Coddling Parents During Covid-19

Over the nearly 30 years in which we’ve been in business as a college admissions consultancy, we’ve come across our fair share of coddling parents. We imagine that’s no surprise. But this year, well, it’s different. The coddlers have multiplied by the dozen. They’re everywhere. They’re in New York City and South Africa. They’re in South Korea and Los Angeles. They’re in Brazil, Bahrain, and even Nebraska. And here we thought they made them tough in the Cornhusker State. Not this year.

Too Many Parents Are Throwing Up Their Hands This Year

This year, we have heard far too many parents — parents who are not our clients — say during free consultations, “The SAT was canceled at the local test center. So we decided that was that. My daughter didn’t test. Scores are optional anyway.” Or, “My son hasn’t done all that much in terms of activities because he’s stuck at home like everyone else. He’s been watching a lot of Netflix. And Hulu.” Oy vey is right.

These Parents Should Not Be Throwing Up Their Hands

As loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well, we don’t believe test-optional policies are worth the paper they’re written on. So what do we recommend parents do? Grab an N95 mask, a pair of gloves, and a couple of No. 2 Yellow Pencils and head to the nearest open test center — even if it’s three states away. Head to Nebraska. Heck, we’re in Nebraska right now. Lincoln is lovely at this time of year and all of the test centers abide by CDC guidelines. And what do we think about students who have just been sitting at home finishing Netflix and Hulu? Ridiculous. So many activities — meaningful activities — can be done from home. Just as students can learn virtually, students can participate in extracurriculars virtually.

We Salute College Counselor Carolyn Kost for Telling It Like It Is

And it seems we’re not alone in our thinking. In a New York Times piece published this week by Constance Sommer entitled “How Parents Can Support Teenagers in the Pandemic College Process,” she writes, “Some counselors, like Carolyn Kost in Palm Beach, Fla., urge parents not to ‘coddle’ their high school students. ‘I just keep seeing parents throw up their hands and make excuses for their kids,’ said Ms. Kost, a private consultant as well as a college adviser at Cardinal Newman High School, a private Catholic school in West Palm Beach, Fla.”

Amen, Ms. Kost! Way to tell it like it is. We at Ivy Coach appreciate your candor and we salute you!


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