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    #186472 - 03/31/14 07:31 PM Parenting arms race article
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    In Mclean, a crusade to get people to back off in the parenting arms race.


    Quote:

    Bowers, trim, fashionable and fiercely determined, stands in her kitchen early one morning making breakfast and explains that she isn’t fighting to let kids off the hook. “This movement is not about mediocrity,” she says. It’s about what she calls “authentic success.”

    “Yes, M.I.T. is looking for a kid who’s taken 10 AP classes. If you’re a kid who has a passion for those subjects and is doing well, then that’s great,” Bowers says. “But if the kid is sleeping three hours a night in order to do that? Or gets to an Ivy League school and then commits suicide because they get their first B? Then that’s not okay. Our whole premise is: Are we really helping our kids be successful by pushing them so hard?”



    EXACTLY.



    Quote:

    In a darkened McLean auditorium in November, California psychologist Madeline Levine, the author of “The Price of Privilege” — who was invited to speak to parents by the Safe Community Coalition, which also works in the growing authentic-success movement — had harsh words for a packed house. “A majority of your children are average,” she said, pausing as a chorus of sharp inhalations drain the air out of the room. “And guess what? So are you.”

    Accepting that, she said, is the first step to ending what she calls a “mass delusion” in many privileged communities that every child must be destined for Harvard to ensure success.

    What matters, she told parents, is spending time connecting with children, not yipping about homework or doing it for them. “Lawn-mower parents” mowing down all obstacles to smooth their child’s way only make it harder for those children to fail and learn to recover on their own. “It’s not about lowering the bar. It’s lowering the expectation that they be terrific at everything,” Levine said. “We’re not straight-A parents. Why should we demand that they be perfect all the time?”


    WOW.

    I'd like to applaud her for saying so. Truly.





    Some of the comments on the article are downright scathing or heartbreaking, though. frown


    I do think that there is a significant backlash that we as parents of HG+ kids wind up getting caught in. I have other parents asking me all. the. time what our "secret" is... and at the same time, my DD also has peers (and not a few teachers!) sneering and making unfathomably transparent attempts to "show her" that she's "not so smart."

    Ick.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #186478 - 03/31/14 09:11 PM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: HowlerKarma]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    I do think that there is a significant backlash that we as parents of HG+ kids wind up getting caught in. I have other parents asking me all. the. time what our "secret" is...
    This reminds me so much of Kindergarten, how many times I was asked by other parents how I taught my son to read so young.

    Seems mostly a great article but it's hard to convince a lot of parents and students. I didn't even try to look at the comments. In my son's 6th grade classroom the "tables" in his room were labeled after different Ivy League schools. This was partially a joke/pun, but it still sets the tone.

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    #186479 - 03/31/14 09:15 PM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: HowlerKarma]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2302
    I hate to say it, but I definitely see this attitude trickling down to parents my son's age. DS2.25 is registered in one scheduled activity now-- a group music class (in the fall/winter, we also swam)-- and the rest of his time is free play, play dates with his buddy, and reading.

    We live in an affluent neighbourhood, and about 7/8 of the children nearby have nannies (most of whom ignore their charges in public), attend a programmed activity or two daily , and are being forced into every possible advantage-earning preschool. One flustered mother actually asked me what kindergarten DS was going to attend in his class for 1 year olds last year. I was aghast.

    Maybe I'm just laissez-faire by nature, but I'm confident in my mothering being good preparation for DS for life. The Mass Insecurity Complex that pervades the Desperate Social Climber Parents (herein "DSCP") is beyond my comprehension.

    None of those DSCP would ever understand a child like DS, or the children of any other posters here. Tonight, DS decided we should spend an hour before bed using new rolls of toilet paper in all sorts of unorthodox applications, like making rain, bowling, building forts, balancing rolls on our heads, racing toilet paper cars, etc. This was after he talked my ear off about the role of the amygdala.

    To the DSCP, none of that would be valuable because, a) it can't go on a prep school application, b) it doesn't make them look good, and c) they don't actually want to interact with their children, they just want to display them. The child is reduced to commodity status by DSCP, which is why the whole parental arms race is such a tragedy. When it comes time for university, is it any surprise that the child is subsumed by the DSCP's external locus of control and misplaced self-concept? I swear, the DSCP's mantra is, "every time your child outdoes mine, I haemmhorage a little in my brain."
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #186488 - 04/01/14 05:49 AM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2603
    Loc: MA
    From the article:

    Quote:
    In a darkened McLean auditorium in November, California psychologist Madeline Levine, the author of “The Price of Privilege” — who was invited to speak to parents by the Safe Community Coalition, which also works in the growing authentic-success movement — had harsh words for a packed house. “A majority of your children are average,” she said, pausing as a chorus of sharp inhalations drain the air out of the room. “And guess what? So are you.”

    She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.

    An honest way to discourage a parenting arms race is to point out that excluding abusive or neglectful parents, it is difficult to find substantial correlations between parenting behaviors and child outcomes.

    Top
    #186491 - 04/01/14 06:09 AM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: Bostonian]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.


    That's a pretty low I.Q.

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    #186493 - 04/01/14 06:25 AM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: JonLaw]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.


    That's a pretty low I.Q.


    For the purposes of this forum, absolutely. That's the IQ of a typical high-achiever that gets shoehorned into the gifted program by a Tiger parent. And since there are more of them than there are of the truly gifted, the school's gifted program no longer serves gifted kids, it serves high-achieving tiger cubs.

    But Mom and Dad's precious little status symbols MUST be the truly gifted, because they went to Ivies.

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    #186495 - 04/01/14 06:40 AM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: Dude]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    She is addressing an audience of parents who have graduated from selective colleges. No, their IQ's are not average, and since IQ is highly heritable, the IQ's of most of their children will also be above average. According to "Coming Apart" (p66) by Charles Murray, the average IQ of children of two parents who graduated from an elite college is 121.


    That's a pretty low I.Q.


    For the purposes of this forum, absolutely.


    I was referring to my worldview, but sure, I guess that applies to this forum too.

    I generally feel bad for people with I.Q.s that low.

    Top
    #186496 - 04/01/14 06:42 AM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: HowlerKarma]
    playandlearn Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/14/08
    Posts: 309
    I see nothing wrong when parents try hard to give their kids an edge. And I like it very much that parents believe that an edge can be gained through hard work (both in the parent's part and in the kid's part). We all want to give our kids "the best"--what is the definition of "best", though, varies depending on who you ask. But I do understand what these parents try to do for their kids, just like I do understand what the parents on this forum do for their kids.

    It's obviously too bad that some parents' effort to help their children gain an edge actually harms the children. But it is hard to put the blame on these parents alone when the society (which includes all of us) has a culture of valuing "status", instead of personal happiness, rewarding careers, efforts to make the society a better place, etc.

    Top
    #186497 - 04/01/14 06:49 AM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: playandlearn]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: playandlearn
    It's obviously too bad that some parents' effort to help their children gain an edge actually harms the children. But it is hard to put the blame on these parents alone when the society (which includes all of us) has a culture of valuing "status", instead of personal happiness, rewarding careers, efforts to make the society a better place, etc.


    Because status = resources = survival.

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    #186500 - 04/01/14 07:07 AM Re: Parenting arms race article [Re: JonLaw]
    KathrynH Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/08/13
    Posts: 111
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw

    I generally feel bad for people with I.Q.s that low.


    Why? There are many people my heart aches for - people with chronic illnesses, people who have lost children, people who have lost sources of income. But people with an average to above-average IQ? I feel like I'm missing something.

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