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Vegas mom says mounting pressure to help kids succeed explains college cheating scandal

Posted at 11:49 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 03:17:25-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Lenna Hovanessian couldn’t help but react with shock when she heard the news of a major college admissions cheating scandal.

"It's very concerning for parents and kids who want to have a fair shot at their dream,” she said.

That scandal involves 50 people in six states including two Las Vegas families. Prosecutors said they paid to get their children into elite universities.

RELATED: 2 Nevadans charged in alleged nationwide college cheating scam

"It is disturbing when you hear about the nature of the corruption and how widespread it has been,” Hovanessian said

Her children are ages 13 and 15. Both are active in sports, and with college just a few years away she said the competition has already begun.

13 Action News spoke to Lori Ballesteros of Ignite Teen Treatment Center. She counsels teens and parents.

"Well, it is a time of so much pressure,” said Ballesteros. “In the world that we live in; more now than ever with social media, parents, competition, and whatnot."

Ballesteros sees a lot of parents caving to that pressure doing anything to keep their child from struggle or failure.

"And all I can say is that again it's even more important to let your child know they are ok the way they are,” she said. “And they don't have to be perfect."

She also said while we are familiar with the concept of the hovering helicopter parent. More parents need to embrace the idea of what she calls “trampoline parenting."

“Well, a trampoline is going down and going back up and supporting your child throughout that entire process,” said Ballesteros.

Here’s what trampoline parenting entails:

-Support your kid without saving your kid.

-Teach them at an early age on how to deal with and learn from failure.

-Help them create plans with alternatives, so they don't lose hope.

This is a concept Hovanessian embraces, making sure her kids know they shouldn’t rely on their parents for achievement.

“We will always be there to support them, but there are things they have to accomplish on their own,” she said.