Several years ago I was disappointed to note that most of the admission officers who weighed in on this topic on the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) listserve, scoffed at such letters, calling them the self-serving ramblings of helicopter moms and dads. Before then, I used to encourage parents to submit their own letters, even when their child’s colleges did not solicit them. But since the NACAC attack, I’ve backed off because I learned that the letters could be met with scorn. But I’m sad about it because I do feel that parent letters can help to inform and to humanize the admissions process.
High levels of instability and complexity have important consequences for children’s home environment and the quality of the parenting they receive. Both the departure of a father and the arrival of a mother’s new partner disrupt family routines and are stressful for most children, regardless of whether the father is married to their mother or merely cohabiting with her. A nonresident father may also be less willing to keep paying child support if he believes his payments will be shared with another man’s child. Such problems are magnified in families with several nonresident fathers.