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Parenting

As you probably know, I have three boys.  They are seventeen, thirteen, and eleven.  They are absolutely nothing alike.  The oldest is self-motivated, driven, and somewhat introverted.  Good grades come easily for him. He plays on the golf team. My middle son is motivated (by ME), driven (by ME), and is the Pied Piper when it comes to friends.  He gets good grades but isn't willing to work as hard as his brother. He plays competitive basketball.  My youngest is self-motivated, wants to do well, and is definitely an extrovert.  However, he has to work hard for his grades.  He plays baseball and basketball.  

Having three boys who are so different has also helped me appreciate my students unique personalities and strengths.   Over the years I have had many siblings in my classes, and I make a point to NEVER compare them!  

Because my oldest son is a junior, we have started to talk about college.  Although he claims he is going to become a gold miner instead of going to college, I am pretty certain he's just saying that to torture me!  I told him that once he realized that there were no In n Outs within driving distance, he'd come running home. We currently  live within walking distance of Cal State San Marcos, but he has no desire to go there!  Darn!  That would save us a lot of money and maybe I could quit teaching before I turn eighty!.  Last year I envisioned him going to a school like Stanford or UCLA.  Now I am not so sure.    I figured with his grades and extra-curricular activities, he'd get in.  However,  looking at the admission rates, I'd say his chances of being admitted are slim to none.  Only a small percentage of students get into these schools. At first I was pretty stressed about it, but now I am beginning to wonder if it really matters that much where he goes.

All of this has led me to question many things?  Is it worth it to put so much pressure on our children to get good grades?  Is it really worth it for a child to take three or four AP classes at a time?  Is it worth it  for children to miss out on time with family and friends because they are so swamped with homework?  I am sure you can tell what my answer would be to these questions.  

As a mom, I really have just a few wishes for my children.  I want them to be happy and kind people, and I want them to contribute to society.  Where they end up going to college doesn't really matter to me.  In fact, they may even choose to go to a trade or technical school, and that's okay.  I am a firm believer in "Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life."  I want my children to be passionate about whatever path they take in life...just like me!

I will always encourage my children to do their best.  I will always encourage them to challenge themselves.  However, I will not encourage them to put so much pressure on themselves that they are anxiety ridden, stressed-out people who do not enjoy life.  Nor will I put undo pressure on them to be something I want them to be.  

Would it be wonderful to have a child who went to Stanford or UCLA?  Of course it would!  However, just because a child  ends up at a school like SDSU  does not mean they will be a failure in life!

I came across this article this weekend which was very reassuring to me.  I hope you will read it. Of course, it is just one person's  perspective.

Looking at the admission rates, only a small percentage of students get into these schools.


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