popping their balloon

<p>I believe in hard work and persistence, but I also believe in realistic expectations and one step at a time.</p>

<p>I see students who aspire to go to very competitive schools, with visions of grad school/professional school even if they come with $$$$loans, because of course* they will be making lots of money* and it will be a piece of cake to pay back.</p>

<p>When I was younger and in school, I was always told how smart I was and how I could do anything if I set my mind to it. However, I have learning disabilties, and when I tried as hard as I could, (without guidance), I was very frustrated, when I couldn't achieve what I supposedly was able to. I was told that I just wasn't trying hard enough. So I gave up for a while, because what was the point of working so hard if you weren't getting anywhere?</p>

<p>I see that happening a lot- kids have/ or are held to , high expectations, without helping them break it down into smaller steps.
Without acknowledgement that to stay at one of the lower levels for a time, is OK, even appropriate.</p>

<p>If someone is working at a record shop after high school, they are seen as a "slacker", by someone who expects their kids apparently to only socialize with those who are attending the top 50 schools.</p>

<p>If someone is bright in high school, it is expected they will attend an Ivy, go on to professional school & a shiny life.</p>

<p>When that doesn't happen, despite their being told all their lives they are smarter than others,they may have extreme difficulty coming to terms with that. They don't have any interim goals, because it has always been the big goal that has been in sight.</p>

<p>I realize that we rise to our own and others expectations
I have magnets on my fridge that say "what would you do, if you knew you could not fail?"
But I also worry, that we are setting kids up for a black and white life- they are worth something if they have high acheivements, but the little things, like being kind, being able to make people laugh, or knowing how to make really great creme brulee aren't enough.</p>

<p>I posted in another thread, about my concerns about my daughter who was attending college visits at her high school, for Ivies. I was worried that she was getting an unrealistic view of her chances at those schools & at the same time, she felt that because I felt that way- I didn't think she could achieve or even go to college. ( she is always hard on herself & me)</p>

<p>We are working on that, I am trying to help her have reasonable expectations, rather than a viewpoint that says "if I can't be on the cover of Vogue by the time I am 18 I must be ugly".</p>

<p>I have started this thread, instead of expressing my concerns in other threads, because I want these concerns to be taken seriously, and not written off as a bucket of cold water . After all I only know people through their posts, and they may have a lot of that something extra that I can't see.</p>

<p>Again, I am not saying that with determination and luck, we can't acheive a lot.
But the little things are worth something too. I don't have a degree, nor does my husband, but we have two great kids, a house in an area that we love, time to spend with each other, and time to be involved in the community.</p>

<p>Now that I am middle aged- I see people who had very high goals for themselves- some have achieved them, and then realized that having everything you ever wanted doesn't bring happiness, you have to find that inside of you. </p>

<p>I also see people who think very highly of themselves, but are angry and disappointed, that they didn't reach their goals, so they expect their kids to acheive what they didn't .</p>

<p>Our kids deserve their own goals, and not be compared to their siblings or to what their parents could have but didn't acheive.</p>

<p>Life is a rich tapestry of experience, and there isn't just one successful course through life. I know this is a college board, and everyone is interested in further education, even if their kids are in elementary school!</p>

<p>But I hope we can remember, to help them celebrate their accomplishments,( and our own) even if it is something that they will never use in an essay :)</p>

<p>I haven't really noticed hoardes of kids who are unhappy, disappointed and disillusioned because their bubble burts -- most adjust quickly to the school they end up going to...</p>

<p>I maintain that we all learn most from the instances in our lives where we try and fail at something. If all you have are "successes", you are not trying very hard.</p>

<p>That being said, I totally agree that each accomplishment should be celbrated regardless of how it is viewed by the "masses" out there. I am most pleased by the fact that I have happy well-adjusted kids...not by their grades or how much money they end up making. My oldest is currently a HS english teacher and, though by the world's standards that is not such a glamorous thing, I could not be prouder of him. He loves what he does and the sheer joy of teaching those kids to love and appreciate literature the way he does just shines on his face at times.</p>

<p>Very good post. </p>

<p>If someone decides to go to a vocational school, he/she shouldn't be thought of as a slacker. Vocational programs prepare students for jobs that they'll enjoy and it takes less time/less tuition.</p>

<p>A Harvard friend of mine for a while had a business growing and delivering flowers - I didn't think any less of her because of it. I've got one kid who is very high achieving and twice as bright as I am. Of course I'll be disappointed if he doesn't get into one of his top choices, but I think both he and I are aware that nothing is guaranteed and that he can make lemonade wherever he ends up. I just want him to be happy and be capable of doing his bit to make the world a better place.</p>

<p>Good post.</p>

<p>We've made it clear to our sons that all we demand of them is that they not plan to spend their lives in our basement eating Hot Pockets and playing video games. Not gonna happen. We will support whatever they want to try, but that does not include a free ride on parental income. No slackers are going to live here.</p>

<p>Since my older son is interested in boat design (a little -- he's more interested in robotics) I suggested he might look into a 2-year professional yacht design or 4-year naval architecture program. He looked at me pretty much the way he would if I had centipedes crawling out of my ears. Sometimes I think the utes don't have as much imagination as us old folk.</p>

<p>As for Life Dreams, I was caught in the downdraft of the dot com bust. After a lifetime of never worrying about employment I suddenly learned about the fantasy of Middle Class Entitlement. Four years of under-employment is a sobering thing. I am blessed beyond words to have a career-type position again (even a couple of notches below where I used to be), and a regular paycheck. Reality does have a way of interfering with our life-long dreams sometimes, doesn't it?</p>

<p>"I haven't really noticed hoardes of kids who are unhappy, disappointed and disillusioned because their bubble burts -- most adjust quickly to the school they end up going to..."</p>

<p>Unfortunately, my world is different. I hear about a large number of kids who go off to college and the bubble bursts. They often do not adapt. Last weekend, our neighbor told us that his D lasted 1 week in college, returned home and is now going to a local college. A work colleague told me his S joined a frat, spent freshman year drinking beer and is now at home working a part time job. My D's first bf was a year older. He barely made it thru freshman year and then did not return to college. Bf#2 is extremely smart, has done very well in college with a full scholarship but partly into senior year, he is not sure what he wants to do and is taking a leave from college. We hear similar stories frequently. To confirm the anecdotes, all you need to do is look at college graduation rates. Except for the top elites, 6 year graduation rates at most schools are often considerably less than 50%.</p>

<p>As parents, we need to be wary of setting unreasonable standards and expectations for our kids. On the other hand, I do think we should encourage their dreams, goals, and self-confidence. When harsh realities hit, things may change and we should be available to provide the non-judgemental support. Easier said, than done.</p>

<p>yeah, great post</p>

<p>It's so important, imo, for parents to love their kids as they ARE and nurture the gifts they have, not the ones we might have picked for them.</p>

<p>I have known people to be very successful in life without any college education at all and/or from CCs Ivies/top LACs and everything in between. </p>

<p>My favorite Sigmund Freud story (OK, I'm a geeK) is the one where he was asked to describe an emotionally healthy human being and he said a person should be able "to love and to worK". Some of the most successful people I've ever met have been my son's wonderful teachers and parents who love being parents.</p>

<p>It can be really difficult, when kids are naturally talented and hardworking, and have accomplished alot by the time they are in high school. The world is their oyster, and they may not have had to develop the skills that help deal with disappointment.</p>

<p>I think that is one of the most important things we can teach our kids ( and one of the hardest), how to get up again.</p>

<p>But while some students on CC, may be happy with where they eventually go to school, and go on to do very well, for most of us, I don't think it is such a direct path.
For instance when my D took a year off from college after junior year to retake a class and regroup. She was ( as were we) disappointed, but it helped to have other( so many other people) people tell her ( and me) that they didn't go through college in 4 years and often not at the same school they began at.</p>

<p>I think that is really scary for a lot of people to consider. When she took a year off after high school, I encouraged her, but I heard both from parents and kids ( not parents and kids together & not in so many words) that that was scary- because they worried that it would be too difficult to go to college after only one year off from school.</p>

<p>Now that it has been 6 years since she graduated from high school, we know lots of kids who have transferred schools, who have taken time off or even some who are going into more vocational type schools * after* getting their 4 year degree.</p>

<p>Which I am grateful for- because it means the pressure is off my younger daughter to push herself through high school and college and into the work force while she is looking for someone to have those 2.3 kids with</p>

<p>* and I am still trying to figure out who I want to be when I grow up*</p>

<p>I went to 4 different UG schools, with wandering time in between. It wasn't always easy, but it was my path Our kids will have their own paths.</p>

<p>Heh. I managed to squeeze four years of college into seven.</p>

<p>I think every kid needs to do some competitive sports. They learn to develop their talents and self confidence. They also learn about frequent disappointments, defeats and losses. Hopefully, they also learn to get back up and try again. Hopefully, they also learn that playing the game is often more important than winning or losing.</p>

<p>I think it's best if the balloon not be overly inflated so that when it does burst, it's not too alarming of a 'pop'.</p>

<p>There are thousands of colleges in this country and many excellent ones. Not everyone needs to, wants to, should, or could possibly go to the HYP or top 50 colleges. People need to have their eyes opened that many of the movers and shakers in the country today didn't attend one of the 'top' colleges and in some cases didn't complete college at all. Of course, for most people it's better to attend college than not, and it's okay to have a lofty goal of attending a dream school as long as the expectation level is correct.</p>

<p>"it's okay to have a lofty goal of attending a dream school as long as the expectation level is correct"</p>

<p>and is there really any problem with having a dream that is not likely to come true?</p>

<p>"I think every kid needs to do some competitive sports. They learn to develop their talents and self confidence. They also learn about frequent disappointments, defeats and losses."</p>

<p>I don't think competitive sports is the only way to learn these things. My kids never cared about how their soccer teams did, but they learned alot about the usefulness of losing from their years playing competitive chess.</p>

<p>Mathmom, you beat me to it. Post #12 could replace the words "competitive sports" with Science Olympiad, robotics competitions, team math events, or debate and still be completely true. This is the third year my son and his robot-building partner will be trying to perfect a certain robot that always fails in some unexpected way come the big day. They spent a good deal of the summer doing something with circuit boards and teaching themselves some programming language (mom knows nothing here) in order to finally overcome defeat (that's the plan, anyway).</p>

<p>In fact, edad, you have hit a raw nerve here. I have argued for years with people who think nothing but sporting events employs a team approach, planning, hard work and dedication, regularly losing and the need to regain confidence and regroup. I'm not saying sports doesn't do all that, but it certainly isn't the only activity that does. And I don't know a single science or math geek on steroids. (Caffeine, yes.)</p>

<p>Maybe I should alter my suggestion from competitive sports to competitive activities. Then, again, I suspect someone will object to the whole idea of competition.</p>

<p>Somebody might, but not I.</p>

<p>LOL! I'd fine tune this to say "competitive activities the kid cares about." I can think of kids in both sports & academic competitions who were just dumped or thrust there and could not give a hoot. One of my d's best friends got swept up into one of those cool robotics competitions because it was the only club left with an opening (this was the time slot where school day's are shortened to accomodate one club a semester.) Now, I think these are very cool activities, but this girl has no aptitude nor inerest. She was caling my d from the big end of season competition with a very amusing rolling comentary on how ill-prepared she was. When the judges interviewed her and asked what her contribution had been, she said, "I bought the paint." Somehow, the team won, but I'm pretty sure it was in a lower or less competitive division.</p>

<p>Plenty of kids join no-cut sports teams because parents force it or they just want to socialize. Learning to deal with the "agony of defeat" has to be done in an activity that is impoortant to you.</p>

<p>"I bought the paint."</p>

love it
My D has enjoyed being on no cut teams- she has heard stories about kids vomiting from nervousness before tryouts for other teams- no thanks</p>

<p>I don't usually force actitivities on her, although this morning I am trying to get her out of bed because she has said she wants to volunteer at the aquarium, and orientation is this morning- she already missed the one a few months ago.</p>