It was on a college visit that my dad took me to see a young Richard Pryor perform in Chicago. My first nightclub, my first exposure to stand-up. I was the youngest person in the room and we sat right up front near the stage, watching the performance like a close-up magic act. I was included with the grown-ups.
Richard Pryor acted out a hilarious ballet: a high school kid on a date, a little nervous. How do you tell if you have B.O.? Oh, you just lift one arm up. A casual stretch, not obvious. Then you turn your head slightly and take a sniff.
He killed. I clapped so hard the stone fell out of my ring and flew across the room.
The trip helped inspire me, years later, to use humor in my work as a psychologist and gave me a taste of the adult life I would soon lead. It also showed me that my father trusted me to lead that life well. Yet too often, that element of trust is exactly what’s missing from the college admissions process, to the detriment of parents and students.
It seems to have been missing in the recent admissions scandals, in which a few celebrities and dozens of people you’ve never heard of were charged in an F.B.I. sting. Psychologists shake our heads over the fallout of emotional witness tampering, identity theft and transcript pimping on the fragile identity of children as parents maneuver to make them appear “good enough.”
Though staging fake water polo photo shoots is extreme, it’s not only the wealthiest parents who are guilty of abuses of trust. Many well-meaning parents send their children the grim and demoralizing message that some measure of trickery is necessary for their children to succeed — whether through endless test prep aimed at gaming the SAT’s “score choice” option, professional essay coaching or inflated community service projects. This vote of little confidence sets them up to feel like frauds and failures.
One of the most emotionally charged depictions of a college tour comes from a classic episode of “The Sopranos.” Driving on the back roads of Maine between visits to Bates and Colby, Tony Soprano’s teenager daughter, Meadow, asks him if he’s in the mafia. Initially evasive, he finally tells her the truth: “All right look, Mead, you’re a grown woman, almost. Some of my money comes from illegal gambling and whatnot. How does that make you feel?”
In turn, Meadow confesses that she took speed to study for the SAT but assures him she won’t do it again. They end these mutual confessions with: “I love you.” “I love you, too.”
Yes, during the trip Tony wipes out an old antagonist (it is “The Sopranos,” after all), but this moment between the mobster and his daughter is so tender, respectful and honest, it could serve as a model for other parents, if not for the murder.
A 15-year-old patient told me, “Every conversation with my mom feels like either a celebrity interview or a police interrogation.” If all you’re talking about is school, the conversations will be tense and abbreviated. The teen will withhold what really matters to her, closing off an opportunity to delve into complex thoughts and feelings with a willing grown-up.
My teenage patients have reacted to this pressure by becoming junior psychoanalysts, able to dissect their parents’ every frown and sigh. But ask them about themselves, and they shift into polite job-interview mode, formal and guarded. Like poker players avoiding the tell, they don’t dare reveal their passing interests for fear their parents will smell college application fodder and pounce.
In my latest book I mentioned this coming up in an appointment with a 15-year-old boy. His mother was no longer in the building, much less in the room with us. Still, he leaned close to me and whispered, “Guess what? I’m writing a play.” What would happen if his mother overheard? She’d get too excited.
In the pursuit of college acceptance, many parents sacrifice the chance to observe their child evolving. They may think they know their son or daughter because they’ve brainstormed together about A.P. classes and spring break voluntourism, but beneath their parents’ radar, teenagers are hosting backyard concerts, doing photo shoots, creating webisodes, making beer from hops they planted by the side of the house. Secure parents can watch this parade without getting judgmental or overinvolved, recognizing that self-expression is not a waste of time. Compassionate detachment and sincere curiosity are excellent ways to encourage self-exploration.
And this is where the college tour comes in. If you are a parent of a junior or senior making the rounds right now, instead of merely ferrying your child from campus to campus, use this time to get to know them for who they really are, and to practice trusting their intuition and decisions.
The information sessions most admissions departments offer for prospective students are puffery, a live promotional video. Ten minutes in to one of them, cued by my daughter’s raised eyebrow, we agreed to play hooky and went to lunch instead. You may learn the most by hanging out with students. Have a meal in the dining hall. If you can spend an evening, go see a performance of the campus improv troupe, a play, a concert, or a lecture. If you or your child know a current student, that’s gold — invite them for lunch or coffee, then stay in the background (or leave — just say you have to return some work emails) and allow your child to ask anything and get frank responses.
When leaving a school visit, always wait to hear your child’s impressions before offering your thoughts.
It’s not easy to trust teenagers to make their own decisions, and the results are rarely painless or perfect. One of my daughters thought she had found the perfect school but wound up leaving and spending time working at a national park before finding an even better fit.
It may take more than one road trip for students to find their place and purpose. It may take more than a weekend to get a wary teenager to open up and share who they really are, but having patience is part of trust.
The parents caught in the admissions scandal wanted guaranteed results. They traded an opportunity to connect with their children for the manufactured “opportunities” afforded by a big-name university.
Sitting with my father watching Richard Pryor joke about B.O. all those years ago didn’t improve my test scores, but it allowed me and my father to spend real time together, a precious commodity when teenagers are poised to leave home.
Learning who your children are and who they may grow to be is a process that takes a lifetime, and there are no shortcuts. Take the scenic route.
Wendy Mogel is a clinical psychologist whose latest book is “Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say It and When to Listen.”B:
四柱预测马报彩图纸2017【时】【空】【之】【主】【语】【出】【惊】【人】，【包】【括】【他】【的】【两】【位】【师】【弟】【都】【是】【一】【愣】，【大】【家】【面】【面】【相】【窥】，【不】【知】【道】【说】【些】【什】【么】。 【莫】【非】【大】【家】【真】【的】【在】【一】【本】【书】【里】？ “【这】【本】【书】【名】【叫】，【宝】【书】！”【时】【空】【之】【主】【道】。 “【准】【确】【来】【说】，【是】【通】【玄】【宝】【书】，【是】【一】【位】【叫】‘【道】’【的】【老】【者】【开】【创】【的】，【他】【是】【此】【界】【第】【一】【位】【证】【道】【万】【古】【大】【帝】【的】，【故】【而】【此】【界】【都】【被】【他】【炼】【化】【入】【宝】【书】【内】。” 【这】【时】，【赵】【风】【一】【愣】
【长】【达】【三】【个】【月】【的】【战】【争】，【接】【近】【了】【尾】【声】，【一】【方】【无】【心】【打】【仗】，【另】【一】【方】，【势】【如】【破】【竹】。【从】【一】【开】【始】【就】【已】【经】【预】【示】【着】【结】【局】。 【所】【有】【的】【挣】【扎】，【或】【许】【因】【为】【心】【有】【不】【甘】【罢】【了】。 …… 【墨】【轩】【将】【当】【年】【北】【忻】【国】【占】【领】【的】【国】【土】【全】【部】【归】【还】，【他】【带】【领】【着】【军】【队】【子】【民】【返】【回】【故】【土】。【并】【声】【称】【在】【他】【管】【制】【期】【间】，【绝】【对】【不】【会】【发】【动】【战】【争】。 【这】【算】【是】【递】【来】【友】【好】【的】【橄】【榄】【枝】【了】。【瑶】【光】【自】
“【老】【延】，【我】【说】【这】【萧】【钦】【耀】【也】【太】【恶】【心】【人】【了】【吧】，【明】【明】【已】【经】【是】【必】【胜】【的】【局】，【居】【然】【还】【做】【的】【这】【么】【狠】。”【许】【大】【海】【开】【口】【吐】【槽】【道】。 “【比】【赛】【场】【上】，【这】【并】【没】【有】【什】【么】，【每】【个】【人】【都】【是】【胜】【利】【的】【方】【法】，【只】【是】【他】【的】【更】【极】【端】【而】【已】。”【周】【延】【摊】【了】【摊】【手】【道】。 【顺】【便】【拔】【了】【一】【口】【外】【卖】，【之】【前】【一】【直】【盯】【着】【比】【赛】，【外】【卖】【到】【了】【也】【没】【来】【得】【及】【去】【吃】。 “【唉】，【这】【一】【场】【之】【后】，【苍】【穹】
【向】【柏】【你】【能】【不】【能】【别】【对】【我】【残】【忍】【了】，【我】【等】【了】【二】【十】【年】【才】【等】【到】【你】【这】【个】【哥】【哥】【回】【来】，【你】【有】【多】【怕】【你】【不】【要】【我】【你】【知】【道】【么】.” “【絮】【絮】——”【向】【柏】【的】【声】【音】【低】【沉】【喑】【哑】，【欲】【言】【又】【止】，【唇】【色】【也】【白】【得】【透】【明】。 【盛】【微】【絮】【坐】【在】【他】【的】【病】【床】【前】，【面】【色】【沉】【静】【得】【让】【人】【心】【疼】，【眼】【底】【隐】【约】【要】【溢】【出】【的】【眼】【泪】【含】【着】【心】【悸】【和】【激】【动】，“【向】【柏】，【深】【更】【半】【夜】，
【岩】【忍】【营】【地】【另】【一】【侧】，【真】【介】【长】【老】【率】【领】【的】【忍】【者】【快】【速】【赶】【到】，【老】【武】【器】【出】【鞘】，【脚】【下】【速】【度】【在】【一】【刹】【那】【快】【了】【起】【来】，【长】【刀】【刺】【入】【一】【名】【岩】【忍】【的】【心】【脏】。 【后】【方】【木】【叶】【忍】【者】【眨】【眼】【间】【和】【岩】【忍】【混】【战】【在】【一】【起】，【岩】【隐】【部】【队】【两】【侧】【同】【时】【遭】【遇】【攻】【击】。 【双】【方】【短】【兵】【相】【接】，【可】【以】【看】【出】【木】【叶】【忍】【者】【的】【战】【斗】【素】【养】【在】【五】【大】【国】【极】【为】【强】【大】。 【众】【多】【秘】【术】【家】【族】【让】【岩】【忍】【防】【不】【胜】【防】。 【一】【道】