Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Mom Wants Daughter To Take SATs Soon

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is a high school junior. It is time for her to take her SATs, but I learned that the test is not required this year due to COVID-19. But then I also heard that if she takes the SAT or ACT, it will make it easier for her to be attractive to colleges and universities if she does well.

My daughter is so stressed out because of doing school remotely and being isolated from her friends while she has tons of homework. I don't want to push her too hard, but I do think she should take the SAT. She isn't thinking about it at all right now. What do you think? -- Take The Test

DEAR TAKE THE TEST: I'm old school on this one. I agree that if your daughter takes the SAT or ACT, she will set herself up for the best options for college. The more information that schools have to evaluate students, the better.

I have spoken to guidance counselors who agree that students should prepare for the test, figure out which test, SAT or ACT, is better for their skills and temperament, and take the test. Many colleges and universities are still offering scholarships to students who test well and whose overall transcripts and personal stories are inspiring.

Do your best to motivate your daughter to be as active as she can, even if it's via videoconferencing, and as engaged in the testing process as she has bandwidth to do. It's worth it. 

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter got divorced last year. It was sad for our family, but we supported her. Her ex-husband had become very close to the family, as they were married for about 20 years. They had no children, but he certainly was part of the family.

Recently, he has been calling. When the pandemic started, he checked in to see how the family was doing. He has offered to bring groceries to me and my husband. He calls us once a month to check and see how we are doing. It is very sweet.

My daughter learned that he has been calling, and she hit the roof. She told us that we should stop talking to him since they got divorced. This is making it awkward. It's actually been nice to hear from him. I don't want to hurt my daughter, but I also don't want to reject him. What should I do? -- In the Middle

DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: Talk to your daughter about why she is so upset. Ask her to tell you why they broke up and if he did something unforgivable that you should know about. If he did, you may reconsider your position.

Otherwise, tell her that you appreciate his calls. He has been a part of your family for so long, you don't mind when he checks in. Assure her that you aren't trying to keep him close. However, he has been very thoughtful, and you appreciate it.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)