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Old 03-12-2013, 05:27 PM   #31
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I was a very driven 14 year old and my parents definitely respected that, but I wish they had pushed me harder in certain areas. I really wish that they had pushed me to do a sport or physical extra curricular activity and I wish they had pushed the topic of private school harder. In my opinion, my parents were too supportive. They let me carve out my own path, which I loved as a child, but now find frustrating. There were so many opportunities that I missed out on because I was too afraid or too lazy to go after that really wouldn't been a huge benefit to me now. I definitely plan to offer more structured choices to my children than my parents offered to me.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:33 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by happygirl View Post
My 14 year old self was dumb, plain and simple LOL
Mine too,and I'll happily leave her in the past-however I did win a beauty contest!

With my own children,none have been super focussed and had a clear idea what they want, they're all totally different personalities- but they've got this in common.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:59 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caradana
Inspired by a good point made late in the boarding school thread,

Think back to when you were 14, what you wanted, your points of view - comparing that perspective to the next few decades of your life, did you know at that age what was best for you?

It's kind of a different way of asking how much structure a parent should put around an early teenager with respect to important decisions relative to the age, like
- where will you go to school?
- will you get good grades?
- will you play sports?
- will you have a supportive base of friends?
- will you date?

Myself personally: at 14 I was offered a scholarship to prep school. It was all-girls and I really didn't want to go. I was told I was going. In retrospect, it was a great move for me but it wasn't a choice I would've made. I was also informed that I was going to play a sport (I got to pick which one). I picked one that wound up helping me significantly with college admissions, which was surprising given that I didn't expect to be any good at it when I started, and I was utterly terrified at practice for my entire freshman fall. If I'd had my way at 14, I wouldn't have played sports. I was very happy with my books. In retrospect, playing was the right move.
So there are a couple of examples ...

Did you know the right path for yourself at 14? Would you have made good decisions?
How much latitude will you or did you give to your 14 year olds?
Heck no! I was an idiot.

I listened to no one. I got horrible grades, hung around with the wrong crowd and had no respect for anyone .

My son thank goodness is a 180 from me. DD is only 9 so the verdict is still out on her.

DH and I moved away from where we grew up. We are in a better school district with hopefully a better choice of friends.
I talk to my kids about my poor choices so hopefully they dont make the same mistakes.

I turned out OK with a good job, but it wasnt my first choice for a career. My grades were way too bad to pursue my dreams.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:02 PM   #34
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All I knew at 14 was that I wanted to see the world and move to Scotland. I managed the move to Scotland part at 22.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:03 PM   #35
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Did your 14-year-old self know what was best for you?

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:36 PM   #36
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Pfffft, 14 was mostly spent trying not to get too excited around girls. Still made better decisions than I did at 18. I chose my own path in life and haven't always gotten it right. But, at least it's always been MY path.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:43 PM   #37
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I don't even remember being 14.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:11 PM   #38
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I really didn't have a lot of decisions to make at 14. The only dumb thing I did refuse to take honors classes and refuse to partake in the G&T program i was invited into because I wanted to be in classes with my friends.

Stupid. And i just got more stupid at 16 and 17 when boys came into the picture on a serious level.
I had a crush on a boy when I was a junior in high school and if he was absent, I used to go to the nurse and go home sick because if I couldn't spend my day "accidentally" running into him, my life was without purpose.

Oh well, I turned out fine! But no, I was an idiot.

My daughter is 13 and is incredibly responsible with everything. She would NEVER have refused to go into her honors classes.
I got very lucky, and really take no credit, she has always been this way.
School has always been priority #1 in this family, but there really was never any pushing, they enjoy doing well in school without any prodding..and trust me, I was ready to prod.

I REALLY wish my parenst had pushed me more in school. They were very laid back and I feel like if I had been told, you ARE taking the honors classes they've placed you in and don't even think about not doing the work so they'll place you to regular college prep classes, I would have been better off. I had the ability, but by high school, I got lazy and needed a kick in the butt.

My daughter gets up early for school on her own(we're there but she gets up earlier than needed so she is prepared for the day @@), she is on top of all her schoolwork, she is a total self starter. Honor student, NJHS member, involved in extracurriculurs(plays an instrument, plays softball and cheers and dances), does volunteer work...

She's a regular kid, goofs around with her friends,rolls her eyes at me a little too much lately, loves One Direction, sits in her room listening to music, etc, but she is on top of things better than I ever was.
I would listen to what she wants for her life, absolutely, because even at this young age she has proven to have a good head on her shoulders. Work comes first for her, then play.

My 11 year old son is not as responsible to the extent she is, but he is very invested in his schoolwork as well, does his homework and studies without any prodding, honor student, doesn't complain about 6 days a week of football, or baseball til 10pm on a school night- juggles it all with his schoolwork with no issues.
He is a music department drop out, though, so no instrument. ;op
He also excels in continually arguing with his mom(me!) over everything under the sun.

He thinks he's going to be a professional football player, so I wouldn't say he's grounded in reality and would make the best decisions for himself quite yet, though.



I have friends who sent their children to Elisabeth Morrow in Englewood which is around $30,000 a year K-8.
Both kids decided against private school for high school(their choice) and went to Bergen County Acadamies-public school, though you have to apply to get in. The oldest is a junior at Cornell right now and the second one is still in HS.
They were able to make a decision at 14 that was best for them, with their parents' support.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:16 PM   #39
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yes & no.
I'll only highlight the smart things the 14 year old self thought

My 14 year old self wanted to live at summer camp & work there year round.

My grown up self- got a college degree in recreation & ran 5 day camps for 6 years (as a year round job)

My 14 year old self wanted to save the world, solve world hunger & elminate bad things.

My grown up self volunteers in the community, school & with animals.

My 14 year old self was obsessed with the Grateful Dead.

My grown up self is in love with Paul Simon & his music.

And now i can't reveal anything else without mortifying my current adult state of mind....

Here's one wish, i wish my adult self had the raging hormones of my teen aged self
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:32 PM   #40
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No, I didn't.

But I've got a 15 year old dd who is currently driving me nuts. She's basically a good kid, but this past year she's been slacking off in certain subjects. In trying to "apply some structure," we've been busily ruining our relationship. She's very stubborn and thinks she knows everything about everything. There is no give to this kid, it's her nature.

I'm starting to think that she's just going to have to learn things the hard way. It's unfortunate, but the more we punish, restrict her social life, take away privileges, try talking, etc., the worse it gets to the point where it's just counterproductive. I'm a pretty authoritarian parent, so it's a big deal for me to have gotten to this point. At some point, you can't save them from their teenage selves.

She's starting to think about colleges. We'll pay the same amount as our state university for four years. Her friends who are a few years older are all getting their college acceptances and financial aid right around now. She's been talking about how they're applying to better, more expensive private schools and now she's starting to turn her nose up at the state system.

Slowly, she's coming to understand that you get financial aid for good grades... And that mom and dad aren't paying more than what the state school costs, so if you don't get big grants, you're SOL and up to your eyeballs in debt.

I think you can also give kids good information about job outlooks and career choices, and there's value to that. But there's a limit to how hard you can steer them. My dad really wanted me to be an engineer. I ended up majoring in a physical science that was pretty close, but I didn't like working in the field and ended up doing something else.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:38 PM   #41
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Well, my 14 yo self certainly knew much better than my 15-23 yo selves and could have given all of them a very strong lecture! I was on the right track at 14 but veered waaaayyyy off course by 15 or so.

I think DD#2 is going to make me re-live every bad decision I ever made as I watch her become the teen terror of the family. We are trying hard to squash it quickly but she's as stubborn about making bad decisions as I was.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:45 AM   #42
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Eh, I was a late bloomer so I really didn't have any big plans at 14.
I was college track and knew I would be going to a state school which the folks could afford. That was pretty much taken for granted at our house.

I didn't date and had no career aspirations at that point in my life. I had good friends, at least one who I would consider a sister to this day.

I have zero hand-eye coordination and so, I did not play sports. Surviving gym class was enough for me. I did take part in distance biking and participated in week-long bike trips in the summer which were a complete blast.

My parents didn't push us in any particular direction, but were sticklers for doing our best at whatever we tried. You finished what you started and slacking was not tolerated. Beyond that, they were fine with whatever we decided. Of my four sisters, two work full time in their degree field and seem content/happy. One works part time in her degree field and is also happy with that decision. I am the only one who has changed careers and I am currently back in school to get a nursing degree.

I'm open to my kids' decisions, but I do try to make sure they are fully informed about the choices they are making. DD has been planning her future since she was a grade schooler and she considered a number of careers. I made sure she was aware of the competitive nature and difficult hours of one field. And I pointed out that she didn't meet the mandatory physical standards for another. She changed her own mind about others.
At this point, she has shifted her interested to forensics. One of the leading schools in the country is located relatively close in Ohio, but it would involve some financial sacrifices on all of our part, so we'll have to see how that plays out. I don't doubt that she could change her mind between now and then also.

DS13 is more like me and a bit of late bloomer. He really shows little interest in anything outside of sports. He just doesn't look to the future like his sister does. We'll just have to wait and see where he ends up.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:00 AM   #43
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I'd say I had a pretty good head on my shoulders. I made a few mistakes but learned quickly. By 15, I switched schools because I knew I should, chose a different profession of choice (in it now), got involved with my now-husband, and left behind some not appropriate friends.

Were mistakes made? Yes. Did I quickly figure it out? Yes.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:04 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caradana View Post

Myself personally: at 14 I was offered a scholarship to prep school. It was all-girls and I really didn't want to go. I was told I was going. In retrospect, it was a great move for me but it wasn't a choice I would've made. I was also informed that I was going to play a sport (I got to pick which one). I picked one that wound up helping me significantly with college admissions, which was surprising given that I didn't expect to be any good at it when I started, and I was utterly terrified at practice for my entire freshman fall. If I'd had my way at 14, I wouldn't have played sports. I was very happy with my books. In retrospect, playing was the right move.
Quote:
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So why might I have that flaw in my character? And why do I feel so strongly about helping my kids pay for college? Because I DIDN'T have that financial support behind me. I worked 20 HPW at a tanning salon through high school to help pay the rent for my single-parent family after my father went to jail, child support stopped and the house got foreclosed. I would literally go to school 7-3, sports practice 3-5:30, musical rehearsals 5:30-7, tanning salon 7-11, whatever studying I could manage 11-1, sleep, up at 6, lather rinse repeat. My teachers knew what I was doing and kindly turned a blind eye to the fact that I barely handled in homework. I do not think this was a character-building experience. I think the only thing that got me through it was knowing that if I could make it to June of senior year and graduate as valedictorian, going to college for free was going to happen for me.

This part struck me an interesting:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caradana View Post

My teachers knew what I was doing and kindly turned a blind eye to the fact that I barely handled in homework.

I'd be upset if my kids DIDN'T make valedictorian for a kid who "barely handed in homework". Sounds like for as much as you pulled yourself up by the bootstraps, you also were handed some breaks (lack of homework) and some opportunities. Little easier to preach from that high horse.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:13 AM   #45
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Minus the purple hair and goth look, yeah 14 year old me had it together. She could have given a good lecture to 19 year old me. The path took a few twist and turns but so far so good.
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