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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Achieve More While Doing LESS Part 1 (AUDIO)

We’ve all had those days. You have a mountain of work in front of you that you genuinely want to get done, but you find yourself procrastinating. Struggling to focus. Failing to get tasks completed.

What’s the problem? It’s probably not that your time management system has failed. It’s probably not that there “just aren’t enough hours in the day.” Instead, you’re far more likely to be suffering from a crisis of energy. You may have drained all your energy by running yourself too fast and too hard for too long, and you’re long overdue for replenishment.

The good news? It’s fixable.

Today’s episode is a must listen for both parents and students ages 12–26. Listen in the car on the way to soccer practice!debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 7 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn how a simple kitchen timer helped a university student to invent a productivity method that is still in use around the world today.

You’ll also learn how to find an online quiz, designed by a medical doctor, that will tell you which of 7 types of rest you are likely low in. Correct your particular rest deficit, and you’ll be able to replenish energy and—as a result—significantly increase productivity and overall life and work satisfaction.

(10 min.)

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Parenting a Late Bloomer? Here’s Help.

Most of my time on this blog is spent helping parents get their teens and college students to careers they’ll love as quickly as possible. This makes sense—because years spent dragging feet in underemployment or treading water in undergrad can be expensive. But what if you’re parenting a late bloomer?

late bloomer

Here’s hope for your late bloomer.

What if you’re parenting a teen or 20-something who doesn’t yet seem motivated to take steps toward education, job training, or fulfilling career?

Today I’m discussing three specific factors that could be contributing to this.

The good news? All three are fixable.

1. Your late bloomer feels overwhelmed by the whole process of picking education and career.

Other kids are pushing frantically for Harvard and Stanford. Should she do that? What other alternatives are there? What if she makes an expensive mistake when it comes to school or job training? The many options can feel paralyzing.

Chapter 13 of my book provides clear instruction on how your family can pinpoint an exciting possible career goal for this late bloomer based on personality type, deep ongoing interests, and personal strengths.

Can’t afford the book? Ask for it at your local library. Go straight to chapter 13.

I urge you to ignore the lightweight, inaccurate, computerized “career assessments” given to your child at the high school. Instead, access a highly qualified career consultant on the “Approved Consultants” tab on this website. You’ll feel immediate relief.

Recently, one son said this about doing this career assessing with Cindy Mattson of definingpointconsulting.com: “I did not expect this experience to be this useful/important, but it ended up great—very helpful, and I am very happy we did it.”

2. Your late bloomer thinks that “30 is the new 20,” and that she has a whole decade she can kill doing nothing.

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Will a Minimum Wage Job Cover Rent? Anywhere?

Some kids decide not to go to college after high school. This can work out greatif they opt for high quality job training instead of heading off to 4-year college. But what if your kid wants to work a minimum wage job in the years after high school? Is there any hope that he or she will move out of your house?

minimum wage job

A minimum wage job after high school puts kids at high risk for living in their parents’ basements.

Why is this?

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To Increase Academic Success, Ask Your Teen This, Now

Many teens believe deep down that academic success is only for “smart people.” For kids that got lucky at birth and were granted more brainpower than others.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Research by experts such as Stanford’s Carol Dweck tells us that the human brain is malleable and changeable throughout life, and that “dedication and hard work” actually increase brainpower.

This month, increase your teen’s potential for academic success by asking this one question:

academic success

“When your teacher explains something important, or gives you an assignment to do, where are you going to write that down?

Writing—not typing or tapping—most solidifies information taken in through the eyes and ears. (Learn here why laptops are not recommended for taking notes in class and keeping track of school assignments.)

To dive deep into this subject, see the article I’ve written entitled 5 Things to Ask a Kid Every September. This article will help you to play the role of “business consultant” for your kid—and get him to set himself up for greatest academic success.

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