Author Topic: Social class, kids, and future opportunities  (Read 5396 times)

Chesleygirl

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2017, 07:37:29 PM »
I did not explain this well. This was my DH's life experience. He went to a somewhat elite boys school. He got in because he is really smart. His parents, a teacher and a social worker believed in getting their child the best education they could but they did not have much money. My DH cleaned the lunchroom after school to help pay for his HIGH SCHOOL education. His classmates parents were physicians, attorneys and business owners (including a local sports team). A few kids came from families where their parents were third generation of money and didn't work at all.
These folks have ALL the connections. Need a college recommendation? Need a job? Someone always knows someone. My DH can walk the walk and talk the talk. He can and does fit in. But he doesn't feel like that's him, that those are his people. He got a great education, and tons of college money because he went to a fantastic school. And he has used those connections to get jobs. But despite all that he doesn't want to put our kids through that feeling of not really fitting in. We have chosen a more middle class/ maybe upper middle class lifestyle for them.

I feel the same way. I came from working class parents and it was very hard for me to fit in with children of people who were so wealthy, they didn't even have to work at all. I decided I didn't want my kids living in some super wealthy neighborhood or going to some elite private school.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 07:39:16 PM by Chesleygirl »

bogart

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2017, 08:09:27 PM »
My parents have done absolutely zero fancy socialising during my life, but the manners and habits handed down have come down to me. I know how to sit properly, which knife to use, which words are vulgar, how to wear black tie...

Yes, this is exactly true.  Actually I was laughing at myself even as I wrote the reply in which I said, "I had the same reaction to this and various other bits of this thread...," because -- well, look at the language and sentence structure I used there.  I mean, it's perfectly naturally my own, but it's also blatantly and obviously "upper class" (or at least middle class), I mean, I use the pronoun "one" in there.  I have to admit I wondered if anyone would call me out on that, but apparently not -- well, other than (now) me.

Nords

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2017, 10:21:32 PM »
I do think I need to get my kid in cotillion.  The 11 year  old has horrible table manners.
"Mom, Dad, when I grow up I want to be a submariner!"

"Now hold on, kid, think about what you're saying.  You'll have to choose one or the other."
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Hadilly

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2017, 11:02:10 PM »
This might be an interesting book for you to read as you contemplate class switching for your kids: The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class
https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10933.html

I am waiting for it to come in at the library, so I can't give a first hand review yet!

waltworks

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #54 on: November 06, 2017, 11:18:06 AM »
To be blunt, you probably want to live in the highest-income area you can afford, if you want your kids to be around high-achieving/high expectations peers.

Sure, there are plenty of poor rural kids that are great and do awesome in life, just like there are rich kids who end up dead in the gutter after OD'ing.

But statistically, most of the poor kids don't do great, and most of the rich kids do.

There is more to life than making money and getting advanced degrees, of course. But it sounds like raising your kids in the environment you were raised in isn't your goal at this point.

-W

jeninco

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #55 on: November 06, 2017, 12:14:07 PM »
To be blunt, you probably want to live in the highest-income area you can afford, if you want your kids to be around high-achieving/high expectations peers.

Sure, there are plenty of poor rural kids that are great and do awesome in life, just like there are rich kids who end up dead in the gutter after OD'ing.

But statistically, most of the poor kids don't do great, and most of the rich kids do.

There is more to life than making money and getting advanced degrees, of course. But it sounds like raising your kids in the environment you were raised in isn't your goal at this point.

-W

I disagree -- at some point you climb over the high point of the expectations curve and then the kids have far too much entirely unsupervised time and available cash for expensive recreational drugs'n'stuff. And weird expectations about expensive cars and clothing.

I'd suggest finding a college community and exploring where the academic parents send their children to school. Because what I think everyone (here) wants is schools where the clear expectation is for all the kids to take their education seriously and where there's community support to help as many kids as possible achieve academically (and "non-academically," i.e sports, music, arts, etc.). Bonus points if the community also takes seriously the obligation to help the kids grow up into good people.

Our experience is that you need a solid percentage of educated, involved parents with high expectations, but as the SES level gets too high the parents are uninvolved, because they're off earning boatloads of money and/or living their own lives, rather then raising their children.

Educated, involved parents is the thing. A community that values education will support all its students.

Thanks, Nords! That took me at least three times to appreciate.

mm1970

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #56 on: November 06, 2017, 01:01:00 PM »
...I mean, country club?  For real?

I had the same reaction to this and various other bits of this thread...

I had the same reaction as you all. In my experience, only new-money newly elevated UMC care about how much money you have or what social clubs you belong to. 

The country clubs in my area (a relatively wealthy, affluent one) are dying. We've been subtly approached independently from two verbally offering to reduce their six figure joining fee to a low five figures.  Wow, what a bargain! /s
I did not explain this well. This was my DH's life experience. He went to a somewhat elite boys school. He got in because he is really smart. His parents, a teacher and a social worker believed in getting their child the best education they could but they did not have much money. My DH cleaned the lunchroom after school to help pay for his HIGH SCHOOL education. His classmates parents were physicians, attorneys and business owners (including a local sports team). A few kids came from families where their parents were third generation of money and didn't work at all.
These folks have ALL the connections. Need a college recommendation? Need a job? Someone always knows someone. My DH can walk the walk and talk the talk. He can and does fit in. But he doesn't feel like that's him, that those are his people. He got a great education, and tons of college money because he went to a fantastic school. And he has used those connections to get jobs. But despite all that he doesn't want to put our kids through that feeling of not really fitting in. We have chosen a more middle class/ maybe upper middle class lifestyle for them.
THAT makes a lot more sense.

mm1970

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #57 on: November 06, 2017, 01:02:48 PM »
I do think I need to get my kid in cotillion.  The 11 year  old has horrible table manners.
"Mom, Dad, when I grow up I want to be a submariner!"

"Now hold on, kid, think about what you're saying.  You'll have to choose one or the other."

Ha ha ha ha.  Every once in awhile, I tell him "1-800-USA-NAVY" when he talks about wanting to go to Cal Tech.  Thank you NROTC, that's where we got our college money!

Nords

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #58 on: November 06, 2017, 01:13:55 PM »
Thanks, Nords! That took me at least three times to appreciate.

I do think I need to get my kid in cotillion.  The 11 year  old has horrible table manners.
"Mom, Dad, when I grow up I want to be a submariner!"

"Now hold on, kid, think about what you're saying.  You'll have to choose one or the other."

Ha ha ha ha.  Every once in awhile, I tell him "1-800-USA-NAVY" when he talks about wanting to go to Cal Tech.  Thank you NROTC, that's where we got our college money!
That joke's probably been around since Rickover was a midshipman, but I knew it wouldn't be too subtle for this crowd!
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waltworks

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #59 on: November 06, 2017, 01:37:02 PM »
I disagree -- at some point you climb over the high point of the expectations curve and then the kids have far too much entirely unsupervised time and available cash for expensive recreational drugs'n'stuff. And weird expectations about expensive cars and clothing.

This is basically just a stereotype, though. Drug/alcohol use rates don't vary much by income level, at least in the US.

I'm sure you can find rich spoiled kids that are raised by nannies and expect their inheritance at 18 and don't care about anything but video games and drugs. But they're not representative of rich people's children in any meaningful way, they just make for satisfying schadenfreude/stock characters for Lifetime movies.

I live in a community that is 80% millionaires, with many 10 and 100 millionaires (and more) mixed in. It is a small place, so I know many of them pretty well (those that have kids, very well, since my wife and I spend ~20-30 hours a week volunteering at school and community events). They are generally super involved and have very high expectations of their children. The schools regularly win awards and are considered the best in the state. I'm not sure what you mean by "unsupervised time" but if anything the kids seem overscheduled/in too many activities/helicopter parented, to me.

Every kid is going to face drugs/alcohol eventually, basically no matter who they go to school with.

-W
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 01:46:09 PM by waltworks »

Chesleygirl

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #60 on: November 06, 2017, 03:17:36 PM »
I disagree -- at some point you climb over the high point of the expectations curve and then the kids have far too much entirely unsupervised time and available cash for expensive recreational drugs'n'stuff. And weird expectations about expensive cars and clothing.

This is basically just a stereotype, though. Drug/alcohol use rates don't vary much by income level, at least in the US.

I'm sure you can find rich spoiled kids that are raised by nannies and expect their inheritance at 18 and don't care about anything but video games and drugs. But they're not representative of rich people's children in any meaningful way, they just make for satisfying schadenfreude/stock characters for Lifetime movies.


I agree.

jeninco

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #61 on: November 06, 2017, 03:49:46 PM »
I disagree -- at some point you climb over the high point of the expectations curve and then the kids have far too much entirely unsupervised time and available cash for expensive recreational drugs'n'stuff. And weird expectations about expensive cars and clothing.

This is basically just a stereotype, though. Drug/alcohol use rates don't vary much by income level, at least in the US.

I'm sure you can find rich spoiled kids that are raised by nannies and expect their inheritance at 18 and don't care about anything but video games and drugs. But they're not representative of rich people's children in any meaningful way, they just make for satisfying schadenfreude/stock characters for Lifetime movies.


I agree.

OK, I might be overgeneralizing based on recent experiences (it was a long weekend), but I didn't say anything about nannies and video games... I was going to provide more details, but since the OP has small children and I'm looking at a batch of HS students, I think I won't horrify anyone more than necessary. However, the really, really rich kids do have fancier drugs. (Not that there's not something available at every price range, alas. And alcohol is pretty much always available.)

In any case, I still recommend a university town if you want a place that generally values education and has engaged parents.

me1

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #62 on: November 06, 2017, 05:15:05 PM »
apparently while cigarette use is increased with lower socio-economic class, drug and alcohol use is the opposite among young adults...
so says science. sometimes anecdotal evidence is... just anecdotes.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3410945/

waltworks

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #63 on: November 06, 2017, 05:46:37 PM »
Interesting study. Here's the thing, though - it's just saying that college students (I am shocked! Shocked!) do drugs and drink. Nothing more, no matter how much the authors might hope you don't read between the lines (and the discussion where they pretty much admit this).

The study is of *young adults* (18-23), not kids. Hmm, what do the kids of wealthy/educated parents tend to do during that time? Watch out! Those kids with PhD parents sure do get after the weed! Better not go to grad school...oh, wait, maybe their kids are *in college* and hence smoking more weed than the kids who aren't...

Here's your money quote (from the study): "In addition, certain contexts more likely to be accessible for young adults from relatively higher family SES backgrounds, such as universities, are especially supportive of excessive alcohol and marijuana use"

Duh.

Why on earth wasn't there a "is enrolled in or recently left college" dummy variable? Probably because it would have completely wiped out these results. Social scientists, ugh. According to this study, you should avoid being around educated people along with wealthy people! It's a pretty pathetic excuse for science, but hey, it got published.

I stand by my comments. Live somewhere where you are surrounded by successful people. You can certainly define that by educational achievement (college towns) rather than just wealth, but they tend to go together. Your kids will probably get wasted and smoke weed in college. Just like... you did. And they'll be fine.

-W
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 06:18:53 PM by waltworks »

Letj

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #64 on: November 06, 2017, 08:44:11 PM »
Once again, I will voice an opinion that is in the minority and cheer you on to climb the social ladder as much as your budget will comfortably allow, and possibly even more.

As the proud parent of a baby girl, it is likely I will go off the deep end in spoiling her.  My great grandfather had to take care of 8 kids and my grandfather had to take care of five kids.  When you split an income in that many slices there isn't much to go around.  Now my wife and I have two incomes to funnel down to one child for the foreseeable future and I want to rocket her to the upper middle class and further if possible.

I've already got it in my head to plan on moving in about ten years to a more exclusive area aiming before she goes to middle school.  The high schools here are relatively equal which means there is a lot of riff raff with everyone else. 

I'm not convinced on the value of economic diversity in the school/community when low economic prospects are correlated with low behavioral prospects.  Even if economic diversity is better for the community as a whole, it is not in my interest to avoid economic segregation from the lower classes.

One thing I noticed is I grew up middle class and my wife grew up poor.  This is already leading to a conflict of values in future planning.  I want to instill the belief that college is mandatory and I will pay for it, while she says that college is optional. 

You say you grew up on the poor side.  Is that true for your husband as well?  How does this discussion differ when parents have different upbringings?
Agree 100%. My objective has always been to keep my children away from the riff raff.

FLBiker

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #65 on: November 07, 2017, 01:42:25 PM »
When I was a kid, we were in a pretty working class neighborhood outside of Boston.  I really liked it.  Dad was getting started as a doctor, though, and we soon moved to a upper middle class suburb.  It sucked.  Kids were super judgmental about lots of consumerish things and because the lots were so big (1 acre) nothing was walkable.  I also went to an expensive, highly regarded private university (Dad's job got us free tuition).  I made 0 connections, but did develop a pretty sturdy alcohol / drug habit.  So who knows?

DW and I are planning to raise DD in a diverse, middle-class suburb.  And she'll go to public schools, unless that doesn't seem to be working.  Sometimes, though, we think about running away to a Buddhist intentional community.  We shall see. :)

Rubic

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #66 on: November 07, 2017, 07:02:55 PM »
Agree 100%. My objective has always been to keep my children away from the riff raff.

So you'll keep them from going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 07:04:59 PM by Rubic »

mousebandit

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2017, 08:47:01 AM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone.  Since I started the post, I've done more reading on the social classes, and have thought much more about what sort of future I envision for my kids.  I don't anticipate trying to make a jump to upper class, even if that became an option, lol.  After a lot more thought and reading, I don't think prep schools or elite private schools would be something we'd be looking for. 

I absolutely do intend to take them out of where we currently live, and the overwhelmingly low class population here.  I don't think I understood the distinctions between lower middle class and upper middle class, and the interaction of secondary education and household and individual income.  I think before I just looked at income, and location. 

For those that caught that I was describing how I had been thinking, and that I am now re-examining everything, thank you. 

I have realized that I've lived most of my life operating out of fear, lots of different fears.  And I don't want to program all those fears into my children.  I want them to view the world as a place of adventure and opportunity, not as a big, dangerous world of us vs them, where them can and does take on any number of real or imagined potential enemies.  What a waste of energy! 

We will continue to homeschool them, that is a big priority for me.  And I am much more open, to say the least, to the idea of college for them.  I will be exploring that issue in depth. 

I've been looking around with a much more critical eye, and seeing how ses factors into self-selection in many of the social groups and interactions.  Our little town doesn't provide any basis for comparison, since what little is available is based on free, government subsidized programs.  But the next "big town" over has more options, and I see how the families with better ses choose the programs that require private pay, and thereby self-select a different group of kids for their children to associate with. 

I am also opening up to some very different views about cities and their benefits and values.  While I still doubt that I would ever personally prefer to live in or very near a city, I am tracking the benefits of career opportunities and cultural opportunities that congregate in the cities.  For whatever reason, I either never made that connection before, or simply discounted it altogether. 

The husband and I will be selling our little homestead in the backwoods, probably in the spring, and deciding where to go from here.  There will likely be a pit-stop in or outside of the "big town", where he has another 18 months on this job, but from there we will hopefully be open to go wherever we decide will be the best fit for our family. 

Involving the kids in more group activities will be on the agenda for the next couple of years, and it will be important to us to make sure that those groups are predominantly middle class.  As my children get closer to their teenage years, I want their social groups to reflect the values that a college education is the norm, and that a lifestyle of government dependence and multi-generational drug addiction is abhorrent.  (For those talking about kids smoking pot in college, please realize there are huge differences in third-generation drug addicts, the new canniabis industry, and kids drinking and smoking pot in college.)

Deciding on a geographic location for the next phase in our life will be a big decision.  We have some loose parameters, but it will mostly depend on where we feel can provide the best environment for our kids, as they head towards adulthood, and all the things that factor into that.

I appreciate the thoughts and comments!  Thank you!

Meesh

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #68 on: November 09, 2017, 11:58:35 PM »
I think one of the biggest differences between middle class and upper middle class is attitude towards education.

Upper middle class lives a life like the wealthy but they have to work to obtain it, whereas the wealthy have money in the bank. They are usually families of professionals and those with education after undergrad. Because they want there children to have the life they set out for them but know they can't provide it for them once they are adults, they put immense pressure on their children to go to college and often to pursue lucrative careers. They also take pride in going to the top universities for their alumni programs and connections to get those better paying jobs.

It's my understanding that the middle class encourages children to go to college in general. They know how much college can open doors, but not much about alumni programs. They encourage going to school since many jobs now require a degree off the bat, but college is less focused on specialization. It's more seen as another step needed to make it.

That being said I think once one leaves neighborhoods that are truly struggling, which equates to more poor behavior in kids and more drugs, the amount of "riff raff" is about the same. The drugs change, lower is meth but UMC has a lot of coke and ritalin. Kids make bad choices everywhere. People who want the best for their children at any class level do not tolerate hard drugs, but one could argue that at a lower level, parents can be under many different pressures and more kids, unfortunately, slip through the cracks.

Private extra currics are a great way to meet families that want good and healthy things for their children. As a homeschooling mom myself this is how we met all our friends! lol

As an aside, I'm pretty surprised you seem worried about liberals and anti-Christians. I'm a non-Christian liberal (don't hate me!) and everyone I know in my suburban area is a conservative Christian, though that might be because I'm a homeschooler and a member of the YMCA... That being said, I think you'd be surprised how much your values will align with mine and maybe even some other crazy liberals lol. Hard work, honesty, charity, respect, good education, good health, family, good citizenship, anti-consumerism are all things I teach my child and value... I believe neither liberal, nor conservative are a-moral, just that they disagree on how best to go about fixing problems for the nation.

Don't be afraid to meet new people, there are good people at every class level, religion, race and political spectrum. Just because someone doesn't have everything in common with you doesn't mean they have nothing in common with you. I'm an upper middle class minority non-Christian liberal. On paper we probably have nothing in common. But looking further we are both homeschoolers, both want our kids far away from bad influences, are anti-consumerist, love nature and want to retire early. That's actually a lot!

Edited: for grammatical errors ack
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 09:39:22 AM by Meesh »

Kathryn K.

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #69 on: November 10, 2017, 10:04:05 AM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone.  Since I started the post, I've done more reading on the social classes, and have thought much more about what sort of future I envision for my kids.  I don't anticipate trying to make a jump to upper class, even if that became an option, lol.  After a lot more thought and reading, I don't think prep schools or elite private schools would be something we'd be looking for. 

I absolutely do intend to take them out of where we currently live, and the overwhelmingly low class population here.  I don't think I understood the distinctions between lower middle class and upper middle class, and the interaction of secondary education and household and individual income.  I think before I just looked at income, and location. 

For those that caught that I was describing how I had been thinking, and that I am now re-examining everything, thank you. 

Mousebandit, a big kudos to you for being so open-minded and willing to revisit long-held beliefs and assumptions.  I think what you outline sounds like a great approach - as you say, no need to shoot for upper class; just a solidly middle class area will do a lot for giving your kids a solid foundation and good role models and peers.

mousebandit

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #70 on: November 10, 2017, 10:31:04 AM »
Meesh, you summed up all the things I've been seeing!  Yep, yep!  And the conservative, Christian values and fears of colleges and liberals, all that is how I've always lived, but it's all in flux.  Actually, being a part of these forums the last few years has had tremendous influence.  As silly as it sounds, in my very limited, very rigid religious circles, the impression i came away with was that outside of solid, ultra conservative Christianity, kids were pretty much doomed to a life of poor choices, moral compromises, broken marriages, blah blah blah.  And living in this drug dive, the only kids who seem to survive are the Christians, and the few whose parents give up and move away when they hit middle school or high school.  There's just no proper basis for comparison. 

And then came mmm forums, full of liberal, progressive democrats, who make smart financial decisions and loathe trump, lol.  And they seem to have good marriages, in fact, I hear a lot less about divorce and marital discord here than I do in my religious circles.  And you raise kids, and they seem to get through their teens and even twenties without getting pregnant, or ODing, or wearing distasteful hats on their heads at protest rallies, lol.  They go to college, they sure sound like good, solid productive people.  And I can't help but see all this, and start to think my worldview is not only severely limited, like peephole limited, but I've probably been fed a lot of propaganda along the way as well. 

So yes, the wheels have been turning slowly these last few years, but they're in motion now, and I'm getting a much wider viewpoint, and I intend to keep broadening that.  There was a post on here a while back about losing ones religion, there's me in the corner, and it sooo resonated with me.  I've got a long, long road ahead of me to figure things out, and get my thinking straightened out, but at least now I feel like the blinders have been pulled off, and I can actually see the genuine landscape. 

So thank you to the mmm community, for being real, and sharing not just your budgets here, but your personal lives and thought processes.  You never know who's watching you, and the positive impact you might have on them,  their kids, and generations to come.

BeanCounter

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #71 on: November 10, 2017, 10:33:26 AM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone.  Since I started the post, I've done more reading on the social classes, and have thought much more about what sort of future I envision for my kids.  I don't anticipate trying to make a jump to upper class, even if that became an option, lol.  After a lot more thought and reading, I don't think prep schools or elite private schools would be something we'd be looking for. 

I absolutely do intend to take them out of where we currently live, and the overwhelmingly low class population here.  I don't think I understood the distinctions between lower middle class and upper middle class, and the interaction of secondary education and household and individual income.  I think before I just looked at income, and location. 

For those that caught that I was describing how I had been thinking, and that I am now re-examining everything, thank you. 

Mousebandit, a big kudos to you for being so open-minded and willing to revisit long-held beliefs and assumptions.  I think what you outline sounds like a great approach - as you say, no need to shoot for upper class; just a solidly middle class area will do a lot for giving your kids a solid foundation and good role models and peers.
+1
Mousebandit, your last post was really good and it got me thinking about some things too.

jeninco

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #72 on: November 10, 2017, 11:29:20 AM »
Meesh, thanks for your thoughtful addition. Like you, we're non-Christian progressives, but rather than homeschooling our kids are enrolled in (pretty decent) local schools. And I do a bunch of volunteering in both the middle and high schools, so I'm pretty plugged into much of what's going on there.

I have noticed that one of the families with whom we share many basic values (this is Meesh's list:
Hard work, honesty, charity, respect, good education, good health, family, good citizenship, anti-consumerism) are an upper-middle class Mexican Catholic family. (They're now US Citizens, but the parents grew up in Mexico.) We have loads more in common with them then with many of the other families that live here in Hippistan (we met them when our kids were playing soccer together, and they were our best "values-match" of families on the team). But there are other families in town with whom we share values as well -- we just need to have the conversations, instead of avoiding them.

Mousebandit, I'd love to meet you in person sometime -- and thanks for the reminder not to judge people based on their apparent politics/religion.  I forget sometimes, too, and it's useful to be nudged every so often.

Laura33

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #73 on: November 10, 2017, 12:16:17 PM »
And then came mmm forums, full of liberal, progressive democrats, who make smart financial decisions and loathe trump, lol.  And they seem to have good marriages, in fact, I hear a lot less about divorce and marital discord here than I do in my religious circles.  And you raise kids, and they seem to get through their teens and even twenties without getting pregnant, or ODing, or wearing distasteful hats on their heads at protest rallies, lol.  They go to college, they sure sound like good, solid productive people.

And some of us even bring our daughters to said protest rallies and buy her the t-shirt.  :-)
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Undecided

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #74 on: November 10, 2017, 10:22:58 PM »
we had never anticipated college for the kids, in part because of what we saw as the liberal anti-Christian influence there
I'm going to assume from this statement that neither you or your spouse ever went to college. Not sure where you are getting this viewpoint, but "college" in the United States includes a very wide variety of institutions with students from more types of backgrounds and belief systems than you might imagine. I attended an elite school as an undergrad, a good regional school for graduate work and was employed for several years at a rapidly growing university. Faculty and students bring their perspectives and beliefs to class with them. There is no single perspective offered by ANY college, no matter how "liberal" they may look from the outside.

I agree. There are lots of colleges, including Christian colleges that tend to be more conservative. Wide variety out there.

Thatís true, and maybe offers a way to take a positive step, but as an avowedly liberal anti-Christian, I would also encourage the OP to consider that maybe thatís not such a bad crowd, either.

Sunnysof

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #75 on: November 10, 2017, 11:47:24 PM »
This was my ideal high school experience that I would love to reproduce for my kids but don't know if it's possible anymore: a magnet academic public high school that is primarily populated by immigrant kids from working class families that value education (think tiger moms but less obsessed about Ivy League being from Canada) and non-immigrant middle class kids whose families are either academics or government/professionals. So not too much wealth and consumerism, but most are not worrying about paying the bills, and 100% are college bound. From my view 25 years after graduation, most of my classmates are solidly employed in professions, not too many are millionaires, not too many became addicts. Going to "nerd high" may not have been cool at the time, but it was a great place to grow up and be yourself and make good friends.

waltworks

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #76 on: November 11, 2017, 07:16:12 AM »
You can have that experience in the United States. Move to Los Alamos, NM. Cheap housing, best public schools in the country, lots of fun stuff to do in the outdoors. Little or no rich snobbery.

As an aside, I have always been baffled by the "my kids will get corrupted at college and lose their religion" thing. College is full of all kinds of people, including many religious ones. If your faith is so easily ruined by being exposed to new ideas... maybe it wasn't that important to you to begin with.

-W
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 07:53:20 AM by waltworks »

Laura33

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #77 on: November 11, 2017, 09:19:25 AM »
This was my ideal high school experience that I would love to reproduce for my kids but don't know if it's possible anymore: a magnet academic public high school that is primarily populated by immigrant kids from working class families that value education (think tiger moms but less obsessed about Ivy League being from Canada) and non-immigrant middle class kids whose families are either academics or government/professionals. So not too much wealth and consumerism, but most are not worrying about paying the bills, and 100% are college bound. From my view 25 years after graduation, most of my classmates are solidly employed in professions, not too many are millionaires, not too many became addicts. Going to "nerd high" may not have been cool at the time, but it was a great place to grow up and be yourself and make good friends.

You know what's interesting is that I realized this very much describes my first-ring suburban public HS in a MC/UMC neighborhood (although it's probably only 60-70% going to college, with another 10-20% following a defined "trade" path that may or may not require post-HS work).  We have a fair number of immigrants who are all about hard work and are pretty much adamant that their kids will get an education and have better opportunities; we have a lot of government workers since we are close to several state capitals/agencies and various government-supported scientific institutions; we have a fair number of people in the trades and "typical" MC jobs, because a nurse and a fireman's salary can get you a nice home in a decent school district; OTOH, the homes generally cost too much for there to be a high percentage of the very poor; and then on the high end, we're not nearly posh enough to attract the flamboyant new money, and not nearly private/horsey enough to attract the old money set.  So it's a lot of People Like Us in terms of values, and yet a whole wide variety of races/religions/backgrounds/ethnicities/orientations/cultures/creeds/etc.
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Meesh

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #78 on: November 11, 2017, 11:33:17 AM »
And living in this drug dive, the only kids who seem to survive are the Christians, and the few whose parents give up and move away when they hit middle school or high school.  There's just no proper basis for comparison. 

It's not surprising that in low income areas with little opportunities, the Christian community is the one that raises good kids. People need a guide and the Bible can be a good one. But it is not the ONLY guide to teaching good values. A book on ethics, an amazing teacher, other religious texts, simply extreme introspection can all be great ways to help people become good parents, and there are a massive amount of people out there who use them. The other part of the equation is a community of people wanting a good life for their families and that doesn't necessarily need to be a religious group (even those in the same church don't always agree exactly on ethics!).

Move to the bigger town you mentioned and go to church, put the kids in an extra curricular or two, when they get bored put them in something else, add a homeschool class or co-op. Slowly build you own personal community by meeting new people. I make it a goal to at least have a conversation with every mom in my son's classes (this is hard for me I'm extremely shy). Some will click, some will become nice acquaintances. Obviously the more diverse the area the more diverse your personal community will become.

We define ourselves by who we are, but mostly we do that by looking at who we are not. If you see only families who don't take care of their kids and families who do are all good Christians, its natural to cling to that community and mindset. I like to think meeting people different from us helps us understand the more complex questions of who we are. We really look at a specific concept and decide if what previous us believed is true or not to us still. Sometimes those things don't change, and sometimes they do. I was raised in a Christian household and I obviously do not consider myself one anymore. My parent's were also very liberal and I still agree with many of those concepts, but not ALL of them. I had to take a deep look, then remember that these changes or re-definings do not make me a bad person just a different one or maybe a more honest one. More sure of who I am and want my family to be. I will teach my son things and I hope most will stick, but I'm realistic that not everything will because he is his own person. But if he grows up to be a well adjusted member of society I'll be happy with that. Even if *gasp* he becomes a conservative Christian.

Good luck on your journey and I hope you find what you are looking for.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 11:37:46 AM by Meesh »

Chesleygirl

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #79 on: November 11, 2017, 02:14:54 PM »
As an aside, I have always been baffled by the "my kids will get corrupted at college and lose their religion" thing. College is full of all kinds of people, including many religious ones. If your faith is so easily ruined by being exposed to new ideas... maybe it wasn't that important to you to begin with.

I agree.

startingsmall

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #80 on: November 11, 2017, 08:14:18 PM »

As an aside, I have always been baffled by the "my kids will get corrupted at college and lose their religion" thing. College is full of all kinds of people, including many religious ones. If your faith is so easily ruined by being exposed to new ideas... maybe it wasn't that important to you to begin with.



Yes. My husband grew up in a rural small town, in a very "churchy" family, with most of his friends being church friends. Then he went off to a state college with many more liberal students/professors than he had ever encountered before. His biology professor talked openly about evolution! Gasp!!

He questioned his faith... a lot. But those years of wrestling with his beliefs, questioning and re-evaluating everything he thought he knew, led him to a more mature and adult faith. Then, after earning Bachelor's degree in Biology, he went to seminary and became a pastor.

Questioning beliefs is a good thing, not a bad thing.

okits

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #81 on: November 12, 2017, 01:22:07 AM »
This was my ideal high school experience that I would love to reproduce for my kids but don't know if it's possible anymore: a magnet academic public high school that is primarily populated by immigrant kids from working class families that value education (think tiger moms but less obsessed about Ivy League being from Canada) and non-immigrant middle class kids whose families are either academics or government/professionals. So not too much wealth and consumerism, but most are not worrying about paying the bills, and 100% are college bound. From my view 25 years after graduation, most of my classmates are solidly employed in professions, not too many are millionaires, not too many became addicts. Going to "nerd high" may not have been cool at the time, but it was a great place to grow up and be yourself and make good friends.

You basically described my high school.  I agree, it was a pretty good environment.

Freedomin5

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #82 on: November 12, 2017, 05:36:01 AM »

As an aside, I have always been baffled by the "my kids will get corrupted at college and lose their religion" thing. College is full of all kinds of people, including many religious ones. If your faith is so easily ruined by being exposed to new ideas... maybe it wasn't that important to you to begin with.



Yes. My husband grew up in a rural small town, in a very "churchy" family, with most of his friends being church friends. Then he went off to a state college with many more liberal students/professors than he had ever encountered before. His biology professor talked openly about evolution! Gasp!!

He questioned his faith... a lot. But those years of wrestling with his beliefs, questioning and re-evaluating everything he thought he knew, led him to a more mature and adult faith. Then, after earning Bachelor's degree in Biology, he went to seminary and became a pastor.

Questioning beliefs is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Yes. The Bible even talks about that. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Our faith needs to be tested to be strengthened. I'm someone who spent the first 10 years or so of my life in lower middle class. Parents then worked their way up to upper middle class. My Christian faith survived private Christian elementary school, public high school, liberal arts public university, and private Christian university.

Elementary school taught me the basic tenets of faith, but seeing what the real world looks like in high school and college, and wrestling through the different points of view, solidified my faith. That was when I made my faith my own rather than blindly following whatever I had been spoon fed by parents/the church.

Edited to add: It sounds like the common theme in many of the responses is that valuing Education plays a big role in movement from a lower SES to s higher one, which was certainly true in my family's case as well.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 05:44:03 AM by Freedomin5 »

Psychstache

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #83 on: November 12, 2017, 07:28:25 AM »
This was my ideal high school experience that I would love to reproduce for my kids but don't know if it's possible anymore: a magnet academic public high school that is primarily populated by immigrant kids from working class families that value education (think tiger moms but less obsessed about Ivy League being from Canada) and non-immigrant middle class kids whose families are either academics or government/professionals. So not too much wealth and consumerism, but most are not worrying about paying the bills, and 100% are college bound. From my view 25 years after graduation, most of my classmates are solidly employed in professions, not too many are millionaires, not too many became addicts. Going to "nerd high" may not have been cool at the time, but it was a great place to grow up and be yourself and make good friends.
You might look for a school with a strong well supported AVID program. Not exactly what you are describing, but it sounds pretty close.

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AmberTheCat

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #84 on: November 12, 2017, 08:59:06 AM »
a few thoughts: ***TheSevenster in post #32 mentioned the book Class. I've read that - years ago- and its funny sort of true, sort of not. eg: wood floors - up one class notch. overweight - down one class notch. Funny tongue-in-cheek Book! thanks for reminding me about it.

**jenincolo -- Yep - i have 4 kids between 12-21. Curious to your story! I know what its like for them on weekends. very different than from young kiddos.

Each child is different and reacts differently. The edgy kids will find each other no matter what the economic diversity of the high school is; and the calmer, studious kids will find their group too- no matter what the school is like. 

I strongly think education is the tool to get out of the cyclical poverty cycle. Our city has a very poor urban inner-city area that keeps growing and growing. I wish those kiddos could get out of that and see there are better lifestyles through education. the kids that are bussed out to the suburbs can see there are other ways than their poverty cycles. I just dont know if teachers can talk about that all. . .

SO many thoughts on this all; but to economize on them; to the OP i say dont leave your kids in a poor, uneducated environment; try to live in a middle-zone neighborhood, save LOTS of money for college; and encourage your kids to study study study.

not young, but newbie here!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Social class, kids, and future opportunities
« Reply #85 on: November 12, 2017, 01:43:46 PM »
Ive really enjoyed reading updates on the OP. This sounds like an interesting and difficult time for you, but one which is hopefully opening your eyes to a wider world. You sound very thoughtful about all this, and we've sure given you a lot of opinions to think about!