Monday, October 19, 2015

Landing Pad

Today I am at one of the most diverse schools yet ironically economically less so. Solid working class in an area of both low income and high income homes.  The neighborhood is intensely proud and they are cohesive.

That said, they are working class. Likely two or single parents who work.  I have talked about the obsession with the free range parents to the point some are arrested as the family in Maryland, who could afford Lawyers and garner media attention, then I have talked about the parents who are struggling economically and in turn have issues with child care, having to leave children in parks, or cars or at home when they are looking for work or working.

We are a nation of busy bodies and we are a nation of scolds. We have generated an overwhelming need to ensure an almost systemic collective of bots, from testing to behavior expectation we are sure that by wiping out any possible disruption from society we can have the perfect world. It is almost science fiction but rather than Stepford Wives we have their children.

I watched a woman talk to a friend about her son and she described as ADD and having learning issues when it came to reading. Uh yes he is a boy about 7. The end. That is my diagnosis.  I have heard and seen this too many times of late. The drugging of youth has turned our children into the Walking Alive Zombies.

The idea of what is discussed in the article below is I think the result of several factors: The lack of parental leave and childcare.  Not having enough time to bond with one's child and in turn have affordable consistent child care puts all families at risk.

Then we have the "having it all" leaning in  bullshit. Yes again that goes back to finding consistent child care if you have a demanding career and a spouse with the same.

Debt and education. They are synonmous. The collapse of public education has put excess expenses on families as they try to supplant the public education system. From private to charters there is some belief that their children will have a better chance by going to a better school. Better school come with more money, be it tuition or be it taxes. Public education has been underfunded for decades now and that chicken has come home to roost with numerous lawsuits and the States Supreme Courts demanding Legislators fund education.

Add to this the cost of College Education and the immense debt load faced by current, future and past students.  This pressure also puts kids at risk to perform academically at intense rates often foregoing extracurricular activities to keep the grades up or to be in sports to the point of physical danger to earn a scholarship. Neither are optimal and should be with discretion and ultimately the child and parent making these decisions together.  Not one of projection with the "back in my day" crap that often is a compensatory type deal or living up to a standard that is not about your child but about you.

And this this what I think has lent itself to the problems with regards to free speech and the oppression of it on college campuses, trigger warnings, editing and revising curriculum to avoid litigation, problems with sexual assaults and of course the sheer level of meme and me again that I see with MEllinneals. They have no idea how few ideas they express our original and it shows especially in the tech sector.  This is the group that seems to trump failure as a success when in reality the money poured at them failed to produce even more money and that is what they define as failure. They don't go homeless, have no prospects for future work or find themselves awash in debt other than college for which many get family members to co-sign and place them more in financial risk and  jeopardy as a result.

Much is made of the Boomers but we were the disrupters and agents of change.  Please tell me what has Mark Zuckerberg done but put an internet college message board and yearbook online. Fascinating as it appeals to the generation that can never get enough of themselves.  Their inventions are all apps to re-create the home and school that they can never segregate from. It has lead to an unhealthy and unhappy culture and workplace. The comments alone to the article confirm that perspective. 

As I have frequently noted when it comes to children we project and we deflect rather than being honest about each child and their individual needs/differences.  We do it with adults so that is at least consistent.  But we cannot legislate, law make, swaddle or coddle everyone from everything and anything we deem dangerous.

 So while I commend the information the "former" dean advises, there are many more extrinsic factors at play here, largely financial that she is overlooking. 

Former Stanford dean explains why helicopter parenting is ruining a generation of children

The Washington Post
By Emma Brown

Julie Lythcott-Haims noticed a disturbing trend during her decade as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University. Incoming students were brilliant and accomplished and virtually flawless, on paper. But with each year, more of them seemed incapable of taking care of themselves.

At the same time, parents were becoming more and more involved in their children’s lives. They talked to their children multiple times a day and swooped in to personally intervene whenever something difficult happened.

From her former position at one of the world’s most prestigious schools, ­Lythcott-Haims came to believe that mothers and fathers in affluent communities have been hobbling their children by trying so hard to make sure they succeed and by working so diligently to protect them from disappointment, failure and hardship.

Such “overhelping” might assist children in developing impressive résumés for college admission, but it also robs them of the chance to learn who they are, what they love and how to navigate the world, Lythcott-Haims argues in her book, “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.”

“We want so badly to help them by shepherding them from milestone to milestone and by shielding them from failure and pain. But overhelping causes harm,” she writes. “It can leave young adults without the strengths of skill, will and character that are needed to know themselves and to craft a life.”
Julie Lythcott-Haims_Author photo for publicity and marketing_Credit to Kristina Vetter Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.” (Kristina Vetter)

Lythcott-Haims is one of a growing number of writers — including Jessica Lahey (“The Gift of Failure”) and Jennifer Senior (“All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood”) — who are urging stressed-out “helicopter” parents to breathe and loosen their grip on their children.

“Don’t call me a parenting expert,” Lythcott-Haims said in an interview. “I’m interested in humans’ thriving, and it turns out that overparenting is getting in the way of that.”
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She cites reams of statistics on the rise of depression and other mental and emotional health problems among the nation’s young people. She has seen the effects up close: ­Lythcott-Haims lives in Palo Alto, Calif., a community that, following a string of suicides in the past year, has undertaken a period of soul-searching about what parents can do to stem the pressure that young people face.

Her book tour is taking her to more school auditoriums and parent groups than bookstores. She tells stories about overinvolved mothers and fathers and shares statistics about rising depression and other mental health problems in young people, which she hopes will spark change in communities across the country where helicopter parents are making themselves, and their children, miserable.

“Our job as a parent is to put ourselves out of a job,” she said. “We need to know that our children have the wherewithal to get up in the morning and take care of themselves.”

So are you a helicopter parent? Here are some of Lythcott-Haims’s tests:

Check your language. “If you say ‘we’ when you mean your son or your daughter — as in, ‘We’re on the travel soccer team’ — it’s a hint to yourself that you are intertwined in a way that is unhealthy,” Lythcott-Haims said.
Examine your interactions with adults in your child’s life. “If you’re arguing with teachers and principals and coaches and umpires all the time, it’s a sign you’re a little too invested,” she said. “When we’re doing all the arguing, we are not teaching our kids to advocate for themselves.”
Stop doing their homework. Enough said.

And how can parents help their children become self-sufficient? Teach them the skills they’ll need in real life and give them enough leash to practice those skills on their own, Lythcott-Haims said. And have them do chores. “Chores build a sense of accountability. They build life skills and a work ethic,” she said.

Lythcott-Haims said many parents ask how they can unilaterally deescalate in what feels like a college-admissions arms race. How can they relax about getting their child into Harvard if every other parent is going full speed ahead?

She said colleges could help tamp down on the admissions craze by going test-optional, leaving it up to students whether to submit SAT or ACT scores. And perhaps top-tier schools could agree to limit the number of such schools that each student may apply to, she said.

She said colleges could help tamp down on the admissions craze by going test-optional, leaving it up to students whether to submit SAT or ACT scores. And perhaps top-tier schools could agree to limit the number of such schools that each student may apply to, she said.

She urges families to think more broadly about what makes for a “good” college. Excellent educational experiences can be had at schools that are not among U.S. News and World Report’s top 20, she said, and several schools will accept students who don’t have a perfect résumé.

Parents need to see that even children who succeed in doing the impossible — getting into Stanford, Harvard or other elite schools — bear the scars of the admissions arms race.

“They’re breathless,” Lythcott-Haims said. “They’re brittle. They’re old before their time.”
Emma Brown writes about national education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.

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