Netflix’s Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal is a striking commentary on corruption involving universities and the US education system, there are hard-learned lessons for parents to pick up
Watching Rick Singer pull his fraudulent schemes on America’s wealthy parents, who, regardless of their intent to give their children the best education the country has to offer, also knowingly committed something criminal to achieve their goals, was suspenseful, intriguing, and ironically, educational.
I bit my nails as each of these internationally-renowned universities were mentioned, shocked at how prestige has become a business for such respected institutions, Ivy League schools included. It tells us that beneath the historic facades of these premium learning facilities are business-centric characters who toy with power, affecting many candidates’ self-worth and what could’ve possibly been better futures.
Understandably, every well-meaning parent wants their children to be the best versions of themselves. And preparing them for adulthood involves placing them in colleges that they believe will give their kids the best education they can get. But what good does it do when you pull every string possible to get your child an undeserving spot at a highly-coveted university and leaving more deserving candidates out of their supposed slot?
Here are the parenting lessons we learned from Netflix’s Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions
1. We need to teach our kids the value of grit
First, your child grows up lacking the much-needed grit to survive the harsh realities of adult life. Teaching your kids that all it needs is one request from mommy and daddy to get the job done will set them up for a hard life in the future. The tiniest obstacle will end up in disappointment, frustration, and even depression.
The best thing you can do is to teach them how to cope with failure. Failure is a powerful lesson and a natural occurrence in our personal journeys. Parents who can ingrain grit and perseverance on their child will find them street smart and persisting, and learning to accept defeat when they need to.
2. Being independent is everything
By raising children entitled, parents also risk having children who are lazy and reliable as adults. While any doting parent would want to be with their child forever, you can’t always be there in all life-changing chapters of their life.
They have to be taught to be hard-working, self-reliant, and able to help others themselves. One thing a good parent can do is by giving them more responsibilities at home. Teach them to clean their room, take care of their dog, or earn brownie points when they want something from you. An occasional freebie is a good encouragement. Making them independent will make them excellent go-getters in the future.
3. We need to keep their sense of privilege in check
The most striking of all lessons here is that when you spoil your kids, you give them the idea that you will cave in to any request possible. Eventually, setting you, as a parent, in an inescapable trap where you can’t say no to your kid.
It particularly becomes increasingly difficult because no parent would want to be unliked by their child. Set clear boundaries on some requests (maybe one in four crazy asks get a yes) and be strict in implementation. This enables them to keep their sense of privilege in check, helping them become more socially aware and empathizing in the long run.
With entitlement becoming an alarming issue in the age of Karens, raising kids to become more self-aware cultivates a culture of exemplary values. Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal not only sheds light on the fact that people with money and acclaim will commit crimes for their children, but it also tells us that you and your child could be possible victims. Yikes.