Parents: What if you student(s) becomes "average?"

<p>I know must people don't settle for being average. But someone has to fall in that percentile. Most people are just average; they earn an average salary, drive an average car, and live and lead an average life.</p>

<p>For the parents, who I'm sure have students who are overachievers or at least overly ambitious: Would it hurt or scare you if your student were to become and attained the 'average?'</p>

<p>As your students grow and mature, you often have to redefine your view of success, or what 'type' of success is vital for your children.
If you do not accept who they choose to be (yes, even a grocery clerk), then you have missed the point of raising a happy, healthy, productive member of society. Beyond that, how they define success is up to them.</p>

<p>No one is average in every aspect of their life. Just because someone drives an average car, doesn't mean he/she is not outstanding in other ways. </p>

<p>Some people may say I have a great career, but I am pretty average and ordinary intellectually. I don't read great books or appreciate art. </p>

<p>Each of my kids has her own special quality. They would never be average in my eye.</p>

<p>"Each of my kids has her own special quality. They would never be average in my eye. "</p>

<p>I feel the same way about my sons. They don't have to get straight As or win the Nobel prize for me to be convinced that they are amazingly special.</p>

<p>I want my kids to do what they want, be content, and live on their own. Whatever else they achieve will be icing on the cake.</p>

<p>My ambitions for my children don't have much to do with job titles or earning power, cars or possessions. I find those kinds of measures very shallow, frankly.</p>

<p>I hope they will be happy, independent, self-supporting, stay out of debt & trouble, do some good in the world, treat others well, and surround themselves with good people with whom they have healthy satisfying relationships. I hope they will pursue their dreams. </p>

<p>I hope their lives will be rich in love, joy, friends and experiences. I don't give a rat's patoot what kind of cars they drive.</p>

<p>
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No one is average in every aspect of their life.

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<p>Very well put. I may add that everyone is average in some aspects. Bill Gates drove an average car, at least I saw that on youtube, but he's not average in at least one thing. Do you want your son to be like him? Probably not. Maybe you'd like your son to be Bill + Bill (Clinton). That won't happen. The hard true is whatever your kid is is. Not as much as you think you can do. Being happy is the ultimate goal in life for everyone, I suppose, you and your kids included.</p>

<p>Two thoughts on this:
Part of life is "fitting in" and some times being too different from the average makes it difficult.
Average does not matter, satisfied with what they have achieved is what matters</p>

<p>The replies so far are quite composed, mature and dripping with wisdom. That is the "right" answer. </p>

<p>I'll take the other road. </p>

<p>Would it hurt or scare me if either of my two sons became average? Well, for me it is yes and no. One of my sons is average the other has far more natural ability. The youngest son struggled to read on grade level seemingly from day one whereas his older brother read at an adult level as a 7th grader and could devour book like a raven swooping down on a hampster. </p>

<p>But, he has regressed to the norm somewhat so he is pretty much what your asking about. Am I hurt? No. It is normal human behavior to relax unless pushed to reach higher. Am I scared? No. He'll get the job done when he needs to. </p>

<p>But let's be clear. My job is to push him. My job is to make sure he doesn't settle for vanilla or average since he has the tools to reach higher and accomplish more so no, now that you asked, I damned well won't let him settle for being average. </p>

<p>I am far more tolerant of the younger one because he has to work harder to accomplish the same things. He is catching up though. I intend to guide both of them to some mythical happy place. It isn't easy pushing and pulling without hurting or stunting them. I would love to be one of those parents that just lets the water run to the sea however it sees fit, like my wife, but I see that as a recipe for lessor things. I'd rather meddle, instead of "there is nothing I can do about it," as an attitude for child rearing. </p>

<p>I don't do hands off. I do hands on.</p>

<p>Well put, ACCecil. I am not hands off. I was looking far down the road in my response--as in what I want for adult children.</p>

<p>I sometimes wonder how people can aspire to average aspirations and be completely content. For example, my former boyfriend wanted to get married by his early- to mid-twenties, work as an architect in a firm (not his * own * firm, just * a * firm), and have a kid.
Well, maybe it's my naivety and overly-ambitious nature kicking in...but...when he asked me when I wanted to get married and that kind of thing, I said, "I don't. I want to go to college, figure out what I really have a passion for, and follow my intellectual pursuits wherever they may take me, and go. Even if it means going to a different country. And I hope I can find somebody who would like to come along, but children don't seem feasible, at least early on."
This was one of the things we really didn't agree on...where we'd be in 10 years. At this point I don't see myself with 2.5 children or living in suburbia happily married whereas he'd not only prefer that lifestyle, he'd ** love ** it. A lot of kids at my high school were like this too. I don't identify with the view, but I certainly understand it, and I don't think there's anything scary about average. It's just, well, average. My former boyfriend is a good guy, a wonderful person...and maybe average is for him. But I figure that I have one life to live and that I might as well go out with a bang. ;)
The only stigma I have against "average" sorts of people is that they tend to be very one-dimensional and that sort of thing. Which is, well, boring.</p>

<p>D1 is very shallow. She likes to make money and she also likes to spend. As an intern is already making way above average American income. The kicker is her managers are already telling her that she is very good at what she does. On top of that, she absolutely loves it. I have no doubt in less than 5 years she could possibly make as much money as I do now. In that respect, she is not average. But she is not a very deep person or have any desire to save the world. </p>

<p>D2 is into photography, music, dance and reading. She doesn't want to have anything to do with money. Her biggest joy in life is to be able to spend few hours a day to read, with a glass of Chai tea. She would like to have a Victorian house some day, and wouldn't care much for what kind of car. </p>

<p>My two girls are very different. What they have in common is their work ethic, kindness, self reliance.</p>

<p>
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I don't do hands off. I do hands on.

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<p>Please share with us how, dad ACCecil, or it may be as unique as a kid and the methods would apply to others. Or, as patents we don't have the ability or resources to figure out how.</p>

<p>Oldfort's D1 sounds great, doing what she loves happily and successfully. So the word "shallow" is not a nice choice, but I sense it's filled with love and pride.</p>

<p>My mom didnt want to come to my high school graduation (well me and my twins) because we didnt get into honor roll and therefore we didnt get a gold cord to wear around our neck.
It was quite sad, she was gonna miss the occasion because most of my mom's friends kids (who were in our grade) got gold cords regardless whether they deserved it or not.
A little background on my HS: I go to a competitive american private school in saudi arabia with a total population of 400 kids....there were 133 of us in my senior class. There were very smart people (someone got a 4.7 and waitlisted by Yale) as well as shallow super rich losers whose main objective was to party every week.
My sister and I certanily werent stupid or at the bottom of our class....she took 3 APs her senior year and 2 in junior year, while i took 1 senior year 1 in junior year but I also took honors art and got an award and got into a crazy good art school for fashion design at this school called parsons.
My graduation was so bad, there was a yelling match in the morning because she made me wear the most ridicolous flare pants thing to my grad even though the gown covers everything and after grad she was still complainng on how we had missing tasks and im like lady, you need severe therapy....such a bad day.
I had a good high school experience overall, i just wish my parents would be less harsh on both of us...i HATED being compared to other kids my age on a constant basis. YES i could have tried harder but come on, every kid has a different brain capacity and mine just wasnt that good enough. My parents, having grown up in pakistan, both were very smart people and very hardworking and stuff so they stressed the importance of all the oppurtunites that were available to us that werent availabe to them. </p>

<p>Sorry about being so negative...but this is the truth. Hopefully things will get better over time :)</p>

<p>How? </p>

<p>Guidance. In many ways/forms. </p>

<p>I limit how much time they spend watching TV or playing video games. </p>

<p>I get them into EC things they otherwise wouldn't do. </p>

<p>I insist they do well in school and repeat how important GPA and reading are. Otherwise, it wouldn't even be discussed. There would be a shrug of the shoulders and a sigh of well that's what he got what can I do about it? if my wife was in charge. That doesn't accomplish much, if you ask me. </p>

<p>I make sure they do summer enrichment activities. Just like many other parents here. </p>

<p>I've seen my little guy look up at me with tears in his eyes because he couldn't do something I wanted him to do. I know I can't make them do everything I want. I stand back when I have too.</p>

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For the parents, who I'm sure have students who are overachievers or at least overly ambitious

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<p>Why do you assume this? Many of us have kids who achieve in one aspect, but are average in others. I am that way myself and have found that most people are.</p>

<p>The vast, vast majority of people in this world, including myself, my family, and 99% of internet commenters, is average. It is fine and good to encourage your children to accomplish what they are capable of, but it's self-defeating to nurse a child's horror of being average, whatever that means. There is always going to be someone out there who is smarter, richer, better looking, or a better performer than you or your kid. There will also always be someone out there who is poorer, less intelligent, more ugly etc. People need to get over themselves and stop being afraid of being "average." It's almost everyone's destiny.</p>

<p>Yuck I reallly hate threads like this. What the heck is average anyway? I'd far rather have children that are normative than at one far end or the other of the bell curve...now that could cause sleepness nights, angst and all kinds of anxiety. I know parents with kids at the extreme ends of the bell curve on different measures and life is not easy for the kids or the parents.</p>

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Many of us have kids who achieve in one aspect, but are average in others. I am that way myself and have found that most people are.

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<p>This is very true. Having worked with kids for much of my life, I believe that everyone has some talent or gift, and that no one achieves in all areas. I guess I would say that no one is truly "average." Part of our job as parents is to help our kids find their talents and nurture them- or at the very least, get out of the way so they develop them on their own.</p>

<p>"I sometimes wonder how people can aspire to average aspirations and be completely content."</p>

<p>"What the heck is average anyway?"</p>

<p>It's very easy to be average and content. My average might be someone else's aspirations.</p>