In the wake of the revelations of the college admissions scandal, which exposed a number of wealthy parents, including actress Lori Loughlin, actress Felicity Huffman, and lawyer Gordan Caplan, who had bribed school officials , a lot of questions remain unanswered. And a lot of questions have been asked: What should happen to the children involved? Did they know? What has snowplow parenting wrought? Who the hell still wears Mossimo jeans?
We know this: The behavior of parents who insist on clearing a path to success for kids is often damaging to those same children. Children need to fail or succeed independently in order to attain real personal success. It is an act of selfishness to hoard agency and it leaves children helpless in the face of reality. That’s not a statement of moral principle. Research strongly indicates that this is fact.
And something else has been made clear (if it wasn’t already): Meritocracy is often a myth. We knew this, but the scandal was a reminder. Maybe a needed one.
So, we wondered, what do parents think about all this? To find out, we surveyed readers about their thoughts on the scandal and whether or not they’d ever bend the rules to get their kids into programs. The results revealed that the majority of respondents have faith that their kids will get into programs on their own — and that the children of the scandal should be expelled.
While a small percentage of readers admitted that if they were rich or could get away with it, they would bribe someone, the vast majority of the 2285 respondents took the high road. They either said they believe their kids don’t need that type of help or that everyone should go through the same application process. Very few snowplow parents here.
When asked the question of whether or not the children of those involved in the scandal should be punished, Fatherly readers emphatically responded with a hell yes. More than three quarters of the 1186 total respondents said that they didn’t earn it and should therefore be expelled.
What This All Means
It seems that the Fatherly readers who responded distinctly anti-snow plow parenting and want their children to succeed based on their merit alone. While bribing would be an option for some, it is uplifting to see that many readers wouldn’t consider it. Fatherly readers are not forgiving of those involved in the scandal and believe that when parents screw up, kids — whether they knew of their parents’ tactics or not — should pay the price.
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