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.

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5 Ways Parents Head Off College Anxiety

This article is for you whether you’ve got a high schooler or a college student experiencing college anxiety.

When Samantha was in 10th grade, her Dad offered her a great suggestion. “Sam, why don’t we get your guidance counselor to sign you up for some college classes for next year, and you take those instead of regular high school classes? You can get real college credit for them, they’ll still count toward your high school graduation, and best of all, our state will pay for them!” Samantha hesitated, nervous apprehension squeezing at her stomach and working its way up to her chest and throat. It was her first experience with college anxiety. “I don’t know, Dad—couldn’t I just take a couple of AP classes instead?”

Don’t let your child retreat into AP classes to avoid college anxiety.

AP classes are the least dependable way to earn college credit in high school.

Contrary to popular belief, AP classes are not typically “easier than real college classes.” Think about it. Would you want to study a subject for months and months, and then have your success or failure depend on performing well on one big test at the end?

And then, after all that work, you find out that the college you’ll be attending may not even accept your hard-won AP credit?

That’s enough to exacerbate even the mildest case of college anxiety.

Here are 5 ways parents can head off college anxiety. (Number 5 is a big one.)

1. Emphasize that college success isn’t about how smart you are, it’s about how organized you are.

Your son is worried that he’s not smart enough for college. All kids are. If you went to college yourself, tell him that you really started being successful at college when you learned to use a calendar and make lists of tasks you had to do. Emphasize that organization is something anyone can learn.

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Dropping a Kid At College Feels Like a Train Wreck

You’ve just dropped a son or daughter off at college for the first time—or you’ll be doing so soon, 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 headed off to college just days ago, and here’s what I said 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:

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The Most Important Furniture Item for College Students

What’s the most important furniture item for college students besides the dorm room bed? It’s not the dorm room desk (since quiet library study carrels tend to be far better for intense and focused studying than a dorm room will ever be.)

The most important furniture item for college students is a two-drawer filing cabinet. 

Here are 7 reasons why a two-drawer filing cabinet (along with a little instruction on how to use it) just might be the most important item your child takes along to college.

the most important furniture item for college students

1. A two-drawer filing cabinet reduces stress for students.

Without a filing system, your son will likely pile important papers on the right side of his desk. This works just fine for two weeks, until the pile becomes a massive avalanche risk and just finding a necessary paper document becomes an energy-draining ordeal.

2. There’s great power in being able to locate any necessary document in under 10 seconds.

Your daughter will greatly appreciate this when she needs to quickly locate a housing request form, or all the handwritten notes needed to study for a tough midterm.

3. Even in the 21st century, not everything’s electronic. Students still manage a massive amount of paper during college.

This is especially true for students who follow my advice and take class notes using pen and paper rather than electronic devices.

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Becoming a Veterinarian—is it a Sound Financial Decision?

Most of my articles are for parents of students age 12—26. This article is for parents, yes, but it’s also for any student thinking of becoming a veterinarian.

One of my clients at GetIntoMedSchool.com wrote me this week, asking my advice for a friend who’s thinking of becoming a veterinarian. My client wanted to know if I thought that right now, in 2018, vet school would be a good idea.

becoming a veterinarian

My thoughts on becoming a veterinarian might surprise you.

“My grave worry,” I told my client, “is that that vet school is so expensive—some veterinary students run up so much debt that they can’t repay it on a veterinarian’s salary. Anyone hoping to become a vet needs to use superstar strategies for doing it debt-free.”

Here are the steps to take.

Considering becoming a veterinarian? Do a quick salary study first.

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Moving Out of the Dorm? DormRoomMovers.com Saves the Day

Your child’s moving out of the dorm, heading off to another adventure for summer. What’s he going to do with all his stuff? You don’t want to drive the family minivan all the way there to pick it up. Especially because it’s not just clothes and school supplies. He’s got a mini-fridge and a microwave too. How can you take care of this in the easiest way possible?

Enter the dorm room moving superheroes, Dorm Room Movers.

Note that I have no affiliate agreement with this company. I’m giving you this information for free!

moving out of the dorm

Dorm Room Movers sends clean, new packing materials straight to your son or daughter’s dorm room, and then either ships them home—or, if you prefer, stores them for the summer—and then delivers them back the following fall.

Magic.

And if your child’s headed off to college for the first time this coming fall? 

Avoid paying airline baggage fees or hauling heavy boxes yourself. Save gas money. Reduce the need for your daughter to bring a car with her to college. Dorm Room Movers will send empty boxes to your house, and all you have to do is pack, print shipping labels, and schedule a pickup on the DormRoomMovers.com website.

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The Most Important Thing About High School? It’s Not Grades

Many families mistakenly believe that the most important thing about high school is getting good grades—so students can “get into a good college when they graduate.”

Not true.

What is the most important thing about high school?

In my work as an academic strategist, I’ve found that the most important thing about high school is forging the academic tools necessary for the college or vocational training that comes afterward.

 

I told one underperforming student this: “Imagine college as a place where you have to pound nails into boards, one after another, as fast as you can. Bam! Bam! Bam bam bam! High school is the place where you create your hammer. If your hammer’s put together sloppily out of string and glue and spitballs, you’ll find it difficult and exhausting and painful to pound nails in college.”

Can students “get good grades” and still miss it?

Too many high school students have figured out how to game the high school system enough to get decent grades while still not learning important skills, such as 1) putting away electronics and listening carefully in class, 2) taking thorough, complete handwritten notes, 3) seeking help when confused, and 4) using a calendar or a to-do list to make certain that assignments and test studying are done thoroughly and on time.

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Grisham NAILS IT in this Novel About Law School Debt

In March of 2018, I spent 12 days on vacation with my family. On the plane and on the beach, I read a fantastic John Grisham novel that contained a surprise for me that made my hair stand on end. What was it? The principal characters were all coping with horrific law school debt.

I’ve spent my entire professional life getting college students and grad students to careers they excel at and love with zero student loan debt. I spent years researching and writing a book on this subject. I can tell you, Grisham’s research on this topic is right on the money. He nails it.

law school debt

BEWARE. Law school debt has the potential to destroy your kid’s life.

I am not overstating this. Students who attend law school are at frightening risk of not being able to earn enough afterward to pay even the required minimums on their law school debt and interest. Law students from elite law schools who land the “big time” jobs will still struggle to pay—many times while working grueling 80+ hour workweeks that can feel more like indentured servitude than a great, fulfilling career.

Don’t fool yourself. It’s possible to get a great, fulfilling, high-paying professional career while avoiding law school.

Pages 133–151 of my book explains exactly how parents can use three career assessments to figure out what that great, fulfilling, well-paying career might be for their teen or 20something.

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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.

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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:

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