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  1. #16
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    Why do my posts worry you? I was the mom who didn't attend games, unless I wanted to. When I went, I often was grading papers (because that's what teachers do on the weekends or after school). My younger son called me out on that, but when I told him that it was either work at the game, or not go, he was fine. I only went to bike races for DS #2 when I became a cyclist. I didn't go to the games because I couldn't stand the parents. All they did was talk about their kids' teachers and I do remember my principal at Shrewsbury Middle School saying "the soccer field is the most deadly place in the world," because of parental gossip. Teach your kids to be resilient and they will be fine. Those other parents are getting their own personal self-worth from their kids, so no wonder they say "we." That is so unhealthy.
    If my kids had ended up as criminals or were otherwise unfit, I wouldn't comment. They were not perfect, but as I often say, maybe we set the bar low, but nobody ended up in jail. No one used drugs or got caught drinking in the woods, set the HS auditorium on fire, or tried to set their home on fire while their parents were inside. Yes, all of those things happened at ABRHS while my kids went there. Just be true to yourself.
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  2. #17
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
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    The posts about your kids didn't worry me, but the post about 40% increase in mental health issues for kids in college was troubling. I guess my point was that I've always presumed you had to be a REALLY bad parent one way or another for kids to not overcome "issues" since I think kids are generally resilient but it does sound like a lot of people are messing it up lately. I agree with you -- I think parents often do too much and then their kids haven't learned coping skills and are ineffective adults.

    I think our parenting styles are very similar. I think the best thing I can do for my kids is to set an example. I'm independent, I have my own life (that doesn't just revolve around the kids) and I make my own happiness. I'd love for them to do the same. Your kids seemed to turn out OK (and you appear to have a good relationship with them), I hope it works that way for mine too. I'll have to resist the urge to give in to the "well, if my kids want to be competitive, I'll have to do their stuff for them like the other parents do."

    It's also nice to know that I'm not the only one who can't stand the gossiping parents at games....

  3. #18
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    There has been about a 40% increase in mental health problems in college students,
    Have they really ruled out better screening as a cause? When I was in school and desperately needed mental help, Campus Counseling existed, but they were completely unequipped for and/or uninterested in dealing with anything more severe than "my boyfriend dumped me" or "classes are harder than I thought they would be."
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #19
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Have they really ruled out better screening as a cause? When I was in school and desperately needed mental help, Campus Counseling existed, but they were completely unequipped for and/or uninterested in dealing with anything more severe than "my boyfriend dumped me" or "classes are harder than I thought they would be."
    I wondered the same thing. I was a 17-year-old college freshman when my upset roommate asked me to get her a glass of water. I had no idea she was going to swallow a handful of pills. I called the cops, she got her stomach pumped and all was well.

    But there was no care or counseling for her or me. She got kicked out of school, and I got to talk to adults who told me they couldn't get involved. I had enough sense to seek out psych services, where a single session cost my weekly food budget. I would question the value of any statistics gathered during that period of time (1968).

  5. #20
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    Feb 2005
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    Better screening is part of it, and a lot of it is students coming to universities already "diagnosed" with various mental health conditions and needing to continue their treatment. But, one particular article I read (and no, I can't remember the source) also noted an increase in students who experienced one or two of what I call normal bad things and then fall apart in some kind of depressive episode or extreme state of anxiety. These would be like the events you mentioned, such as a bad grade, a break up with a boy/girlfriend, a roommate problem. If you've never had to develop emotional coping skills because mom/dad took care of everything, these events are quite devastating. Some parents try to intervene with deans or members of the counseling department, even though their kids have not signed a release and they are over 18.
    College counseling centers have changed quite a bit since we were in school. I interviewed at 3 universities for my second clinical internship; these are considered plum positions, but I was quite glad I didn't take the one that was offered to me, at MA College of Pharmacy and Allied Health. Just listening to the director describe the stress these kids are under made me cringe. A peer in my clinical supervision class did take that position, and the issues she dealt with were much more severe than what I had in a community mental health clinic, in a community with a lot of poverty. And then she had the school attorneys on her back about things like not letting her complete her transcription of 2 sessions for our class, until she relented to doing it on campus, which was a huge burden. I guess what I am trying to say is that they are dealing with some pretty complicated things now, and when they can't, they refer out and try to work with providers, to keep the kid in school.
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  6. #21
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    Here's an article from the Washington Post that presents a different take on the issue:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...bad-after-all/

  7. #22
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    Feb 2005
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    Not about college kids, but this morning I saw something that reminded of this thread. I was heading out to work, still in my neighborhood, but on a different street, when I saw a father and his daughter walking to the bus stop. First I thought, why is that dad walking a high schooler to the bus? Then, I realized that it was time for the elementary school bus, as it was 8:30. Since i was driving very slowly, about 20 mph, I looked again and noticed that the girl looked tall and very heavy for her age. She was lagging slightly behind the dad, who was carrying her backpack.. Now, these 2 were walking from a neighborhood of patio homes that abut my neighborhood, with very flat streets. The bus stop is in front of a house where several other kids wait. Before anyone accuses me of "size-ism," I have to say my first thought was, the dad is carrying her backpack? Of course, I don't know their story, but it just looked so wrong to me, on so many levels. Here, honey, I'll carry that for you, so you don't need to sweat.
    I know this is judgmental, but it seems like it's a symptom of what is very wrong with our world.
    Can you tell I feel really strongly about this?
    Last edited by Crankin; 09-10-2015 at 01:45 PM.
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  8. #23
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Can you tell I feel really strongly about this?
    I can tell! I see this as a random observation. Maybe the kid has a back problem and cannot carry a backpack. Maybe she'd pulled her back out tripping over her shoelaces that morning. Maybe she has been even more overweight, or sick from something completely unrelated, and is only just at the point where she can walk at all. Maybe they were in a hurry that day, but instead of driving, dad still insisted they walk, but he would carry her backpack to make it just a little easier. I don't know. I would probably would have noted the situation too, but bear in mind that if they had taken the easiest way out, by driving a car, you would never have seen them at all. By walking they made themselves visible - and open to random judgement by strangers.

    Now if you had known this family well, or seen this as a general trend among overweight kids everywhere, it would be different.

    btw thanks for the link, PamNY. It resonated more with my experience.
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  9. #24
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    Ha, yeah. The first thing that crossed my mind is the incessant news stories about how backpacks harm children's musculoskeletal development. There's a story about that in the news about every other month, especially this time of year. Then there's the possibility of plain old sexism, unrelated to age - before I got hurt, it was a constant bone of contention between me and DH about him wanting to take things I was already carrying - then I got hurt and just had to deal with it.

    Pam, that article made sense to me, too. Though it's hard to comment without looking at the data (which I haven't), and one big flaw that I saw in that article is that, I don't think the stereotypical coddled kids would self-identify that way. But yeah, as a product of the "old" kind of controlling/ownership parenting, with all the same emotional struggles associated with the supposedly-coddled modern kids, it makes sense to me. It's the parent seeing the child as nothing but an extension of their ego that causes the problems, and not the particular means they use to enforce that.

    Another thing that occurred to me - my mom has taught at an expensive prep school for over 40 years, while my sister has been a college professor for 25 years. My mom has always complained about *some* parents who raise h#!! when their child is struggling, but hasn't seen any increase in that behavior. My sister, on the other hand, *has* seen an increased sense of entitlement among her students (not so much their parents). Her sense of it is that we baby boomers grew up in a golden age of accessibility of higher education. Now that college in the USA is once again mostly a perk of the wealthy, the concentration of people who feel entitled, who feel that any time they're paying someone for a service, that makes them their servant - can only have increased.
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  10. #25
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    I think your sister's perspective is interesting, Oak.
    Despite the fact that my son is a 30 year old married veteran, he is a junior in college. I get the on-line parent newsletter, more as just a way to connect to the kind of stuff that is going there. He goes to a small, liberal arts college that we never would have paid for! Anyway, given that perspective, the first thing I saw this morning was the newsletter. Top column, headline was, "What Does the Campus Health Service Do?" The first sentence said something like, "Where should your student go when he has the flu, is struggling with depression, or needs help with ADHD?" I found it very interesting that 2/3 of the things in that first sentence were depression and ADHD. I am quite sure that would not have been mentioned at any of the schools I went to.
    DS verifies your last sentence, Oak, though he feels it is a function of the high price tag and selectivity of the school. He did not ever say anything like this about Cal State Long Beach, or even U of A. One part of me is proud that this school recognized his service to his country and his intelligence, but...
    I know my reaction to the dad carrying the backpack lacks all of the background, but in the 12-14 years since my kids graduated high school, it feels like parents have just gone nuts overprotecting their kids.
    Last edited by Crankin; 09-11-2015 at 06:21 AM.
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  11. #26
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    Nov 2007
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    Maybe old-fashioned, control-based parenting was never discarded after all; some parents just switched to a slightly different, more intrusive version. The ideal alternative, according to a growing body of research that I’ve written about elsewhere, isn’t less parenting but better parenting. It’s not standing back and letting kids struggle, then kicking them out of the nest and demanding they make it on their own whenever we (or pop-culture scolds) say so. It’s being responsive to what the child needs. That may be the right to make decisions. It may also be a continued close connection to Mom and Dad Excerpt from WPost link that Pam gave.

    I would say being appropriately responsive to what the child needs....but the right to make decisions (and certainly true for adult children).

    I do like the idea of fostering independence in adult children, but more importantly they understand interdependence.... that it's not just the child depending on parent, but it is the parent receives appropriate assistance. This is all grey of course... but I'm bothered that my partner's 36 yr. old daughter doesn't voluntarily offer to do stuff for her father..unless she is asked. She's only offered once to bring food for special family gatherings.. I find this type of thing kind of narrow.

    My partner is not a helicopter parent. He just doesn't ask/ think it's important to ask. My feeling there is a point in one's life to ask your adult children to start asking in small ways that doesn't require much time /energy. Don't assume the adult child will automatically /voluntarily help if it's been 1 way all along from the parent.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 09-11-2015 at 11:03 AM.
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  12. #27
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    It took my older son a little longer to realize he should pay for half of our restaurant meals, than the younger one. We gave little hints. It's been a few years since he started doing this, and now, of course, DH will often say he is treating. It's just the idea of it. Sometimes, on holidays, I have to ask them to bring something, but I also do that with my friends who are coming. DIL many times has spent Amex gift cards from her employer on meals or presents for us. I don't know my other DIL as well, since they live in CA, but she follows my son's lead. She has always been gracious and helpful when they have stayed here, and I appreciate it. I hated my mother in law, but then DH had horrible, abusive parents, who subscribed to the "do as I say, not as I do" theory. I swore not to be like that, and just keep my mouth shut. I always say the proof that my kids are OK is in the way they treat their wives. Never wanted any woman to say, "What the hell did your mother do???"
    And yes, better parenting is the key. It's just that many people have no good role model for that.
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  13. #28
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    Why would one not be straightforward about handling restaurant checks or bringing food to a gathering?

    After I graduated from college, my parents said they wanted to cover restaurant meals when I visited because I had the expense and effort of airfare and a rental car. They sometimes did the "dropping hints" thing which makes my head explode -- luckily for all I raised the issue directly and it was never uncomfortable. My directness didn't always go well, and I wasn't always smart about it, but in this case it seemed to work out.

    Same for bringing food or beverages to a gathering. If you want people to bring something, say so! Everyone is different. Personally, I find it annoying if people bring something that requires special handling, or doesn't go with the rest of the meal. I also don't want people barging around in my kitchen unless I invite them to do so. My mother was the same.

    The issue of helping parents becomes more complicated with aging and illness, of course.

  14. #29
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    When we do potluck, it's as vague as salad or pasta. Then it's up to the family member to make it and bring it. So most of the time no one knows what to expect. And no one cares. We do know certain food allergies..of some people that are life threatening, so we avoid dishes with such stuff.

    Potluck never is coordinated in my family. Some Asian dishes, some sausage, cheese, Italian pasta, salad, etc. Whatever...it is genuinely mixed-up, cross-cultural at nearly every family gathering. I know for some families, it's sometimes. For us,...it's all the time. Some of us live this way-- daily. If we started specifying flavours, it would go over like a lead balloon and less people would contribute.

    Actually my partner is a little more attentive in coordination of flavours in 1 meal, than I.
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PamNY View Post
    Why would one not be straightforward about handling restaurant checks or bringing food to a gathering?.
    I agree, Pam, but that's me in all settings. I loathe unwritten rules, partly because I was raised unaware of a lot of them which got me into a lot of awkward situations. I have tried to be much more straightforward myself, and I think once we get to the point where my son should pay for his own meal he'll know that before he even accepts an invitation to go to a restaurant. Not least because we can afford restaurants he would not on a student income, so there shouldn't be any ambiguity about who is paying.

    As for doing things for parents - on the one hand my own mother is intensely independent, lives alone, travels a lot, works freelance. She will never ever ask for anything. On the other hand she's not too physically strong, and obviously needs help doing some stuff, like keeping the trees on her large lot from going completely wild. We offer to help, in general terms, but she will never ask. This just seems stupid to me. Nobody expects a woman in her 70s to be a lumberjack anyway. True independence includes knowing when to ask for help, and letting people help.

    The only time I think one "should" offer to help without being asked is if someone is obviously working hard right in front of you, for instance cooking, and you have nothing to do yourself.
    Last edited by lph; 09-12-2015 at 01:10 AM.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

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    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

 

 

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