Don't Worry About Keeping Up With The Joneses

By Janet Eggenberger

Are you sure you want to share? Maybe it’s time to think again. High school years are such an exciting time for everyone – parents included. It’s natural to want to share accomplishments, achievements, hopes, dreams and plans of your child with friends and family. Whether it be academically, athletically, or even socially. I know I did the same thing with my girls. I enjoyed being part of a conversation, to bounce ideas off others, ask questions, learn and just be “a part of the club”. However, now when I look back I can’t help but wonder if I didn’t overshare. I’d like to hope when I go through this whole process again with my freshman son, I will do things a little differently.


It’s so easy to get caught up in the “keep up with the Joneses” mentality. It seems everyone loves to share notes about what classes their child is taking (how many honors classes and how many AP classes), how well they are doing (or not doing in school), how they did on the ACT test (including exact sub scores), what colleges they are looking at, what colleges they are applying to, what colleges they got into, what colleges they got turned down at, etc. I would caution you to maybe take a step back and not share that information with everyone. Let’s face it, high school kids, in particular juniors and seniors, have so much pressure, responsibility, and stress already and sometimes as parents we unknowingly add to it by sharing information with others. Kids talk, parents talk and information gets back. Do you really want everybody to know that your child did not score well on the ACT and are re-taking it for the fourth time? Do you want everybody to know that your child only got a 3 on their AP exam? Do you want others to know that your child got wait-listed or denied at their top 2 dream schools?


You can still be a part of the “club” without sharing specifics. Perhaps when caught up in the moment you can take a step back and ask yourself if your child would be embarrassed if you shared the information with others? A good response might be “I promised my child that I would not share specifics about how they did on the ACT test but they were very happy with their score.” Or “they are applying to all big state schools” or “they are looking at small liberal arts schools.”….  Just think twice before you share with others.


Janet Eggenberger is the mother of three - 2 college girls and a high school boy. Janet is a member of the admissions team at a private college in Illinois. 

She is a contributing blogger for EleMental Learning Tutoring.