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View Full Version : Raising Non-Slackers: What are you willing to do?



mvp
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:00 PM
The rash of "Child is of voting age and yet can't earn a living. Help!" theme can be found everywhere these days.

It makes me want to rewind the tape and ask what parents did or didn't do to "get their kids broke while they weighed 100# as opposed to 1,000#."

I don't have children of my own, but I did have a mom who got her children "broke"-- and was a harried single mom who had plenty of reason to look the other way rather than stepping up and parenting us.

So what do you see helping kids at any age become good young adults?

rustbreeches
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:16 PM
You have to teach them that life isn't fair. Not everybody is a winner. I hate the gold star for participating mentality. DD is ten. I expect her to pack her backpack with everything she needs. I do pack her lunch, but she has to put it in her backpack. If she forgets to put in an assignment, I will not go back home to grab it for her. She takes the attitude check in class. She does it enough, she gets detention.

Failing doesn't mean you are a failure. It means you learn how to try harder

cowboymom
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:25 PM
Mine are still young so we'll have to see how it all plays out but judging from their cousins and father, aunts and uncles our primary tool has been chores.

My kids are nearly 13 and 15 and as I mentioned somewhere before they're good workers already. People call them to do work for them, stacking hay, babysitting, yard work, painting, ect. They get rave reviews b/c they're polite, work hard, don't carry cell phones, and are reliable. The local feedstore and grocery store have asked my son to come in as soon as he's old enough to work for them.

All their cousins have been the same way, hard workers, working early at jobs, very successful and innovative, paper routes, that whole scenario. Their aunts/uncles from DH's side (he's one of 8) are all extremely clever hard-workers that supported themselves from a young age and are all sought after for their work ethic and reliability. Most of them own their own business and are very successful. They were raised very poor and their parents couldn't give them money so they had to earn their own, always. At one point DH's entire family had the entire town's paper routes! LOL they would canvas the town and deliver all the papers. They had chores, milking the cow and hauling hay and feeding and dishes and all that, every day no exceptions except for birthdays.

His mom is a tough Catholic lady that instilled discipline, no complaining, do what you're told, get the work done and be honest, take care of yourself and family first. Her influence rings through all of them and her grandchildren. In DH's home town all you have to do is say you're from the family and you'll get hired-people know they're honest hard workers.

Any kid in her family, or her kids' families, didn't have a chance to be a leech. No blood from a turnip and she would not have tolerated someone not pulling their weight and doing their best.

Our kids have had chores twice a day since they were toddlers feeding the lambs and steering the feed truck. They got up and out the door before light when it was -30 degrees and blizzards and they got up with us many nights for the 2 am calf check. These days they seriously get up at 5:30 AM and milk the cow before school, something not many high schoolers do! LOL

Work, discipline, consistency, expectations, being part of the family work and effort, we've had a lot of fun doing all our work together. They're proud of themselves and know that we're proud of them too.

Superminion
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:27 PM
I'm with rustbreeches. My parents let us fall flat on our faces (myself and my middle sister, at least. They catered to the young one and she's in rehab now... so case and point) more than once... we learned to pick ourselves up and either fix the problem or take note and move on.

My kids will learn the same way. I think the best thing that my parents could have ever done for me was let me fail.

cowboymom
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:27 PM
Agreed, rustbreeches! I don't prop my kids up either, they get their own consequences.

pony grandma
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:30 PM
I am in the teach your kids to get up and self-start their own days camp. Huge life skill benefit.

And the whole step up to the plate in life attitude and philosophy.

Or - the general just make their life at home a living hell so they'll want to leave ! :lol:

rustbreeches
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:31 PM
I think farm life is great for raising kids who understand consequences. If you don't get out there, the animals don't eat. If the animals don't eat, we don't eat. If you shoot something, it dies. It doesn't get back up.

ReSomething
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:35 PM
She's got chores, she has to do them, and I've been known to go off to work at 0330 after kicking her butt out of bed at 0300 because she didn't get around to putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Yes, she has a lot of homework and somtimes she does get a pass but not always.

She's an only child and we've always spoken to her pretty directly, she's real smart but even if she weren't we'd have expectations that she had to meet. We do expect her to think about how she could do better next time, even when she was little, we try not to be too negative but not too sappy sweet positive either.

And one of the things we did about ten years ago was stop watching cable and broadcast TV. Waste of time and I felt it sent messages through the commercials that I didn't agree with.

pony grandma
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:41 PM
There was a well written article yrs ago about the difference in parenting these days. The gist being that the parents didn't let the kids take their own consequences, that the parents were taking them for the kids.

you know, the judicial system, as an example. What's the he double l wrong with a kid stepping up in juvenile court and pleading guilty when they've been caught red handed. What's all this not guilty BS???? and 'hiring' a fancy ass attorney for the job?

I hate to say it this way - but .... back in the old day (sigh)

YOU decided when you did something YOU KNEW was bad that it was worth the consequence. And then when that moment came - you TOOK the consequences, without whining (b/c that was just going to make it worse!) and you didn't hate your parents for it. It was swift, quick and just. Now I'm not advocating that old-fashioned backyard switching but there can be rational fair consequences that can be handed out. And parents need to uphold them without fail.

so there's my soapbox.

King's Ransom
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:47 PM
I think we teach a lot by example. Are you a lazy couch potato? Surprised your kids are, too? Do you complain endlessly about your job, the housework, yard work? Complain about paying your fair share of taxes? Or do you talk about social responsibility, do you volunteer in your church or community? Are you grateful for (any) advantages? Do YOU say please and thank you?

Not a 100 percent guarantee, and there's more to parenting than this, but it's a good start.

Mine are grown with college degrees, no student loan debt, gainful employment they enjoy, families of their own and good credit ratings ... Ages 31 and 28. (Yes, I am proud and grateful!)

hiddenlake
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:14 PM
I think we teach a lot by example. Are you a lazy couch potato? Surprised your kids are, too? Do you complain endlessly about your job, the housework, yard work? Complain about paying your fair share of taxes? Or do you talk about social responsibility, do you volunteer in your church or community? Are you grateful for (any) advantages? Do YOU say please and thank you?

This is so very true. I love what I do for a living, and my father loved his career as well. I think it's so important for my son to see that, and it's shaped how he looks at his future.

So much of what we have in life is a privilege, and if you don't treat it with care you could lose it. I believe in instilling that mindset in my son--whether it be taking care of the house and pets, volunteering at the animal shelter, or opening the door for others--we are fortunate to have each of those opportunities and we should never take them for granted. We also try to reinforce that it's important to know what someone expects or needs of you and then do more than that--the ability to consistently exceed expectations is what will take him far, no matter if it's in his personal interactions or his work.

BlueEyedSorrel
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:46 PM
Interesting topic. I think that there are many ways to raise productive citizens, just like their are many ways to train a horse, but all have a fine balance of expectations, consequences and encouragement. Extremes at either end are a bad thing.

I don't have kids but I spent a good part of college and grad school doing tutoring as a part time job. A good number of academic problems boiled down not to inability to do the work but some combination of fear of failure, self-doubt, anxiety, lack of organization or work ethic etc. Sometimes I heard stories that would curl your hair (ie severe punishments for an A minus, being labeled the "stupid" kid in the family for not getting into the Ivy league like an older sibling). These kids never had the sense that Mom & Dad were rooting for them, more like waiting for them to fail. The rule was "you must be THE best" as opposed to "you must work hard and try YOUR best" philosophy, most of the time accompanied by some narrow preconceived notion of what constitutes an acceptable educational or career path. Some were academically/professionally successful but are emotional wrecks who will keep their therapists in business for the next decade. Some ended up as 20 something slackers on Mom & Dad's couch because NOTHING they did would ever be good enough and they weren't in control of the results anyway, so why bother with ANYTHING? A few broke free--moved cross country (or in one case cross the Atlantic), did what they wanted with or without parental support.

I also think people (kids and adults, alike) need dreams to motivate them. I grew up strongly influenced by my immigrant grandparents on both sides, who believed in their dreams enough to leave everything and move to a new country where they knew no one outside of family and didn't speak the language. I dated a guy in college whose father had imparted unto him a life philosophy that Being a Man (tm) means working your arse off at some sucky job you hate for 40 years in order to support your woman and kids. He had many talents and could have succeeded in a lot of different fields, but literally could not conceive that he deserved anything more or was even allowed to dream of anything more. Keep in mind that we're talking something competitive but doable, not winning American Idol or being an astronaut. We broke up shortly after graduation largely over this difference. He floundered about for a few years and is still, 10 years later, in a dead end job.

BES

Wonders12
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:54 PM
Posting as a 23 year old here...

I agree that a lot of it is how you are raised (and the recommendations here are great), but I think it's important to separate the "too lazy to make a living" and the "actually unable to make a living" groups. It appears to me that the middle class and middle age groups often forget how bad this economy really is because they're not affected by it on a daily basis.

My parents were both out of their houses and independent by 17 and they raised me to be independent too. I had a job by the time I was 14 (a real, paying taxes job) and was always expected to pay for my own horse stuff outside of what I received as birthday or Christmas presents. I was gifted a second (third actually) hand car when I was 16, but I paid for any maintenance and was taught to change the oil, rotate the tires, and do other basic work on it. My parents paid for my college education but I always worked 2-3 jobs to support myself and my hobbies. I got good grades and finished college with a very competitive resume.

However, I had a HELL of a time finding a job out of college. I am very grateful that my parents welcomed me back home for a short period of time so I could work my old part time summer job to have some sort of income. They did put a limit on how long I could stay there, but without their help I probably would have ended up in a very bad place financially.

To give you an idea: I applied for an average for 5 jobs per week. (Cover letters, applications, and resumes.) I followed up by email, phone, or in person when I could. Even keeping this up for 5 months, I ended up with: 1 seasonal job for a friend's company (that I didn't even really apply for), 1 part time stall job, 1 offer to break 2 way to old horses in exchange for a room to sleep in, and the job I'm at now (where I moved to another country to make $500 a month).

I'm not saying there aren't lazy people in my generation, because there are a lot of them. However, I also feel like there's an attitude that "any of the younger folk who don't have a self-sustaining job are just lazy" and I encourage you to reconsider that attitude.

cowboymom
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:56 PM
That's for sure, Wonders. There's a difference between being unemployed and being a slacker.

kateh
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:58 PM
Once I asked my parents if they would pay me for getting A's like some of my friends' parents did. They responded "Why? We expect you to get A's because you're smart. Why should we pay you for just meeting normal expectations?"

I received a monthly allowance, on the understanding that I never asked them for money to go to the movies or something and that I would do ANY chores asked, no whining. I was also expected to save X% of that allowance.

They also taught me the importance of commitment to promises. Since I committed to being in a music performance group I was not allowed to skip practices because I had procrastinated on a school project or someone wanted to go somewhere.

MoonoverMississippi
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:12 PM
Sometimes I heard stories that would curl your hair (ie severe punishments for an A minus, being labeled the "stupid" kid in the family for not getting into the Ivy league like an older sibling). These kids never had the sense that Mom & Dad were rooting for them, more like waiting for them to fail. The rule was "you must be THE best" as opposed to "you must work hard and try YOUR best" philosophy, most of the time accompanied by some narrow preconceived notion of what constitutes an acceptable educational or career path.

I think this is a huge part of parenting; teach them they have to try their best, and reward them for that, along with consequences for not trying.

My DD had excellent grades but knew that we were most proud of her work ethic that earned them, not the grades themselves.
The one time she came home with with a bad midterm I'm sure she thought the gates of Hell had opened right there in the living room (and I'm sure she could tell horrible stories about being punished for not getting an A...or a C :eek:), but we made it clear it wasn't the grade, but about the grade combined with the fact that we had not seen her crack the book for that class for a couple weeks and knew she was capable of doing better with a little (or any!) effort. She learned from the consequences and started making an honest effort and life was good again.

I think part of it is also sharing your day with kids. My DD (and myself when I was growing up) heard about good and bad days and knew we had to work hard for our money (big effort, big reward) and what it was that our work entailed.
I am surprised at the kids who only know "Daddy works in a big building and has lots of lunches and trips" or "Mommy works with a bunch of people and always has stories about her mean boss" but don't have a clue as to what work their parents actually do, and then we wonder why young adults don't have a clue that working means learning and doing something and not sitting in a cubicle gossiping with co-workers (after all, that's what is shown on tv).

hosspuller
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:19 PM
Letting children make choices. Teach, then let go. Our girls wore some awful clothes to church, but it was their choice. There were other choices too. They had to deal with the consequences.

Only areas off limits were those that had permanent consequences. Tattoo for example. They got those after they left our house.

lonewolf
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:20 PM
I don't have kids, but I have thought a lot about how I was raised compared to the teenagers I see now.

The difference I see is in expectations. Although my parents never stated this to me, somehow I implicitly understood that in order to receive privileges, I had to hold up my end of the bargain. My "job" included being well-behaved, getting good grades in school and helping around the house -- generally being a good kid! It was by doing my job that I earned things like riding lessons, spending money, and my parents' respect and trust. They were not owed to me.

Of course, my parents never really had to lay down the law to me, either, because I respected them and did not want to disappoint them. About the best way to keep me on track was my parents telling me, "I trust you to do the right thing."

I have also paid for everything on my own since I was 18, including education. My parents have said that I can always come home to live if I ever need to, and I did for a summer once. But other than eating my father's groceries during that time, I have always paid my own way and have never suffered for it.

I have also never doubted in my parents' love and support, which has been unflagging, and for which I will always be grateful.

JohnDeere
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:20 PM
Talking about letting kids try stuff. Lets enter another thing-doing your kids homework/projects/housework for them, I cant think of something that burns my but more than that. Coworker does papers for her 16 y/o son, Really? Why? Not because he couldnt do it but he didnt want to so she did them for him. :rolleyes: Whats that teaching him, that he doesnt have to do anything or that he is stupid? If my kids are given an assignment they do it-they are smart enough & if they ask for advice I will give it but I have NEVER done it for them, & rarely check the work.
One kid in my sons grade had Dad do science fair project which was so over the top he didnt get a good grade on it because it was obviously not his work (good for them).

JohnDeere
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:24 PM
I know Ive done a good job (not bragging :D) when my kids complain about how their friends behave/dress/talk to parents/treat $ stuff. They know whats right/wrong even if they would like to do all that deep down.

Reynard Ridge
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:35 PM
You have to teach them that life isn't fair. Not everybody is a winner.

Failing doesn't mean you are a failure. It means you learn how to try harder

All of this. My children are 8 and 10, so we're a long way from knowing if my husband and I will be successful, but as of right now, they are amazing kids. They are independent, smart, resourceful and are absolutely clear that the notion that "everybody wins" is bulls*&t.

Hunter Princess
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:41 PM
This is so very true. I love what I do for a living, and my father loved his career as well. I think it's so important for my son to see that, and it's shaped how he looks at his future.

So much of what we have in life is a privilege, and if you don't treat it with care you could lose it. I believe in instilling that mindset in my son--whether it be taking care of the house and pets, volunteering at the animal shelter, or opening the door for others--we are fortunate to have each of those opportunities and we should never take them for granted. We also try to reinforce that it's important to know what someone expects or needs of you and then do more than that--the ability to consistently exceed expectations is what will take him far, no matter if it's in his personal interactions or his work.

This x 1000. My parents made sure we knew we were accountable for our decisions & choices in life. We played in many team sports, before the concept of "everyone is a winner" and when we lost, we realized we had to practice harder and work more as a team to win.

My parents also worked hard (and still work incredibly hard) to this day to have a productive and healthy life, while planning for the future. They made so many sacrifices to give us what we wanted (within reason) but did not spoil us by any means. They are my biggest support system and have always encouraged my brother and I to pursue our dreams, but kept us grounded enough to realize what we had to do ourselves to make those dreams happen and not depend on others to pave the way for us.

2bayboys
Mar. 31, 2013, 03:09 PM
I'll share two tough parenting decisions that are examples of our attitude toward raising the next generation.

Oldest son chose to attend a senior military college with a well known very rigorous program of indoctrination for first year students. We supported his decision and knew it would be a tough transition but well worth the valuable lessons such a program would give him for the rest of his life. Three weeks in, while we are there visiting, our son told us that he wanted to drop out. I will never forget the image of my big 200 pound tough eighteen year old crying and telling me that he was miserable, that he couldn't eat or sleep, that he had made the wrong decision and he wanted to come home.

And I told my first born child that he did not have a house to come home to. I told him that at least until the end of that first semester, he needed to tough it out and hang in there. I told him that he was not a quitter and that it would be shameful if he came home. That he would feel ashamed of himself and I wouldn't let him do it.

I cried all the way home from that visit.

And he did make it. He is now in his second year and thriving, and he tells people that he "can't imagine being anywhere else".

My younger son, who is extremely intelligent and driven, started making some very poor choices involving friends and partying while he was in high school. We tried all the normal ways of discipline and none of it worked. We were very concerned that he would end up getting arrested or worse. Complicating the situation is that he would have been 18, legally an adult, throughout his entire senior year of high school.

Finally we gave him an ultimatum. We told him that since he refused to change his behavior and stay away from the friends that were identified as problems, he would no longer be allowed to live with us once he turned 18. We told him he could spend his senior year at a boarding school, he could graduate a year early from high school and go on to a military college, or he could stay in his high school and make his own living arrangements.

He chose to graduate early as a junior and got accepted into a very competitive senior military college. That last semester of high school was a killer as he was forced to condense his remaining required credits into online classes on top of his classroom classes. We conducted random drug tests. He resented it horribly, and I felt like a terrible mother for forcing my youngest child out of his home.

He is now finishing up his first year as a cadet. He has a 3.7 GPA and has been accepted into the engineering school. He plans to try to get into flight school with the Navy. And none of that would have been possible if he had continued with the partying behavior and stayed in the company of his high school friends, some of whom have gotten into more serious trouble since my son left.

I am divorced from the father of my sons but we have remained strong co-parents, and we were in solid agreement with these parenting decisions. My husband has been a completely hands on step-parent and fully involved with the plans for both boys.

Tough love IS love. It is not the job of parents to carry their children into adulthood. Guide them, push them, show them the path, but get the hell out of the way and let them do it.

JohnDeere
Mar. 31, 2013, 03:17 PM
I felt like a terrible mother for forcing my youngest child out of his home.

U didnt force him out, he had choices. The right choice is easy the wrong choice should be hard weather its horses or kids. Glad it all worked for you & your son.

cowboymom
Mar. 31, 2013, 04:04 PM
2bayboys, you're a great mom but I know how hard it can be to do things like that! Good job!

twotrudoc
Mar. 31, 2013, 04:14 PM
Wow 2bay!!!! *applause*

mswillie
Mar. 31, 2013, 08:02 PM
Lots of good things noted here already. I remember when a teacher called to tell me she was sorry, but she was giving my son a "D". She said she knew he knew the material but that he hadn't done the work.

When I asked if he had earned the "D" she reluctantly told me that no, his grade really was an "F". I think she just about fell off her chair when I told her to give him the "F" then, if that's what he earned. In retrospect my son does have ADD (we didn't know it at the time) but he still needed to learn that actions have consequences.

I did advocate for him when he was diagnosed but never let him use it as an excuse. He once said to me "but I have ADD..." I stopped him and told him I guess that meant he just had to work harder.
One of the things I did that I think was very important, was that I gave him the same level of respect that I expected of him. I gave him solid reasons for decisions, not a nebulous "because I say so". If I was going to be home later than expected I called and told him that I was going to be late so he wouldn't worry. He paid that back when he was a young adult still living at home, by calling me if he was going to be late or not coming home.

I also always kept promises. If I said I was going to be somewhere or do something I did it. I was at marching band competitions, concerts, I attended plays, and other events. I was divorced, his father was absent, but barring something I couldn't possibly get around I was there.

He'll be 30 this year, is married, has a house and a good job that he enjoys and works hard at. He and his wife have a beautiful 1 year old son (who "rode" his first horse last week). He still plays music in a community orchestra.

A couple of years ago just before he got married he thanked me for not giving up on him and in his words "putting your foot up my ass to get me through school". I must have done something right.

cowboymom
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:17 PM
You did! parenting is a delayed-reward situation!

halo
Apr. 1, 2013, 05:50 PM
Wow 2bay....if more parents were like you, this generation of kids would be full of hope and future success, instead of woe is me, I can't find a job, wah wah wha.

There are some amazing moms in this thread, been pure joy to read it.

SLW
Apr. 1, 2013, 06:27 PM
Children need caring adults giving them guide rails through high school. We were clear with our daughters about absolutes/expectations, things that were in black and white. The result was we ran into very few gray areas with them. They had to make choices- we live in the country so doing 3 or more after school activities/teams spring and fall wasn't an option. We had lights out hours, curfews, limits on dating and restrictions on where they could take a car up to the city- all of this based on their age at the time.

Meanwhile we had dinners together, did a lot of different 4-H stuff, watched movies together and did the horse stuff together. They got everything they needed (room, board, shelter) and half of what they wanted. They both graduated HS with honors and completed their BA at KU in 3 years. I tip my hat to parents of children with ADHD and other issues because dealing with school work or understanding it was never an issue I had to help a child with and it's very hard.

My philosophy on raising children was influenced by John Rosemonds thoughts. http://rosemond.com/

gr8fulrider
Apr. 1, 2013, 06:44 PM
Imagine that your baby is a foal. Aww, how cute. Now imagine that your baby will someday be a 1200-lb 4-year-old, otherwise known as a middle schooler. On her own enough to find trouble; big enough to make trouble, smart enough to find ways around your fixes, and dumb enough to get in deep $hit, dragging you with her.

The road from adorable foal to well-mannered young greenie is about the same for humans. Apply expectations consistent with their maturity. You don't make a 3-year-old horse halt for very long and you don't make a 2-year-old human sit at a restaurant for more than an hour. But dammit, during that 3 second halt or 1/2-hour pizza dinner, they gotta be civilized.

Give them ample turnout and fun time, but give them jobs, too. Draw and enforce boundaries that cannot be crossed. Don't delay teaching manners and consequences until they are big and unsafe.

Teach self carriage. Drop the contact in a safe environment and see what happens.

It might sound crass, but all of our kids are resale projects. We want them to be someone who other people will welcome into their homes. To have good manners and discipline, be trustworthy, and know how to do something useful.

Ex husbands, on the other hand, are free to a good home. Or anybody with a trailer. :D

alternate_universe
Apr. 1, 2013, 06:45 PM
Parents need to balance support and help with letting children expererience consequences and making their own choices.

For example, in my student teaching class the students must get thier aassignment books signed every night. This became a rule after we had an increasing number of children not finishing thier homework, forgetting to study for tests, and parents saying they didn't know. Frankly, IMHO, this is a parental problem. Parents need to be making sure their fourth grader is doing all of their homework, every night, correctly. However, getting the book signed is the child's responsibility and they know it. They miss recess if they don't. They tend to be very honest about when they forget to get it signed, which is nice, and no one is a super repeat offender. This is an example of slacking on the child's behalf because this a rule that has been in place for a long time and the books are checked daily. No one has an excuse for not doing it.

I have one student whose mother has openly stated that she does not help her daughter with homework. A bit back the class has a social studies project where they were to make a heritage doll using 3 or more different materials. A paper went home explaining this and required a parent signature. Mom signed this paper, but obviously did not check on her daughter's work because on the due date she brought in her paper person colored in with only crayon. I felt kind of bad for her because all of the other students' dolls had fabric, yarn, sequins, googly eyes, etc. and looked really nice. It was supposed to be a 'parent and child' type project but because this mother did not see the need to oversee her 10 year old's homework the girl got a lower grade. This girl was not slacking, instead she wasn't getting necessary support. You cannot expect a child to remember everything or interpret directions or guidlines accurately everytime.

nhwr
Apr. 1, 2013, 06:52 PM
The mantra at my house is;

Before enlightenment;
Chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment;
Chop wood, carry water.
So it doesn't matter what else is going on in life, everyone has to do their share.

After high school, you must be employed (30+ hours/week) or in school.
If you are in school, you must maintain a 3.5 GPA for financial support.
If your grades are lower than that or you are working, you must pay rent if you want to continue to live here.
So far, the one who is over 18 is working and paying rent (I use the rent $$ to open an IRA for him). My other is a senior in high school with a 4.3 GPA, 2280 SAT score and lots of good choices for college.


Also I have a lot of (somewhat arbitrary) rules.
No M-rated video games.
Girls not allowed over if no one else is home.
11:00 pm curfew, special exceptions sometimes made.
And everybody gets a suitcase for their 18th birthday :winkgrin:

I'm very clear about why - I want them to have reasons to want to move out.

gr8fulrider
Apr. 1, 2013, 06:58 PM
Parents need to balance support and help with letting children expererience consequences and making their own choices.

For example, in my student teaching class the students must get thier aassignment books signed every night. This became a rule after we had an increasing number of children not finishing thier homework, forgetting to study for tests, and parents saying they didn't know. Frankly, IMHO, this is a parental problem. Parents need to be making sure their fourth grader is doing all of their homework, every night, correctly. However, getting the book signed is the child's responsibility and they know it. They miss recess if they don't. They tend to be very honest about when they forget to get it signed, which is nice, and no one is a super repeat offender. This is an example of slacking on the child's behalf because this a rule that has been in place for a long time and the books are checked daily. No one has an excuse for not doing it.

I have one student whose mother has openly stated that she does not help her daughter with homework. A bit back the class has a social studies project where they were to make a heritage doll using 3 or more different materials. A paper went home explaining this and required a parent signature. Mom signed this paper, but obviously did not check on her daughter's work because on the due date she brought in her paper person colored in with only crayon. I felt kind of bad for her because all of the other students' dolls had fabric, yarn, sequins, googly eyes, etc. and looked really nice. It was supposed to be a 'parent and child' type project but because this mother did not see the need to oversee her 10 year old's homework the girl got a lower grade. This girl was not slacking, instead she wasn't getting necessary support. You cannot expect a child to remember everything or interpret directions or guidlines accurately everytime.

The thing is, many really good parents who value education will tell you that homework is worthless-- and the research backs us up. Many of us will also tell you that these at-home projects that require parents to step in, buy things, and help out wind up being exercises in mommy achievement. The ones that "looked really nice" weren't done by the kids, and parent-child projects don't teach much.

Yeah, we have to make sure our kids meet their responsibilities, and signing that book is a great way to do it. But a graded 4th grade project that clearly requires parental effort doesn't contribute to the child's education, and penalizing her for not having a wonder mommy doing exactly what we're all warning against here-- parents doing their kids' work-- isn't pedagogically sound.

One of my heroes is a mother of four who makes sure her kids sit down to do their work but doesn't help with things like dioramas or posters at all. As a result, her kids' work looks like kids' work. You can tell which projects the parents did. Fortunately, my school assigns very few mommy assignments.

alternate_universe
Apr. 1, 2013, 07:03 PM
On the take home project: I did not come up with it and I was not a fan of it for the exact reasons gr8fulrider mentions: it involved potentially buying things and could turn into a 100% parent work project, which I suspect it did for a few of my students. Most of them I could tell were child done, which I liked and did think they looked really nice. I was only using the project as an example of a parent basically throwing thier kid under the bus. Personally, I would not have assigned that project, however, being only a student teacher and this was a whole-grade project already decided on I did not have a say.

nhwr
Apr. 1, 2013, 07:06 PM
so glad you said this gr8ful.
Children should be able to do homework, without parental involvement, otherwise it's homeschooling-not homework. And it is the teacher's responsibility to provide feedback and grading, not the parents'. My kid's had the reminder binders too. And I'd sign them if they brought them to me to be signed. But it is not a parents' job to be homework monitor. And when the students fall short there should be an examination of how realistic expectations are and consequences if reasonable expectations are not met.

meupatdoes
Apr. 1, 2013, 07:08 PM
Around here it is apparently child abuse to expect a child to competently await the school bus at the end of the driveway by himself.

No, no, precious peanut must be DRIVEN to the end of said driveway, which inssome cases even a couple hundred feet from the house, and then be allowed to wait inside the running vehicle until the bus arrives.

When the bus arrives the child must find his way the remaining ten feet, although I have heard reports of parents boarding the bus WITH their childrenuntil late in the school year.

It can also not be expected of a US American child to find his own way from the end of the driveway back to his front door. A doting parent must be awaiting the precious peanut's arrival in a vehicle so the peanut may be chauffeured from the end of the driveway back to the house.

Self-ambulation is discouraged.

alternate_universe
Apr. 1, 2013, 07:51 PM
And it is the teacher's responsibility to provide feedback and grading, not the parents'.

I'm puzzled by what you mean by that. How would parents provide grading in the first place? Of course it's the teacher's job. At my school district grades are posted online via a portal that parents can always sign on to. So, even if Timmy hides his bad tests from mom and dad they can still see the grade. Yet we still have parents that seem totally surprised to find out their child has a grade they find unacceptable (which for some, unfortunately, is anything other than an A, but that's another story).


Meup: I recall in HIGH SCHOOL a girl being on my bus whose parents insisted the bus drive up to the house to drop her off. There was a more official bus stop a couple hundred meters down the street that multiple children got off at but she has to be drive to the front of the house (it was along a main road so the bus would pass the house anyhow). I never understood it. It was broad daylight so there was little rish of getting hit. Interestingly, I am unsure of whether the girl ever went to college, let alone finished.

mvp
Apr. 1, 2013, 08:10 PM
I think my mom's greatest contribution to her kiddies' success was using the "If Then" statement early and often.

She would let us bask in the consequences of what we chose to do.

She also did a good job of letting us know what we were particularly good at-- how we were not like other people.

In retrospect, she made some mistakes, too. But whatevs.

Oh, and I completely don't get the parents' monitoring homework, paying for grades, and *doing* any schoolwork or projects for kids. That was not how things rolled in my family during any generation.

Who invented this 3rd job for parents and why did parents accept it?

cranky
Apr. 1, 2013, 08:22 PM
Around here it is apparently child abuse to expect a child to competently await the school bus at the end of the driveway by himself.

No, no, precious peanut must be DRIVEN to the end of said driveway, which inssome cases even a couple hundred feet from the house, and then be allowed to wait inside the running vehicle until the bus arrives.

When the bus arrives the child must find his way the remaining ten feet, although I have heard reports of parents boarding the bus WITH their childrenuntil late in the school year.

It can also not be expected of a US American child to find his own way from the end of the driveway back to his front door. A doting parent must be awaiting the precious peanut's arrival in a vehicle so the peanut may be chauffeured from the end of the driveway back to the house.

Self-ambulation is discouraged.

This happens here too and it makes me crazy! Especially when parents are blocking the private drive into my development (especially annoying when I'm trying to get to work on time). It is pathetic.

danceronice
Apr. 1, 2013, 09:03 PM
2bayboys---VMI? (If so, EVERY rat I knew had moments where he desperately wanted to go home. I think it's how they break you.)

My parents are still happy to help out as long as I'm trying at SOMETHING. It's not easy to find work now. Someone up thread said something about having responsibilities to get good grades, behave, etc--that was it, I had a job as a kid, it was go to school and NOT get into trouble. The more I adhered to this, the more privileges I had. And one expensive thing (a horse) means no other expensive things (vacations, my own car, etc). I don't even remember ever TRYING the "But Friend A has..." line. It would not have gone over well. The biggest thing was "money does not grow on trees--if you want to buy something, you have to pay for it."

Also, "live animals mean you are obligated to take care of them even when they are old/sick/not interesting/inconvenient." If we were old enough to do a particular chore safely (this was biggest with the horses/ponies, obviously-a six-year-old can't safely stack bales!) we had to do it. That kind of lesson I think carries over to other things.

2bayboys
Apr. 2, 2013, 07:07 AM
2bayboys---VMI? (If so, EVERY rat I knew had moments where he desperately wanted to go home. I think it's how they break you.)

.

Older son is at VMI and younger son is in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech. That first year at Virginia Military Institute is just downright brutal.

mvp
Apr. 2, 2013, 11:52 AM
On parents' roles and kiddos roles when parents want something different about assigned homework:


I was only using the project as an example of a parent basically throwing thier kid under the bus.

This example, or the person who felt that too much homework screwed up family time.... so the 'rent just did the homework.

I think that's setting a bad example about how to get what you want.

As an adult and Proprietor Of The Kid, if you have a beef with the teacher-- Pedegogical Expert and Ruler of the School Fiefdom-- you address that directly. Y'all talk, y'all come to blows or whatever, but you work it out. You don't go around the teacher by doing kid's homework.

The idea that an adult should avoid adult confrontation but save the kid from the other adult by being indirect is *not* the MO you'd want from the kid once he/she grew up, right? You know, kid signs a loan agreement for too much house. Doesn't want to pay or can't... so simply doesn't so as to "avoid getting yelled at" by the bank?

Kid's job is to do the assigned work as best he/she can, take correction and get on with life.

Parents who don't like the teaching need to deal with those in charge.

But I don't see the value in fusing or mixing up parent/teacher/child roles.... even for expedience.

chism
Apr. 3, 2013, 11:14 AM
I know Ive done a good job (not bragging :D) when my kids complain about how their friends behave/dress/talk to parents/treat $ stuff. They know whats right/wrong even if they would like to do all that deep down.

I know! I have teenage girls and I love it when they complain about how "so and so" treats their parents or what unrealistic expectations their friends have in regards to $$ and material things. It makes me feel like maybe I haven't messed them up after all. ;)

mvp
Apr. 3, 2013, 11:59 AM
I know! I have teenage girls and I love it when they complain about how "so and so" treats their parents or what unrealistic expectations their friends have in regards to $$ and material things.


My mom had good solutions.

She might join me in the lament: "Oh yes, clearly you were behind the door when the good mothers were handed out."

And! She had no problem with the little munchkins getting jobs to buy what they want. Most of my sister's (designer) jeans were bought via my mom's base-line price for adequate jeans, plus my sister's contribution to fancier.