I recently spoke with a parent who told me a story. She had recently been cornered by her neighbor who spent 45 minutes extolling the virtues of a specific school, trying to convince her to send her child there. The neighbor went on and on about the great teachers, great families, great curriculum of the school. Then, a few weeks later, the neighbor withdraws the student from the school. WHAT???!!!
I remember observing this phenomenon with people and their cars. People spend a lot of money on their cars and understandably want to feel like they made the right decision. If your friends purchase the same car, it is a validation of your decision. When you tell people you are shopping for a new car, they go nuts–talking about how much they love whatever they happen to be driving at the moment.
Beyond cars, it is not surprising that people do the same thing when it comes to their school choices. A school choice is an investment of time, money, and values. It’s your child’s education, their future, at stake, and people understandably get worked up about it. When ultimately a choice is made, it makes sense that a parent wants reassurance that they have made the right one. Influencing a friend or neighbor to make the same school choice is a validation. And who needs a school choice validation more than the parent who is seriously questioning the suitability of the school? So, when your friend/neighbor/co-worker seems almost irrationally evangelizing for their school as a great choice for your child, take it with a grain of salt. It is entirely possible that they doth champion too much.