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Old 01-18-2011, 11:26 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,459,844 times
Reputation: 4125

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Personally, I can see both sides of this equation here.

My parents wanted me and my siblings to follow what they were interested in, but made us WORK DAMN HARD to achieve the best scores we could.

And, yes, my Irish roots showed themselves when I would bring home a bad grade. "OOOH! What HAPPENED?! OK, that DOES IT MISTER! No more video games, no more computer, no more playing with the dog. Instead you're going to do all the housework AND THEN study for 3-4 hours every day at that subject ALONE, then do the rest of your homework." That was, unless it was in a class that didn't impact your grade point average, like gym.

At the same time, though, they would share why they're doing that. Of course, as kids, we didn't understand and would complain but that would just make my parents make us clean our rooms or something ON TOP of needing to study more.

That taught us to be stoic, but that was more of a midwestern thing I think. It also could have been a product of our parents divorcing, but that's just me speculating.

In the end, I'm in engineering at a major aerospace firm, my little brothers work in fields highly respectable, and my little sister is a genius and is actually wondering what to go into because she excels at EVERYTHING, and is looking for a challenge. We all worked damn hard at it too. And college is where we were allowed to bomb out of something if it proved too difficult - my little bro bombed out of engineering.

I compare that with my old loser step brother and sister. They were "downers" and had no self esteem but their parents kept saying they were OK and they could do whatever they wanted. Thank god the step brother got his stuff together, he became something. He basically told me he stopped listening to his dad and simply wanted to do better.

The end story here is that there is a middle way. Encourage kids to explore what they find interesting academically (i.e. not sports, not drama, not the arts), then tell them to take the initiative and enroll tem in activities and get them active in that. If you don't make your kids want to be strong, they won't.

Also, make sure they have role models. I had the privilege of having a hardworking set of parents, and a brilliant and entertaining father figure after my dad left my mom. I also had astronauts as role models. As the big brother, I also was taught to set an example for the little ones, and I tried.

At the same time, I don't condone calling them garbage. My dad only called me an idiot once and that was enough - i really was being an idiot and I stopped.

So yeah, in short, do both - encourage individuality, forge strength, balance with play on a MERIT based system, and drive home how much hard work all the fields require, and how hard work drives you to be respected as well as allow you to expand and see the world in a different prism. Don't cloister your kids in a bubble and attempt to fill their little heads with honey and praise for a C- ... it will only make them hate you, or have them think they're stupid, or worse yet, make them stop caring and trying. I am THANKFUL my parents were strict on me, but they weren't strict like this woman - they were strict to show how hard work and determination can pay off and never back down.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,764 posts, read 7,701,651 times
Reputation: 1743
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
The end story here is that there is a middle way. Encourage kids to explore what they find interesting academically (i.e. not sports, not drama, not the arts), then tell them to take the initiative and enroll tem in activities and get them active in that. If you don't make your kids want to be strong, they won't.
This really confuses me. Kids should be allowed to pursue a passion if it is in any of these three. My husband's cousin son - brilliant kid, aced his SAT and strait As in his many AP courses, loves improv and spends his free time doing this. I don't think it's a problem and if anything it makes him more attractive to some competitive schools.

My own young son is very bright, is several grade levels ahead in reading comprehension and math. He loves acting in plays and has now done some film acting as well. My letting him explore and discover his own passions has made him happier and more optimistic which motivates him to do better in academic areas.

Some kids are artistically inclined and will find success in the arts. It should not be cut off to them.

I'd like to recommend this book Amazon.com: Your Child's Strengths: Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them (9780670018765): Jenifer Fox M.Ed.: Books
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:55 AM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,724,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Encourage kids to explore what they find interesting academically (i.e. not sports, not drama, not the arts), then tell them to take the initiative and enroll tem in activities and get them active in that.
Have you ever done any research on how experiences in the arts increases academic achievement in all subjects? There is quite a large body of research supporting the arts as a catalyst to academic achievement. Why would you cut off an activity that supports academic excellence if your child was interested?

Academics is not the ONLY thing in which a child can excel. My middle son is the only freshman percussionist in the All County Band. In order to be successful he needed to prepare his audition, present himself to the judges and play his pieces. He needed to work independently in order to be successful. He will also be preparing a xylophone solo and a piano solo for adjudication in front of a judge. Can you honestly tell me that music is not teaching this child to work hard, take responsibility for himself and present himself professionally? The type of achievement provided by the arts is real life achievement not the artificial memorize and spit it out stuff that is taught in school.

There are lots of jobs in the music/art industries that require a knowledge of music/art but do not involve the lottery of being a rock star. There are people who design book covers, cd liner notes, graphic arts, technical people in music, business people who need to understand the creative side, etc......Why would you cut off all of these employment opportunities from your child if that is where he is talented?

Why not sports? Although not every child is a candidate for an athletic scholarship there are scholarships available for athletes in MANY sports, not just the big ones (football, baseball, basketball). My friend's daughter has a water polo scholarship.

If athletics is the area where a child is gifted, why would you take away a possible funding source for college? My son recently sent some emails and an athletic resume to some Division 3 football coaches and the first thing that was requested by the schools that responded was a transcript. Those schools cannot give athletic scholarships but athletics can certainly improve your chances of being selected to receive an academic scholarship if the coach wants you.

While the number of kids who qualify for athletic scholarships is pretty low, there are kids who qualify for them. Maybe yours would be one but you will never know if you don't allow them to participate. Why would your foreclose those opportunities at the outset of your child's life?

Why not allow your child to explore what he/she likes and see where it takes them? Athletics and the arts offer many opportunities for kids to learn the value of hard work and sacrifice. My oldest (the one looking at schools now) gave up many social opportunities so that he could excel at his chosen sports. He may be rewarded with some funding for his college education (of course if he gets in the Naval/Air Force Academies he will go there and forgo football). Plus he may get another 4 years of the thing he loves most.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:47 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 4,431,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
Here's a very interesting perspective on Ms. Chau's parenting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/op...ef=davidbrooks

And I agree with David Brooks. EQ, social skills, and the ability to network are the new educational essentials for future success for Generation Z.
I'm not satisfied with Brooks' argument that social networking skills are much more crucial to success than academic "formal learning" for Millenials. I think with the number of college grads & post-grads increasing every year, there's so much more competition to perform well at school & rank high in your class.

Just here in California, there's talk about reevaluating the number of hs graduates who qualify for our prestigious UC campuses, scaling back from the top 12.5% of high school seniors to single digits. Having the gift of gab and being able to cut your peers down with sarcastic barbs aren't life skills worth having if you're stuck at the local junior college.

I personally feel that networking & learning skills like interviewing & soliciting strangers & public speaking are valuable in developing fearlessness & initiative. But those should be secondary to academic achievement. I would rather have my kid doing SAT prep than tweeting or whoring themselves on dailybooth. Wouldn't you?
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,764 posts, read 7,701,651 times
Reputation: 1743
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokingGun View Post
I'm not satisfied with Brooks' argument that social networking skills are much more crucial to success than academic "formal learning" for Millenials. I think with the number of college grads & post-grads increasing every year, there's so much more competition to perform well at school & rank high in your class.

Just here in California, there's talk about reevaluating the number of hs graduates who qualify for our prestigious UC campuses, scaling back from the top 12.5% of high school seniors to single digits. Having the gift of gab and being able to cut your peers down with sarcastic barbs aren't life skills worth having if you're stuck at the local junior college.

I personally feel that networking & learning skills like interviewing & soliciting strangers & public speaking are valuable in developing fearlessness & initiative. But those should be secondary to academic achievement. I would rather have my kid doing SAT prep than tweeting or whoring themselves on dailybooth. Wouldn't you?
Speaking of college....
Study: Many US college students aren't learning much
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:45 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,346,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokingGun View Post
I would rather have my kid doing SAT prep than tweeting or whoring themselves on dailybooth. Wouldn't you?
Did you know that in the "old days" we didn't prep for our SAT exams? It's true. We found out (on our own) when the test was, went down with our friends on a Saturday morning and took the test. You knew what you knew. And the results showed what you knew. Not what you managed to cram into your brain because you knew you were going to be tested.

Then a few weeks later they gathered up everyone who had taken the test, put us in the school cafeteria and read out the results.

Dark ages.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,764 posts, read 7,701,651 times
Reputation: 1743
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokingGun View Post
I'm not satisfied with Brooks' argument that social networking skills are much more crucial to success than academic "formal learning" for Millenials. I think with the number of college grads & post-grads increasing every year, there's so much more competition to perform well at school & rank high in your class.

Just here in California, there's talk about reevaluating the number of hs graduates who qualify for our prestigious UC campuses, scaling back from the top 12.5% of high school seniors to single digits. Having the gift of gab and being able to cut your peers down with sarcastic barbs aren't life skills worth having if you're stuck at the local junior college.

I personally feel that networking & learning skills like interviewing & soliciting strangers & public speaking are valuable in developing fearlessness & initiative. But those should be secondary to academic achievement. I would rather have my kid doing SAT prep than tweeting or whoring themselves on dailybooth. Wouldn't you?
I just read that article and he didn't write anything about "social networking" at all. He wrote about being able to work in groups. That is something completely different.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:48 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,459,844 times
Reputation: 4125
RE: Jennibc's and Momma_bear's replies:

I did not say that the kids should be completely cut off from the arts. That only creates automatons.

It's all about pragmatism. Even the most astute artists will understand the limits of technology on their works. All the great artists who own their own studios must understand the business side of things and know basic accounting. Music (which I have a passion for) does allow the brain to explore other boundaries. So does playing a sport (I've recently gotten into weightlifting).

The mind and body are entwined, but the focus should be more on the sciences and math with a good balance of artistic and physical exertion. The balance is different for everyone.

EVERYONE needs to know math skills, even artists. So why not make sure they have the skills to survive?

And, given that a tiny percentage of artists actually make it and even fewer make it at sports so they can support themselves, I would hedge my bets and say they should learn math and science, logic and reason early and work hard at it since nearly everything requires it.

At the core of her argument, I think, is that parents these days have lost the will to enforce hard work and teach that hard work pays off.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:57 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,724,832 times
Reputation: 12046
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
RE: Jennibc's and Momma_bear's replies:

I did not say that the kids should be completely cut off from the arts. That only creates automatons.

It's all about pragmatism. Even the most astute artists will understand the limits of technology on their works. All the great artists who own their own studios must understand the business side of things and know basic accounting. Music (which I have a passion for) does allow the brain to explore other boundaries. So does playing a sport (I've recently gotten into weightlifting).

The mind and body are entwined, but the focus should be more on the sciences and math with a good balance of artistic and physical exertion. The balance is different for everyone.

EVERYONE needs to know math skills, even artists. So why not make sure they have the skills to survive?

And, given that a tiny percentage of artists actually make it and even fewer make it at sports so they can support themselves, I would hedge my bets and say they should learn math and science, logic and reason early and work hard at it since nearly everything requires it.

At the core of her argument, I think, is that parents these days have lost the will to enforce hard work and teach that hard work pays off.
Actually you did say:

"Encourage kids to explore what they find interesting academically (i.e. not sports, not drama, not the arts), then tell them to take the initiative and enroll tem in activities and get them active in that."

So saying not sports, not drama, not the arts you are suggesting cutting kids off from that. Kids are like adults. They have a range of talents. Those talents should be explored alongside a core of academic subjects (like math and science).

You never answered my questions about why you would foreclose your child from participating in sports from the outset. Children should be allowed to do things they like. Not everything you do has to earn you a living.

Sports can pay for college. The kids who get athletic scholarships are real. Now-if my child hated sports I would not force them to participate. But I have kids who LOVE sports and at least one of them is good enough to be considered for a scholarship. Even if the chance of a scholarship is small why would you foreclose the possibility when the child is 8 by refusing to allow him to participate?

The same goes for the arts. You know not all jobs in the arts are for performers right? Most of those jobs DO require you to have a musical education though. One of my good friends is an administrator for the Palm Beach Opera. It's a good job. Her degree is in vocal performance. Another one of my friends is an arts grant writer. His degree is in piano performance. Getting a degree in performance doesn't mean that is all you can ever do. College is not vocational training.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:45 AM
 
852 posts, read 1,136,288 times
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"No sports, no drama, no arts." I guess it depends on how you view child-rearing. Academics definitely come first. Both of my girls get straight As, win all kinds of academic awards, and never miss school. But we don't teach our girls to chase after the almighty dollar, which is what the "no arts" argument seems to be getting at. The point there seems to be that there isn't much money in it. And that those who are left to encourage these kinds of interests will be "losers" who may, God forbid, have to drive economy cars and live in modest homes.

I've yet to meet an unintelligent visual artist, musician, and actor, and in my community, these are the same people who are constantly working for the betterment of the community and not only for self gain.

So, do I want to raise my children to live in McMansions, take yearly Disney vacations, and acquire lots of stuff or do I want to raise them to experience the unparalleled satisfaction that comes form working with others to create art or community? Yeah, I think we'll keep hanging with the theater nerds.
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