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Old 04-04-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,162,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
My mom volunteered in the late 60's/early 70's.

But then, my dad was a Girl Scout leader so maybe we were rebels
I think the late 60's and early 70's is when the child centered home started to evolve. I grew up in an adult centered home. By the time I had my kids, every parent I knew was running a child centered home. I've always wondered why we made this switch. One of my theories is that now that families are smaller, parents feel the need to put more into each child to guarantee success. Back when you had 12 kids, one of them was bound to succeed.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
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My mother grew up in a family of 2 children just like I did. Her mother worked so did not volunteer. My mother stayed home so she did volunteer. She didn't make a career out of it but she did volunteer. She volunteered in other places as well. My father was a military officer and back then, being an officer's wife was a career in itself. Why do you feel the need to turn this into something inherently negative?

So, what you're saying is that a 1/12 success rate reflects better parenting than say a 1/2 (or even 2/2) success rate? And that is based on some supposed "child centered home" philosophy? My parents (both 1 of 2) turned out fine, my husband (one of 5) and I (one of 2) turned out fine and our children ( 2) turned out fine. Three generations survived and succeeded despite the world as well as parenting philosphies and family needs (Working mom, SAH mom, level of father's involvement, moving frequently vs having a solid "hometown"; high school diplomas vs advanced college degrees etc) changing.....

Last edited by maciesmom; 04-04-2014 at 06:49 PM..
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,162,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
My mother grew up in a family of 2 children just like I did. Her mother worked so did not volunteer. My mother stayed home so she did volunteer. She didn't make a career out of it but she did volunteer. She volunteered in other places as well. My father was a military officer and back then, being an officer's wife was a career in itself. Why do you feel the need to turn this into something inherently negative?

So, what you're saying is that a 1/12 success rate reflects better parenting than say a 1/2 (or even 2/2) success rate? And that is based on some supposed "child centered home" philosophy? My parents (both 1 of 2) turned out fine, my husband (one of 5) and I (one of 2) turned out fine and our children ( 2) turned out fine. Three generations survived and succeeded despite the world as well as parenting philosphies and family needs (Working mom, SAH mom, level of father's involvement, moving frequently vs having a solid "hometown"; high school diplomas vs advanced college degrees etc) changing.....
No, I'm saying that with only 2 kids, parents feel success/failure are more a reflection on their parenting than they did with 12. Odds had it with 12, you'd have a winner and a loser or a few of each no matter what you did. With two, you don't want to chance two losers. With 12, you were stretched too thin and no one blamed you. With two, that's more manageable so now it reflects on you as a parent more because the perception is that your children are a reflection of you. With 12, they raise each other. My grandparents didn't invest much into their kids beyond discipline and teaching them to do chores. They didn't have time to hover.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Denver 'burbs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
No, I'm saying that with only 2 kids, parents feel success/failure are more a reflection on their parenting than they did with 12. Odds had it with 12, you'd have a winner and a loser or a few of each no matter what you did. With two, you don't want to chance two losers. With 12, you were stretched too thin and no one blamed you. With two, that's more manageable so now it reflects on you as a parent more because the perception is that your children are a reflection of you. With 12, they raise each other. My grandparents didn't invest much into their kids beyond discipline and teaching them to do chores. They didn't have time to hover.
Regardless of whether oarents "feel" success or failure is a result of parenting, 2 kids is in fact easier than 12.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:48 PM
 
12,879 posts, read 29,579,483 times
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Perhaps instead of making blanket statements about whole era's we should just stick with why people volunteer in schools and with kids. My parents were both huge volunteers their whole lives and only a small part of that was volunteering in schools. My parents were scout leaders, church volunteers, Lions club and kiwanis volunteers, and later in life Library and AARP volunteers. My Mom took about 10 years off from working full time, but she never took off from volunteering her whole life. They were not child centered, they were community centered. I refuse to think of their service and mine as some sort of narcissistic way of trying to prove themselves as good parents. I truly believe that the best communities are when everyone pitches in. The 1950's - 1980's were probably the peak enrollment time for many service organizations, including Kiwanis and Lions. My late baby boom generation of people are the ones that are not volunteering and unfortunately, that's why many 20 - 30 year olds don't see it as a normal thing.
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Last edited by toobusytoday; 04-05-2014 at 06:58 AM..
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
I've asked the same question. At a previous school, there were several of us parents who quit volunteering because of the PTO moms. These ladies would show up with their kids in the morning and still be there in the afternoon at pickup time. There was a lot of inappropriate gossip, confidential information that perhaps wasn't kept confidential enough, parents trying to show off their "wealth", and moms who seemed to live vicariously through their kids. It was the mean girls club.
Yep. This was my experience.

I really enjoyed volunteering at my kids' schools in various capacities for a number of years, but I, too, eventually stopped because of these queen bee moms. Some of them are insufferable.

I have great admiration for those parents another poster talked about who always give their time for the benefit of the school and for the entire student body. Now that I'm back at work and rarely able to volunteer, I'm so grateful for (and somewhat envious of) those parents.

But there were a handful of those PTO/PTA moms that were hyper-competitive, petty, gossipy, controlling, cliquey, and who made it their mission to advance their own kids in whatever ways and by whatever means they could. And, too often, they succeeded.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
Perhaps instead of making blanket statements about whole era's we should just stick with why people volunteer in schools and with kids. My parents were both huge volunteers their whole lives and only a small part of that was volunteering in schools. My parents were scout leaders, church volunteers, Lions club and kiwanis volunteers, and later in life Library and AARP volunteers. My Mom took about 10 years off from working full time, but she never took off from volunteering her whole life. They were not child centered, they were community centered. I refuse to think of their service and mine as some sort of narcissistic way of trying to prove themselves as good parents. I truly believe that the best communities are when everyone pitches in. The 1950's - 1980's were probably the peak enrollment time for many service organizations, including Kiwanis and Lions. My late baby boom generation of people are the ones that are not volunteering and unfortunately, that's why many 20 - 30 year olds don't see it as a normal thing.


Your parents set great examples.

Unfortunately, there are parents (albeit a small, [powerful], minority) who do volunteer in the schools for, what appear to be, primarily self-serving reasons.

(BTW, toobusy, if you haven't already read it, you might be interested in a book entitled Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam, in which he talks about the steep decline in civic engagement over the last few decades. It's an interesting read.)
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:35 PM
 
4,043 posts, read 6,575,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newdixiegirl View Post


Your parents set great examples.

Unfortunately, there are parents (albeit a small, [powerful], minority) who do volunteer in the schools for, what appear to be, primarily self-serving reasons.
)
If I may, how would you be able to tell what percent of parents volunteer strictly for "civic reasons" and what percent have ulterior self-serving motives? How do you know the category you are referring to is "small"?

It seems to me the entire system is set up to stimulate the self-serving motive more than anything else and therefore places children whose parents cannot volunteer at a significant disadvantage. ... particularly when parents are used in pedagogical roles.

I have heard the line "if you volunteer, you will show your child how much you value education" many more times than I would have cared to. I could write a volume explaining why this line of thinking is just a dishonest and inaccurate sales pitch so that the system/schools can function partially on free labor provided by parents who can afford to spare such a thing...but that's another story.

Having been schooled in a country where ALL aspects related to school were addressed EXCLUSIVELY by professionals and all sorts of other paid employees, and where parents buzzing at school would have raised many eye brows, I find the practice of using parents' free labor to do the school's job - weird at best, offensive at worst. Never mind that when the educational system states that a volunteer parent is a parent who cares about his child's education they imply that one who doesn't volunteer, does not care that much about his child's education. This is obviously extremely false but quite easy for a child to believe, especially when he sees other children's parents swarming at school while his doesn't. Never mind that the non-volunteering parent could, in fact, care 1000 times more about education through what he does with his child at home.

I caught on pretty soon, however, that volunteering is a well established institution in the US which was not going to change any time soon just because I balk at it. I adapted, grudgingly of course, and I did like the Romans, because in Rome. I volunteer as often as my working mother status allows me to. But yes, I do it strictly for my children because I simply hate the idea of them feeling their mother "abandoned" them at school while other children have their mothers parade on premises as comfortably as in their own bedroom. In fact, during a period where I was completely overwhelmed with career-related problems, my younger one asked me why I don't come to school as often as other kids' moms. She was clearly disappointed and hurt.

Way to set up a school system. Fail to create the jobs needed to get schools' work done (when so many people need jobs!), use instead parents who have all the time in the world to hang out at school, apparently they wouldn't know how to deal with leisure time at home anyway; and guilt those who don't. Many of the overwhelmed parents will STILL somehow find SOME time knowing that otherwise their children will feel like the 'runt' whose mommy doesn't care to come to their school anyway.

Well done there! Now that we have extended childhood closer to 30, I suggest universities try the volunteering system too! They could make it with a whole lot less faculty.

Last edited by syracusa; 04-06-2014 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:08 PM
 
32,525 posts, read 32,535,431 times
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Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
But yes, I do it strictly for my children because I simply hate the idea of them feeling their mother "abandoned" them at school while other children have their mothers parade on premises as comfortably as in their own bedroom.
Do you even know any of these women? The ones who "parade"?

There is a definite need to go from car to building and from building to building. But it's hard to "parade" when carrying a large box of supplies. It's also difficult to "parade" when on playground duty. It's REALLY hard to "parade" when one is not conscious one is being observed by the mother who is NOT volunteering, but who has come up with numerous reasons for why everything is just so awful and horrible that she's decided that any mom who is out there actually helping the school be a better school is...... parading.

Perhaps you should alert them to your presence so they can have an extra spring in their step as they carry in that box of paper supplies, glue, crayons, plastic bags, wet wipes, Bic pens, and the 10 dictionaries found on the clearance shelf at Target which are going to be donated so the kids with parents who clean buildings for a living have the same supplies as everyone else.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:59 PM
 
912 posts, read 922,122 times
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many interesting points made on this thread.

I was a PTA officer, and scheduled several different groups of moms to help out in school (library, classroom activity). Some were PTA moms, some were not.

I actually did work full time, but was fortunate enough to be able to take a few hours off occasionally. The one thing that I noticed, the difference between a mom who wants to volunteer, vs a mom who wants to helicopter -- sometimes I could not schedule them in the same time slot as their little darling (such as , library, the mom may have to help when her child is not attending).

The moms who complained "Oh, i only wanted to help when MY CHILD was going to be there...well they didn't get called much. The idea behind volunteering is to help the SCHOOL, not your child.

Just wanted to clarify. Most of my volunteer time was when my child was not in the activity. I was lucky enough to get some time with her, but not all of it.
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