Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Self Reliance

Enjoy discussing the article and Emerson's "Self-Reliance"; remember that you're aiming to participate thoughtfully and frequently, and bring in textual passages when possible.

102 comments:

Kristin L said...

Learning about an interesting program called "Coveritlive." See--I told you I'd check in. I'll be waiting for your discussion. Quit being mad at me.

hannahl said...

Isn't coveritlive what we used for the AWNM discussion last year? By the way, that was an interesting article.

Kristin L said...

Just doublechecked with Mrs. Moritz--yes, that's what you used last year for AWNM. How did you like it (the program, not the book)? Glad you found the article interesting.

MollyS said...

Oh yea, we're furious. We're just finishing up the reading...

AustinD said...

It worked well enough. Heck, you almost could show that at the conference as you can be part of it.

We're just about to start, FYI.

morgant said...

We aren't mad at you Ms. Leclaire!! :) We just wish you were with us!

hannahl said...

It was interesting, I don't remember it much because I was mostly watching Pink talk and listening to the inner circle discussion. I think it was effective though.

roser said...

Did anyone find it a bit ridiculous how people put those Baby on Board signs, when isn't the expectation that you drive carefully no matter what?

Laurenc said...

Let me start off by saying I am disgusted by parents who live throught their children...I see it almost everyday at my brother's elementary school. PTO mom's are the worst.

MattN said...

NO!

jordans said...

That article was very interesting and I wonder if it was a young adult or an adult who wrote it.

AustinD said...

Let's start in the same place as the inner circle; Who has overbearing parents?

amyw said...

Does anyone have "helicopter" parents as described in the article?

Laurenc said...

rose - It's just like the article said. People just want the world to know they have a baby! I'd probably be pretty happy too being a new mom.

Kristin L said...

To respond to Jordan, the article is from the Washington Post, so I'm guessing that it's an adult who wrote this.

Most teachers have very, very strong opinions about this.

mollyd said...

My parents are not like this at all. They have never really been too restraining when it comes to school. I have always done well so they don't really have the need to. They have been a little more protective outside of school and places I go.

Laurenc said...

Ms. Leclaire - Do you deal with these helicopter parents often? and if you're willing I'd love to hear your opinion on the issue.

melissaz said...

Ok this whole article made me think of one of my mom's parent's. My mom is a kindergarten teacher at Runyon and she had a strongly protective mother one year. Her son fell and broke his arm, something completely unavoidable, and the mom went to many extents that she sat in the classroom with my mom and her husband outside the room everyday, all hours to take care or her boy. She did this untill she pulled him out of school to be homeschooled.

jordans said...

This article reminds me of my parents. And now I’m mad just being reminded how annoying it is. And I agree with Hannah I rebel maybe in good and bad ways but it’s a horrible way to live just living to piss my parents off instead of living to make myself happy.

MattN said...

Amyw: Yeah i definitely do. My mom is always on my case about everything i do, and i don't feel like i shut her out of my life, but she is always just wanting to be all up in my business!!!

amyw said...

roser---I do not like these signs at all. Most people drive carefully no matter what, including if there's a "baby on board." I get that you're proud parents but this is a strange way to display it...

hannahl said...

This an especially severe problem with honors students' parents, because they are so controlling of how the student does academically, even if it means that the student gets bad grades and is missing out on what they love.

morgant said...

I don't know about you guys, but I think if parents back off a little bit, it might be better for the kids in the long run. I feel like I'm pretty self-reliant myself, but my parents do get in the way. They want to protect us from something that they don't want to happen. I think that we need to learn to solve our own problems and with parents interfering, it can make it harder.

meganu said...

I definately do not have parents like this, I almost have the opposite. My parents are perfectly fine with me being academic on my own unless I'm completely failing. They have all of these resources where they could figure out exactly what grades I'm getting and how many classes I'm late to, etc. but they don't take advantage of those resources. "Helicopter" parents bug me so bad. I have friends who have them. I think parents need to realize that their children aren't two years old anymore, they need to let go.

alexf said...

No, I can totally see what Hannah just said in the inner circle. (She said that those with helicopter parents have kids that are more likely to rebel). Now, obviously, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you think about it, if you are continuously held down, in order to escape, you have to “push” HARD and sometimes, you can’t really stop…which takes you to intense rebellion.

MadisonT said...

I just believe that parents definitely try to live through their children. That means constant questions about their kids' lives, getting involved in everything their kid does, bursting into their kids' privacy. They want to live, so they make the choices for their kid.

The typical reaction is rebellion. The kid doesn't want their parent in their life. The kid doesn't want their parent prying into their life.

That brings about the usual stereotype of why parents are "so controlling."

AustinD said...

I know teachers have strong opinions at this. My friend's Dad had an extremly angry rant to Mr. Booth. The teachers and him are no longer allowed to interact.

My parents used to be helecopter parents. My mom has forever advocated for me in school and has been a bit combative with teachers. That's not because they wanted to, but I wanted to but unable to stand up for myself.

Laurenc said...

Regarding the inner circle - I think the topic of homeschooled children is very biased. Not all homeschooled kids are complete anti-socials. I know quite a few who are more outgoing then me despite being homeschooled.

Oliviak said...

I know some people who have helicopter parents and I think that it is a bad thing because when they go into the real world we can’t stand on thier own. So helicopter parents are trying to help but they are really hurting them.

hannahl said...

Alexf- Thank you

chelseas said...

I don't know if anybody else thought of this, but I was thinking that it seems like there is a lack of trust between the parents and the students. I mean, I know of lots of kids whose parents put filters on the internet. I think that this seems like a lack of trust. Did anyone else feel like this?

sabrinad said...

Personally I don't have helicopter parents. But I see them at the pool everyday. Sometimes I think that parents are trying to live through thier children, other times I think they have nothing better to do. There is one parent at the pool that comes to our 15 year old through 18 year old national team practice and takes her childs splits (something number one, we should be able to do ourselfs and number two, our coach keeps track of)and on top of this she talks to our coach about what her daughter can do better everynight. This absolutly drives me crazy because it distracts our coach and is something the daughter (who hates swimming) could do herself.

morgant said...

Megan- it seems like your parents have gotten the hint. I agree with you that parents need to find out that their kids need to eventually grow up and learn to be on their own.

KateP said...

roser- I found it pretty ridiculous too. Everyone should be driving careful no matter what. I agree with the author and how the parent's want everyone to know there new status of being a parent.

MollyS said...

Amy- Did you hear Morgan define the term 'helicopter parents' right now?

amyw said...

On the topic of homeschooling---I have five cousins that are homeschooled and their lives are so different. They don't know any people outside of swim team or religious education. Their parents are pretty protective and they've only ever known one way of life: theirs. They pretty much think everything that isn't like their lives is strange, which I personally think is sad. They can't help it, but it's like they've never been out in the world and their parents are molding who they are...

Laurenc said...

On the flip side let me play devils advocate for a while. A lack of parental involvement can have many negative effect. What about all the people I'm sure we know that have fallen to the darker sides of teenage life (drinking, sex, etc)

Do you think higher parental involvement could prevent or at least stop this poor choices?

meganu said...

oliviak- What do you mean by the 'real world'? Aren't we living in the real world now? I think helicopter parents are affecting their childrens lives now, not just in this supposed 'real world'.

Kristin L said...

To respond to Lauren, I actually don't deal with helicopter parents too often. I think part of it is that I don't teach freshmen, and this tends to be a huge transitional year for both students and parents in terms of seeing how important it is for students to take care of their own education.

But we have had all our experiences with parents who cross the boundary. I've actually had a parent point his finger at my face and scream at me that I singlehandedly ruined his daugher's life. This, to me, was a big of an exaggeration. Getting a C in a class is not going to ruin anyone's life, and if it does, that family needs to reprioritize.

melissaz said...

I think that this article works really well with Self Reliance. Emerson is talking about how important it is to become completely comfortable in our own thoughts, our own faults. We need to learn to grow and simply rely on ourselves, and that is the only way we will find peace. This article introduces partents that are not allowing their children to develop these self reliance skills. These kids are not given the chance to grow on their own. It makes me think of those flowers that have a ruler tied to them to help them stand up. It is totally understandable untill the flower becomes strong enough to stand on its own, but if this ruler is never taken away, the flower couldn't become strong enough to stand on its own. Just what I picture.

hannahl said...

laurenc- Either extreme is detrimental to the development of the child. A complete lack of involvement is just as bad as too much involvement, parents must find a balance.

morgant said...

Sabrina- wow, that's not good on the parent's part. I feel sorry for that girl. That is hard when your parents want to make you succeed, but end up pushing you away. Now that the girl hates swimming, she will hate it even more with her mom hovering over her.

Oliviak said...

How does this article relate to the self reliance article?

ParkerH said...

Over- and underprotective parents don't do their kids any favors in the long run.

alexf said...

Just to make everything clear, I think that every situation with helicopter parents is a little different, but we are just generalizing. I know two people with helicopter parents that went in completely different directions, so no, it doesn’t apply to everyone, it’s just saying what sometimes happens and what has great potential to happen.
But besides that, I think that there is a happy medium between helicopter parents and parents who don’t care. My parents, for example, trust me and they don’t hover at all, but then I go home, and because I WANT to, I tell them the details, which makes them trust me more. I think that, while it’s the parents responsibility not to hover and not to completely blow off their children, I also think that it’s the child’s responsibility to gain their parents trust and help yourself.

MattN said...

LaurenC: I see where you are coming from!!! if my parents just toally didn't care what i did, i know that many times i know that i would not make the right decision some times like going and hanging out with friends instead of studying for a big test!!! so sometimes i can see where my parents are coming from!

kennaw said...

Melissaz~

My mom is also a teacher, but at Lenski Elementary. I hear about "crazy" parents who are overly obsessed with their children having perfect grades and make somewhat of a huge scene to try to get what they want. Here's my opinion though, if parents hover over their children how will they learn to handle the outside world? How will they learn to have responsibility, problem solving skills, ect. Once children hit high school they need to rely on themselves...self-reliance! Otherwise when they go off on their own for college they'll ave no experiences to live life. In elementary school, it is unneeded for a parent to hover but it's necessary to step beside their children but in a nice way. Not harshly and crazy.

amyw said...

mollys---Yes I did. But I was asking people if they had helicopter parents. But thanks anyway :)

AustinD said...

@Lauren: I think you have to strike a balance between helecopter parents and no parental control. As the inner circle said, teens will rebel and try and break the rules till they hurt them self enough and snap out of it. But a helecopter parent will just hinder the teen; maybe even enough to rebel even further then normal.

roser said...

AmyW-WOW I completely agree! My neighbors are hard core home schoolers, and all they do is church, school, and home...that's it. Their parents are so super comtrolling the girls have learned to have a very narrow mind about everything. And they are the ultimate example of the stereotypical anti-social home-schoolers....

morgant said...

Melissa- wow, that is a good analogy with the flower. It is okay for parents to be involved to a certain point, but when they are constantly on your back and constantly in your business, it gets old.

chelseas said...

Sabrina- I totally agree with you about how parents live through their children. I think that a lot of parents have a hard time "growing up" and therefore try to live like their kids. I know a lot of parents who help out the team that they are on, and they keep track of scores, and such all the time, to the point that it is excessive. It appears to me that the kids get embarassed, too...

Laurenc said...

Melissa - I love your flower metaphor and I think you're exactly right. Children need parents or guardians to teach them and protect them but they have to realize that their child must also work hard on his or her own. That's why I think school is so important, it gives kids a chance to get away and learn how to work and grow on their own.

MollyS said...

Ms. Leclaire- If you have a parent come in with a attitude like that, what are the true feelings that they have at heart? Are they simply taking the grade into consideration but not the learning? What good comes out of a grade without getting the learning? As cliche as that sounds...

amyw said...

parkerh---I agree. But so many times they're in denial. They don't even realize what they're doing sometimes...

melissaz said...

Kenna- I completely agree. Yes, children in elementary school need a little more attention, but as you said, the parents need to hold their hands, not carry them through it all. I personally think that elementary school is established well enough that the teachers and staff know how to deal with the kids and help them grow; the parents don't need to worry about that.

Kristin L said...

Glory be to Melissa for bringing it back to Emerson. What might Emerson specifically have to say about these "helicopter parents"? What specifically, according to the Transcendentalists, do these types of parents inhibit?

Also, how might this discussion relate to Chris McCandless? We didn't get to talk about him at all yesterday--feel free to bring him into the discussion.

alexf said...

But besides that, I think that there is a happy medium between helicopter parents and parents who don’t care. My parents, for example, trust me and they don’t hover at all, but then I go home, and because I WANT to, I tell them the details, which makes them trust me more. I think that, while it’s the parents responsibility not to hover and not to completely blow off their children, I also think that it’s the child’s responsibility to gain their parents trust and help yourself.

Laurenc said...

Matt - I know what you mean! I don't consider myself reliant on my parents much but I think they teach me something new every day and help to keep me on track in both school and more importantly, life. I think our parents play the role of teachers and guardians. They just don't need to make it an obsession.

sabrinad said...

MZ- I absolutely love your metaphor! That is perfect! We need just enough help at first to help us stand, but when we have too much we will never be able to function in society. But anyways back to comparing the two articles I noticed how in each reading you need to be able to break boundaries and go out of the box to succeed. There are always things that will keep us from breaking out and parents are just one example.

mollyd said...

I don't get why our parents are so protective because when they were our age they didn't have all the technology we have. So they were less connected so why do they feel now as parents themselves they have to be so protective?

MollyS said...

I think the idea Hannah just brought up about how this idea is related in government is really creative, why do you think people seem to gravitate to the more 'helicopter' form of government yet we discourage parents from acting that way?

kennaw said...

Do you guys think it is necessary for parents to sometimes hover over children in daily life but not in school? Or do you think they should back off in general and let them have you rely on yourself? Parents have reasons for hovering over their child sometime and they need to get used to it too. Is there ever a time when it's good to have a parent that hovers every once in a while?

amyw said...

roser---EXACTLY! They're naive about the world. One of my cousins, who is 10, told me that she didn't like my clothes, probably because she'd never seen clothes like mine before. People need to be exposed to a lot of different kinds of people and lifestyles, otherwise they'll be close-minded.

ParkerH said...

Amy-
Yeah. People are stupid. Take that for what it's worth, but I think "ignorance" falls under that category as well.

roser said...

This article could relate to Chris McCandless in that I guess you could say that his parents let him go, make his own desicions. Some might say they gave him too much freedom, but others say his self-reliance might have been healthy.

amyw said...

kennaw---Everything in moderation. It's bad to have underprotective parents as much as overprotective parents. But if they look after you just the right amount then that's good. It's a fine line though!

Laurenc said...

Ms. Leclaire - To be honest I think Emerson would tell helicopter parents to butt out and move on. We all know from the reading last night that transcendentalists STRONGLY believe in a strong sense of self and self reliance.

Regarding Chris, I found it interesting that he lived such a good and happy life but one day just decided he needed to go on that journey. I think this relates very well to the article because maybe if more kids decided to go on personal journeys (not neccesarily to Alaska) they would be more independent and stronger people.

KateP said...

kennaw- I think that all kids need a little guidance. Parents are just trying to get into their kid's life because they care, but some parents get too carried away with this. I know that I like it when my parents give me guidance in some areas since they have already gone through their teenager years.

MattN said...

roser: Yeah for sure about Mccandless but i think the opposite. I think his parents pushed him away and he wanted to know what it was like without them always helping you!!

roser said...

AmyW-ha wow, the my neighbor is also 16 and she called me a bad name for wearing red nail polish, because she believed it was devlish...

amyw said...

parkerh---I agree again! Ignorance is what leads to this. "Oh, I'm a helicopter parent? Me? You mean I shouldn't be controlling every aspect of my child's life?"

hannahl said...

Emerson is cringing in his grave at the helicopter parents and societal conformity that is ten times as powerful as it was in his time. I wish more people could be like Emerson these days.

Kristin L said...

Come on, people--Emerson has some amazing ideas/lines. Bring them into your discussion.

At the end of your discussion, make sure that you comment somewhere on "Self-Reliance" how this piece (Emerson, not the article on helicopter parents) how this piece applies specifically to you. If it's not individual and personal, it's not transcendentalist.

Laurenc said...

Molly - As much as I would love to keep this away from politics I will just say that a helicopter government is going to be just as negative on its people as a helicopter family on a child. It will overwhelm and emberass while also taking away freedom.

morgant said...

I think Emerson would not like helicopter parents. On the first page, second paragraph, Emerson states, "...nor does he know until he has tried." That comes from experience and with parents hovering over you the whole time, that becomes harder and harder.

melissaz said...

Ms. Leclaire and everyone- I think that Emerson would frown upon hovercraft parents. Ralph talks much about the importance of being a nonconformist, growing our own ideals and not to worry about what other people think. This quote in Self Reliance works perfectly with "Putting Parents in Their Place": "It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it." Parents much of the time think that they always know best, but for their children to learn, they must make mistakes and create their own path.

chelseas said...

I think that this article can relate to Chris McCandless in the sense that every child wants to experience something on their own. In Chris' case, his parents let him do this, even though they probably didn't want him to. They probably wanted him to be able to experience things, and fulfill his dreams, even if they disagreed with it.

sabrinad said...

Rose I had a completely different connection to Chris than yours! I thought that he went on his journey to escape his “helicopter” parents, and although they let him go the reason he went was to get away, get away from the boundaries that are keeping him from breaking out and finding his true self. He was so sheltered and given everything he needed that he wanted to see what it would be like to live without the help.

amyw said...

roser---Wow. Yes, this just proves that people need to be exposed to different lifestyles! I can't believe that though. Red nail polish...

meganu said...

mattn- What's your reasoning for thinking McCandless's parents pushed him away? I'm not saying I disagree with you, I just would like to hear your explanation.

AustinD said...

I thought that the Helecopter parent is a huge trancendentalist opinion. This article is all about removing the hinderences of society and focusing on strengthening one's self. I noticed that a huge topic in both the inner circle and the paper was the parents forcing their opinions and desires on the kids. Either they want a hobby or (possibly) they think they are superior (which is a definate on some things and no way on others) and they want to make their kids like them.

Also, isn't this 4 minnutes after we should be stopping?

hannahl said...

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members." - Emerson

Oliviak said...

The parents I think transcendentalists would say that they are holding them back from experiencing things and finding out what they want to do. They are kind of like this quote says “These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world.” The world or the parent block out our inner voice.

ParkerH said...

I doubt I'll get a chance to say this in the inner circle, but... I think when you DON'T hover over people (or your kids, if you're a parent), then when you do HAVE to rebuke them, it has more power. For example, let's say a little kid just ran into the street. They could get seriously injured, and you kind of have to say something. It's your job to, if you're in charge of them. If you get really serious, and tell them in a not-screamy way, it'll get the message across a lot more than if you had been on their case on everything. Also, afterwards, you kind of have to prove to the little kids that you don't hate them after you rebuke them. Just a thought.

melissaz said...

Also, finding that balance and harmony with our parents also relates to finding ourselves in the middle of society. This quote completely goes both ways in Self Reliance, "It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."

amyw said...

I think Emerson would definitely frown upon helicopter parents. If you have parents like this then you're forced to conform to what and who they want you to be, which is the opposite of what Emerson advocates.

Laurenc said...

Okay regarding Ms. Leclaire's topic, I think self reliance relates to me because I don't let anyone sway my opinions. I have never been afraid to argue with my parents or my peers about an issue because I believe in it. Reagarding the issue of being completely self reliant I certainly am not. I rely on my family for a lot of things because I do not yet have a job or a liscense. I also rely on them for support every day. I could never be like Chris and live alone in the wild or anywhere for that matter. Not yet anyway. I like to consider myself able to survive but I'm not sure I'm ready to go out into the big wide world yet and I'm sure Emerson would encourage me to fix that.

MattN said...

Ms. Leclaire: all right fine i guess we could quote Emerson!! He talks about "Letting the man know his worth"!! this is why i think parents push so much. I hear this from my parents all the time that!! That they just want to make sure that we reach our full potential!! But this ends going to far most of the time resulting in the "helicopter"!!

KateP said...

I completely agree with what rachel just said about how your siblings make a difference with how your parents treat you. I feel like my parents hover more over me since I am the youngest, and they don't want me to make the same mistakes as my older brother and sister made.

sabrinad said...

Megan,
Not to answer Matt's question for him but I agree with him and I believe they pushed him away because... Number one they provided him with everything he needed (or atleast thats the perspective I got) and he had the longing to get these things for himself. I also feel they pushed him away becuase they wanted him to succeed so badly and maybe he was afraid to fail and needed a break. Now some of this presure could have been self imposed but I think those who are around us play a huge part in our goals.

alexf said...

Regarding the inner circle,
Yes, I think that it is a little funny how people always swear that they’ll never be like their parents…but of course, they are (generalizing). Isn’t it odd, though, how they do this? Is it maybe because they realized that they are a good person and think that, because their parents raised them and they turned out fine, that it was a good technique and subconsciously start parenting like their own parents?

amyw said...

I'm an only child. I'm the only one my parents have. They used to be more protective but they've been letting go more and more. In a good way, though. They aren't becoming underprotective or anything.

Oliviak said...

Hovercraft parents keep kids from doing what Emerson says “Good and Bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.” We aren’t able to get our own morals like Emerson says to do.

roser said...

Emerson says, "...limitation is suicide..." This conrtadicts the protective parents that limit them all the time.

meganu said...

sabrinad- I completely agree with you. I think that because his parents gave him everything that he wanted and pretty much were helicopter parents, he didn't find his purpose in life. That's why he went to live on his own off the land in Alaska. He wanted to be able to prove to himself that he can achieve everything he wants without help from his parents. It was all about finding fulfillment in his life.

marissas said...

This is Karly-

“None but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried”

I think that by being over involved in a child’s life parents are hindering the child’s ability to discover what they are able to accomplish by themselves. I also think that it is the responsibility of the children to prove to there parents that they are capable of making wise discisions on their own.

alexf said...

MattN~
Great quote, by the way. But didn’t he also say that no one but oneself can discover his own true potential?! So why, then, do parents keep trying to discover your potential when that is impossible? Huh. (That wasn’t contradicting you, I just thought of the later part of the quote).

amyw said...

With what the inner circle was saying: my mom talks all the time about how she wants to be the direct opposite of her mom. It's like a huge goal. But when you try so hard, do you achieve this or not?

MattN said...

AlexF: I agree, and atleast for my parents, i think they want to re-live their childhood and are way to clingy!!

marissas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marissas said...

This is Karly-
Mrs. Swith used the word "nosey"
This is a good way to describe some helocopter parents. My parents are able to look at my text messages online and they never even told me they were doing this. Because they do that I don't trust them as much because I feel like they don't respsct my privacy.