What schools are your kids attending? No, not what college or prep school. This is more of a “school of life” question. Charis Denison, a relationship development and organizational specialist who works with a lot of young people, recently observed “At one time or another, every young man will get a letter of admission to ‘dick school.’ The question is, will he drop out, graduate, or go for an advanced degree?”
She happened to be speaking about some of the more toxic elements in cultural masculinity, but the truth of that quote applies to both sexes and pretty much every gender stereotype. It can just as easily be said that every young woman is presented with a letter of admission to an equal number of problematic schools. It’s like every boy and girl, some time around middle school and high school, will get recruiting letters from…
-The school of being entitled and spoiled
-The school of cheating to get ahead
-The school of not caring about anyone but yourself
-The school of materialism
-The school of anxiety and worry
-The school of getting high and killing time
-The school of being an asshole or a liar or an insufferable egomaniac
Unlike college—which is so expensive they’ll need your help to pay for it—parents have less say over the decision to attend any of these schools. Instead, all you can do is try to direct them, try to show them examples of the costs of going one way or another.
Your job is to help educate them so they can make the right choice about their education. So they decide to drop out rather than graduate, or better yet, not even consider being recruited by any of these toxic schools. And, as always, lead by example, show them proudly which degree is (and isn’t) on your wall.