"There's a disease in that so many people are focused on 10 to 20 highly selective colleges that aren’t any better than 100 other colleges,” says Richard Weissbourd, a developmental psychologist and facutly director of MCC at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. If we don't crack this disease, this obsession, "we can't get rid of achievement pressure."
Psychologists say that both mothers and fathers should talk to their children about sex. But boys may be harder to reach—they’re often less communicative and responsive, and may not understand #MeToo issues or think they apply to them. Experts say The Talk should include the emotional ramifications of being sexually active, being sure your partner wants to have sex and is comfortable doing so before having sex, and the importance of not pressuring someone to have sex with you. The large majority of students who responded to an MCC survey said these types of conversations with their parents were influential.
MCC research suggests that most parents don’t talk to their boys or girls about making sure that their partner wants to have sex, not pressuring someone into sex, not having sex with someone who is incapacitated and other key aspects of consent. Parents may have “the talk” with their kids, but it’s often much more focused on preventing pregnancy and STDs than on preventing assault.
Linear rankings of many consumer products make sense: the undergraduate experience is too diverse and complex to be reduced in this way. Please, rank cars, rank vacations, rank stocks, rank hospitals, you can even continue to rank college towns if you need to, just don’t rank schools.
The deep infection of sexual harassment and misogyny in workplaces and communities across this country has erupted into a national conversation—one appallingly overdue. But we can't stop sexual harassment and misogyny in adulthood without addressing its deep roots in gender roles and expectations in childhood.
It is natural for parents to think their own sons would be incapable of sexual misconduct, but that does not absolve them of responsibility for educating their boys. Yet according to an MCC survey of more than 3,000 18- to 25-year-olds, more than 60 percent of respondents had never had a single conversation with their parents about how to be sure that your partner wants to be having sex with you.
Rick Weissbourd says parents need to define sexual harassment for their kids. Use popular media to start the talk. If a song comes on the radio with degrading lyrics, talk about the negative impacts of those terms. If there's a misogynistic scenario played out on TV, call attention to it. Explain it's not something to joke about with peers.
At its core, jealousy is about insecurity, fear, or a sense of competition. The emotion has been around forever, notes Richard Weissbourd, director of the Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Greeks wrote about it. Shakespeare wrote about it. It’s in the Bible. But there’s no point trying to vanquish the emotion. Here are ways parents can help their children recognize and respond constructively to jealous feelings.
MCC interviews and observations over the last several years suggest that the power and frequency of parents’ messages about achievement and happiness often drown out their messages about concern for others...Although household chores seem like a small thing, the subtle but pervasive message of requiring them isn’t small at all. Requiring a high schooler to contribute to the family well-being and the smooth running of the household before turning his attention to his books conveys the value you place on that contribution.