us once again revisit our own parenting.
It should be noted that the cases were just accidentally exposed eight years after they occurred, through another unrelated case.
The list of those charged has been released and the parents include prominent figures in the law, finance, fashion, food, and beverage industries among several other fields. However, due to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the names of the involved students have not been released.
But the influence that the actions of their parents imposed on those involved students can be huge.
The list of charged people reveals prominent figures in the mainstream society, that would definitely be able to provide an easy life for their children. And those teens must have enjoyed a very good education that would have prepared them for college entrance exams.
The ‘support’ of their parents has deprived them of a chance at fair competition. And it likely triggered the dependent mentality, and at the same time weaken their problem-solving skills and the will power to overcome obstacles.
Obstacles and difficulties are integral in one’s life no matter how rich or wealthy you are. And stoicism is a needed ‘shield’ that can keep you ahead on your life path.
There are so many responsibilities—family and social ones—that you cannot neglect or set aside. If you cannot face life, you are poised to fail no matter how favorable your starting point is.
On the other hand, even the students’ names have not been revealed within their small university communities, they might have already been subjected to distrust and criticism from people. It is needless to wonder, how they might be affected emotionally and spiritually. At that moment, their parents’ arms might be inadequate to protect them from this fierce storm of life. It has not been mentioned how their cases will be addressed by their very own university.
According to a Columbia University study from late 2017, “Depression increased significantly among persons in the U.S. from 2005 to 2015, from 6.6 percent to 7.3 percent.” Given that this is a “significant” increase, it’s even more alarming to hear the depression numbers for teens. During the same time period, teen depression rates rose from 8.7 percent to 12.7 percent.
Given all that, we would rather prepare our children for the storm of life than sugarcoat the truth.
We can learn from the words of Mr. John Roberts, current Chief Justice of the United States at his son’s graduation ceremony.
“I wish you bad luck, from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life, understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.”
“And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then [that] your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.”
“I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others,” Roberts continued, his wisdom permeating further; “And I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.”
“Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen,” Roberts concluded. “And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”