Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Encourage Your Daughter To Study Math—Raising A Kid In This Culture Can Be A Kind Of Abuse

I read a story in the New York Times a few days ago that made me ill.

The story was about the failure to recognize and develop the mathematical talents of young people in our country. Girls especially face this problem. The article said that students who do well in math are often immigrants or the children of immigrants, or kids who are seen as nerds.

What the article could just of well of said is—The more you are fully socialized into this sick culture, the more you are pulled away from academic success.

This is the kind of culture that propels the ignorant Sarah Palin to the top of the political ladder.

Hockey moms. Soccer moms. Football moms.


Beyond the fact that maybe dads should do more of the driving, where are the debate club moms and the math club moms?

It really borders as a kind of abuse to allow a child to become part of our culture without taking a strong role in understanding what strengths and interests a child has in school and in life.

Here is a quote in the article from a professor at the University of Wisconsin who has a son who is successful in math studies—“Kids in high school, where social interactions are really important, think, ‘If I’m not Asian or a nerd, I’d better not be on the math team.’ Kids are self-selecting. For social reasons they’re not even trying.” 

Where are the parents here? How many kids have talents that are never utilized or never even realized because parents don’t make an effort to see what the kid is able to do in life?

What is wrong with people? Take some time with your damn kids beyond sports and just hanging out.

October 13, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,


  1. My daughter hates math, she finds it boring and irratating. i will sit with her and study and show her different ways to look at the problems. fact is she is not mathmatical. she is abstract in her thoughts in her processing, she is smart enough and there is no social issue currently with her peers on math, she is just not fond of it and its not her focus. The schools should be revisited in getting to the core of a childs insterest and focusing on that instead of forcing them to spend time learning things they will not use in life, in the work force, the basics i get but once you get into algebra and geometry its rediculous to think that its going to apply in practical day to day living.

    Comment by bill brady | October 14, 2008

  2. I read that the potential son-in-law, father and thus future breadwinner for the yet to be born child has dropped out of high school. Gone to work on the North Slope. Surely someone in the ‘family’ should have had enough common sense to tell this kid to stay in school. Of course, his future mother-in-law somehow managed to stray through four colleges before getting a degree. Perhaps education is not a focus in Alaska. But, in the context of ‘family values’ and doing what’s right to set a strong, positive example for one’s offspring, dropping out of high school and failing to graduate, as, unfortunately, so many young people do, doesn’t cut it.

    Comment by Newton | October 14, 2008

  3. Here is a link to a related article by a Classics professor at the University of Texas at Austin. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=403384&c=2.

    To give you some hope, though, allow me to tell you I am a Latin Club Mom, a Student Council Mom, a Track Team Mom, a Band Mom (fourth year trumpet for older kid and second year flute for younger). I am also a International Baccalaureate Program Mom, a Youth Court Mom, a Girl Scout Working on her Gold Award Mom (though I am personally not a great fan of the Girl Scouts)…and of course an Excess Estrogen in the Home Mom! I hoped watching me work and succeed at university would make it important to my daughters. After all, nowadays, girls don’t see the same number of roadblocks as in days past. One daughter is a super over-achiever and the other is at least a very smart, honors-classes kid who runs track. Recently, though, I saw a list of one hundred things she wants to do. Within the top five or ten are “go to college” and “get a degree.” Both kids are in accelerated math. 🙂

    Comment by Robin | October 14, 2008

  4. Bill—Yes–People have different things they are good at in life. Whatever those subjects may be, math or otherwise, it seems that many parents miss the boat.

    Newton—It is indeed awful that Bristol Palin’s baby daddy is quitting school. I don’t really get it how the “responsible” adults involved in these kids life are allowing such a thing.

    Robin–Great comment. Nothing I can add. Thank you.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 16, 2008

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