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    #220206 - 07/28/15 07:12 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: aeh]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2595
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    If you read the BJC report:

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf

    you'll also note that the follow-up interviews also estimate that 80% of sexual assaults in college-age female students are not reported to law enforcement. I think whether it is an over or underestimate (and my bias is in the under direction), it is clear that we do not have a good research or societal handle on either the behavior or its prevalence.


    Scaling the 6.1 in 1000 statistic I cited earlier by a factor of 5 to account for under-reporting results in a proportion of 30.5/1000 or about 3%, far lower than the 1-in-5 statistic.

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    #220207 - 07/28/15 07:41 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: madeinuk]
    ConnectingDots Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    HK is right, this certainly is another factor. I'm not sure if it explains suicide rates for the male students, though. Perhaps it does.

    I still think there are other, societal pressures, internalized, at work as well.

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    #220208 - 07/28/15 07:48 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: madeinuk]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Sexual assault is serious problem that is nonetheless less a very different one from the one on the OP.

    I've met enough parents who bleat about IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS! and ALL As! that I've been thoroughly disgusted with them (and the admissions committees that feed the frenzy) for many years.

    I live in an area where teenagers step in front of trains to escape the pressures of the local high schools. Most of them are boys (who are at lower risk of sexual assault), as are most college students who kill themselves (do a web search). Around here, teenagers in high-pressure school districts spend much of their summer vacations studying in the local libraries and elsewhere. They aren't there for the love of AP Calc; they're there because they're being compliant, and most of them look like they'd rather be somewhere else. I taught at a local skating rink. On my first day, they told me to stay in the center of the rink on report card day to avoid being browbeaten by parents who were irate that their little success machines didn't pass the beta 2 level. I saw parents berating their kids over this stuff, and very, very unhappy kids on the ice, including those who had the potential to do well in big competitions. They frowned their way through beautiful axels while parental units stood at the wall frowning in judgment.

    Unreasonable parental expectations are toxic, especially when they center on external appearances, which is what this stuff is all about.

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    #220209 - 07/28/15 08:06 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: madeinuk]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics

    They are snowplow parents.

    Not lawnmower parents.

    Wrong analogy.

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    #220211 - 07/28/15 08:37 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: madeinuk]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Sexual assault is serious problem that is nonetheless less a very different one from the one on the OP.

    Yes, it is-- and I'm not denying that the problem, as posited in the OP, exists. Just that maybe the two problems aren't as distinct as it might at first appear.

    I'm suggesting that even the students themselves may be more comfortable outwardly LABELING causation in one way, and the reality is probably considerably more nuanced. I've seen a fair number of students who initially wanted to label their problems as several other things, but who eventually opened up about the fact that it was actually that they'd been raped or assaulted. THEY didn't always make the connection that they had developed PTSD and were struggling because of mental illness brought on by trauma. It makes sense that this would lead to academic difficulties, of course-- but not to many college students, it doesn't. Even if it does, it just leads to more shame from many of the former high-achievers-- because they see it as "weak" that they are struggling in the face of it.

    Again, this relates to external appearances-- because perfect children certainly don't get raped at parties where there is underage drinking, for example. And that does seem to be the prevailing thinking on what "campus sexual assault" looks like. (It doesn't always.)

    Bostonian, while I respect that there are not solid numbers (and may never be, thanks to the vast under-reporting which occurs)-- my own observations tend to reflect the recent numbers of 80% being "at the hands of someone I knew/trusted" and 90% unreported to authorities, and somewhere around 1 in 10 being actually forcibly raped. I know a lot of university professors, and I know NOT ONE who thinks that 1-in-5 is inflated, if that says anything. What they do tend to think (erroneously, IME) is that it happens to "bad" girls who are making "bad" choices, and that therefore it won't happen to their oh-so-savvy children. I think that most parents do, actually. The truth is that students this happens to never see it coming-- which is sort of the point. {sigh}

    The numbers of young men who are sexually assaulted are likely far, far higher than the 1 in 20 or so which has been estimated, as well. THOSE students really never tell anyone. But they do seem to commit suicide in greater numbers than their female counterparts.

    Yes, toxic expectations from parents are a huge part of this. But-- as CD notes, some of this isn't even coming from parents, per se. It's pervasive now in the cultural landscape.

    Imagine how that percentage of students who are sexually assaulted (however large or small one believes the percentage to be) responds in light of that landscape. Shame is a polite euphemism, probably-- and the response of campuses to reporting is cold comfort. It's far, far easier to make (damaged, struggling) victims go away than their assailants-- so many victims never say a word for fear of losing all that they've worked so hard to attain. They (most of them) would be best off taking a term or two off, but few of them are willing to say so, because they fear (as noted in the article) that their mental health woes will be used against them-- that they'll be seen as a liability in readmission.

    The entire landscape is pretty horrifying, honestly. When you look at just how sparse mental health services are on campuses, it's mind-boggling that the problem of hospitalizations and suicides/attempts isn't worse than it is.

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

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    #220212 - 07/28/15 08:55 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2595
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Around here, teenagers in high-pressure school districts spend much of their summer vacations studying in the local libraries and elsewhere. They aren't there for the love of AP Calc; they're there because they're being compliant, and most of them look like they'd rather be somewhere else.

    Don't most adults spend their working lives "complying" in order to get paid? Are the teens spending several hours a day studying worse off than those who are working full time at entry level jobs in the summer? There should still be time for sports and socializing.

    Someone from Lexington, MA (a town with high-performing schools) told me that some students, especially Asian-Americans, take unofficial AP courses over the summer, so that a course load of 5-6 AP courses during the school year will be more manageable -- they will have already seen some of the material.

    Our children are in Russian School of Math so they can get an "edge" in math. My eldest son, a rising 8th grader, has taken two AOPS courses in Python programming and will take more programming classes before high school. In high school he will have an edge over students for which AP Computer Science is their first programming experience. I don't think we are doing anything wrong.

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    #220213 - 07/28/15 09:04 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: madeinuk]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Bostonian, I think that the thing which distinguishes whether or not that sort of thing is supportive (versus unhealthy pressure) depends upon the level of misery induced in the child.

    Yes, adults do spend their lives working-- however, long ago we opted to protect children with child-labor laws. I'm thinking that the reason we did that might relate to the reason why we no longer have workhouses, too. wink



    I've seen kids participating in such things alongside my DD (who was willingly present), and a fair number of them were not there by choice. Some of them already looked like trapped animals, quite frankly. They were miserable, and they were so constrained that they had no idea what they wanted to do instead-- just that they didn't want to be doing what they were doing, but were powerless to fight against the rising tide of parental (and societal?) will.




    Let me also add that THOSE kids-- the ones that are already showing signs like that in high school, during the height of the "admissions" race, are the ones that the OP's article is referring to. I'm suggesting in my posts that after the fact, it may not be so easy to tease apart which of them are that versus which of them are kids who genuinely were riding the wave and driving a lot of it themselves-- until they experienced some kind of precipitating trauma during that first year of college. Usually the first few weeks of college.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #220215 - 07/28/15 09:49 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: madeinuk]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2595
    Loc: MA
    The student profiled became depressed because other students appeared more successful than she was. But one reason for the top 1% in scholastic aptitude to go to the most selective schools is to figure out where in that 1% they are. It may be depressing to realize that you are in the bottom half of the top 1%, but that is still valuable information. A student admitted from the wait list, as she was, should especially be prepared to not be at the top of her college class.

    Quote:
    Over that summer, she studied the course catalog, and decided that declaring a major early would help her plan more efficiently. She chose math, envisioning a teaching career. “I’m a person who lives by a schedule,” she said. “I have a plan for maybe the next two years, next three years, maybe five years.”

    Probably a large fraction of people who declare a major in math switch to another major and graduate. Maybe departments should publish statistics on the fraction of students who declare a major in their department but later change majors, so that students understand that the decision is a provisional one.

    She thought she was in trouble in multivariable calculus, but many of her classmates struggled just as much (she got an A-). Students need to realize that college exams are harder and are graded on a curve.

    I expect that our eldest son will take calculus well before 12th grade, and if so we will find a way for him to take multivariable calculus before college. Maybe some students who are nudged by their parents in high school are better prepared as freshman in college.

    Grade inflation in college may not comfort students as much as professors and administrators expect, because some students react to getting a B as strongly as students 40 years ago did to getting a C.

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    #220218 - 07/28/15 10:21 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: JonLaw]
    suevv Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/10/12
    Posts: 381
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw

    They are snowplow parents.

    Not lawnmower parents.

    Wrong analogy.


    Agree with Jon with respect to how the article defined lawnmower. They are snowplows in that sense. Or bulldozers.

    But lawnmower fits with respect to Val's point. These parents are cutting there children off at the knees in an ever-escalating mission to be Better Than You. It's sickening.

    I though it was an analogy tied to tall poppies ...

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    #220219 - 07/28/15 10:23 AM Re: Perfectionism/lawn mower parents - a caution [Re: madeinuk]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    In that case, though, I think that they are more like hedge trimmers-- pruning their children into topiaries.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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