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The Alumni Blog : parent-child

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    My Mother the Spy

    Few and far between are the moments when a mother gets to be a fly on the wall. Seems like we’re either in it or out of it. We’re either in the room, covered in spit-up and dirty diapers and that toothless grin that makes you melt, or we’re hearing about the horrible thing that so-and-so said on the playground and wishing we were there to squeeze that kid’s face till his cheeks deflate. But rarely are we there, behind the scenes, able to watch our children navigate through life without them knowing we’re there. If your children are like mine, they can smell me a mile away. (Hopefully I smell like White Linen and Ivory Soap and fresh-made snickerdoodles....but I fear I smell like a mixture of burnt toast, Pine-Sol and cheese sticks.)

    It’s as if my sons have a radar built in their very souls that beeps when I’m near. They can spot me from a mile away – still with a big wave and a smile, thank God.

    But today,...

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    Posted by Mrs. Katie Mauro Zeigler on Sep 20 2011 10:08AM | 2 comments

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    The State of the Student: Home Rules vs. School Rules

    When your kids are little, you work hard to establish ‘home rules.’ You know, things like, “Remember to flush the toilet” or “This is a family, so everyone has to pitch in and do chores.” Garbage day is Monday, the cat needs to be fed every day, if you can’t see your floor, it’s time to clean your room, etc.

    Then, the day comes – more quickly than you can imagine – when your kid heads off to college. You (and your student) discover that there are now NEW rules…dorm rules, dining hall rules, new rules for friends, RA’s, professors. Suddenly, ‘home rules’ are obsolete.

    But here’s the big secret: The real difference between Home Rules and School Rules is that at college there are NO rules.

    No one to wake your kid up in the morning to make sure she gets to class. No one to oversee what or when he eats (or doesn’t eat). No one to check whether homework gets...

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    Posted by Charlene Scholtes Margot, M.A. on Sep 16 2011 7:06PM | 5 comments

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    The State of the Student: Take Back Our Kids

    With films like Race to Nowhere hyping up parental hysteria about pressure, stress and competition, it's time to take a step back and consider what is REALLY important for our kids. 

    Think back to a time when your children were little, perhaps to when they were in preschool. What did they like? Dinosaurs? Polly Pocket dolls? Playing on the swings at the park? Super Mario Bros.?

    Whatever, odds are that you can very clearly picture that child and his or her particular interests. You knew what they liked to do, what they liked to eat, what they liked to wear (or not wear). Bottom line, you KNEW your child. 

    And now you have a high schooler. What happened to that precious child, the one that could name all the dinosaurs or who loved the smell of rubber cement? The one who hated how socks felt on her feet? Or who waited for the sound of passing trains?

    How well ...

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    Posted by Charlene Scholtes Margot, M.A. on Aug 6 2011 5:03PM | 0 comments

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    State of the Student: See Ya, Mom!

    When your first child leaves for college, there is a gaping hole in your life. The child that you so carefully cared for and natured for 18+ years is suddenly gone. When your second child leaves home, the loss is less severe, since you know what to expect.

    When my youngest left for Stanford, I became a proverbial ‘empty nester.’ But, since we live just a baseball toss from the University, the change was more one of degree than substance. Somehow, the fact that home was just a few miles away meant that the separation (at least for me) did not carry the agony or grief of the first loss.

    And then something begins to happen. The house that seemed preternaturally quiet without the thumping sounds of hip hop music, mad dashes out to school, friends coming and going, etc. suddenly seems…peaceful. I could sleep in past 6:45 am. I could watch what I wanted on TV.  No more school lunches! And there was less laundry. Lots  less ...

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    Posted by Charlene Scholtes Margot, M.A. on Jul 24 2011 1:21PM | 0 comments