‘My child’s friends are headed abroad for higher education’

‘My child’s friends are headed abroad for higher education’

After class XII, most of the children in my daughter’s school (she is in class X now and goes to a premium school that we are very happy with) head for all-expenses-paid-by-parents undergrad education in countries such as the US. They, and their parents, talk despairingly about the poor standard of education here. But we can’t afford to send our children abroad without scholarships, and we don’t think things are so bad here. However, our elder daughter is beginning to feel upset that she is not part of the “club" discussing SAT scores, “statement of purpose" essays and foreign universities. How do we deal with this?

In a way, the issue that you have brought up seems to come with the territory, so to say. It’s a tricky balance for you to not dismiss your daughter’s classmates as “spoilt" while underscoring the merits of being on-the-ground here in India. First, you have to be totally unapologetic about not being able to foot the bill for her foreign education the way her classmates’ parents may. There are many things that we simply had to lump about what our parents could or could not do for us, or would or would not do for us. We may not have liked it then and felt most sorry for ourselves—only many years later did the wisdom of our parents’ choices dawn on us.

Be secure: A scholarship is worth the wait.

When we work hard for our children, and they make us feel like we are not “measuring up", it is tempting to say something scathing to get them to appreciate your position. Avoid this at all costs.

Gouri Dange is the author of The ABCs of Parenting.