LITS' advice for Chill Pill consumption

LineInTheSand

USCGA 2006
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It would appear that not only on this forum but also in "real life" that parents often take this whole "academy" thing more seriously than their kids.

I would relate it to "stage parents".

Here's what you need to remember, your kids know where they are. Believe it or not, they have respect for other service academy cadets/midshipmen, and they have that respect from others as well. They will soon live with the fact that people will freely give their opinions on policy, wars, and the military. They will talk about their service. There will be funny jokes back and forth, "Coasties", "Squids" and "Zoomies" will be used often. These rivalries will be most evident in their first year, as they often feel the need to prove themselves, but after they get comfortable in their uniforms, they will also be comfortable with their choice.

Do not feel the need to jump on people who do not respect academies, as if you defending your very own cadet or midshipmen has somehow saved the 200 year old institution they decided to attend. Don't feel the need to blurt out where your kids goes to "one up" someone else. When you go to academy functions, don't feel the need to boost your kid up by bragging about them to the other parents.

Parents more than anyone need to understand, your high performing son or daughter, who was a big fish in high school is now an average sized fish when compared to the other fish in the school.

This does not mean your son or daughter is any less impressive than he or she was before.

Take pride in what they do, and support them, but remember that it is their achievement (which I'm sure they'll give you credit for) and it's their life. You no longer need to fight their battles and you don't need to have their back, they have fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Coasties for that.
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
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It would appear that not only on this forum but also in "real life" that parents often take this whole "academy" thing more seriously than their kids.

Thank you, LITS, for cogent and on-target thoughts. From my experience on the Commandant's staff (and recipient of calls from overly-involved but loving parents that would absolutely mortify their sons and daughters) and as a sponsor mom (and recipient of calls about getting lawyers for their sons and daughters, or calling Congressmen, when beloved mid makes a mistake; or simply not understanding that sometimes, a C is a blessedly wonderful thing to have in plebe chem), your comments are solid.

The best parenting I see is the loving launch-'em-with-a-smile approach, encouraging them to solve their own roommate problems and take responsibility for their mistakes and deal with 2nd and 3rd order consequences. Experienced parents (parents of multiple mids/cadets, or those with a year or two under their belt) will know that the SA experience is a roller coaster, with magnified ups and downs. Taking a neutral, supportive stance that helps their mid or cadet address their own mood swings and create ways to deal with stress, is invaluable.
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
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Second and third order consequences

Had a PM about my reference to 2nd and 3rd order consequences in my post above. Common phrase in military circles when discussing strategy and tactics.
What I had in mind is a scenario where midshipman commits conduct offense and receives demerits, restriction of liberty, other penalties - immediate consequences. Second order consequences might include the fact, say, the 30 days' restriction runs right through Thanksgiving, and parents have already bought the ticket and planned the family events centering around errant mid. Mid must deal with that phone call home and other disruptions stemming from his original action. Third order might be down the road 1/C year, when amassed demerits (significant) might drag down the overall Order of Merit so that midshipman, though a model mid right now, might miss the cut for Marines, aviation, consideration for certain leadership positions and immediate post-graduate education. I counsel the mids to practice Operational Risk Management (ORM, as we fondly know it) to think through all the ripples that can spread out from one ill-timed decision. Getting caught drinking underage a week before spring break is just not good ORM.
To bring us back around to LITS' fine Chill Pill advice, parents get to be loving spectators as their midshipmen mature into adults capable of assessing risks, learning from their mistakes and working through consequences. The SAs are superb incubators of this process, an underpinning for leadership decisions they will make and model as junior officers.
 

Zaphod

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It would appear that not only on this forum but also in "real life" that parents often take this whole "academy" thing more seriously than their kids.

<Snip>

Do not feel the need to jump on people who do not respect academies, as if you defending your very own cadet or midshipmen has somehow saved the 200 year old institution they decided to attend. Don't feel the need to blurt out where your kids goes to "one up" someone else. When you go to academy functions, don't feel the need to boost your kid up by bragging about them to the other parents.

Parents more than anyone need to understand, your high performing son or daughter, who was a big fish in high school is now an average sized fish when compared to the other fish in the school.

This does not mean your son or daughter is any less impressive than he or she was before.

Take pride in what they do, and support them, but remember that it is their achievement (which I'm sure they'll give you credit for) and it's their life. You no longer need to fight their battles and you don't need to have their back, they have fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Coasties for that.

You know...... I seem to remember someone giving similar advice way back when....

:thumb:
 

jscam87

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Possible Parents Sticky (Both "Best Of Z" and "Chill Pill").
Might cut threads by 80%, but would reduce Red Cards and Banning too!
 
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