Comments on: Second Best http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/ The Intersection of Design & Motherhood Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:51:40 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 By: 8 Things of Note | Clementine Daily http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-772068 8 Things of Note | Clementine Daily Fri, 01 Nov 2013 19:01:00 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-772068 [...] you heard of satisficing? It’s a [...]

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By: Yvette http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-770584 Yvette Wed, 30 Oct 2013 23:37:56 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-770584 Good for you! I love your attitude.

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By: jessica http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-767119 jessica Thu, 24 Oct 2013 21:25:01 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-767119 i like the idea of taking the pressure off to be perfect! something all us moms need!

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By: Corina http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-767048 Corina Thu, 24 Oct 2013 18:34:04 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-767048 I am in the throes of trying to navigate this American High school system…and I could bore you for hours with the issues we are facing already with my freshman daughter. She is struggling in some classes and underwhelmed by others. However I wanted to say I think I had a lightbulb moment when I realised that in all of this confusions, pressure and hoolpa about Advanced Placement , honors, college prep this and that …I have come to suspect that my daughter, if I leave it to the conselor and the school, and my daughter (at 14 she should not be allowed to make these choices unsupervised) , that she will not meet the requirements of university entrance in the our home country where students begin their degree coursework straight away. There is no Pre-med, pre -law etc. I have had to begin our research very early in order to make sure this does not happen and it looks like we will be pushing uphill, not because of her level of ability, but because of the mindset that has her already put in a box because she is also very artistic. I have also come to feel that the American High school system would be vastly better for students, if there the emphasis were taken off competitive sport being the focus of school spirit, and there was an option to complete everything in 5 years instead of 4. That way they could reasonably do it “all” ie academics, sport and other activities…without killing themselves . They are ridiculously over-committed, and chronically overtired. In what other world do High school students “need” coffee? And in amongst it all- they want a DRs note because she has a weak stomach (sometimes medical things make her feel naseous/faint). Already I think the school has me earmarked as a problem parent!

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By: gina http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765980 gina Tue, 22 Oct 2013 20:19:18 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765980 Oh soooo much I want to add to this! I’m loving this discussion! With our daily family of three cultures and my international life abroad, it’s amazing the way these extra two questions: 1) raising children & grading their success and 2) defining success as mother is magnified!! I could discuss this for hours with you and your readers! I’m keep returning to see what’ up here … as I’m shirking my duties! Must leave it at this today but, bravo for a wonderful discussion with an obvious audience!

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By: Michelle Gallo http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765936 Michelle Gallo Tue, 22 Oct 2013 18:05:52 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765936 I almost deleted this post without reading it. I’m so glad I didn’t. The subject of high school pressure has been a hot button topic in our house ever since this school year started. We have two high schoolers and they have been attending a “college prep” catholic high school. My oldest is a Junior, and he has Asperger’s, my daughter is a “gifted” Sophomore in Honors, and AP classes. We haven’t been able to take a family vacation during the school year (August to June) for the last two years because of the amount of work they are given. They have 3-5 hours of homework a night, homework every weekend, and homework over every break and holiday. Besides moms, who else works those hours? Our son is now suffering from anxiety and depression, and our daughter is becoming affected as well. Our son wants to be homeschooled, but our daughter doesn’t want to leave her friends. All this for 15% of our annual income. Neither of them is going to MIT or Harvard, nor wants to. Yet they are all on the same track whether they are in advanced classes or regular. My kids tell me stories of their classmates getting drunk and doing drugs, it’s no wonder. As a recovering perfectionist I’m killing myself with stress trying to do the right thing by them. The public schools in our area are out of the question (over crowding in the “good schools”, bullying and gang activity in the rest). I keep looking for the “good enough” answer (a term I prefer to second best), where we don’t all end up in therapy!

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By: Angela http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765818 Angela Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:48:41 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765818 Just joining the chorus – ladies above have spoken eloquently. AMEN. :>

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By: Heidi http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765804 Heidi Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:17:46 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765804 This is such a timely discussion! Our oldest child is a sophomore in high school and is already putting so much pressure on herself to do well academically, including planning ahead for her spring AP tests, and be involved with extracurriculars. My husband and I feel so conflicted. On the one hand, of course we want her to do “well” and go to a “good” college. But the flip side is we worry a lot about her burning out-and always discuss the option of community college first (which she dismisses right now). I just don’t know how to opt out of this. I also fear that Common Core will just feed into this more!

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By: J http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765796 J Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:01:40 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765796 I remember feeling relieved to finally go to college after an extremely hectic high school experience. The schedule in college was much more doable than my high-pressure high school days. And this was 20 years ago! Things have only gotten more intense since then. Heaven help us!

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By: Amy http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765790 Amy Tue, 22 Oct 2013 13:47:09 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765790 I find it interesting that Ms. Spar on one hand decries that freshman women are coming to her college already burnt out, while on the other hand is President of a super elite college that is part of the problem. It is extremely competitive to get into Barnard, and the (three) young women I know who go there worked their tails off in high school, with a lot of anxiety, eating disorders, and perfectionism and not any free time. They are all neurotic messes. So perhaps Ms. Spar could actually do something about the problem, rather than simply being in charge of an institution that keeps raising the admissions bar.

Also, my kids go to a very academic independent school, from which many kids go to the Ivies, or the “little Ivies,” or other really highly sought-after schools. I am conflicted – my kids are getting an amazing education, but they work so hard, with no free time. Part of my job is to create a stress-free home for them, but I do not like that they cannot hold part-time jobs and can barely help with chores on the weekend. Race to Nowhere is spot on.

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By: Erin http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765654 Erin Tue, 22 Oct 2013 07:38:56 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765654 I went to a not so great public high school with no AP classes offered and only 2 language classes. I was a great student, but it wasn’t difficult in that school. I had some extra-curricular activities, but nothing special. In my senior year I got into the Ivy League university of my choice. That was over 20 years ago. When I think about it now I realize I would never get accepted there today.

When I was in college, I took a class and taught in the local school district as part of that course. It was what was called “under-resourced” in those times and was in a struggling neighborhood (West Philadelphia). While my university had lots of resources and thousands of folks who could have helped, my professor was adamant that such community service NEVER be a requirement for graduation. He said the last thing a community needs is a bunch of people coming in who don’t really want to be there. There were only 12 of us in the class, but we all had our whole hearts in it.

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By: Margaret Petry http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765499 Margaret Petry Tue, 22 Oct 2013 04:49:05 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765499 Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. I’m a high school teacher, but the demographics of my (small, charter) school are not the high-achieving kids. They’re the kids who are working hard to make up for freshman and sophomore mistakes and still graduate on time.

By the way, can we ask for an update on how Ralph and Maude are doing in their new, different high school? Would one of them ever be interested/ allowed to do a guest post? :-)

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By: Sabrina http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765470 Sabrina Tue, 22 Oct 2013 04:18:18 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765470 Wow, I am afraid for my children! They are still very young, so we haven’t had to face the pressures of college acceptance. However, I already feel pressure to have my kids in lots of activities and they have homework in Kinder and first grade with notices if they don’t complete things correctly and on time, and this is just in the local public school. I don’t remember this kind of pressure in high school, and definitely not in the first few grades of school.

I graduated from college less than 10 years ago, and, quite frankly, I never worried about getting in. I did well in school (but, I was by no means the very best of my class) and I did participate in a few things, mostly choirs and such. However, I didn’t feel like I had to have a sport and be a president of anything. I got into the schools I applied to and got scholarships. I really don’t think I am that amazing either. What has happened in the last decade that has made college acceptance so intense?

I don’t want to see my kids get burned out, think they aren’t good enough or start to hate learning because of these ridiculous pressures. I think teaching our kids satisficing skills early on is extremely wise.

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By: Kate http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765435 Kate Tue, 22 Oct 2013 03:25:04 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765435 Very happy to see you addressing this topic, but I agree with others taking issue with the definition of satisficing as accepting “second best”. I think it just means having a clear expectation in your head of what you’re looking to accomplish/obtain, and then stopping as soon as you’ve reached that point instead of (needlessly) going further. What you’re getting in the end is not second best. You’re just achieving your desired outcome in the most efficient way.

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By: Gio http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765417 Gio Tue, 22 Oct 2013 02:59:31 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765417 Speaking of pressure on high school students, have you seen this film? It changed our lives.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uem73imvn9Y

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By: Anna http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765396 Anna Tue, 22 Oct 2013 02:33:43 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765396 I love this Erin! I think while we are in such pursuit of our children being the best, they are perhaps missing what’s really important!

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By: Karen http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765384 Karen Tue, 22 Oct 2013 02:15:01 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765384 This makes me think of another book – “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. The subtitle is – Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. Of course, I’m an adult who went to college 20 years ago (and I don’t have kids). So, it’s easy for me to take this approach (or to try to). Secondary degrees are required to get any kind of job that will support you (depending on where in the country you live). However, I do struggle with wanting to be “the best” at something… to leave my mark. The idea of being enough as I am is difficult to embrace. Which leads me to my favorite quote – Comparison is the thief of joy.

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By: Linda K http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765376 Linda K Tue, 22 Oct 2013 02:01:52 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765376 Another great topic Gabby – and great comments from readers. So fun to pop by Design Mom: there’s always something fresh and thought-provoking. Thanks for that!

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By: Grace http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765370 Grace Tue, 22 Oct 2013 01:54:31 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765370 This is interesting. I’m twenty-three so getting into college is still fresh enough in my mind. As a high schooler, I just accepted that it was what needed to be done. But I always felt second best. I was the co-captain of my swim team, not THE captain. I was the treasurer of A.P. English Club, NOT the president. I was the co-founder of a new club my “colleague” and I created together after watching the Invisible Children documentary (we called the club Students in Action). And I was a mere member of Key Club whereas one of my best friends was the president. Even though I accomplished A LOT, I remember feeling it wasn’t ENOUGH. And when I didn’t get accepted into my top school (UCLA) I blamed myself for not doing more. Now that I’m older I see how corrupted the education system is (especially in higher education) and it’s become one of the big reasons I myself want to become an educator (hence getting my teaching credential at the moment). I want to read her book desperately! Thanks for bringing this to light, Gabrielle.

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By: Celeste L. http://www.designmom.com/2013/10/second-best/comment-page-1/#comment-765369 Celeste L. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 01:52:51 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=40795#comment-765369 The first time I encountered the term satisficer was in Barry Schwartz’s book, The Paradox of Choice. As I recall, it was not put forth as settling for second best; rather, it was a way to move past becoming paralyzed or anxiety ridden over the myriad choices we face in life. In many circumstances, the author suggested, choosing a good option is preferable to an endless quest for the perfect option.

I’m curious to know whether Ms. Spar is claiming this as an original idea. Whatever the case, I have practiced satisficing many times since reading Mr. Schwartz’s book.

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