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edogxxx

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Oct 18, 2012
 
DEAR AMY: My husband and I would like to send our two children to private schools because we believe these are more academically challenging than the public schools in our area. My concern is this: While I want my children to get the best possible education, I worry about the "snob factor" associated with these schools.

The young people dress expensively, and I even know many parents who see drinking, pot smoking and partying as tolerable, if not an inevitable part of high school life. I was surprised to see how many parents not only condoned this behavior, but also condoned their children's cliques and "label-conscious" clothing.

I am grateful that we can provide a good education, but I also don't want our kids to believe that an elitist mentality is acceptable. How do we curb the "snob factor"?-- Not a Snob

DEAR NOT: I shared your letter with Michael Thompson, author of "The Pressured Child: Freeing Our Kids From Performance Overdrive and Helping Them Find Success in School and Life" (2005, Ballantine Books). He responds, "I trust independent schools to offer children a first-rate education by providing demanding academics, teachers with high morale, enriched extracurriculars and small class size. The downside of such schools is that the children in them may take privilege for granted.

"You can send your child to an independent school and keep him or her from becoming a snob by insisting on good family values, by asking your child to work and do chores, and by asking him or her to contribute to their community through service."

No matter what school your children attend, your values at home will always be paramount. The message you should convey is, "Your character is the most important part of who you are."

DEAR AMY: I have been in a relationship with my son's father for 11 years. He is trying to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. All he cares about is his image and he constantly flirts with other women.

Two weeks ago I took my clothes from his house because I no longer felt comfortable in the situation. There was no communication for a week. The following week, I caught him with a 20-year-old whom he is now dating! He's broadcasting on social networking sites that he's in a relationship with her!

How does someone walk away from 11 years and immediately hook up with someone so much younger? I don't really know what to do.-- Lost

DEAR LOST: You mention your son in the first sentence of your query, and then -- poof -- he disappears. This child needs to come first for at least one of his parents. I nominate you. Your questions should revolve around what is best for your son. Providing him with the best and most stable life possible will benefit both of you.

Your guy seems to have broken up with you. I don't know why some men seem to periodically trade in their partners for a younger model. This is a question for the ages, sages and evolutionary biologists -- not for lowly mortals like me. Your next call should be to a lawyer to establish custody and financial support.

DEAR AMY: "Concerned Parents" were worried about their 5-year-old daughter receiving inappropriate gifts at her birthday party. I am surprised that you didn't suggest the most popular way to "control" the gifts and do good at the same time. When our daughter wanted birthday parties with her friends, we would have her pick a charity such as the local animal shelter or homeless shelter and then request unwrapped gifts that were on the charity's "gift" lists.

This helped us avoid our daughter receiving too many gifts and helped her learn that others have needs that she could help fulfill.-- Wisconsin Mother

DEAR MOTHER: Many parents offered this excellent solution. Thank you all.
liner

Bellport, NY

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#2
Oct 18, 2012
 
L2: He's been doing this for 11 years and you just figured it out now?

Since: Jan 10

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#3
Oct 18, 2012
 

Judged:

1

L1: First of all, I'm sick of the word "elite" being used as a derogatory term. "Elite" describes Navy Seals.'nuff said. Anyway: Good luck with keeping your children from driving you crazy with their pleas for certain name-brand clothing (Amy's expert didn't address that). I think that will be your biggest problem -- things like clothes, school dances/prom, etc.

L2: "How does someone walk away from 11 years...." Lady, YOU WALKED AWAY. You need to grow up.

L3: I wonder how many of these parents would be cool with going without gifts at Christmas and having the money instead going to charity.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

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#4
Oct 18, 2012
 
L2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#5
Oct 18, 2012
 
1 Amby is correct. Your kids will keep it real if you do. I knew some kids that were snobs. They would hang around their pool and watch me bust my ass mowing their lawn. I did not mind though, the thought of my parents simply giving me gas money, or date money simply never occurred to me.

2 Your kids father... That is the whole story in a nutshell.

3 What Red said, though some kids do actually like to do that

Since: Jan 10

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#6
Oct 18, 2012
 
Race, I like the idea if it's kid-driven. But not when it's the parents deciding that junior has to give away half of his birthday presents and save them for Toys for Tots.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#7
Oct 18, 2012
 
LW1: "I even know many parents who see drinking, pot smoking and partying as tolerable, if not an inevitable part of high school life."
It might not be tolerable, but I think you're living in a dreamworld if you think at least some of that is not an inevitable part of HS life. I would be interested to know what % of HS kids have never gone to a party(and I don't mean Chuck E.Cheese) and have never had a drink.

"I am grateful that we can provide a good education, but I also don't want our kids to believe that an elitist mentality is acceptable. How do we curb the "snob factor"?"
You deal with it head on. Talk to them as you notice attitude changes.

LW2: "How does someone walk away from 11 years and immediately hook up with someone so much younger?"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
I'm not laughing at her pain. I'm laughing at her clueles naivete.

You knew what life with him was like for 11 years. He did not marry you even after having a kid. And you're surprised that he was not waiting around pining for you after you moved out?

LW3: "I am surprised that you didn't suggest the most popular way to "control" the gifts and do good at the same time...have her pick a charity such as the local animal shelter or homeless shelter and then request unwrapped gifts that were on the charity's "gift" lists."
And exactly where is this popular? If that's what you want to do, more power to you, but I've never known anyone to do this. Guess I hang out with the unpopular crowd.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#8
Oct 18, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Good luck with keeping your children from driving you crazy with their pleas for certain name-brand clothing (Amy's expert didn't address that). I think that will be your biggest problem
That's easy. TJ Maxx, Ross, & Marshall's.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#9
Oct 18, 2012
 
L1: Of course there's the risk of your kids becoming snobby a-holes! You sent them to a private school full of them, and your motivation to do so undoubtedly involves a degree of snobby a-hole-ishness.

L2: What Race said. Grow up and find someone who's grounded in reality, not an aging juvenile-wannabe.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#10
Oct 18, 2012
 
LW1: I think unless you go to a really crappy school, school is what you make of it. I doubt I would have been more educated, more intelligent, or whatever had I gone to private school.

LW2: Not every relationship works out, cupcake. Heís obviously not into you. Itís part of life.

LW3: Iím sure thatís very popular Ö in Vegan circles.

Since: Jan 10

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#11
Oct 18, 2012
 
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: I think unless you go to a really crappy school, school is what you make of it. I doubt I would have been more educated, more intelligent, or whatever had I gone to private school.
I absolutely agree with this, and I think it is true of college as well.

Since: Mar 09

Boynton Beach, FL

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#12
Oct 18, 2012
 
L1: I went to private school but didn't really become a snob until I moved to south Florida 6.5 years ago.
;)

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#13
Oct 18, 2012
 
RACE wrote:
1 Amby is correct. Your kids will keep it real if you do. I knew some kids that were snobs. They would hang around their pool and watch me bust my ass mowing their lawn. I did not mind though, the thought of my parents simply giving me gas money, or date money simply never occurred to me.
Eventually, yeah, but until the kid embraces it, it's rough. The name-brand clothes factor was huge, HUGE, when I was in private junior high and it was constantly on my mind, even though my parent's rarely indulged me. It did give me the desire to work to earn money to buy it myself, but IIRC, there were quite a few fights about it. High school was easier because it was public and diverse, so not as much emphasis put on clothes and it was the age of grunge.

Now, I'm a bit of a brand snob, but only because I know what fits me and what will last the longest. No shame in combing the racks at the thrift stores and consignment shops for bargains, though.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#14
Oct 18, 2012
 
L1: Don't most private schools require uniforms (at least here they do)? And it has to do with WHAT private school you pick. there is one by me that is RIDICULOUSLY expensive and the kids drive BMWs and the like. Where do most of these kids end up? their parents back room - they have been so coddled many don't amount to anything (I have had many co-workers whose kids ended up that way).

There are also more "grounded" private schools where the education is better than public schools but perhaps less expensive where you will find more parents that have to work a little harder to send their kids there. Some are religious, some are only loosely religious and some aren't religious at all. My daughter's school has a lot of students where both parents work and the kids are pretty average as far as what they get materialistically. Again, they are in uniforms, so I don't know about clothes.

Some areas have good public schools. Unfortunately, I am in an area that the only really good ones are fundamental schools and you have to win a lotto system to get in them (usually there are a couple hundres spots and about 10k applicants). On the other hand, I WENT TO public school but in an area with great education. <Mimi shrug> You do what you have to.

ANYWAY, I think a lot of a kid's attitude is going to be a product of the attitude they see at home.

L2: You're heart may be broken, but you are still an idiot. Way to go bringing a kid into it.

L3: Way to steal the joys of happiness from a 5 yo. Do you pop their balloons and knock over their ice cream cones, too?
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#15
Oct 18, 2012
 
THat should be "your", not "you're".

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#16
Oct 18, 2012
 
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: I think unless you go to a really crappy school, school is what you make of it. I doubt I would have been more educated, more intelligent, or whatever had I gone to private school.
The only difference is the bullshyte you have to deal with. In my experience, there's a lot of politics involved with private school--what your last name is, what your ethnicity is, who your parents are, what church you go to, who else you're related to, yadda yadda yadda. Public school, you have to contend with kids of all different walks of life. Sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad, but you have to realize who *you* are. And unless you're a complete psycho, you fit in to at least one group of friends.

I'd take public school any day of the week if I had it to do over.

Since: Jan 10

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#17
Oct 18, 2012
 
Stina- great point about uniforms, etc.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#18
Oct 18, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>I think it is true of college as well.
Me too.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#19
Oct 18, 2012
 
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
The only difference is the bullshyte you have to deal with. In my experience, there's a lot of politics involved with private school--what your last name is, what your ethnicity is, who your parents are, what church you go to, who else you're related to, yadda yadda yadda. Public school, you have to contend with kids of all different walks of life. Sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad, but you have to realize who *you* are. And unless you're a complete psycho, you fit in to at least one group of friends.
I'd take public school any day of the week if I had it to do over.
I think you're right. My brother and sister went to private high school, after starting out in public and I know they encountered this.

In public school, my circle of friends was pretty diverse. It didn't matter so much whose family had what, who was going to college, or what color your skin was. I prefer that because I really cannot stand snobbery.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#20
Oct 18, 2012
 
When I was a kid, Levi's were THE jeans. My parents refused to spend the money to get me any, got stuck with frigging Wranglers.... Yup, wanting Levi is what motivated me to cut some lawns and chop wood.

I only buy Levi's now, some things are worth the money.
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
Eventually, yeah, but until the kid embraces it, it's rough. The name-brand clothes factor was huge, HUGE, when I was in private junior high and it was constantly on my mind, even though my parent's rarely indulged me. It did give me the desire to work to earn money to buy it myself, but IIRC, there were quite a few fights about it. High school was easier because it was public and diverse, so not as much emphasis put on clothes and it was the age of grunge.
Now, I'm a bit of a brand snob, but only because I know what fits me and what will last the longest. No shame in combing the racks at the thrift stores and consignment shops for bargains, though.

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