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Joined: Jun 2006
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Parakeet
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Oh...I forgot to mention that about 15 million American children (1 in 4) live in poverty and aren't being driven around by "Soccer Mom" and aren't in all kinds of activities, etc. These kids also will have to beat the odds if they want to go to college.

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Lisa,

I'm SURE that's the difference. Any college study is going to be skewed.

Anybody have the stats for how many American students even START college much less finish?

Jan

Quote:
Hmmmm, but collleges are reporting this problem is on the rise -

http://www.careerjournal.com/columnists/workfamily/20050729-workfamily.html

so these parents are coming from somewhere ...

Maybe it's a difference of parents whose kids go to college, vs those who do not?

Most of the parents I know aren't latchkey at all - they are overtaxed with personally running their kids around to boy scouts, soccer and horseback riding. So it sounds like a different crew. The ones I know are definitely all on the "college track".

Last edited by JanZeiger; 09/17/06 08:52 AM.
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Well, they say 80% of 10th graders are planning on going to college, which is way, way higher than ever in history. So kids are really seeing the value of a college education.

I'm always amazed that 100 years ago they wouldn't let women in colleges because "our brains couldn't take it" - and now we are the majority in college!! <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

They say that the ones who actually go into college is 64%, often because of pregnancy and financial issues. So it's sad that 16% of kids want to go but get stymied, so that's who we have to help out. Still, though, considering that back in the 40s, most girls were blocked from even trying, I consider it great that we get of kids 64% in <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Bob and I were just talking about our high schools. He went to a Jesuit school in NY and they had a college rate of pretty much 100%. Mine had a rate of 99% I think. It never even crossed our minds, not to go to college.

It's interesting that a study just came out saying kids do not get overstressed with too many activities in modern times. The parents all reacted to it saying "Hey what do you mean??" But the study people said, look. A big quadrant of kids don't even get ANY activities still - you just aren't paying attention to those kids. And the richer kids who get to go horseback riding and soccer and such *like* those activities and have fun at them - it's the parents who are stressed out organizing and driving around. The kids are enjoying it.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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Parakeet
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Right...I agree that most kids are enjoying the activities--but not all.

I'm the mom of two small children and I've recently had some experiences that were truly shocking.

David (4) asked to play soccer. We couldn't do soccer that season but we did basketball. When that ended we did soccer..

Anyway, we went through the YMCA and did it purely because he WANTED to try it. It wasn't about competing. It was just for fun and I was ready to make a coach change that first night if we had gotten someone who was too focused on competing.

The coaches were great both seasons. I was really impressed. They were volunteers--dads with kids on the team. There was no keeping score on the preschool league and everything was really laid back.

SOME PARENTS were the exception to the rule though. There's one dad I will never forget. His kid was 4 like mine. He seemed to have a chip on his shoulder and even announced that he owned a local restaurant in town when I introduced myself the first night.

Anyway, his little boy was NOT interested in playing soccer. From day ONE you could tell he didn't want to be there. The parents forced him out on the field and threatened him with spankings if he didn't get out there and be "part of the team" when the kid obviously was tired/cranky whatever. This happened every week. The entire practice session or game the father yelled at his kid to get out there, to play right, to kick the ball, etc...The mom was there too and, while she wasn't AS pushy, she certainly wasn't helping the situation.

Another dad I saw coaching basketball actually would put his hands on his son (while he was crying) and push him down the field if his 3 year old didn't run. I sat there in tears watching this little boy cry while his dad shoved him and told him to get out there and "have fun" over and over again.

My point is that while I think a lot of children enjoy activities, often times parents enroll little ones (and sometimes even big ones) in activities THEY are interested in with no regard to the child's individual interests. I saw this as a classroom teacher too. Girls talked about dance lessons they hated, etc....

I definitely think parents try to steer their kids towards certain activities. Not all girls want to take ballet and not all boys want to play soccer. That first little boy I described was the opposite of my very active son. He was more introverted and preferred to look closely at ants he found on the ground, etc...He probably would have preferred art classes or maybe even just some quiet family time.

I'm not really disagreeing, Lisa. Just sharing my experiences! I do think kids generally enjoy these things--it all depends on whether or not the parents are pushing them and focusing on competition rather than on just growing, learning, and having fun!

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Hmmm... where to start... I guess I'll bring the topic back to "Helicopter Parents," which as Lisa pointed out, is truly a phenomenon of higher education. The term refers to the parent who insists on hovering over a "child" who is enrolled in higher ed. in some capacity. This is the parent that insists on calling the institution to find out whether junior has enrolled in the "right" classes, whether he is attending class, why he hasn't earned an A, etc. As these are college students, a college level study of behavior is more than appropriate.

As Lisa pointed out, 1) this is an actual phenomenon and 2) it is increasingly common.

It's VERY doubtful that these parents are the ones who were "disinterested" in their children or had little time for their children in times past. 12 years of experience working with "at risk" students, workplace issues and higher education tells me this just isn't the case.

It's highly likely that the parents who insist on hovering over their college aged children are those that refuse to relinquish control--they've taken care of things for their child all the way through high school, why give up that control now?

If you like "reality" based TV, then you might take a look at Alexandra Robbins book "The Secret Life of Overachievers." It gives a bit of insight into what goes on behind the scenes in nice, two-parent families, where achievement and success are stressed above all else. Helicopter parenting is one of the offshoots of this type of child rearing.

I see several other issues in posts here I'd love to see taken over to the Colleges forum.

I would be happy to discuss whether or not college is necessary for all students (only 22-30 percent of jobs in the US actually require a degree); the successes of students from single-parent households; "average" college going rates (these differ significantly by MSA, state, region, country); the relationship between education and income (income steps up for every 30 hours of college and a certificate holder in a high tech career can make more money than a bachelor's degree holder in education) or any other topic related to higher education (please do check out my bio on the colleges site).

Though its not on topic, I would like to state that I think we should be careful when making assumptions about single parents or parents in poverty. The "data" (and as an ABD doctoral student, I am very fond of data) doesn't always paint an accurate picture of reality. I come from a single parent, female headed household where AGI didn't even hit the poverty line most years, but every opportunity was taken to insure that I met academic milestones and pursued college. Working with inner-city youth on a daily basis in a minority-majority state, histories similar to mine are more normal than not.

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I think the majority of children these days are over protected, they get pocket money, no chores have to be done for it. They eat their meals, don't clear the table or wash or wipe a dish. Putting clothes in the wash basket seem to be a thing of the past. I am describing my 12 year old grand son, I am sure not all children are like him but I am just as sure he is not the only one. His brother who is 3 is still breast fed, his mother can not go to the toilet with out him screaming.

I think they have problems teaching them to grow up and give them some responsibility.


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Exactly, toe. Mom and dad manage everything and little is left to the child. This hovering then continues into the "child"'s adulthood and creates a major problem for both the student and the school.

I wonder sometimes if parents also do this when their "child" takes his/her first job. If they're calling the professors and administration at the colleges to check up on their "child," are they also doing this with employers? Can you imagine?

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Parakeet
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I only brought up the poverty issue because I choose to teach only at schools that serve low-income students.

We were required to take extra inservices to help us understand the "Culture of Poverty" and how it affects our students and their parents. So I was speaking of my experiences with my students. It was near impossible to get their parents to conferences--not because they didn't care but because of circumstances such as lack of transportation and work schedules.

My children came to school with shoes that were falling apart, clothes that didn't fit, and so forth. I can remember several times when I went out and purchased items they needed such as sneakers.

These kids definitely weren't coddled and that's why I brought it up.

Interesting about only 20 to 30% of jobs requiring a college degree. Do you just mean 4 year degrees?? What about technical colleges?

I ask because we're moving to another state partly because we are unable to save $$ for our children's college years since FL is so expensive.

Quote:


Though its not on topic, I would like to state that I think we should be careful when making assumptions about single parents or parents in poverty. The "data" (and as an ABD doctoral student, I am very fond of data) doesn't always paint an accurate picture of reality. I come from a single parent, female headed household where AGI didn't even hit the poverty line most years, but every opportunity was taken to insure that I met academic milestones and pursued college. Working with inner-city youth on a daily basis in a minority-majority state, histories similar to mine are more normal than not.

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I work on a university campus and yes, parents are a problem because they do NOT allow their young adult (child) to become independent. Young adults need to discipline themselves i.e. showing up for classes & doing homework on their own. They also need to learn how to talk to their professors directly instead of having a parent conference. We've had cases where parents have attended the job fairs hosted on campus to submit resumes and talk to employers on their adult (child's) behalf. The employers want to hire adults, period.
Lastly and most importantly, if things work out the way they should, the parents will die first. Therefore, it is your duty as parents to leave behind self sufficient adults who can take care of their lives.

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I think society is not holding kids accountable. We are raising a group of kids who point fingers. We are also raising kids on a stop watch. My son started PreK this yr. When I pick my son up, they have asked me to pull up with my son out of the seat belt, so they can put other kids in their cars, because it takes too long for me to do his seatbeat up. Other people are waiting. It doesn't matter that it is against the law or dangerous. There are other people waiting. I don't think I am overly protective, but I don't understand why everyone is in too big of a hurry to worry about safety. But these are the same people who won't let my son on the slide because he fell off one time.

I think parents need to slow down and talk with their kids and not wait until college to be concerned. Teach them as children right from wrong and by the time they are 18, they know.

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