Q. Our daughter is overcoming a learning disability very nicely by working at her own pace. She graduated from high school and went on to community college where she completed her first year with excellent grades (a first for her that we are celebrating!) My problem comes from "friends" in our affluent neighborhood that I regularly meet at parties. They boast about the important schools their children attend and how well they are doing there. When I congratulate them, they ask what our daughter is doing. Invariably, after I tell them, they suggest expensive private colleges to send her to. We feel she's doing well, and, more importantly, she does too. We don't believe in sending kids to private colleges without any focus or direction toward a particular goal. How do I respond without getting into arguments or being rude?
Ans. Perhaps it's worth being rude and losing such "friends." You sound extremely sensible, and should continue to do exactly what you are doing. It's no one else's business, and private school or fine grades in any college are not the final word on what a person will accomplish in life. Many successful people had learning problems and didn't do particularly well in school. Next time one of those "friends" makes a remark, answer, "Thanks for the suggestion, but we are very satisfied with her school and very proud of her accomplishments." Then move across the room.