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Ask Rene: Help! My Kid Doesn’t Want To Go To College!


Ask Rene:
Help! My Kid Doesn’t Want To Go To College!


Hi Rene,

Love the site and all your great pieces – keep ‘em coming!

Here’s my problem. My daughter Kara is about to turn 16 so we’re starting to think about her college education. We’ve saved a reasonable amount in her university fund and her grades would be good enough for her to have a strong choice of colleges to choose between.

Unfortunately Kara is adamant that she’s not going to college. She says she’s bored of school and doesn’t want to study anymore. She wants to have some fun after she graduates and go traveling.

Her father and I wouldn’t mind so much if she had a definite career plan in mind – but Kara basically just wants to party and we’re worried she’s throwing her future away.

How can we convince her daughter that she’s on the wrong track and making decisions that could seriously jeopardize her future?


Debbie, Colorado



Hi Debbie:

Okay, let’s start by backing away from the ledge. In your head you are imagining at best your daughter working for minimum wage in a sweatshop or at worst, living on the street. Neither one of those is likely to happen but if you keep pushing her, trying to bend her will to yours, the outcome will most assuredly not be what you want. Let’s look at the facts.


4. Take A Step Back

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I think it’s time for you, mommy, to do some soul searching of your own. What is this really about, other than your concern that she is throwing her life away? Are you worried what friends might say if your daughter hasn’t graduated from college by 22 and doesn’t have a career at 25, one you approve of? Who cares? Is it really important what the neighbors think or about Kara’s chances for success? If I were you I would stop right now, using phrases like “going down the wrong track” because I’m not sure that’s true. What if Kara matures in her own time and learns life isn’t all about the party? What is she decides in her travels, to work with victims of sexual assault sub-Saharan Africa where the problem is widespread? What if she decides to help the rebuilding effort in Haiti or some other humanitarian mission? Is she really throwing her life away because she’s not in a classroom setting? Doesn’t sound like it to me.

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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