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The anxiety of getting a child into top colleges filled the room at the meeting of parents I just came from. It was about what the school could promise in that vein.

I feel anxiety not about that, but about other issues. I see there are many colleges, and the chances of my child getting into one I believe to be reputable is great. It’s true, I do not believe Ivy League schools are required for my child’s success, but that was not the pervading feeling in the room I just came from.

My anxiety is about me possibly not aiding my child in discovering who he really is, and in potentially failing to help him locate the power in himself to share whatever gifts God gave him and cultivate the passions within that he might harbor. It concerns me that I might turn out robotic smarty-pants that don’t know how to get along with others, or what their dreams are except to recite back what they’ve been told. That’s what worries me. So, yes, my children take challenging classes, because they can, not because I need them to excel in every topic and be the best that they can be at strictly academic endeavors, but because they, and their parents value a reasonable challenge. Sometimes.

I believe more strongly in the power of leaving room in a life to help kids discern interests they choose with their hearts, so they might get to know themselves and share that gift with others.

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