STARTING POINT: All the Basics You Need to Know Right Now (AUDIO)

For Parents of Kids Ages 12–26

If you’re a parent and you’ve just found this, you’re probably thinking:

“Oh, wow—seriously? There’s help for getting my kids through college debt-free, and into great jobs after college? I had no idea this kind of help was available! Am I late starting this? Yikes, I don’t have any spare time! If I work on this, how much time is it going to take me?”

Rest easy, Mom and Dad. You’re not late.

And getting your kids through college debt-free takes only minutes per week.

Right now, at this moment, you’re standing at the perfect starting point.

Listen to episode 1 of my podcast, below. It takes only 23 minutes. (Listen while you’re commuting, loading the dishwasher, or getting ready in the morning.) When you finish listening, you’ll feel hope and confidence, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do next to get your kids to the most exciting academic and career destinations—even if they don’t get a single scholarship.

If you’re parenting kids ages 12–26, listen to just the first 8 minutes below, and you’ll be hooked.

debt-free college podcast

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Morgan Stanley’s Alix Magner Buys 30 Copies of LAUNCH For Her Clients

Below, the Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About This Book

LAUNCH

To see a list of the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH —along with detailed answers—scroll to the red print below. 

When Morgan Stanley’s Alix Magner calls you, you sit up a little straighter in your chair.

Alix is a high-powered, Stanford educated wealth management advisor who works with Minneapolis area families who have millions in assets—and families who are strategizing to get to that point.

When Alix told me that she’d read my book cover-to-cover and wanted to buy 30 copies for her clients, I jumped out of my chair.

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How to Survive December College Applications

There’s almost nothing more trying for a parent than December college applications.

If your 12th grader has put off completing college applications until the busy Christmas season is breathing down his neck—you know what I mean.

december college applications

If December college applications are currently adding to the stress at your house, here’s what to do.

1. If your daughter keeps putting off finishing December college applications, pay her to finish them if necessary.

(This article I’ve written on “Should You Pay Your Teen to Do Things” will help.)

2. If your son threatens to just sit out of college for a year after high school, living off of you and doing nothing instead of going on to college or job training, read this. (It’s an article I wrote titled, 5 Good Reasons to Take a Gap Year and 2 Bad Ones.)

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Change of Plans for Parents Who Follow Me! Details Here.

In late August of 2019, I made an exciting announcement to the parents who follow me. Low-cost, personal debt-free college planning help from me—coming soon!

At that time I wrote to the parents who follow me: “I’m going to be bringing together a tribe—a group of parents from all across the United States—who’ll get ongoing, personal, step-by-step help from me with implementing debt-free college strategies.”

A fantastic opportunity for parents and financial advisors who don’t want to do important college planning in isolation.

Our plans for this have changed just a bit.

This “tribe” will launch not in fall 2019, but in March 2020.

Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter, and when the launch happens you’ll be allowed to join this tribe as a founding member at the lowest possible price.

parents who follow me

“Why are we waiting until March 2020?”

I was surprised to discover that launching a tribe like the one I’m describing would require me to completely revamp my website. Quite a feat, considering that my current website has over 200 articles that parents all over the world access every day.

This “revamping my website” step required me to find a web designer experienced in tribe technology—and the first two designers I hired didn’t turn out to have the necessary experience.

Essentially—I’ve had construction delays.

Mark your calendar for March of 2020!

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This Book Reviewer Gave ME the “Best Gift Ever.”

I could hug the person who wrote this review of my book, on November 17th, 2019. For an author like me, a book review like this is the best gift ever.

best gift ever

You can see the rest of this review on Amazon here. (Look in “most recent reviews.”)

Want to buy the “best gift ever” for a parent you care about?

Whether he or she is currently parenting middle school or high school students, they’ll think it’s the best gift ever.

See the book on Amazon here: bit.ly/burlowski.

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Don’t Miss This FREE Debt-Free College Newsletter

It's a Life-Changer for Busy Families

One of the greatest services I provide for parents is my debt-free college newsletter, which you can have delivered straight to your email inbox every Monday morning.

Parents who open this debt-free college newsletter every Monday keep debt-free college at the tops of their minds as their kids are growing up.

And the best news? This debt-free college newsletter is free.

debt-free college newsletter

For you as a parent, opening this debt-free college newsletter every week greatly reduces the probability that you’ll get so busy driving kids to soccer practice that you forget about this exciting, step-by-step debt-free college journey we’re on together.

If you’re not yet receiving my free debt-free college newsletter, just find the grey “Sign up for email updates” box on this web page. And then take one extra important step.

Whitelist this debt-free college newsletter using the clear instructions here.

If you fail to take this extra step, the newsletter may accidentally get misdirected into a folder you never check. This could result in you missing important details—or not being fully up to speed when there are important changes to college financing in the United States.

This could end up costing your family thousands in unnecessary college costs—and it could even be professionally destructive to you if you’re a school counselor, a private admissions advisor, or a financial planner.

This debt-free college newsletter is free, but it’s only available to people who open it.

Open it every Monday.

And if you believe that you’ve subscribed to my particular debt-free college newsletter but you aren’t seeing it in your primary email inbox, subscribe once more using the instructions above, and then follow the whitelisting directions here.

I want to help you.

Every Monday morning.

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Is Your Parenting Ratcheting Up Your Teen’s Anxiety?

7 Strategies For Giving Your Teen a Better, More Peaceful Life

Teen anxiety is at an all-time high. How can parents help?

Or at least quit ratcheting up teen anxiety and making it worse?

Some of the root causes of teen anxiety are things parents don’t have much control over—such as our culture’s senseless obsession with elite education, or social media pointing our moral compass in a dangerous direction.

Could just confiscating the teen’s phone be an answer?

No—that won’t work. Today’s tech-savvy teens can have the phone you took away replaced by a Walmart burner phone in under an hour.

How can wise parents relieve teen anxiety in a culture where doctors say that before long, 1 in 3 teens will have a diagnosable anxiety disorder?

1. Let your teen struggle with hard things.

It sounds counterintuitive—but instead of swooping in like a helicopter to save the day when life gets tough for your middle schooler, high schooler, or college student, you could say something like, “Wow. That’s rough. What are you going to do now?”

Or, “Oh, no. That’s so incredibly frustrating. I wonder what resources you could tap into to help with that?”

Then stand back for as long as it takes to see the creative solutions your child comes up with.

teen anxiety

2. Resist the urge to make a smooth, straight road for your kids.

Instead—joy and revel in the reality that every bump and pothole they navigate on their own reduces teen anxiety by building confidence that they can handle adversity on their own.

It’s fascinating to me that one of the most effective medical treatments for anxiety is cognitive‐behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT involves—among other things—increased exposure to feared objects, activities, and situations.

You can accomplish this at home.

Give your teen the space to confront and conquer what she’s nervous about, and you’ll take a giant step toward softening and reducing teen anxiety, without making even one doctor appointment.

3. Let go of the leash of constant texting.

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My Student Carved This Hilarious Pumpkin

I got this email from a mom of an 11-year-old today. Her son carved this hilarious pumpkin, and she wanted me to see it.

“Hi Jeannie, My son was at your study skills class a few weeks back and will be at your scholarship writing seminar on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019. He took to heart your advice on student debt. Below is a picture of his Halloween pumpkin, Student Loans—the scariest thing he could think of…Thank you for all you do!”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

This boy is only 11, but his mom and I have already got him clear on this important concept: student loans are to be avoided if at all possible.

Fortunately for him, his parents are using multiple strategies that are going to help him with this mission.

To see why parents bring middle schoolers to my half-day workshops—even though these workshops would seem at first glance to be more suitable for high school, college, and grad students—read this article.

hilarious pumpkin

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Are You Crying Over One of Your Kids?

If you’re crying over one of your kids, you’re not alone.

crying over one of your kids

Millions of parents are crying themselves to sleep, heartbroken over their kids’ situations or choices—but because we live in a picture perfect, Instagram filter world, very few parents talk about it.

If you’ve been crying over one of your kids lately, take comfort in this quote from author Anne Lamott:

“Crying is the way home: it bathes us, hydrates, moisturizes us, waters the ground at our feet, where birds have been dropping seeds from the next house and county—so who knows what may grow? Pansies, carrots, roses, mint.”

—Ann Lamott

If you’ve been crying over one of your kids, there is hope.

Kids grow up.

They change.

They make different choices at one part of their lives than they do at others.

And every year, better quality help becomes available.

If you’ve been crying over one of your kids, here are some resources that might help.

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College Financing: Should Kids Just Do It Themselves?

Some parents try to save a little time, energy, and money by putting their kids in charge of planning their own college financing. 

“She’s nearly an adult—let her figure it out herself and live with the consequences,” some parents think.

But—is it actually a good idea to put kids in charge of college financing?

The purpose is to make parents consider whether it's a good idea for kids to handle their own college financing.

The answer? An emphatic no.

Parents, pleasedon’t put kids in charge of college financing.

No matter how busy you are, and no matter how bright and capable your son or daughter seems to be—please take charge of the college financing task yourself.

Figuring out college financing is too complex a task for kids.

Parents, though—you can do it!

Especially with the clear, step-by-step help I provide below.

Your teen’s brain is not yet ready for the task of college financing.

Studies show that before the age of 24, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the adolescent brain is not developed sufficiently to be able to succeed at large-scale tasks requiring high-level evaluation of risk and preparation for the future. 

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How Important is High School Homework—Really?

Guest Post by Charles Fay of LoveandLogic.com

Today I’m featuring an important guest post by Dr. Charles Fay of LoveandLogic.com.

Charles’ book From Bad Grades to a Great Life! Unlocking the Mystery of Achievement for Your Child is one of the most highly recommended resources on this website. You can get wise parenting instruction from Charles sent to your email inbox every week by joining the free Love and Logic Insider’s Club at LoveandLogic.com.

By Dr. Charles Fay

Does almost every day feel like a blur? Do you often find yourself wishing you had five or six more hands so you could juggle everything that comes your way? Conscientious parents in today’s world face a dizzying array of competing demands upon their time and energy. When everything heading our way feels like an ultimate essential, it can be tough to determine where to place our priorities.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would we at Love and Logic rank the importance of homework, grades, sports, chores, and parent-child relationships? As you read, keep in mind that these rankings are based on empirical research as well as decades of experience with thousands of parents, educators, and other professionals… and of course my own subconscious biases. Ultimately, all of us have to decide what’s best for our unique children, families, and schools.

Homework

1——2——{3}——4——5——6——7——8——9——10

homework

Homework is important, but nearly 100 years of research has failed to give it a stellar grade. Much of the debate reflects researchers’ difficulty determining how much homework is done by kids… and how much is primarily done by their parents.

Provide a time and place for your children to complete their homework. Help them as long as it is fun for both of you… and as long as they are doing most of the work. Because homework only receives a three on the scale, let them be responsible for either getting it done or explaining to their teacher why they haven’t. Never fight with your kids over homework.

See: Trautwein, U., & Koller, O. (2003). The relationship between homework and achievement—still much of a mystery. Educational Psychology Review, 15, 115-145.

Grades

1——2——3——4——{5}——6——7——8——9——10

Grades are important but not as important as developing character and a passion for learning. Besides, too many kids begin to gravitate toward easier subjects and classes because they are more concerned with GPA rather than true intellectual growth.

Sports (and other healthy extracurricular activities)

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How Filling Out the FAFSA Protects Your Kid

Filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) sounds like the best deal in the world. 

Honestly.

You as a parent spend just a little bit of time entering information into a clear, safe online form, and a kid you love magically gets put in line for free money to help pay for college.

Magically—in just minutes—your kid’s in line for nine separate federal student aid programs, over 600 state aid programs, and most of the college-based (institutional) aid available in the United States.

So why do some parents balk at filling out the FAFSA?

The biggest reason I hear from parents who aren’t filling out the FAFSA is, “We’re not gonna get anything anyway…”

Really?

Are you 100% sure about that?

Quick, read this article I’ve written on 7 Reasons to Fill Out the FAFSA Even If You’re Rich.

After you do, consider this very important reason that even the wealthiest families should be filling out the FAFSA:

Filling out the FAFSA protects your kid in the event of unforeseen family setbacks.

filling out the FAFSA

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