Should You Pay Your Teen to Do Things?

You’re parenting a teen, and you’ve just had a fantastic idea for him or her. Something that could pay off in huge ways down the line. But your kid isn’t interested. “Nah,” he says, scrunching up his nose and shaking his head. “Not gonna do that.” Meanwhile, he’s playing video games for hours each day. What can you do to motivate your kid to read a book that will transform his 20’s, or fill out scholarship applications, or happily attend a one-morning college study skills class? Is it a good idea to pay your teen to do these things?

Is it wise to pay your teen to do things she refuses to do otherwise?

Yes, yes, YES.

Especially because you can do this while spending less money on your kid than you are right now. Try this entertaining strategy, one that other parents are using with great success.

Continue Reading »

Dropping a Kid At College Feels Like a Train Wreck

High school graduation’s finally behind you, and you’ve got just three months (or less) until the day you’ll be dropping your kid at college. Part of you knows you should be getting a lifetime achievement award for making it this far, but instead, dropping a kid at college may feel like a train wreck in your own front yard.

dropping a kid at college

Blunt and raw, here are my own feelings about dropping a kid at college.

My own oldest son is heading off to college within weeks, and here’s what I said recently to my dear mom friends who are on the same railroad tracks as I am:

“It’s like riding a speeding freight train 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 19 straight years. The train speeds up every year and goes faster and faster and faster AND FASTER until it becomes your life and your identity and your reality—and then SUDDENLY BAM! The train screeches to a halt and everyone you love flies off and runs away happy, and you’re left concussed and dazed and shell shocked and bruised by your seat belt—with only fragmentary memories of the journey.”

My friends laughed—and then they cried. They understood.

I love these words by Beverly Beckham on the subject of dropping a kid at college:

Continue Reading »

My Best Debt-Free College Interview Yet

Listen On Your Drive to Work Today

To listen to my best debt-free college interview yet, click here.

Be sure your sound is on.

Short on time? Listen to 9 selected clips from this interview by scrolling down here

Listen while you’re driving or getting ready in the morning, and you just might change the life of a student you love.

free college

In March of 2018 I was interviewed by Andy Earle, a Loyola Marymount University researcher who focuses on parent-teen communication and teen thriving and flourishing.

I’ve been interviewed many times since my book LAUNCH came out in 2017, but this interview is by far the best. It’s the best produced, the most in-depth, the most inspiring, and the most informative.

To listen to the entire interview, or to quickly listen to just a few select clips, click here.

You’ll feel a growing sense of hope for the teens and 20somethings you love.

Continue Reading »

8 Reasons Google’s Managers Are Wildly Successful

Back in 2009, researchers in Google’s People Innovation Lab spent an entire year finding the answer to one question: “What makes managers wildly successful?”

Managers

According to this Inc. article, Google put all the resources at its disposal into data-mining “performance appraisals, employee surveys, and nominations for top manager awards.” In the end, Google statisticians had gathered more than 10,000 observations about managers—across 100 different variables.

Interestingly, Google’s research on managers is 100% applicable to parenting.

Whether you manage employees during your work day—or a house full of teenagers at home, the answers Google uncovered are applicable, inspiring, and encouraging.

Here they are. Google’s 8 qualities of great managers, listed in order of importance:

Continue Reading »

Is It True You “Can’t Look At Your Kids’ College Grades”?

You’re bleeding money to pay for your son’s college. You hope he’s attending class, studying for exams, and getting help when he’s stuck. But is he? Some people say that you can never know for sure, because, “parents aren’t allowed to look at their kids’ college grades.” Is this actually true, though?

college grades

Nope. It’s not true at all.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. It is true that because of FERPA laws enacted in 1974, colleges can’t show you — or tell you — any academic information about your child. But here’s what can happen. Your child can tell you himself. The college student you love can log you in and show you that he or she is OK.

“But what if my kid doesn’t want to show me his college grades?”

Here’s my suggestion. Wait until he asks you for money.

Continue Reading »

5 Things Parents Must Know About “Senioritis”

And 4 Things Savvy Students Can Do About It

You’ve nursed your child through bouts of the flu and strep throat, but “senioritis” is different.

“Senioritis” symptoms include not doing homework, “forgetting” to study for tests, and getting oddly low grades on homework assignments, papers, and projects that your child would normally ace.

senioritis

“I can just slack off and relax a little now,” your 12th grader reasons. “My college applications are all in, so nothing I do now will matter.”

Here are 5 truths every parent must know about “senioritis.”

1. Colleges look at all four years of high school grades.

Every college your child has applied to will require a final transcript that shows both first and second semester grades from every class taken in 12th grade. Why? Because the college needs to make certain that the student has actually graduated from high school. If senioritis leads to a streak of poor grades on the tail end of that transcript, that can derail every goal the student has been working for.

2. Colleges do rescind acceptances due to poor senior year grades.

Continue Reading »

5 Questions to Ask Every Kid Every September

This article was originally published on September 12th, 2016. It was updated and republished here on August 26th, 2017.

There’s one thing parents long for far more than straight A report cards.

Parents want kids to do their own homework in a quality manner without the parent needing to prod, nag, oversee, or push.

Want to increase your chances of having academically independent children and teens at your house?

Ask each of your children these 5 questions every September.

High Grades

Before you have this conversation, be sure your teen has a calendar, planner, or special notebook for recording assignments and due dates. Then — keeping this particular student’s personality in mind — provide some individualized teaching on the subject of workflow process management.

5 Questions:

Continue Reading »

How to Inspire Underperforming Students

This article was originally published on September 21st, 2015. It was updated and republished here on August 23rd, 2017.

Your middle schooler or high schooler tends to underperform in school — and it drives you crazy.

What’s a caring, involved parent to do? You know how high the stakes are. Is it your duty to strictly supervise and control homework so that your son or daughter gets higher grades and has a happier life ?

Sadhomework

Dr. Charles Fay of loveandlogic.com says no.

In a newsletter article published here, Charles gives parents a far better idea. “When your children get resistant,” he says, “allow them to learn through their refusal. Refusing to do a homework assignment can serve as a more important life lesson than the content of the assignment.”

Here are three additional strategies Charles recommends:

Continue Reading »

What If This 12-Year-Old Ventriloquist Had Never Practiced?

In 2017, 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer wowed the audience and the judges on America’s Got Talent. Before the 7-minute video was over I laughed, and I cried. Real tears. I am not kidding.

And then I thought…

What if Darci Lynne had never practiced ventriloquism on her own at home? What if she’d just waited until age 18, signed up for ventriloquism classes, and then expected those classes to give her everything she needed to perform like a superstar?

Would Darci Lynne have ever gotten anywhere?

ventriloquist

Continue Reading »

Key Difference Between Teens Who Succeed in School and Teens Who Don’t

This article was originally published on February 1st, 2016. It was updated and republished here on August 17th, 2017.

You desperately want your teens to succeed in school, but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.

Continue Reading »