Jessica Lahey's the Gift of Failure cautions parents against the dangers of being over-involved in their children's lives. She has a simple message: Let children make mistakes and learn from them on their own.
College admissions committees want to enroll students who work hard, have the courage to take risks, and resiliently bounce back when things don't go according to plan. Duckworth's research on grit shines light what characteristics and behaviors correlate with success and happiness.
The best applications are those where a student's biography, courses, choice of major, essays, resume, and recommendation letters work together to put forward the most compelling arguments why you deserve admission.