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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Secret Weapon for Multiple Choice Tests

Which of these multiple choice testing strategies have you never heard of before? That’s your new secret weapon.

Share this article with a student you care about.

multiple choice

1. Before you start, note the structure of the test and plan your timing.

Here’s a nightmare you want to avoid. You turn to the final page of a test with two minutes left on the clock, only to find that the last question is a long-form essay question worth half the test points—and you’ve got zero time to write it.

If you know what’s coming, you can plan your time accordingly.

2. Read the question stem twice, then try to think of the answer yourself—without peeking at the choices.

The “stem” means the question itself, not including the answer choices.

Reading the question stem twice will help ensure that you won’t get answers wrong due to easily avoidable reading errors. And thinking up the correct answer in your head on your own—when possible—will help you instantly recognize the right answer when you see it.

3. Always read all the multiple choice answer choices.

Yes, the correct answer might jump right out at you, but carefully read the other choices as well. Sometimes you’ll realize that your original prediction actually needs to be reconsidered.

4. Don’t assume that the most familiar sounding answer choice is the right one.

Sometimes, the familiar sounding choice was planted there specifically to distract you from the right answer. When you’re choosing a correct answer, quietly ask yourself for some logical reasons why that answer is probably right.

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How to Get a Teen to Read a Non-Fiction Book

In a world where kids seem perpetually tied to their phones, how can you get a teen to read a non-fiction book?

In some homes, families are starting up a revolutionary new family tradition.

In a world where kids seem perpetually tied to their phones, how can you get a teen to read a non-fiction book? In some homes, families are starting up a revolutionary new family tradition. It takes just one hour. See if this strategy might work at your house.

They’re giving each family member an actual, physical book as a gift, and then setting aside a one-hour period of time on the holiday where everyone (adults and kids alike) untethers from electronics, sits down together, and reads. Just one quiet hour .

“An hour of reading? My kids won’t want to do that.”

Your kids might groan at this idea at first, but if you give them a couple of weeks notice that this will be happening, (and pay them to comply if necessary), you may find them actually enjoying it.

And if your child has a diagnosed attention disability? You could allow his or her reading time to be just 15 minutes on the first day you start this.

When the reading hour is over, say, “That was fun. Now—who wants some cookies?”

The conversations you have over this particular cookie tray might be some of the most fascinating ones you have all day. All you’ll have to do is ask, “What’s the most interesting thing in your book so far?”

Remember—during the reading hour, you’re planting seeds.

You’re providing space and opportunity for the people you love to be pulled into their book, to be captivated by it, and to develop thirst to read the rest later. It’s one of the best ways to get a teen to read a non-fiction book.

Wondering what books to get for the people you love?

Take a look at this list of 9 books I most love for students and parents.

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The Meme Every Kid Needs to See

Here it is—the meme every kid needs to see.

the meme every kid needs to see

Copy and forward this meme to the kids you love right now.

Tweet this meme out to the people who follow you!

When you’re a parent, it feels great to know you’re taking practical steps to set your kid up for successful college and career life.

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free, get your copy of my book:

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

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The Sweaty Truth About Sports Scholarships

Parents of athletes fork out thousands to cover sports expenses over the years. Many wonder, “Is all this time, effort, and money going to pay off big when this kid gets to college?” Here, the sweaty truth about sports scholarships.

truth about sports scholarships

1. The truth about sports scholarships: They can make it next to impossible to succeed academically. 

Student athletes are typically required to devote up to 40 hours per week to practices, travel, conditioning, and games. This article by NextStepU calls it “an unbelievable commitment in time and dedication…you may…be practicing at 6 a.m. or midnight or even twice a day.”

If your kid has an important test scheduled at the same time as travel back from a game, he’ll likely be told, “Too bad, you’re on a sports scholarship. Buck up and show that you’re all in on this sport.” Your daughter needs to study? She’ll likely hear, “Bring books and notes and study on the bus on the way.” Lack of quiet study space, pressure to repeatedly skip college classes, and sheer exhaustion from the schedule can wreak havoc with a student’s ability to focus on academics—the very reason he or she is at college in the first place.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy writes this, in Moneywatch:

Officially, D-I teams aren’t supposed to practice more than 20 hours a week though travel and other extra obligations aren’t included. In reality, the time restriction is often a joke. Conditioning or weight lifting, for instance, might be called voluntary, but the coach takes attendance and the kid who spends that time in the library could end up on the bench.

In the consulting work I do at GetIntoMedSchool.com, one of my clients explained his “B” in Organic Chemistry to me this way: “We flew home from a game, and I ran down the concourse and dove into the back of a taxi. I screamed at the driver to rush me to the building where my O Chem final was going on, but I was still 45 minutes late. The professor had no sympathy for my situation, and refused to give me any extra time. She said I should have made it a priority to be at the exam on time.”

2. The truth about sports scholarships: They’re not as lucrative as you think. 

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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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The “Screenagers” Movie is a Must-See

Watch the Trailer Here—Find a Showing at the Link Below

Have you spent even one minute worrying about your kids’ use of screens? Physician and documentary filmmaker Delany Ruston sure has. She made the Screenagers movie after she found herself “constantly struggling with her own two kids about screen time.”

Screenagers

According to Ruston’s press release, she felt “guilty and confused, not sure what limits were best, especially around mobile phones, social media, gaming, and how to monitor online homework.” After hearing repeatedly how other parents were feeling just as overwhelmed as she was, she realized that kids’ use of screens is one of the biggest, most unexplored parenting issues of our time.

The good news? In her interview with a New York Times blogger, filmmaker Ruston says that, “Given the right guidelines, kids can increase self-control [over screens]. I was really surprised… kids consistently told me that they want rules around their screen time.”

Read the testimonials from teens and parents below.

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4 Amazingly Easy Steps To Get Out Of Debt

If you as a parent are out of debt by the day your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to help with college bills. If you start the process of getting out of debt years before your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to save for college.

Either way, you’ll dramatically increase the chances that your child will graduate from college and begin adult life debt-free.

Today I’m featuring four amazingly easy steps to get out of debt, from best-selling author Dave Ramsey. These steps to get out of debt are so easy, you can fit them on a post-it note.

get out of debt

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Genius Strategy for Giving $20 in COLLEGE SAVINGS As Holiday Gifts

I post this important article every December. This year, it contains a brand new resource! A free downloadable bonus article with super helpful information for grandparents. To get straight to the free downloadable article, click here:

How to Give College Savings As Gifts and Get Happy Hugs in Response

Most grandparents love to dote on their beloved grandchildren, but let’s face it. Older kids and teens are notoriously hard to shop for.

How can grandparents give a relatively inexpensive holiday gift that will be remembered with tears and great appreciation for years down the line?

No matter your income level or budget, Grandma and Grandpa, here’s an ingenious idea for deeply impacting the kids you love this holiday season.

grandma

This idea will help you to take the $20 you were planning to spend on a holiday gift, easily put that money into the best possible kind of college savings account, and still have something meaningful and beautiful for the child or teen to unwrap at your family’s holiday gathering.

All without nicking your own finances or damaging the teen’s future financial aid eligibility in any way.

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In Just 5 Minutes — Change Your Future Grandchildren’s Lives

grandchildren

Last year, I climbed a mountain in Zion National Park.

My husband, the avid hiker, gave me a set of hiking poles and these instructions: “When you start to feel exhausted,” he said, “just concentrate on your next step. Where’s the next, best place to put your foot? Carefully put your foot there, and before you know it you’ll be at the top.”

Many of us get through parenting in this exact same way.

Exhausted, we survive day-to-day by focusing on the bare minimum required next step in our parenting journey. Just getting through until bedtime, or until Saturday’s soccer game, or until the next school break. We limit our thinking to the immediate, the urgent, and the short-term—because that feels productive. It feels like we’re getting somewhere.

In truth, taking just 5 minutes to look at the long view can be exhilarating.

When I was climbing that mountain in Zion, the moments that took my breath away happened when I stopped, lifted my head, and looked out over miles of sheer cliffs and valleys, all the way to the misty distant horizon.

Taking 5 minutes to look toward the parenting horizon can be both exhilarating and transformative.

For 5 minutes right now, think, “What could we as a family do this year, that could impact our descendants 100 years from now?”

Is there something you could do now related to education, to money and debt, or to moral and spiritual development, that could pay off for generations to come?

Our culture is currently plagued and limited by a short-term thinking mindset. You don’t have to be.

Ari Wallach, in this powerful TED Talk, urges us all to transform our children’s and grandchildren’s futures by breaking free of the 3-5 year “short-termism” that, he says, “permeates every nook and cranny of our cultural reality.” Wallach calls us all to practice “longpath” thinking that asks this important question: “To what end?”

What is the purpose in what we’re doing? Where are we going with this?

How will these decisions we’re making today impact our family 100 years from now?

What could we do this year that could pay off in huge ways…for generations?

Carefully consider these words, which I consider to be the most important in Wallach’s TED Talk: 

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