Launching a Teen Into Adult Life—Is Like Launching a Canoe

If you’re in the long process of launching a teen into adult life, you know the wobbly, unstable feeling.

launching a teen

Your teen’s about to embark on a journey that’s going to be exciting.

It’ll be a combination of breathtaking beauty and—at certain times—hair-raising, adrenaline-skyrocketing danger.

The safely of the shoreline is no place to spend the rest of your life, and so your teen has to go.

Launching a teen into adult life can feel like launching a canoe.

It’s a time of transition.

You hold the gunwales while the child you love goes from standing confidently on solid ground, to placing one foot on a wobbly, unstable surface.

Then stepping gingerly—holding on—trying to find balance, trying to get to a seat without tipping.

Sometimes this canoe holds multiple teens all doing this at the same time, with scant experience or skill, their every move throwing your whole family off balance one way, and then another.

Launching a teen can be like launching a canoe—for 7 years.

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Got Little Kids? Hear Me Interviewed on the FamVestor Podcast

If you’re parenting little kids, don’t miss me being interviewed on the FamVestor podcast.

The FamVestor audience tends to be families with little kids, so I provided lots of debt-free college strategy for exactly that demographic.

Listen to just 8 minutes of the audio, and you’ll be hooked.

Even if you can’t save up one penny to help pay for college.

Click here to play:

Listen while you’re making dinner for your little kids!

Or—the entire interview is also available on video.

Opt for the video version and you’ll  get to see me, at home in my very own personal living room. (It’s the very first time the general public has ever been invited into my living room!)

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Debt-Free College Training—Fast and Easy

Watch just one of the short, succinct video trainings below, and you’ll be on the fast track to getting the kids you love through college debt-free. 

debt-free college

If you’ve got a bright, capable middle schooler or high schooler headed for college—you’re probably wondering, “How are we going to pay for that?”

You’re especially thinking this if your kid isn’t a likely candidate for scholarships, you haven’t saved for college, and you make too much money to get government financial aid. (Or you think you do.)

You absolutely don’t want mountains of student loan debt for the kids you love.

Is there hope for getting your kids through college debt-free?

Yes.

But you’ll need someone to guide you.

Your journey toward debt-free college starts right here, right now.

Watch just one of the short videos below, and you’ll get a jump-start on getting the kids you love through college debt-free, and into jobs they love afterward.

Watch, and then share with the friends who’ll be with you on this journey.

(These fun, informal videos were made in the studio where I record my podcasts, but they are not technically podcast episodes. You can find Episode 1 of my podcast here.)

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Pay For College by Renting Out Your Kid’s Bedroom?

Your son or daughter will be leaving for college soon, and it’s just hit you how much you’ll be paying out of pocket for tuition, room and board, and other college-related expenses. How can you pay high college bills—without piling debt onto the kid you love?

You could pay college bills by renting out your kid’s bedroom.

Your son won’t be using his room during the school year anyway—right?

Imagine yourself boxing up and storing all the belongings he left behind when he went off to college.

You re-carpet and paint, move in an easy chair purchased on Craigslist and an IKEA loft bed and desk—and then earn thousands of dollars each year renting the room to a student from a nearby college or grad school.

Here are 7 things to think about if you decide to pay college bills by renting out a bedroom:

1. Where will your child sleep on school breaks?

Plan that out ahead of time. At Dad’s house? In a top bunk in a sibling’s room? On a twin bed that you’ve pushed up against the wall in your cinderblock basement?

Your child can easily tolerate a little discomfort and inconvenience if it’ll lead to him having thousands of dollars less in onerous, burdensome debt after college graduation.

2. “Won’t it be weird to have someone we don’t know living in the house?”

Think of it like being a host family for a foreign exchange student through the AFS program.

That’s not weird, is it?

Your student renter starts out a stranger, but soon begins to feel like another family member.

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Make Your Teen Into a Brilliant, Frugal Money Manager (AUDIO)

Your kids won’t think today’s strategy is funny, but you will—when you watch them scrambling to make a dollar stretch until it screams. Ha ha ha ha!

debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 3 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, where you’ll learn the most loved parenting strategy on my blog. This simple strategy will help you feel far less teen-related stress, it’ll save you time, energy, and money, and it’ll help you equip the kids you love to become brilliant money managers.

(11 min.)

You’d rather read than listen? OK you can do that here!

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Forget Being Supermom—Just be “Good-Enough Mom.”

Psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud, co-author of the life-changing Boundaries books and The Mom Factor, says that today’s moms will do more good for their families by giving up “the Supermom model of motherhood, which never worked anyway,” and instead relaxing into being a “good-enough mom.”

Why would a psychologist suggest that just being a “good-enough mom” is a healthy idea?

good enough mom

“Perfectionistic mothers,” Cloud says, “tend to either go crazy or make their spouse, their kids, or their kids’ spouses crazy. Stop trying to be the perfect mom, and be content with being a ‘good-enough’ mom.”

What is a “good-enough mom”?

According to Cloud, the “good-enough mom” (the one who’s most likely to raise healthy kids and teens) has these characteristics:

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Do Families Need to Hire College Consultants? Really?

To see my article on What Nobody’s Saying About the College Admissions Scandal, click here.

The dad sitting by you in the soccer bleachers tells you that he’s not worried about his kids’ college planning—because he’s hired a $5,000 college consultant to engineer the whole thing for him. You wonder, “Is this what parents have to do nowadays? Hire college consultants that cost as much as used cars? If parents don’t hire college consultants, do they shortchange their kids?”

It’s not necessary to hire college consultants—but it can be helpful in some cases.

Here are 10 things parents need to know before they hire college consultants.

hire college consultants

1. College consultants vary wildly in quality.

Some are fantastic, and some are terrible. Many high buck college consultants you see on the internet are simply moms or dads who went through the college application process with their own kids last year, and now they see themselves as experts on college planning and financing.

2. Ask a ton of questions before you pay a dime.

Ask lots of exploratory questions about how long they’ve been in business, and how much of their service includes walking you through strategies that really work to get kids through college debt-free. Ask what career planning tools they use to make sure your kid ends up being employable after college.

3. Be sure to ask your prospective college consultant this critically important question.

Ask him or her to explain to you the two huge changes Barack Obama made to the US college financing system on September 13th, 2015—and how those changes will dramatically affect your kid when he or she is a sophomore in college. If your prospective college consultant can’t answer this question, run away and don’t look back.

4. Look for this very good sign.

If a college consultant hands you a copy of the book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward and says, “We’re going to be walking through the steps in this book together,” consider that a very good sign. It means you’ll have excellent one-on-one support for the journey, and you won’t miss a single debt-free college or career planning strategy along the way. (College consultants, financial planners, and wealth managers who do this can be found on the “Approved Consultants” tab on this website.)

5. Don’t hire college consultants who tell you this:

Don’t hire college consultants who say, “Oh, we don’t worry about career goal at this point. We’ll just get your son into a good college, and then he can take random college classes to see what he’s interested in. We’ll hope it’ll all come together into some kind of career five years from now.”

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Manage All Your Kids’ College Planning—Mostly By Yourself

If you’re concerned that you’re currently LATE to college planning, read this article now.

college planning

College planning can feel like being lost in a jungle. And sadly, your kid’s high school guidance counselor (nowadays more properly called a “school counselor,”) can’t help much with hacking through the underbrush. Oh, he or she would love to, but budget cuts have slashed the amount of time counselors get to spend with college bound students, in some cases down to just eight minutes per year.

And your child, smart as he is, isn’t in any position to handle the complexity of college planning either. The stakes are high, both financially and career wise, and his brain won’t be fully developed until age 24.

And the internet? You sure don’t want to depend on the internet for college planning advice.

Don’t rely on the internet for college planning advice.

It’ll take you years to sift through everything the internet has to say about college planning. The bits and pieces of info and conflicting messages you hear from online resources will drive you insane. Plus, a huge percentage of what’s currently on the internet regarding college planning is sorely out of date, since President Barack Obama drastically changed US college financing on September 13th, 2015, and most of the world has not yet caught up.

You need a resource that will give you fast, accurate, specific instructions that the internet can’t provide. (I’ll provide a resource for you, below.)

7 things to do when you feel lost in the jungle of college planning

1. Don’t put off college planning because you feel overwhelmed.

I understand that you feel overwhelmed by the college planning process. Every parent does. But if you wait until your kid’s sophomore or junior year of high school to get started on college planning, 75% of the strategies you could have used to get your kid through college debt-free will be gone. Starting early is the best strategy, even if you can’t save a penny.

(If you’re worried that you’re currently late to college planning, read this article now.)

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The 5 Love Languages, Explained with Burritos

By this time nearly everyone’s heard of Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. It’s sold over 11 million copies, it’s the 12th most popular book on Amazon (where it has more than 13,000 5-star reviews), and it’s been a New York Times Bestseller 8 years running.

Want a super fast explanation of The 5 Love Languages?

This funny explanation by @Alonzo_Creed has been retweeted 52,000 times on Twitter:

1. Words of Affirmation: “This is a good burrito.”

2. Acts of Service: “I made you a burrito.”

3. Receiving Gifts: “Here’s a burrito.”

4. Quality time: “Let’s go get some burritos together.”

5. Physical touch: Arms around a person wrapped in a warm hug, like a burrito.

Are you wondering which one or two of The 5 Love Languages your teen, spouse, or other loved one is most wired to receive? Use the quick free 5 Love Languages assessment that author Gary Chapman offers on his website. You might also love Gary’s other book: The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively.

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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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