Upper & Upper Middle-Class Parents - Essential Knowledge? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My question is specifically for families with higher incomes - low 6-figures in and average COL area. What do you consider essential skills for your children to learn that are likely class-related? DH & I were talking today about wines. Our children are way too young to drink, but I want them to know the difference between types of wines, food complements, etc. I am from a working class family, and I've had to kind of figure it all out on my own. I guess I'm just thinking about a more systematic approach with DC.

 

I was telling my husband about going into a restaurant that someone else suggested. The entire menu was in Italian. I don't really remember anything about the restaurant except that I kept praying that I could guess well enough from Italian (which I don't speak) to French to English to like what I ordered. I want my children to be better prepared. I'm curious as to what other parents in this income bracket feel are essential bits of knowledge. 


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#2 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:01 PM
 
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That they shouldn't care and that life is about experiences.  Nobody should be concerned about class.  Sorry I'm in that income bracket and that's how I feel.   Also if you go somewhere and you don't understand the menu, then ask.  That's how you learn about something anyway.  Wine tastings are there to learn about different wines.  My friend in Berkley runs his own wine tasting house and he likes people to come in not know about the wines... in fact he hates the pretentious attitude of those who think they know all there is to know.  Then again that's Berkley and I doubt I'll ever see that income bracket.

 

So what I'm passing onto my kids is you're no better than anyone.  Feel comfortable in a Jalisco and feel comfortable in an establishment where the plates are over 70 and the entrees are hidden under a tiny leaf.  Just don't waste your money there.  Honestly, the tacos are better at the Jalisco.  Oh and a taste for wine is not a requirement in a life of happiness. 

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#3 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:32 PM
 
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I'm middle middle class but I'm actually more worried about my kids learning things they might miss from living a comfortable lifestyle then in wanting them to learn the social niceties of being an upper income earner.

 

I worry that if I pay for my kids college they won't value it as much and work as hard (I payed my own way and am still working on the loans, but I knew the cost and value of what I was paying for each semester as I payed my tuition).

My kids don't see us making a lot of sacrifices to meet our budget and I wonder if they appreciate the value of an economical menu, few extras, ect. and if they ever do need to cut back to make ends meet will they know how to do it having never seen it.

 

I guess I worry more about them learning the value of hard work, how to make frugal decisions, how to live on a budget and those sorts of things.


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#4 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. I have no idea why you seem so angry and offended.

 

As I said, I grew up in a working-class family and neighborhood. I am comfortable there. My husband grew up in an upper middle-class family, and while he's wonderfully open to friends from all walks of life, there are parts of that working-class world that are incredibly foreign to him. He has sometimes felt left out because he didn't get whatever reference or cultural norm that the other men were discussing. Those situations are what I'm considering when I think about my children's lives. 

 

I think that you took my question to mean that one should go only to high-end places, but I'm thinking more of work-related situations. Yes, knowing the right wine to order does matter in some professions. It goes beyond food, though. I'm expected to understand references to classic literature and be able to discuss philosophers. I often have questions about what's acceptable and expected in certain groups.

 

I would not ask for someone to translate a menu because that just doesn't mesh with my style. That's not the way to learn for me - a single word, yes, but not an entire menu. I would never ask for someone to translate for me when I'm out with a client, for example. In the instance I mentioned, I was with an older person in my profession, and she would have been mortified if I'd asked for a translation. My answer after that situation was to pick up pocket tourist guides in a range of languages and learn the basics. That doesn't mean it's the only or best way to handle the situation, but it's how I opted to do it. I will make sure that my kids know how to order and ask for the bathroom and do those basics in a number of common languages. 

 

 

 

 


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#5 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

That they shouldn't care and that life is about experiences.  Nobody should be concerned about class.  ....  Honestly, the tacos are better at the Jalisco.  


We are upper middle class, kids attend private school, etc.

 

And I agree with this statement.

 

However, above a certain income level, there are certain experiences that most children have -- such as skiing. And swimming with dolphins. And going on at least one cruise.  (not wanting to debate this -- just saying what I see)

 

Studying a language is a good idea for many, many reason, but I only know a handful of people who are proficient in more than one. Presented with a menu that is a mystery, ask. My DH works in industry where he works with (and eats out with) millionaires.   No body know everything, and generally the more money people have and the more comfortable they are in their own skin, the easier time they have admitting where that line stops for them.  Your cut off of a 100K really isn't that much money when we are talking about MONEY. It's not enough, even in a moderate COL area, to eat at snotty restaurants all the time and raise family.

 

I think that when you find yourself out of your depth, it shows something about yourself to then go and learn more about it. My language at school was German, but I'm suddenly in some new situations where a lot of people speak Spanish. So I went to the book store and bought some listen-and-learn tapes for my drive time and I'm working on it. If they Italian restaurant was an issue, then learn a little Italian. Sounds like fun. thumb.gif

 

I feel it is essential that my kids know that how much money someone's parents make is NOT an indication of anything. Nothing.

 

I want them to be able to handle social situations, such as questions about what they did on vacation, in such a way that they won't make someone who took a less expensive vacation feel bad. I want them to be able to enjoy simple pleasures, such as having friends around and grilling. I want them to know how to make their own fun.

 

(My kids have been on a cruise and will swim with Belugas over memorial day. We skip skiing due to one of my DD's special needs. They both study a foreign language of their own choosing. We don't enjoy snotty restaurants, but we love ethnic food and value our children having favorite dishes at the Thai and Indian restaurants near us as well as the Mexican and Chinese. )


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
I worry that if I pay for my kids college they won't value it as much and work as hard (I payed my own way and am still working on the loans, but I knew the cost and value of what I was paying for each semester as I payed my tuition).

My kids don't see us making a lot of sacrifices to meet our budget and I wonder if they appreciate the value of an economical menu, few extras, ect. and if they ever do need to cut back to make ends meet will they know how to do it having never seen it.


We have those discussions. My college was paid by a combination of scholarships & loans. My parents didn't pay for any of it. I'm not sure that I "appreciate it more" the way that a lot of people claim. We will pay for our children's college & post-graduate/professional schools if at all possible. We draw that line more at expenses that aren't needs. We won't buy them a car outright, as an example. They will have to pay half and keep up their insurance, etc. For me, too, there are things that I couldn't afford to do, and I want my kids to get to do them. I looked at a number of internships that I couldn't accept because I couldn't work 30 or 40 hours a week in an unpaid internship. I had no way to pay my bills during that time. I want my kids to be able to take those opportunities. 


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#7 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Your cut off of a 100K really isn't that much money when we are talking about MONEY. It's not enough, even in a moderate COL area, to eat at snotty restaurants all the time and raise family.

 



That was the minimum money I was talking about - not the max. I guess that we're really talking about the top 1-2 percent of income earners. My best guess is that our active income probably won't ever exceed $250K, but we're building a real estate portfolio that gives our children built-in residual income that will make the chance of them making more money higher. In terms of personality, my kids are very different. My daughter is more artsy, and I imagine that she will live much more frugally than my son, who definitely has champagne tastes. I would like to provide them with the information and experiences to be comfortable wherever they decide to be in life.

 

-- Yes, when I had that Italian restaurant experience, I was way out of my depth. I was 22 and just out of graduate school. I was petrified! Now, I would handle things differently. It was really just an example of an out of my element kind of experience. There are intellectual and economic issues at play for me. Though I have a very high IQ, I didn't grow up in an educated family. They're smart, capable people, but they're not formally educated. I've played a lot of catch-up as an adult to know what others around me know. Of course, no one knows everything, but there is a body of knowledge that I believe it's anticipated that people in certain fields have. 


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#8 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:53 PM
 
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I'm not sure who is angry and offended. I think you got good answers (and I hope mine will help, too).

 

I'm not clear on what you're asking though... In the OP, you focused on things like language and wine and food complementing -- cultural things that people who travel and can afford high-end dining know. But then you refer to your husband not "getting" the working-class culture. Well, which is it? Do you want to know what high-class stuff you should be teaching your kids, like wine pairing, or do you want them to be able to talk to people with a lower income than theirs without sounding/feeling like they're from a different planet?

 

I agree that class isn't something they need to worry about. Behaving nicely wherever they are, and enjoying experiences are what's important. It's not rude to ask a waiter/waitress to translate part of a menu that is written in a language other than the primary language spoken in whatever country you're in. No, I wouldn't want to sit with someone who asked for a translation of every menu item, but you could ask about which pasta dish they recommend, or say that you'd like help choosing a chicken dish since you don't eat beef or pork. There's nothing wrong with that, and if the person you are with is going to be mortified that you don't speak the foreign language there, then they should have asked you to begin with. Otherwise, that's their lack of manners, not yours. Snobby and pretentious is not what you're going for with your kids, is it?

 

I think that basic manners are important, formal table manners can't hurt. One thing that stuck with me from summer camp ages ago -- we were taught the "difference" between women and ladies. This was an old-fashioned  camp in the southern US, so I don't know how well it translates to the rest of the world, but I liked it. Women know when to be ladies, and when to be women. Ladies only know how to be "LADIES." IOW, know when to let your hair down and not worry if your napkin is in your lap. Know that sometimes (like at a crawdad boil) it's okay not to use a fork, nevermind to worry that you don't have a proper seafood fork in front of you. It's okay to get dirty sometimes. It's not okay to be rude. EVER. And that means saying "please" and "thank you" regardless of who is serving (Mom, stranger, someone's servant), and "thank you" includes thank-you notes and host/hostess gifts.

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#9 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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This is one of the most classicist posts I have seen in a long time.

 

Why do you assume that people with lower income do not know anything about wine? Or  that they can't order food in Italian?

 

 

You should teach your kids that just because your family is upper class right now, nothing is forever. That anything can happens and one might drop down form one station on life....all the way down.

 

Teach your kids how to be polite, how to work hard, encourage them to get job, to learn how to cook, to to their own laundry,  etc etc etc. Life skills.

 

 

 

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#10 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

we're building a real estate portfolio that gives our children built-in residual income that will make the chance of them making much more higher. In terms of personality, my kids are very different. My daughter is more artsy, and I imagine that she will live much more frugally than my son, who definitely has champagne tastes. I would like to provide them with the information and experiences to be comfortable wherever they decide to be in life.


I recommend reading The Millionaire Next Door.

 

It's a study of self-made millionaires and how they do things, and there is some VERY interesting stuff in there on parenting and money. I think the information to be comfortable in a snotty life style is far, far less important than teaching kids financial skills. Right now, your plan could easily make your children bottomless financial pits.

 

It's not setting them up to Have Money, but rather to Spend Money. Very different things.

 

 

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#11 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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To me, the benefits of raising children whist having financial security are these:

 

- consistently having basic needs met

(I remember running out of hot water, gas for the stove, etc. when I was a kid and there's a feeling of worry and desperation that I don't want my children to ever have to feel while they are still children)

 

- growing up with a minimal sense of entitlement

(poor people often don't feel entitled to anything, not even fair treatment or protection of their human rights because sadly, even if they're entitled to it they don't always get it)

 

- better education

(by that I mean the type of education where a child is encouraged to learn how to learn and learn how to think; they're not just given a bunch of worksheets)

 

- access to the more expensive sports

(tennis, skiing, golf, etc.)

 

- travel

(to appreciate other cultures and learn how most differences don't matter)

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Oh yeah. Life skills. Like basic car maintenance so when something goes wrong, they can tell that the car is completely out of oil AND know not to drive it any further. Or not to drive on a flat tire. And how to cook/clean for themselves (and essentially run a household, b/c no matter what gender they are, what their marital status is, they should know how to maintain their living space without a maid).

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#13 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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You posted after mine and I'm not angry.  I just disagree that those are important things.   And I think Linda said it, the lower end of the 100k spectrum doesn't mean going out to highend  restaraunts.  Means that I have more money to put away for important things like Awesome experiences for my kids.  Of course I save and I don't use credit.  So my income... is all my own.  Well close to it.  And I grew up on government cheese and powdered milk.  My grandparents are Millionaires and they did not believe in hand outs.  Which I agree with.  I worked hard to get here and this is my single income.   YEAH WOMEN... Also in IT.

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#14 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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I don't think my kids need to know about wine pairings and options until they're drinking age. But maybe table manners? Though really, everyone needs to know those regardless of income. I guess like what various less common implements are and how to use them maybe?

 

This isn't something I really worry about because I think it's less about them being taught then that they'll naturally come into contact with this stuff.

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#15 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 03:55 PM
 
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Interesting question and interesting thoughts. 

 

I think I grew up in what you are talking about, and my parents did a decent job.  They taught me the value of money and hard work.  They let me experience things that I couldn't have if I had needed to work those full-time summer jobs every year.  I was able to do a lot of volunteering and service work.

 

I think the comfort you are talking about is pretty evasive.  It really depends on which circle you end up in.  I mean, teaching table manners for a nice restaurant, so your kid isn't rude is probably about the only thing I can think of that is universal.  Things like italian and skiing and cruises, etc. really depend on where you live and what interests there are socially.  I suppose teaching a child to listen before they speak would be helpful.  Then you can understand where the other person is coming from before you spout off ignorantly about something.  Perhaps the art of being subtle?  It's always classier to be less ostentatious.  And I suppose the idea that everyone pursues higher education is class related. 

 

I went to a high school where 50-75% of the families were quite rich.  Our upper-middle-class lifestyle was lower end for the school, and I do remember being surprised by and learning a lot about money when I started.  But that was high school stuff too.  It was what brands of clothes were cool with that crowd.  What types of sports were cool.  What hobbies were cool.  I suppose going to the theatre as a hobby is probably upper class... but with student rush tickets it wouldn't have to be...  Learning about IRAs in math  class...  The choices of what was liked were influenced by the money available to these kids, but it was still a bunch of teens somewhere picking what they wanted to be "in" and "out".  I remember feeling bad for the kids where the families had so much money they didn't have time for the kids.  I remember realizing how important it was that my parents were interested in us as people and what we cared about - that they weren't too wrapped up in their careers or busy to take time to watch my ball games. 

 

I think being a little uncomfortable in new situations and with different crowds is just the way life is.  The more experiences a person has with being in different groups, the more one can realize it's okay to work your way through the discomfort and find a spot. 

 

I also moved to a working class town after marriage.  There are different topics discussed, different priorities in life...  I think that in contrast to my up-bringing, there is a general focus on ideas and theories in the upper-middle-class lifestyle, whereas in the working class lifestyle it is a more practical focus.  I can see how you would find it intimidating to go from working to upper class social groups, but it is also intimidating the other way.  And it also isn't always about "class" - it is about regional differences and career differences. 

 

I think the best way to prepare a child for life is to focus on good values, community, and religious faith (personally).

 

HTH

 

Tjej 

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#16 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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Whoa. A thread with an income requirement?  I didn't realize there was a different way to parent children whose parents make six figures or more.  

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#17 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 04:19 PM
 
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I apparently was mean for disagreeing... meh


 

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Whoa. A thread with an income requirement?  I didn't realize there was a different way to parent children whose parents make six figures or more.  



 

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#18 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 04:58 PM
 
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I do not meet the income requirement, but my parents were close when I was growing up. So take this with a grain of salt I suppose.

I think you should talk to them about the situations that less fortunate people find themselves in. I always find it sad when my cousins (whose parents make very good money) talk about how learning Spanish just encourages Mexican immigrants not to learn English. So I should get my son in a French class. Umm... No thanks.

I always find it enlightening when anti-choice individuals could afford to seek medical care in another country if necessary (I'm not starting a debate on this subject), or are unaware of the hypocrisy within that movement.

I would want them to know that things like food stamps and cash assistance are necessary thing for the government to provide families who are struggling to get on their feet (and that unless they've heard the stories first hand that they don't know what circumstances got them into that position). I'm a law school grad, and needed food stamps to feed my kid until I got a job, we were on state insurance during that time as well, and now we are off all assistance - but only because we had help when we needed it.

I would also teach them that ALL members of our society have value. No matter what their job is. I had a professor ask on a test what the cleaning ladies name was - if you didn't know you lost a point. The professor was adamant that she was just as important as any of the material on the test (sociology class), and that we as a class needed to value those that kept our learning environment clean. I learned a BIG lesson in that class. I try to take it to heart still.

My dad also used to tell me that he didn't care what my career ended up being, as long as I got my education. He meant it too. My younger brother is working at a grocery store while he looks for something that fits with his background, and my dad is just as proud of him as he is of me and my older brother.

Etc.
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#19 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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Everything that Super-Single-Mama pointed out above really resonated with me because ultimately I think that what allows one to navigate through this world and in all situations is a healthy reserve of empathy.  

 

OP, I think as far as "cultural" stuff is concerned (things like appreciation or knowledge of what some would describe as the finer things...high end cuisines, fine art, all the stuff that requires a bit of cash), one will be presented with those things at one time or another, but I don't think that lifestyle items should be the focus.  I can say with confidence that the people who I've encountered who were really concerned with those skills were the people who were desperately trying to achieve a certain status, real or imagined.  I think someone above mentioned something about priorities and I think that even people who reside in certain upper classes probably have such a wide range of priorities that things which once defined the upper classes don't have much meaning anymore.  

 

I grew up in an upper middle class family and now have a very comfortable existence due to varying choices I made here and there combined with a little luck.  The single best thing my parents ever did for me was to expose me to poverty...to make me aware that my fortunate childhood circumstances were not the norm.  I have carried this lesson with me throughout my life and I think it has given me a much different perspective on what is actually important and what my focuses should be.  On a light note, my parents weren't the traveling or dining out types, but they did give me unlimited access to books.  In my youth, I like to joke, I traveled everywhere, even to outer space....I learned about people, places, things, cultures, languages, queens and kings.  Through this I developed a curious mind.  The great thing about curiosity is that it opens many doors.  I think the curious individual will experiment, learn and adapt to many situations, whether it is surviving an Italian restaurant menu or navigating a dicey part of town.  

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#20 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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I'm in your income bracket (was growing up as well) and honestly I think those concerns are silly and pretentious.  If you have an interest in wine, that's great and it can be a fine hobby.  I don't really care to waste my brain space on grape varietals and harvest years so I usually let someone else choose, or ask the waiter or sommelier what they recommend. (Btw it's largely my DH's income that put us in this bracket and he doesn't even drink.)

 

If I couldn't understand a menu I would either ask for an English one or again, ask the waiter what he recommended.

 

I majored in philosophy bc I enjoyed it; most people in this particular income bracket didn't and don't and haven't much to add to a discussion of Kantian metaphysics, and why should they?  I certainly wouldn't have any expectation that someone would or wouldn't based on his tax return.

 

I wonder whether your own sense of being an 'outsider' is causing you to give these things more importance than they merit?

 

In general one makes a better impression by being comfortable in one's own skin than by trying to cover up one's imagined deficits.  Eg a polite request for an English menu (or a charming smile along with, "I'm afraid I don't speak Italian; what dish would you recommend?) looks much more confident than a flustered attempt to pronounce an Italian phrase one doesn't understand.

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#21 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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Well then... start learning as many languages as you can.  You never want to feel out of place...  And recently I went to lunch with the President of our company, the man makes more than all of us on mothering combined and he had no problem asking the waitress what was on the menu.  It was in Hebrew... there was an English version but I think he really enjoyed talking to the people there... always learning. 

 

By the way that's not the norm for us, he just chose to do his town hall in our City and wanted all of us to have a meal together.
 

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Wow. I have no idea why you seem so angry and offended.

 

As I said, I grew up in a working-class family and neighborhood. I am comfortable there. My husband grew up in an upper middle-class family, and while he's wonderfully open to friends from all walks of life, there are parts of that working-class world that are incredibly foreign to him. He has sometimes felt left out because he didn't get whatever reference or cultural norm that the other men were discussing. Those situations are what I'm considering when I think about my children's lives. 

 

I think that you took my question to mean that one should go only to high-end places, but I'm thinking more of work-related situations. Yes, knowing the right wine to order does matter in some professions. It goes beyond food, though. I'm expected to understand references to classic literature and be able to discuss philosophers. I often have questions about what's acceptable and expected in certain groups.

 

I would not ask for someone to translate a menu because that just doesn't mesh with my style. That's not the way to learn for me - a single word, yes, but not an entire menu. I would never ask for someone to translate for me when I'm out with a client, for example. In the instance I mentioned, I was with an older person in my profession, and she would have been mortified if I'd asked for a translation. My answer after that situation was to pick up pocket tourist guides in a range of languages and learn the basics. That doesn't mean it's the only or best way to handle the situation, but it's how I opted to do it. I will make sure that my kids know how to order and ask for the bathroom and do those basics in a number of common languages. 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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#22 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 06:57 PM
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I think you're talking about what Bourdieu termed "cultural capital". Wikipedia has a pretty good article on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_capital

Basically, it's about knowing and doing the things that give you status - in this case, status in upper-middle and upper class society. Most people probably don't even realize they're doing these things - standing up straight, having good table manners, dressing in a certain way, speaking in a certain way and at a certain volume... and there is content-stuff too, like being able to converse about certain topics (art, theatre, politics) knowledgeably, or knowing what to bring when you're invited to a dinner party.

I guess you can teach some of that stuff, but I think it's hard if you don't live it. I was raised upper middle class and even though my daughter and I have always been poor, she has the cultural capital to fit in upper middle class US society... the knowledge, the manners, the look. I transmitted that to her mostly without thinking, because it felt "right" to me.

Asking about something on the menu is perfectly okay, in my book. The key would be being able to look directly at the waiter, asking with confidence and grace, and then thanking him. A better strategy would probably be to ask the waiter to recommend something, and say a few words about your preferences. That's what a good waiter wants to do...

 
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#23 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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Cultural capital does not  always depend on money.

 

I grew up very poor just like 99% of population in Soviet Union but my education was such that by age 14 I attended more opera, theater, ballet etc than many upper middle class American will in their entire life. I can talk about many topics .

 

Because of my husbands work, my kids had amazing access to art in every imaginable way.

 

It is not always the money. Sometime it is just luck.

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#24 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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I would also teach them that ALL members of our society have value. No matter what their job is. I had a professor ask on a test what the cleaning ladies name was - if you didn't know you lost a point. The professor was adamant that she was just as important as any of the material on the test (sociology class), and that we as a class needed to value those that kept our learning environment clean.
 


 

One night over beers the VP and directors of my DH's company got to talking about who at the company they respected the most. One of VP said the woman who did the floors. He felt she had the most boring, repetitious job in the entire place, and he was impressed that she always had a smile on her face and said hi to everyone. He respected her work ethic.

 

(most of the men I know who earn over 100K prefer beer to wine)

 

I think that some of the things the OPer is concerned about won't ever be an issue for her kids. If you are living a certain life style, then you learn the little things that go along with it without ever trying.

 

There are little things that I didn't grow up with that I wanted my kids to be comfortable with. But now they aren't a big deal to my children at all. Going to a nice salon for example -- my mother always took me to the beauty college. The first time I went to a nice salon I felt like I was walking into a private club and might be asked to leave! But it isn't a big deal to my kids at all. They'd rather just let their hair grow forever and then die it with stuff from Walgreens.

 

One of my friends grew up poor in New Jersey near New York, and ended up married to a surgeon. She once said that what she really wanted for her DD was for her to have the self confidence that if she were in New York and needed to pee, she would just go into a nice hotel and use the restroom. The restrooms at the nice hotels were for her the same way nice salons were for me -- some place she felt she had no right to be.

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#25 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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I think with income it's easier to support your children in extracurriculars and you have more educational choices available to you.  I would like my kids to read music and play an instrument and to pursue a sport seriously, depending on their interests of course.  If we didn't have any extra money I would still have the same priorities but I imagine it would be harder to see them through.  My parents had a little extra and paid for years of figure skating lessons, ice time, driving to competitions, etc.  They didn't teach me anything about wine pairings though - guess I'm uncultured ;-)

 

 

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#26 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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Well, I'm poor, so I don't know if you want to hear my answer but I would say:

 

- Table manners

- How to be polite and kind to everyone, even if they don't have money

- Less is more. It's terribly gauche to be flashy, that's only for the nouveau riche.

- To understand that not everyone knows everything and it's OK to ask

 

Other things would be for you to travel. Take them to Europe to experience the culture. Take them to shows and ballets. Take them skiing and to Fiji. Basically show them the world so they can experience different cultures and ways of life. To me that is the most important thing.

 

Also, I grew up upper middle class and I've never discussed philosophy with anyone.

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#27 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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This seems like an issue of fitting in - whether it's based on wealth, or lack of it, or some other parameters. 

 

The most helpful thing is to guide your DC to be a confident and resilient person - it'll help them navigate through whatever comes their way.

 


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#28 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 08:29 PM
 
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I will say that one thing this thread has reminded me is that I need to do this stuff with my boys. Growing up we always had the table set with a table cloth, the right cutlery, linen napkins. I've got to work on those things.


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#29 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 08:31 PM
 
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If you don't do it now, you probably didn't think it was that important to begin with. 
 

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Originally Posted by Learning_Mum View Post

I will say that one thing this thread has reminded me is that I need to do this stuff with my boys. Growing up we always had the table set with a table cloth, the right cutlery, linen napkins. I've got to work on those things.



 

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#30 of 345 Old 02-19-2012, 08:33 PM
 
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Actually the most important thing to me would be grammar and elocution.


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