A story on TV tonight almost made me gag; parents borrowing money they can’t afford to borrow, going in debt to send their precious little ones to private schools. Really?

The gamble is to get their child a head start on other kids in public schools with the hope they will raise an Einstein and they will receive enough scholarship money when the kid enters college that the parents won’t have any out-of-pocket expenses then; invest now, reap the benefits later.

Have parents lost their minds? The story shows a parent picking up an extra job just to pay the loan when she should be home with her kids, husband. What’s wrong with having a balanced family. Or, raise a kid without a family, they get the smarts, and end up divorced because they don’t understand the value of a family.

In today’s world parents are either too tied up in their work or their own life, and don’t devote time to kids and spouses, thus the larger number of divorces.

Parents buy toys for kids that have to solve math problems, have animals talk to them so they can wait in earnest for their first words; then they become teenagers and won’t shut up! Parents ‘push’ their kids to excel. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, but after a day in school they push them to dance class, gymnastics, horseback riding, sports, not just one of two a year, but for each season and in between.

When does a child have time to be a human being and just play by themselves, or a few friends? Everything is organized for them, no wonder when they grow up they don’t know how to wipe their behind.

I grew up playing ‘pick-up’ games of football, baseball, war games, cowboys and Indians, get a bunch of kids and go at it; no yelling from parents if you struck out, fumbled the ball, or missed a tackle. No one to coach us, we learned by watching the better players.

Granted our school system was excellent; our graduates went on to become great leaders in many respected fields; not everyone was expected to go to college. My generation worked odd jobs after school and on week-ends, boys and girls. Our time wasn’t spent riding horses, taking piano lessons, etc. Nothing wrong with culture, but not every day, every week!

My generation graduated people who knew how to work; not the case today. Kids are too pampered by their parents, too protected, not allowed to fall on their face without their parents picking them up off the floor.

I say guide your kids, but give them some flexibility; cut the cord!



  1. Good article Frank.
    It sure is different today, that’s for sure! My youngest is 17 and I have tried to raise both of my children more the way we were raised than the way people raise their kids today. No computer or video games. Vehicle when I need them to have it not at their convenience. Chores and responsibilities at home in exchange for food and shelter. The biggest problem is kids that are raised right go to school and spend time with the spoiled kids and then wonder why they don’t have all of this stuff. It is a battle but I will not quit. Social values, morals, work ethic, and common sense will get you a lot farther than an overpriced and overrated college education! Just my opinion not saying it is right.

  2. John I think all of we parents who give tough love instead of trying to be the nice guy; I can’t count the number of times my kids came home with ‘ well such and such can stay out till…they got a new car, but after a few years they knew we weren’t playing that game followed our game plan and guess what; they are raising their kids the same way. Rewarding.

  3. Frank- I think some of this is a generational evolution. As far as all the extracurricular acticvities, I know it did not exist in my parents’ generation for sure. There is nothing wrong with folks wanting the best for their children- we all do. But there is a fine line between doing the best for your child and doing too much. It’s important that kids know their parents have lives too, and exist to be more than just props, procurers and couriers for them. And we are doing these children no favors either, if the under 30 workforce available today is any indication. Human resouce and labor publications are packed with articles pointing out the difficulties in managing these young folks who have vastly different behaviors and expectations than any other generation. ( and yes, this is a generalization- I know lots of under 30s who are exemplary employees)

    As for the education, the only reasonable explanation for a parent to go in debt for private schooling would be a disfunctional and ineffective- or extremely dangerous -school, because there is a real value to family time that no amount of private schooling can replace otherwise.

    • Lynda I like what you say; in some instances educating a child can be a catch 22 situition especially inner city schools. We spend more per capital per student in this country than anyplace in the world, yet the quality we are producing in my estimination is failing. So are we separating those who can afford a better education from those who can’t and assuring those who can’t failure; just a question.
      It’s a sad day when our education system is forcing parents to make this financial sacrafice.

  4. That is a lot of pressure to put on a child; at the same time a wonderful expression of love and faith in a child”s abilty to succeed. Those are parents who truly put their money where their mouth’s are They walk the talk!

  5. Excellent article and comments. I had this all put into perspective while attending a lecture about 25 years ago given by Morris Massey. His subject was “What you are is where you where when”. In his lecture he talked about the generational differences and how the they affected, in general, people’s decision making. One example I remember was about a business that was having quality problems with it’s products. To counter this, they announced that if you had quality problems you would be sent home for the rest of the shift without pay. What happened next? The young people who valued their time off continued to make mistakes and maybe more than before. The older people took the policy both as an affront and a chance to lose pay, thus they worked even harder to prevent mistakes. I understand Dr. (PH.D.) Massey is still around and has continued to address the differences in work forces as they have continued to change over the years

      • Frank, this just opens another whole can of worms. The 2 large retailers that managed for always had the secret philosophy of; Hire the mature applicants first they have better work ethic and are not late for work or sick all the time! And it was true! I don’t know how many younger workers that I terminated because of missed time and tardiness but, these were excuses for termination most of the time they younger ones just did not care, had no heart and no work ethic !!!!

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