Are we the worst generation of parents ever?
Original post made
by Simon Firth, College Terrace,
on Oct 3, 2007
That's the argument of a recent article in 'Philadelphia' magazine.
Here's the nub:
"How is it that a group of moms and dads who love their kids so much, and who were so intent on being great at raising them, has turned out to be, arguably, the worst parents ever? The short answer might be expressed like this: We've been too uptight about things achievement, success, appearances we should have been relaxed about, and too relaxed about things values, integrity that we should have been more uptight about."
But you might be interested in the rest, too -- the Main Line communities it features sound an awful lot like Palo Alto.
Posted by anonymous parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 3, 2007 at 2:44 pm
I haven't gotten through the entire article, but one thing leaped out at me: students now are the most narcissistic ever. I didn't come up with that but it rings a bell.
Students have and take for granted luxury gadgets now, iPods, etc. that we couldn't even dream of, much less constant access to TV, cells, computers (at the library if the parent wishes to restrict in the home), it goes on and on.
Advertisements, news, MTV, texting furiously fast, gaming, whatever work towards a shorter and shorter attention span and the message to buy, buy, buy which I think is detrimental for any human being.
Some high school students appear to be calculating about things and say, what's in it for me? There does not appear to be natural education and exploration in a thoughtful manner. Of course, this mindset is parent-driven.
There may be little respect from the neighbors (or college apps) when the student tinkers - the mechanical type who is not a publicized high tech whiz, experiments, writes poetry. Instead, one must constantly appear to be busy (and therefore, really IMPORTANT) and impress your peers by claiming you stay up until 2AM doing homework - because you have such a top academic schedule -every night if you are a junior. My response is you better learn to manage your time better and work smarter and more efficiently, but I am told by those who know (students...) that this is the way it is, students who are IMPORTANT juniors must stay up until 2AM.
Those parents or kids who are insisting on Harvard (see the link referenced by original poster) may wish to follow the debate about undergrad education at Harvard, the state of general ed, it may be illuminating.
At this point, I'd be more impressed (and I wish the top colleges would be impressed) by some kid who actually works a basic job day in and day out after school, like McDonald's. That would show more discipline and real-world skills, being a solid person who works for others not just themselves.
Instead, with the focus on competition for competition's sake (need as much paper record as possible) and college applications, getting ahead of ones' classmates is the priority, whether by cramming in more science and math course, by having manufactured/paid for "experience," parents actually paying for the student to do "research," receiving dubious "awards" from competitions put on by discriminatory groups.
Community Service is sometimes abused, and that is sad - some are outrageously manufactured and contrived. Some are arranged by parents. This diminishes the student who has a real calling for charity, public service and so on, they may actually be overshadowed and not receive as much publicity.
Claiming to be president of non-existent or inactive high school clubs that the student lists on his/her college app is really unethical, too. In my day, there were high school club with officers, members, and meetings, things actually happened and people were accountable.