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  • Susan: [00:00:00] And so what I’m trying to figure out here is just that balance. Be there for my kid, give them all the opportunities, but also don’t get them in a place where he is secretly buying Adderall. You get what I’m saying, which is like, how do we give them what they need? And also put them in the best position possible without messing them up.

    Kate: Welcome to model minority moms, where we talk about the complicated meaning of success in career, family and life.

    Kate: I’m Kate Wong,

    Susan: Jeanette park, and Susan.

    Kate: Harvard classmates and Asian-American working moms to Little’s who get real about the pressures of fitting in while standing out.

    Susan: Welcome to season two of model minority moms? In today’s episode, we are going to be talking about the very thing that makes us realize what our values are and that’s choosing schools.

    Susan: So I’m really excited to talk to each of these women about it, [00:01:00] because we all actually believe different things. Which makes the choice even harder. Here we are talking about. Where’s our kidgoing to go to school. All right, ladies, you know, when, when, when I talk to parents about what is the number one thing of how your life changes after you have kids?

    Susan: Parents are always like, oh my God. Number one thing is I, I experienced a love that I’ve never felt before, which, you know, as a person who didn’t have a kid, I had no idea what that meant. I said I would nod and I’d be like, okay. And I think for me, after I became a mom, the number one, most surprising thing besides now I know how to change diapers, which was super scary before I started is that I started to realize the choices I make for my son.

    Susan: Art actually reveal a lot to me about my values and some of those other values. I actually don’t want to admit, I believe. So today I really want to talk to you about what [00:02:00] you’re thinking about in terms of schools for your kids, because it really does say who you are and it could be kind of surprising.

    Susan: If you didn’t know that about yourself. So I’m curious, ladies, what are you going to do about your kids? Where are you going to send them to school? What did you think about? Are you stressed? Are you not stressed? Did you listen to nice white parents? Jeanette? I know you’re on the hunt right now.

    Jeanette: Yeah, should we also talk about our own educational backgrounds?

    Jeanette: Sure. So that, because I think that that also plays a big influence on how we think about schooling for our own children. I mean, obviously, so we all went to college at Harvard, but before that, right? Like, so K-12 type stuff.

    Susan: Oh yeah. Jeanette, you went to like one of the best high schools in the country.

    Jeanette: Okay. Well, so I can go first. So that’s what you volunteered me.

    Susan: Totally jealous. When I found out where you went to, once I knew that you went there, I was like, oh shit. She must be hella smart.

    Jeanette: Okay. But can I just tell the whole story because yeah, [00:03:00]

    Susan: I’m just, I’m just, I’m letting you know I was intimidated.

    Jeanette: I feel like always, I have to contextualize it heavily because it’s kind of loaded. So my background is, my family immigrated to the U S around the time I was in kindergarten, I actually did kindergarten twice, once in Korea. And then again, after I got to the U S and so from kindergarten to third grade, I actually went to a LA USD public school that was bilingual Korean and English.

    Jeanette: And I think at the time it was the only Korean English, bilingual public school in the country. And I didn’t even know this. It was like only much later on when I would look at pictures. I’m like, why are all the kids in my school, Korean? And then I, I found out that actually it was a bilingual program anyway.

    Jeanette: And then I went to a, another public school that was in a wealthier area of LA because My, my my parents were able to get me into a gifted magnet program. And so I attended a [00:04:00] different elementary school in the kind of studio city area of LA for fourth and fifth grade.

    Jeanette: And then I kind of followed in that gifted magnet program into middle school. And then in middle school one day a recruiter shows up from a high school called Andover located outside of Boston, which is a city that nobody in my family had ever been to. And they said, Hey, you know, we’re looking for.

    Jeanette: Students who really love school and you get to live at the school and you get to take all these classes and being the huge nerd that I was, I was, and still am. I’m like, oh yeah, that sounds great. Live at school. Like get to be in school all the time.

    Susan: You love school so much. You lived there.

    Jeanette: And I was like, that sounds great.

    Jeanette: Maybe folks who’ve listened to past episodes, you know, you might’ve gathered this, but you know, my parents didn’t, we we were not Wellsy, we’re very financially insecure, actually. I’m, I’m the first one in my family to go to college. My parents did not go to college for various reasons.

    Jeanette: [00:05:00] And so, Andover actually was not a school that they had even heard of or was on their radar. They knew that I did well in school. So they were thinking of trying to. A scholarship for one of the local private high schools, but, you know, they weren’t really thinking boarding school, but when this opportunity came up they were like, you know, why don’t you just try it and, you know, let’s see what happens, probably nothing, but let’s see.

    Jeanette: And so I went through the whole application process and they ended up offering me a full scholarship for all four years at the school. And they also heard from some other parents who kind of knew more about the scene that is actually like a school with a great reputation, et cetera. So at the age of 14, , my parents let me fly across the country to Boston to start living in this you know, city that they’ve never been to.

    Jeanette: So I essentially moved out when I was 14. And so I was there for four years. And then before going

    Jeanette: to college, so that’s

    Susan: just to contextualize for listeners Andover is like the Harvard of boarding school. High [00:06:00] school. It’s like, it’s like the it’s one of it’s one of the top ones. Right.

    Kate: Does that make Exeter the Yale?

    Jeanette: I mean, it’s actually the other way around

    Kate: Phillips Exeter, Phillips Andover. They’re like rival schools.

    Jeanette: So apparently Phillips Andover was the original school. And , there was something , I don’t know, like 1780 something where like some ex headmaster of Andover went off and started Exeter across the state borderline.

    Jeanette: in New Hampshire. Anyways. It’s a school it’s kind of like dead poet’s society type school, , you know, historically a lot of old, rich white people. Like George W. Bush went there, you know

    Susan: where there a lot of drugs. Like prescription drugs,

    Jeanette: a lot of Adderall.

    Jeanette: Yeah, like that’s the, that was the drug.

    Susan: I bet. I mean, it must have been so much pressure there.

    Jeanette: Yeah. And we can get into that. Right. Yeah. But it, it was quite a pressure cooker [00:07:00] and I’m actually like a lot of things happen when I was there. That was very sad. Not personally to me, but like to, you know, people in my class.

    Jeanette: So yeah, but that’s kind of my experience, right. From going to a primarily immigrant dominated public school to like a more white, but still public school program to a school that was heavily privileged where I was a student on a scholarship. So that’s kind of the range of my experience.

    Jeanette: And I think that that really influences how I think about schooling for my kids.

    Susan: Yeah. And I remember the last conversation I had with you. You said when you were in the LA system, You used to take the bus, how long to go to school?

    Jeanette: Yeah. So after I started going to the gifted magnet program you know, I was commuting an hour and a half each way each way.

    Jeanette: Yeah. Yeah. So my parents would drop me off and my brother off at the school bus stop at like six 20 in the morning. And then we would probably get to school like a little bit before eight. [00:08:00] And then, we would get back home around like 4 45 or five and walk home.

    Jeanette: And so we did that, you know, I did that for fourth, fifth, six in seventh grade and then eighth grade, my parents move much closer to the middle school where I was, they moved out to the suburbs.

    Susan: So it’s so interesting. Cause like education is such a value in your family that, that commute was you just, you just did it.

    Susan: You didn’t even question it right. You know, fight back. You were like, we’re doing this.

    Jeanette: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, my parents didn’t really, they weren’t like tiger parents in the sense, like they made sure, you know, I was doing my extra credit homework every night and stuff, but I think they did really try to, I think open up as many opportunities as they could.

    Jeanette: So actually for middle school, when I didn’t get a slot, because it was a lottery, I remember my dad driving to school, every day for like two weeks. And we would just sit in the principal’s office and talk to them so that, you know, they would try to get me off the wait list. And that’s how I ended up going, being able to go to that middle school.

    Jeanette: So yeah , [00:09:00] the whole bus rides, trying to get through this muscle, through the system muscle, through red tape. All of that. I think my yeah, educational opportunity was very important.

    Kate: What’s really interesting though. Jeanette is that you’re telling your story is.

    Kate: Even though your parents, you know, didn’t have a lot of financial educational resources, but because you were in a large metropolis by nature, you had more exposure to gifted programs to the scout from Andover who would come to LA. Whereas for me, I went to school after we immigrated here when I was six I went to school mostly in a small town and always the public schools, which are good public schools, but just still public schools.

    Kate: Right. And so, and my parents are very well educated, right. They both have graduate degrees, but we never had the opportunity. Like private boarding school never even crossed our paths. Right. Because you know, you’re in a small town, it’s like, People just go to the regular public school. So I just find it really fascinating.

    Kate: Right. I mean, not saying it was easy because obviously, you know, your parents and you both made a lot of sacrifices, but it’s just interesting, depending on where you are, what you [00:10:00] get exposed to too. Right. So, I mean, you know, just to transition that over as I, to my schooling experience, I just went to public schools all the way through good ones, but still public schools in small towns to predominantly white schools.

    Kate: I grew up, you know, not really being around a lot of other Asian people, except people in Chinese school, which I hated on weekends and I, right. Yeah. And so I didn’t, I mean, you know, in all like Asian immigrants, I’m like, oh, Harvard, Harvard, Harvard. Yeah. You know, it’s not really a thing that I really thought about.

    Kate: I had like you Jeanette with a huge nerd and I loved, I didn’t love school. I love learning and books. And because I probably wasn’t challenged as much in school as you were. I just was so bored for most of school until I went to high school. And then even then it just felt like I was going through the paces, like, okay, I have to take these classes.

    Kate: I have to do the AP, but I just loved all the learning that I did on my own. And I think the main reason why I’m, so well-read now it’s not because of any schooling that I ever received, but mostly because of my own impulses. So I have sort of, I dunno, I have sort of obviously informs my [00:11:00] perspective about public school, which is, I would say fairly mixed.

    Kate: I’m not pro against, but I think it may not, you know, just based on my own experience, I don’t think. As positive as some other people who like my husband, you know, he went to a a charter school and it was really good. Like the way that he describes his experience, I’m like, yo, you know, that’s not like most public schools.

    Kate: Right. And so I think it just, yeah, it’s really interesting how our opinions about the same system, right. Is totally informed by our own experiences, that system, which are so disparate, depending on where you live and even within where you live, what area of the city in which you live. Right. So, Susan, I don’t know.

    Kate: What about you what’s

    Susan: yeah, yeah, yeah. I love it. Cause it’s, it’s also our, our origin immigration story. And it’s you learn so much about who we are just by the positioning of our stories. So it’s cool. I was born here. My parents came over in 83. Both of them grew up in a really rural area in the Mekong Delta and they both didn’t complete ninth grade.

    Susan: So knowing my, in the history of my family, I had ever gone to college [00:12:00] born in the us and then. You know grew up in low-income housing. And then eventually we got our own house in San Pablo, which is in the east bay, in the bay area. And we literally lived across the street from a school, but it wasn’t a good of a school.

    Susan: And so we had our nail salon in Albany, which is next to Berkeley. And my mom used the address of my aunt who lived in Albany. So I could go to that school next to the nail salon, but it was, it was a better school called

    Kate: Asian, my mom for multiples of her friends. Cause we live like our old houses and it really good school.

    Susan: You know what I mean? Yeah. Hurry. Gotta do what you gotta do. Okay. So so we go to, I go to public school called Harding. And eventually nail salon doing great. My mom’s sponsors over my aunties and my grandparents. And then we move an hour north to the city called Santa Rosa. One, because maybe the clientele has more money, [00:13:00] but also the schools are better.

    Susan: So then now I’m going to also another public school but this is a California distinguished school, which I don’t know, we win some awards or something. So I went to elementary school, middle school, and our, our public school, high school where your Creo and my entire life, I was like, I’m going to Berkeley.

    Susan: Cause my brother went to Berkeley and that’s what all the Vietnamese refugees knew was Berkeley. Until the summer before senior year, I take a nap or I’m, I’m, I’m sitting there at home just killing time. I watched legally blonde. I go to sleep, I wake up and then I been, you know, we have AOL online. I’m like, how do you apply to Harvard?

    Susan: And then that’s the first time to go to the Harvard website. I tell my guidance counselor, you know, Hey, I want these fee waivers for these 20 schools, including Harvard. I put that at the top. Susan, let’s talk about safety schools. And I’m sitting there going, like you’re telling me a state school, like I have a 4.8, six GPA in the student body [00:14:00] president.

    Susan: And like, I’m sitting here going like, wait, I don’t get it. And part of it is like I grew up, I I’m always in an all white space. Right. And I’m like always the one sticking out. But at the same time, it’s like as being a part of the public school institution, they just want to, I, my hypothesis now is she just wanted to feed me into more public schools and maybe they never thought about that.

    Susan: But also historically no one had. Anyone to Harvard for my school, it was very rare to, to leave the public school system, let alone the state. So I think I just didn’t really have any exposure to, like, we had no recruiters coming. Right. But at the same time I was, I was driving my own discovery with that.

    Susan: I mean, of course this is all sandwiched by the, if you get a B you know, we’ll disown, you kind of like mentality at home. So it’s like, it was,

    Kate: how about if you get an, a minus, we will disown you. Just kidding.

    Susan: Truth, truth. So I think the point here, what I’m trying to tell you is like, my parents tried to, they situated our lives so that I could go to a better school, even though it was public [00:15:00] school.

    Susan: You know, I, if I had known about this boarding school situation, I probably would have applied. That sounds really, I was like, what at school yet? Like, does that include food? Awesome American food I’m down, you know, That wasn’t even a part of my, my parents knowing, right. Because our amount of knowledge was what did the Vietnamese refugee community know?

    Susan: What did, what did parents’ friends talk about? What did they actually know? And all they knew is the kids that just came there and they’re starting to grow up into the system, but they don’t know all the other options yet. So anyways, that’s me. Okay. So that was our journey just to get to Harvard, right?

    Susan: And then we get into Harvard, big deal for all of this. And then now, like, I guess 15 years later, 10, 15 years later, we’re thinking about our kids. And the question is what are we willing to do to put them in the best situation possible? What do we want for our kids? And what do we hope we’re actually preparing them for?

    Susan: And, and, and does that actually conflict with the values that we also think. [00:16:00] For society. What

    Kate: I mean well, interesting because it depends on what we think is best. Right. Sort of hinges on what is quote unquote the best. And I think like, I know this is not, I don’t want to turn this into a shit on Harvard episode.

    Kate: Like we made one episode in season one, but honestly like,

    Kate: okay, now I know. But nothing the way you think drop a bomb on the age, more like but you know, I, wasn’t talking about a lot, like in 18 years or like less for Isaiah, cause he’s a little older 17, 18. Yeah. I honestly don’t know what higher education is going to look like in the U S I don’t really know what the labor market is going to look like in the U S things are changing incredibly fast.

    Kate: I work in the field of higher education in China, but still I keep up to date with the U S and it’s changing really fast are a lot of challenges. The way that it is today is just not sustainable. And also just what’s valued in the workplace and the kinds of skills that are required. And you know, the industries that are developing [00:17:00] everything is changing so quickly.

    Kate: I find it really interesting that I think a lot of parents here in the Seattle area you know, talking about schooling and I find that predominantly they are thinking about schooling in a very traditional manner by which I mean, the way that our parents thought about it, which is that you see what is awesome today.

    Kate: Harvard is awesome. Today. Stanford is awesome. Today. This is the best today. The best outcome is your kid goes to these top schools and they get going to this like awesome, you know, career and it’s very prestigious, et cetera. Then they work backwards from there to make the decisions for their kids today.

    Kate: Whether their kids are like one or five. Right. And for me and my husband, we feel like that is not the right way, because again, going back to the, the world is changing very quickly. The status quo of today is not what it’s going to be in 16, 17 years. And so actually then we let more less an outcome guidance, right?

    Kate: Like less, we don’t let a discrete outcome guide us and more, what do we think? We want our daughter, what kind of environment do we want our daughter to grow up in learn? What do we think we want? W what [00:18:00] do we think will encourage her to grow and become the person we really want her to be? Yeah. So interestingly enough, I think he, and I talk a lot more about values in schooling, as opposed to just schooling and then, you know, what we’ll achieve the best outcome.

    Kate: So I know I just threw out a whole bunch of loaded topics out there.

    Susan: Totally. I want to go on the first one, which was achieved the best outcome. And when we say like, we know Harvard is awesome, we know Stanford is awesome. Like, what does that really mean? Because before in, in our, our times when we were there in the early two thousands, It was th the, the trophy was graduate and then work at Goldman Sachs or McKinsey.

    Susan: Is that, is that pretty much aligned with you two about like, that was the prize?

    Kate: Yeah. Well, I didn’t know that going into Harvard.

    Jeanette: I know

    Kate: that’s the crazy thing, right? I think probably for all three of us, if we had never heard, I’d never heard of Goldman Sachs or McKinsey, I was like living under frigging rock and I show up at Harvard I’m like, what is this?

    Kate: Like, but then by the time we [00:19:00] graduated that had become the hymm right. It’s like the, the, the theme of like Harvard is, must get into one of these prestigious firms. Right. That in back in, Hey, we’re going to date ourselves to 2007 when we graduated and Susan’s totally right. Right. So that’s been, that was excellence. Right.

    Susan: So I just want to clarify that that’s why is that? That is perhaps a reason why people are driving towards that’s what we want, you know, like, Hey, let’s try to get you into Lakeside, that high school, that bill gates went to so that you have a really good shot at Harvard so that you can make more money.

    Susan: Right? Isn’t that isn’t that the essential end game here is w parents want to situate their kids so that they will be in a higher probability to make more money. Otherwise you’re going to those delays, right? Because then there’s all these other schools that are like, we don’t give each other grades and like, you don’t have to wear clothes.

    Susan: You know? Like you, you, you have like that spectrum [00:20:00] of schooling where it’s like, and you design your own thing and all this stuff, and then you have the very structured. I got the job offer

    Jeanette: and the public schools. I mean, there’s like another dimension here, right. Which is like, oh, this is like the program.

    Jeanette: And you can make of it what you will. And it’s just like, we’re just going to throw the kids in there and like, see what happens.

    Susan: Totally. Totally. So, okay. So Kate, so I just wanted to clarify that when we say best outcome, everyone has a different definition of best outcome. And now what you’re saying is you and Nirav saying, Hey, maybe it’s not just also the school that’s going to give you the best hire.

    Susan: So what is the best outcome?

    Kate: The best outcome for us is that our daughter is able to develop deep skills in a framework for approaching whatever she wants to learn like this. She has a good you know, good work ethic that she’s emotionally really healthy and resilient so that whatever she encounters, whether it’s academic, professional, personal, she could really get through that with obviously with our support, but [00:21:00] also that she is equipped with that.

    Kate: Right. And that whatever she chooses to either study or work at that she has a determination to really push through with it. That’s the most important thing, right? Because we don’t really know what careers or professional trajectories will be new and exciting and interesting by the time if she goes to college, even she comes of age to work, we just don’t know.

    Kate: We have an idea, but think of how much things have changed in the last. Ever since we graduated from college, right? Oh my gosh. I can’t do math.

    Kate: Sorry. I went to Harvard. I promise I totally went to Harvard

    Kate: anyway. Yes. But for the last, very long time.

    Susan: Yes. Very long time.

    Susan: So you want her to be emotionally intelligent yeah. Right. That’s what you’re saying.

    Kate: No, I guess emotionally intelligent in that. Oh, I can understand how other people feel. But I mean, emotionally, I think resilient and have a strong sense of confidence, not [00:22:00] ego, but just confident in who she is and that she feels comfortable in this world.

    Kate: Yeah. You know, not feeling like she’s an other like I did. Right. And my husband did growing up as immigrants. I think that’s the most important thing that she feels really comfortable in her identity and has resilience and has determination. Yeah.

    Susan: So what does that look like? Does that just look like a racially diverse school?

    Susan: Like, I mean, how does this translate to when she turns four?

    Kate: So first of all, concrete things, I want her to go to school where she actually sees people who kind of look like her.

    Kate: General Asian she’s having Indian half Chinese. So some kind of Asian that’s really important, right. Because I don’t know about the two of you, but like I mentioned, most of my schools were predominantly white. I didn’t see very many people who look like me. And I think that really does impact how you see yourself and what you think of as normal.

    Kate: Right. And another thing is we’re really committed to bilingual education. I speak to her exclusively in Mandarin. I want her to be able to you know, have schooling where [00:23:00] she gets exposure to to Mandarin. Right. I mean, you know, so I think that’s a big part of it for her, especially as a young person is to just to feel like, you know, she sees herself in her, in, in people around her.

    Susan: Totally Jeanette. What’s your, what’s your definition of best outcome? Like what are you planting the seeds for, for your kids? If they’re going to, I will find that they are successful, or I did my job when they are this, this and this and that translate to a university or a vocation. Like w what are you thinking about when you’re planning out where, where your kids should go?

    Jeanette: Okay. Just stepping back. I feel like I have more and more the realization that so much about my kids and what they’re going to do, how they’re going to turn out is , actually not really within my control. Right. I mean, I have a heavy influence and I think the area where I have, like the heaviest influence is in my [00:24:00] relationship with them.

    Jeanette: Right. I think that’s actually a really important part of their likelihood for being happy and resilient and successful by, on a wide array of measures.

    Jeanette: I try to lower whatever expectations I might have of what they’re going to do professionally or where they’re going to go to school because I think for them to be in the long-term happy, it’s like, if, so let’s say I have a goal of them going to Harvard.

    Jeanette: Like, even if I could force that outcome, I think I’d have to push them so hard. And strain my relationship with them so much that it just not worth it, I think, to, to them or to me. So I think I just tried to think like, okay, what’s the thing I can control here. That’s like really my relationship with them and maybe certain big choices about which environment I put them in.

    Jeanette: Right. But like, I think. Steer away from , oh, I want them to have X profession or like go to X school. [00:25:00] Mean I kind of have some guidelines. Right. I mean, I want them to have basic life skills like reading comprehensions and math. Right. And actually, I think that is kind of high because I used to think like, oh, it’s fine, whatever college they go to.

    Jeanette: But then I did some consulting work at this college that was around the 50th, ranking mark. And I was coaching some students there and literally , some of them didn’t know why we were doing like a piece of division to figure out growth rate. And I was kind of , okay, I think my kids should, by the time they were 18 or 19, know how to use division, in a practical context.

    Jeanette: Right. So like, I mean, that’s kind of my bar, but maybe that’s. That’s still a high bar, because this is, this was like the 50th rate, like around that

    Jeanette: level of percentile, you

    Jeanette: mean? Yeah, no, no, no, not 50th percentile. Like

    Jeanette: literally they were like number 50 in the U S yeah, yeah.

    Jeanette: Not like exactly, but around that

    Jeanette: range.

    Susan: And that brings up a good point because I [00:26:00] used to kind of hate on it being like, oh, those parents only want their kids to go to tier one schools. Or like when the controversy, you know, like of like, why are you so attached to a tier? Like, why can’t you just w you know, I, I felt like it was all gross and dirty.

    Susan: I, I especially thought it was really funny when those Hollywood moms like cheated their kids into getting into colleges, but they didn’t cheat them into like the, the tier ones, the, the very top schools. It was like, not the top schools. I was like, if you’re going to cheat, why don’t you do the best schools?

    Susan: It was very confusing to me. But what you’re trying to say, actually here is that some of those it does, it can make. Yeah matter.

    Susan: Yeah. Ranking can matter.

    Jeanette: Yeah. So I’m like, okay, you don’t have to go to Harvard, Stanford, MIT. it’s not like you don’t get into those schools and I’m going to act like it’s the end of the world.

    Jeanette: But I do think there’s some range in which, like, I hope that you have mastery over these basic skills and, where you go to college will correspond to [00:27:00] that, you know, in some close way.

    Jeanette: Because I’ve when I interact with students from some other schools, I’m like, I am like sincerely worried.

    Jeanette: Like I’m like, I feel worried about you. are you going to be able to calculate, whether your bank is charging you the right interest on your mortgage or you know, that your credit cards like charging you the right interest on your credit card payments? I mean, I’m like these kids don’t seem to always have the basic skills I would definitely expect and hope that my kids would

    Jeanette: have by that.

    Jeanette: Yeah.

    Susan: Yeah. I mean, I got to admit, going to Harvard smaller ish school compared to like UC Berkeley smaller class sizes, a lot of like people to tap into for resources and advising and stuff. Like I felt attended to, you know, like I felt like if I had needed support, the support was there. And that’s because Harvard had a lot of resources, you know, and they also have a lot of resources for low-income people, which I wasn’t really aware of in high school.

    Susan: And that that’s actually great, you know, they have great financial aid for low [00:28:00] income people. Okay. So, so, so here we are now we’re parents. H how do you feel about the process about applying for like, applying for schools for your kid? Like, Kate you’re, you’re, it sounds like your inputs are really clear.

    Susan: I want there to be some Asian people and I want Chinese immersion. So that kind of already limits you to just a few schools in Seattle. Two total,

    Kate: no, actually there are a lot and you know, to this end I crowdsourced, right. Cause I was like, I clearly don’t know everything. So how do I crowd source? So I went into this Facebook group for like Chinese English, bilingual parenting.

    Kate: And I was like, who else is in Seattle? I want to start a WhatsApp group so we can

    Kate: talk

    Kate: about Seattle specific schools. And so actually that’s how I found my daughter is a toddler daycare program that she’s going to start in September. I’d never heard of the place. It’s a bilingual Chinese English Montessori school.

    Kate: And I think it’s the best of all the schools that I was considering. And I didn’t even know about it before. So I definitely crowdsourced. It’s really helpful to, to have that. Right. But most importantly, the reason why actually, why I feel really good about the school at the end of the day is it’s not just because it has [00:29:00] the bilingual education, but I really like their values.

    Kate: Like I really when I talked to. The director of the program, she’s an educator, right? So you can tell that she’s truly passionate about Montessori education and bilingual education. Whereas with other schools that I talked to and was mostly talking to an admin person and, you know, they can be very competent, but they’re not educators.

    Kate: Like they don’t understand necessarily curriculum education, especially early childhood education. And so I just didn’t get that same kind of passion. And I really, I mean, at the end of the day, I’m a sucker, right? Like I feel, I see my values reflected in the values of the program director of this school.

    Kate: And so I got, you know, why not? Right. And it happens, I think have like the best bilingual curriculum of all the schools.

    Susan: Wait, wait, she’s starting to she’s one of them. And then, and then you’re going to the specialized preschool essentially.

    Kate: It’s not specialized in that. I mean, it’s Montessori, there are a lot of Montessori daycares, but this one is specifically bilingual English, Mandarin.

    Kate: And the reason why I want to keep it up is because, you know I want it to seem very natural to her, right. I already [00:30:00] only speak Mandarin to her at home. And I know just from reading and talking to a lot of parents who have older kids there, who, or whom they’re trying to raise bilingual, it can be very challenging, especially once a formal schooling starts.

    Kate: And so I just want to make sure that even when she’s away from home, she has that environment, but I wasn’t going to compromise it. If everything else didn’t fall into place, because I actually originally picked another daycare that was not Mandarin. It was not bilingual at all because I thought that she would be well taken care of there because the bilingual Mandarin place that I looked at, I just felt more inadequate in terms of, I don’t know, I didn’t feel like the values aligned with mine.

    Kate: Right. So still my fundament, my first, you know, line of. Questioning is still the school’s values. Do I identify with that? Do I identify with how they care for the children? If they don’t, if we don’t match it doesn’t matter if their Mandarin program is good for me.

     [00:31:00]

    Susan: , Jeanette, I know you started talking to parents in your neighborhood about schools and stuff.

    Susan: Like, have you landed, can you talk about your process of figuring out the entire school system of Seattle and and what you think you’re going to do?

    Jeanette: Yeah. Well, I don’t think we exactly know what we’ll do yet. I, yeah, it’s interesting, right? Because I had to spend probably a good three or four hours just looking through the Seattle public school website and reading different blog posts to really even get a sense of like what my options were.

    Jeanette: And I still have some outstanding questions. Right. I mean, and you know, I’m like a fairly well-educated person. So you just think like four.

    Jeanette: For everyone else.

    Jeanette: Yeah. For somebody who maybe English is their second language, or maybe they, you know, have they have problems or challenges in other ways like in, you know, it’s really might be more difficult [00:32:00] anyways.

    Jeanette: I don’t know. Right. So I, part of it depends on who Isaiah is and what he likes. If he likes school, what parts of school he likes? I think it all depends on that. What I do know is that the school in our neighborhood in along a lot of metrics doesn’t look that great. I mean, we live in a fairly affluent area of Seattle.

    Jeanette: And so you would think that the local public school would be also good, but actually I think a combination of like the school. Well, a lot of people in our school also send their kids to private school. So like a lot of wealthier families actually opt out of the public school system. And this public school our local elementary school draws on an area of Seattle.

    Jeanette: That’s also lower income. So if you look at like things like test scores or more conventional kind of markers of you know, school quality they don’t, they don’t look great. They look actually pretty bad, like in third decile of school test performance against the state.

    Jeanette: And so that’s [00:33:00] absolute state scores, but even if you look at growth metrics, , which is supposed to measure how much students are learning year over year, it also is like very low. So I think our hope is that he can go to one of what Seattle calls, their choice school systems, which is they’re not neighborhood schools.

    Jeanette: You have to lottery into them. But you know, the, the idea is like, not to trap people, especially probably lower income people into having to go to low-performing schools that are assigned to them in their neighborhood. But there’s one, that’s about 12 minute drive from our house that looked great.

    Jeanette: And we know some folks who send their kids there and they also like it. So we’re hoping that Isaiah would be able to get a spot there, but if he doesn’t then you know, I think that’s kind of where the question mark is. And I’m not sure if we’ve decided that we would move, you know, in that case or, or like send him to private school on a temporary basis, you know?

    Jeanette: I don’t think we’ve gotten [00:34:00] there yet, but it seems fairly likely that he will be able to get a spot. So I think that that’s what we’re counting on in our minds.

    Susan: Okay. Can I push you a little bit on this? Yeah, yeah. The school that in your neighborhood, third decile.

    Susan: I like saying that decile what if all the other parents that send the kids to private schools, just send them to this school. You know what I mean? Like it’s like the more they send it to private school, then the more that the school quote unquote stays in their decile, like, would it change somehow? Like I’m just kind of sitting here going like you already, I guess we don’t pay state taxes, but somebody’s paying for this.

    Susan: And you’re probably paying for the public school already. Like why pay more somewhere else.

    Jeanette: If we send them to private school, obviously it would be, we would pay our property taxes and pay tuition on top of that. Right. That’s not what we would prefer to do, but yeah.

    Jeanette: I mean, if we send him to this other option school, that’s 12 minutes away. That’s like that’s also a public [00:35:00] school, right? So we wouldn’t be paying more. But I think you bring up this other point, which is yeah, we’re essentially, if I think part of the issue with our local neighborhood school is that, you know, all the families who would be going there and pestering the administrators and the teachers to do a better job, you know, and like bringing the resources of a wealthier family into that school.

    Jeanette: Like, you know, am I just contributing to the problem by not sending my kid there, even if I’m sending him to a different public school. Right. And I think that that’s a totally fair point. And I come from like a low income background, you know, I and I have also taught before in a low income school, you know, I think of myself as somebody who cares about social justice issues.

    Jeanette: I think that when I think about my kids’ education, it, the, the, the way that, that applies becomes much more complicated, right. Because I think one is I’m making the decision and putting the costs on somebody else. Right. [00:36:00] It’s not like I’m choosing where I go to school. I’m choosing where my kid goes to school.

    Jeanette: My kid is not me. Right. So I have to make the choice on his behalf. And like some part of like me making imposing my values on him just feels it feels harder, right. If I really care about doing something and I’m willing to take the cost for it, that’s one thing. But making my kid bear the cost of that seems like a different thing.

    Jeanette: And I think also education is also a different thing, right? You only have like a, a limited number of years and it does feel somewhat path dependent. Right? If you are like in a school from K through five where you’re learning very little. That’s going to put you on a different path for middle school and high school.

    Jeanette: And so that it does feel like a bigger stakes decision. And I think I have just some personal anecdotes that also influenced my decision making on this too. So overall I was a very, you know I was like, like, like kind of like a model student, probably like all of us were right.

    Jeanette: The only time I acted out in class [00:37:00] was in third grade, I had a teacher. Who was a very lazy teacher and she I hate it. I hated her.

    Susan: And she was Korean

    Jeanette: and she was creamy and yeah, she would like, let the classroom run wild. Except when the prince, she saw the principal walking down the hall, then she would go like all in a tizzy and tell us to sit down.

    Jeanette: And we always did the same things every single week. And so one day I just lost it and I like stamped my little feet in class and said, I hate you. And Mrs. Park, like you are not a good teacher. And my mom got called into the principal’s office and I made my teacher cry. And that’s when the principal said I think maybe we should look for a different school for Jeanette.

    Jeanette: But in a good way. Right. She’s like, you’re getting frustrated. Right. And, and I think it had, I stayed in a school like that. Like I made it, I may have hated school. I may have just become like really fed up with it. So I think just to foster that love of learning. Is an important, you know, outcome to them, like what you were saying.

    Jeanette: And I don’t want Isaiah to be in an [00:38:00] environment where it’s chaotic or, you know, that there’s no learning going on because then it might turn him off to learning altogether. Yeah. But yeah, yeah, go ahead.

    Kate: And Jeanette says that is, although I didn’t have a meltdown on my teacher, I do identify with your feelings and that I think you and I are probably pretty similar.

    Kate: We were, you know, we’re a high achievers and I felt really bored in elementary school. Like so bored. I didn’t have any disorganized teachers, but I was just like, this is boring. I’m going to go home and read all the books that I wanted to read. And the only time I felt challenged was when I went to a really, really excellent public elementary school for a year in San Diego, big city.

    Kate: Right. And I mean, the quality was just out of this world compared to my other small town, good public schools. So I think what you’re also saying though, Jeanette LBTQ articulate earlier is that if your children are like you in that way, right, you don’t want to. You want to put them in a place where it encourages and you know, if they love to learn or if they’re a nerd or something, which is awesome.

    Kate: Right. But you and [00:39:00] I didn’t go to school at least initially that really spoke to that. And now that you’re saying, I wonder if my parents had, you know, thought or had more resources to put me in a place where there was actually much more learning going on where I could have been more engaged in school, as opposed to just spending all my time out of school reading.

    Kate: Cause I was so bored at school. Maybe I would also have a different outcome. Right. I didn’t hate school, but I didn’t like it either. So I think I understand where you’re coming from. Jeanette. I think if, if you’re our kids are like that, I would make the same decisions as you know, as, as you’re as you’re outlining.

    Kate: But I’m curious, Susan, cause you mentioned earlier at the beginning of the recording, that making schooling choices for your son brought up some values that you didn’t realize you had or that you’re not comfortable with. Yeah, totally. Yeah, I’m really curious.

    Susan: Well, actually the not comfortable part is actually Jeanette story where I’m like, why don’t you just, just go to the school?

    Susan: And then maybe the 30th they’ll go the fourth decile one day. So that was, that was what I was [00:40:00] alluding to. But yeah, you know, now you are all jogging my memory, my elementary school, the California distinguished school that my mom moved the whole family up so that we could start going to it had a gifted and talented program.

    Susan: And I would beg to do extra math after school, like capital a nerd with a capital. And I was like, oh my God, I want to do the brain teasers. Oh my God, please, please, please. Like, I’m like now reliving all that. And I’m like, I was a fucking nerd too. But it did have a gifted program and that put me on a track for honor stuff.

    Susan: And I was doing, I was doing a lot. Extra stuff in sixth grade, like, because I was all the teachers were like, okay, what are you going to do? And I was like report due in three weeks. Here it is the next day. And then they were like, I was sitting there just staring at them. They stare back at me. It was, it was but what I’m getting also from this to Jeanette, about eight year old Jeanette here, stamping her feet is you are dictating your own [00:41:00] education too.

    Susan: Like you, you, you got to a point where you could express your feelings and, and show the adults around you that you were not, not satisfied. Right. And so here we are as mothers of toddlers. And we, we think we can kind of pick up on who they are, but we’re still learning a lot. Right. So until then, until they tell us, like, actually I don’t want to go to high school and I want to be a coder and I want to go to.

    Susan: bootcamp I’ll be happy. Cause there’ll be way cheaper than going to a four year college. Okay. So in terms of me my whole debate right now is I live across the street from an elementary school, which I am not zoned for. I am zoned for the elementary school, a mile, like two miles away where I have to hop in the car.

    Susan: I’m kind of assuming you’re going to like WTF. Like it’s literally across the street. Like, I don’t know which line you’re drawing, but can you just like, just draw my house too? You know, I was like, I am going to join the PTA to advance. I’m going to make myself known and I’m going to get him in that school.

    Susan: [00:42:00] Like tiger parent who knows now here’s the big, but with a capital B is I found out that there is a school in the next town over 13 minute drive when there’s no traffic. So who knows after the pandemic, how much traffic there will be. And it’s a Vietnamese immersion school and have K through six half of it’s gonna be in Vietnamese, but you know, it could be a 15, 20 minutes.

    Susan: Marvin is like, he’s like, you know, if you calculate that that’s another hour of your life, you know, times how many number of years are you sure you want to do that? And I’m sitting there and going like, oh my God, the quick option is literally across the street. The Vietnamese immersion option is also low performing school, low, low test scores.

    Susan: I don’t know the, the learning rate curve, whatever you talk about. I haven’t looked into that one. I just like Googled it really quickly. Right. Just to see. And, and so I’m sitting here going like, oh, what do I do? [00:43:00] How important is it for my kid to carry on this very specialized language? Because Mandarin Mandarin is much more widespread than Vietnamese.

    Susan: Okay. Or Spanish. That seems like a very logical, good thing to give my child. And I learned Spanish all the way through college. And it’s very helpful when I go to the daycare. My daycare, there have been, it’s run by a Venezuelan couple. Maybe his pants are wet cause he sat in the grass and I’ll be like, I’ll pick him up and show him in, in, in my perfect, amazing, terrible Spanish.

    Susan: I’ll be like, stop Seco. Like he’s dry, you know, like I’ll like do the opposite. And then they’d kind of look at me and blink nicely and then speak to me in English, even though it’s terrible. But they see effort. Anyways, the point here is, is like how important is it for me to carry on our Vietnamese heritage?

    Susan: And it’ll take me time. So it’s not even Vietnamese language school on the weekends that you drive to that the kid hates anyways and is traumatized by every day. But [00:44:00] I want to normalize speaking Vietnamese and maybe, and there’s Vietnamese teachers and it was a really well thought out program, but is it really that much better than just walking across the street to this school that’ll force my will onto.

    Susan: So Marvin has had any listening to the podcast night, white, nice white parents have either of you heard it. It’s about like a public school system somewhere in, in New York area. And it’s, these parents are like, oh my God, why are we racially segregated? There’s only three choice, white middle schools that all the white parents want their kids to go to.

    Susan: And if you can’t get into that, man, there’s a supply problem. But there’s all these other schools that basically have a lot of colored kids. So then these very nice white parents decided that the school next to them, they want. Their kids to go to and they’re the, they go on these tours and the only tours that anyone ever goes on are white parents.

    Susan: Like they never see the other club parents cause they’re busy working and these nice. white parents, they joined the school and then they are like [00:45:00] all passionate about a French immersion program. And that they’re going to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the French programs. So they go to the PTA meeting and you know, these are the parents, they have simple, big sales.

    Susan: They don’t raise like a shit ton of money, but they have, you know, their community events, but in come all these nice white parents and they’re like really pushing for this thing. They put on a, a charity dinner. They like auction off their vacation homes for weekends. And like these other parents are going like, wait, what is happening here?

    Susan: And there’s more clash, there’s more division and it all falls apart. And so I kind of that I’m listening to that. I’m like, oh my God, am I a nice Asian parent like, if I join the school, that’s a Vietnamese immersion. Am I going to be forcing my will onto this community and shaking stuff up when I think it’s helpful to everyone, but maybe it’s not, am I, is it good that I’m bringing my kid here so that I can keep this program alive because they probably need enrollment, you know?

    Susan: And I can bring in my, my energy and like, I don’t know, like [00:46:00] maybe, maybe I’m the chili cook-off mom, you know, and it’s gonna be super fun. Or am I just making like a big mess out of all this wasting a lot of gas and time and just take them across the street and maybe I’ll take them to Vietnam a couple of times before we graduate high school, you know, like I, I’m kinda sitting here going, like, what’s the worth my time.

    Susan: What does my kid really want? But until he has the ability to tell me what he wants, what do I want? And like, what does Marvin want? And Marvin is like, you know, he’s he’s Korean. So how much he cares about the Vietnamese experience and language low He’s just kind of like thinking about time. And so I kind of feel guilt about it and then I’m like, oh God, maybe I’m the one stuck driving then, you know, so that’s kind of where I’m sitting right now is like, if, and I’m also worried about bringing to the Vietnamese school because I’m like, test scores are low.

    Susan: Yeah. Is he going to be in a situation that is good for him? Or like, [00:47:00] and what does that mean? Like, I don’t know if there’s going to be more violence on campus or your friend group really matters. Yeah. But then I was like, I grew up poor. Am I afraid of people like me? You know, that’s a big question.

    Susan: And then I could be afraid of all those things in terms of the test scores and stuff, or I can be like, Hey, I’m bringing in my energy and it’s actually a positive thing for the community and I’m going to be mindful and we’re going to rise the tides for everybody. Yeah. So I’m kind of sitting here going like, am I thinking that I’m a savior?

    Susan: Am I thinking that I’m being a good mom with a heritage part? Am I? And I really going to drive him more time each day, you know, like I I’m sitting here just so many parts of me is just debating what I truly want and what I’m secretly afraid that I am. Yeah. Yeah. [00:48:00]

    Kate: The challenge here is that not only are we all thinking about what is right for our child?

    Kate: Like what, where, what environment would he, she thrive in? So we’re considering from the perspective of the child, right? But while also thinking about, well, at least two of you, more than me the social context, both societal, also your neighborhood. Right? And I think that’s a lot more than our parents were ever thinking of.

    Kate: Right. It was so much more simple. There was kind of like, you know, there’s, there’s a, there’s a safety in formulas, right. Just find the best school, just pick this path.

    Kate: And also it seems like from our conversations that the three of us correct me, if I’m wrong, are driving the conversation in the household.

    Kate: It’s definitely the, for sure. Me and my household, that my spreadsheet is my making. So, and then Susan just said, you seem to sort of be taking the reins. What about you, Jeanette? Are you and Jake sort of both evenly contributing to the conversation or do you, is there [00:49:00] one person who drives it?

    Jeanette: Jake does do a lot of his work in education, but I still am doing the spreadsheet.

    Jeanette: I mean, he, he obviously has his view. I mean, this is also a little bit like where I think it’s interesting, right? Because Jake has more of a systems view. So he’s like, oh yeah, that school is fine because of X, Y, and Z. . But I’m like, you’re not thinking of the individual who’s our child.

    Jeanette: Right. And I don’t really care so much about , in this instance, what the system is doing. I care about what’s right for our kid. And so, you know, I think that that’s kind of a, an interesting dynamic there too. Yeah, so, I mean, he contributes, he, he obviously knows a lot about this and he also for whatever reason, like in the Seattle public school system, he knows more parents.

    Jeanette: So he’s able to contribute that way, kind of give input into what kind of experiences people are having at different schools. But , in terms of , let’s sit down [00:50:00] for three hours and really read through the Seattle public school website and see how the whole choice system works.

    Jeanette: And like, you know, when are the deadlines and , what are the important dates we can’t miss and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like, that’s like,

    Jeanette: that’s. I think with all of this being said, I can’t remember where I read this or maybe somebody told me, but one thing that none of us has mentioned is that unlike our parents’ generation all three of us and all three of our spouses are top tier educated, very well-resourced.

    Kate: And for most, I think, I, again, don’t remember where I read it, but for a lot of kids, it’s your family, your immediate family, your parents that have the most impact right. In terms of kind of [00:51:00] how you do in this way academically. So I just wonder too, I’m just going to throw it out there if somehow we’re just sort of like navel gazing a lot, you know, because totally for sure.

    Kate: Right.

    Susan: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, what does navel gazing mean? Because I definitely have an, any, what does that mean?

    Kate: Or like maybe more of like associate preaching the choir. I don’t know that we are kind of like, we are, our kids will already be fine because of already who we are, like our socioeconomic and social, like position in the society.

    Kate: Right. And that, you know, that’s a place where most people can’t even get to. And I think it’s getting harder to get there. And so are we just kind of, you know,

    Kate: preaching into the

    Kate: choir I mean, not taking it a devalues of it, maybe it’s just to try to make us all feel slightly better as we’re, you know, spending a lot of time in this process that at the end of the day, the likelihood is [00:52:00] that our kids will turn out fine because of us and the environment that we create at home.

    Jeanette: Yeah. That actually makes me

    Jeanette: feel worse because why? Well, because, because Because then it makes me feel like, oh, maybe I should be taking more of a hit, right. For the good of my community. If my kid’s already going to be fine, like maybe I should just send him to school. Right.

    Jeanette: Because like, he’s already going to be fine. Right. So like, you know, why am I spending all, all this time that I could be putting to something else and driving him and like researching all of this stuff when he’s already probably going to be fine. And I don’t need to , you know, rack my brain, trying to figure out like the optimal set up for him.

    Jeanette: I’m just pushing you Kate. Right. I’ve read that research too. That’s the biggest single influencing factor, right. For how a kid does academically is like, they’re their parents and actually, especially their moms educational attainment. [00:53:00] So yes, our kids are already coming with so many advantages.

    Jeanette: And. It just kind of compiles, right? Because it’s like, not only do they already have advantages, but they already have parents who can navigate the school district website and who have time to drive them to different things and have flexibility, you know, like, so it’s just like compiles. So it actually makes me feel worse, but, but I see what you’re saying.

    Kate: Well, I’m not saying that I, it makes me do less. I mean, I, I, I don’t think that I do less because of it, or I necessarily worry less, but let’s just throw it out there as a statement, right. That just to call attention to our privilege already and discuss, like having this conversation, which I think oftentimes it’s really easy to forget.

    Kate: And I I’m reminded of that because I’m in, you know, a bunch of these like Facebook or whatever else groups I have created. And I participate in with, you know, upper middle-class, mostly moms talking about this and getting really worried that somehow their child is going to have like a disaster of a life because they didn’t go to the best bilingual school.

    Kate: And I’m like, okay, [00:54:00] Semi laughing at them, but also being like, that’s me. Right. I mean, does anybody else feel the sense of self-loathing like where you, if you are participating in this, you know, the mom’s form or like all these groups or whatever, and you’re like, oh, that problem is so like intense and kind of crazy obsessive.

    Kate: And you’re just like, that’s not me. And then you realize, oh, actually it is kind of me. I definitely do that. Right. I don’t know by the, you do that.

    Jeanette: I just don’t think I’m like, I’m not that big of a social media person for better, for worse. So it’s

    Kate: just, and social media, it’s like on the forums where people talk about, you know, when you read reviews or even talking to other parents, right?

    Jeanette: Yeah, yeah. No,

    Jeanette: I think just, yeah, no, I, I think I, I hear you, but it’s just, I think our vectors for which information sources where you rely on are a little bit different. And I think that’s actually a weakness of mine that I don’t really tap into other people for information as well.

    Kate: I have to, because there is

    Kate: no website [00:55:00] for life. Right. We find the best bilingual, you know, daycares in Seattle. I created that it’s called an Excel spreadsheet created by me and participated by all these other ladies that I’ve gathered together. Right. But I, so I think it’s part, partly the research, like just where, where we find information is available.

    Kate: Right, right, right.

    Susan: Okay. Look, Kate, you had said the power of the influence of the parents meet turns out that those kids will turn out fine. And I I’m just so curious about what the word sign like does that mean like they, they can get into any college they want to does that mean they don’t have any significant drug and alcohol problems and, or.

    Susan: Or eating disorders like, I mean, what is the definition of fine? I just want to put that out there. And then I also want to bring to our attention, this documentary that just came out called try harder. It came out at Sundance this year and it, it travels the lives of all these [00:56:00] Lowell high school students in San Francisco.

    Susan: One of the top magnet schools there, and mostly Asian-American students are trying really fricking hard to all get into Stanford, Harvard, but it’s such a competitive instant pot pressure cooker in their school that a lot of them break down and they, they just, and what they think is important and their own values, it just, it’s, it’s, it’s a very intriguing documentary that I just watched.

    Susan: And so what I’m trying to figure out here is just that balance. Be there for my kid, give them all the opportunities, but also don’t get them in a place where he is secretly buying Adderall. You get what I’m saying, which is like,  how do we give them what they need? And also put them in the best position possible without messing them up.

    Susan: Cause when we mess them up either way,

    Jeanette: That’s kind of what I had in mind. When we were talking in the beginning, right. About how you can’t control everything. I mean,

    Jeanette: I think he does

    Jeanette: need to accept that [00:57:00] as a parent. If you are engineering your kid to get into three only three colleges or something, or only one college, you’re probably bending them to the point where they’re almost breaking.

    Jeanette: Right. And so I don’t think that there’s any hard and fast rules, but I think one thing I feel like I’m realizing more for myself is that I just have to accept that I cannot control everything that happens in their life. there’s certain inputs that I can give that I can focus on.

    Jeanette: And I think the most important ones are like my relationship with them and the environments that I put them in. But , I have to have a certain level of , openhandedness about what

    Jeanette: actually happens.

    Jeanette: Because if they know that I’m only gonna accept or be okay with one certain outcome, very specific outcome, then, you know, I think that that’s kind of where you get into these spaces where like I have to

    Jeanette: buy Adderall secretly or , my life is over and I’m going to step in front of a train if I don’t get into X college. Right. That’s terrible. I mean, [00:58:00] you know, and I think to avoid that, I just have to be like, okay, you know, we’re going to do X, Y, and Z, but , we’ll see what happens. And I, you know, I’m going to love you no matter what, your life is not over.

    Jeanette: Because of whatever, you know?

    Kate: Yeah. I think you can’t, I think that your kids will be fine, meaning it’s more what they. Have which is, they’re not, you know, like poor, they’re not on drugs and on jail, all these things to answer your earlier question, Susan, but it’s not what they could be, which could take on infinite variations.

    Kate: Right? I mean, you could still be quote unquote successful and still be addicted to Adderall. Right. And so I think

    Kate: many

    Kate: of them that said, trust me, people at Harvard did stuff that, you know, anyway and still do. But I think is getting too, which I also really believe in as, at the end of the day. You want to make sure that your relationship with your child is a healthy one, where they feel comfortable coming to you, even, when they have low moments Right [00:59:00] because that’s bound to happen, even if they are successful, you know, there’ll be that first breakup. There’ll be, you know, they get, oh my gosh, like a C on a test or something. And whereas when I think about my childhood, I could never go to my parents for those moments.

    Kate: Right. I had to deal with it myself because I was too afraid to where there was no trust there because of, you know, attachment issues. And I can imagine that life for my daughter, it would be truly tragic if she ended up on that trajectory, like I would have felt like I had a hundred percent failed as a parent, which is ironic because although that happened to me, you know, I don’t know if my parents, I don’t think my parents feel like they failed as a parent.

    Kate: Right. It’s just different generations, different expectations. But for me, I wouldn’t want that to happen.

    Susan: I would love to do a follow-up episode in 10 years and 20 years in 30 years. And like, really just see what happens. I’ll be like, oh, you know, what is going on with art right now? I have to tell you, I love him, but I don’t love him right now.

    Kate: [01:00:00] Yeah. Yeah. All we can do is be those inputs. Right.

    Kate: you’ve just listened to a confessional of model minority moms. If you loved this episode, please give us a rating. Follow us on Instagram at model minority moms and tell a friend about us. If you have a suggestion for a future episode or questions, send us an email@modelminoritymomsatgmail.com

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