Two Sentences to Help Your Teen Achieve More This Year

You’d love to help your teen achieve more this year—but motivating teens can be so hard. And you have limited time and energy for trying anything fancy.

Here—2 sentences that can help your teen achieve more this year.

Throw these sentences into family conversation occasionally—and watch your teen achieve, and grow, and later on—blossom.

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1. “Let’s get some help from Khan Academy on that.”

A college student recently told me, “I can’t understand my online math teacher. He’s not used to online teaching. I can’t hear him hardly at all, and I can’t follow what he’s saying.”

Alarmed, I replied, “This is a huge problem! You need this class as foundation for other math classes you’ll take later. Can you quick drop this class and take a different one?”

“Nah,” she said. “I’m OK. I just get the basic concept he’s trying to teach, and then I find someone online who can teach it clearly. I’m OK.”

This isn’t exactly what parents want to hear (especially when they’ve just paid expensive college tuition), but it is a real tribute to the resourcefulness of the student.

Khan Academy can help your teen achieve by clearly filling in gaps in math, reading, science, history, and more—for free.

Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with a mission of providing “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.”

KA serves students pre-K through early college, even providing free “get ready for grade level” courses that allow students to not just work at their grade level at their own time and pace, but make sure they have filled in all their gaps, pre-grade level.

Teachers love this—and many use it every day in their classrooms.

Khan Academy has distance learning resources that can also teach your kids, teens, and early college students grammar, engineering, chemistry, biology, arts and humanities, computing, economics, and finance—in a clear, step-by-step, interactive way.

Many Khan Academy resources are available in both English and Spanish.

Help your teen achieve by visiting Khan Academy today.

I especially love the “See what you already know” aspect of Khan Academy, where students of all ages are able to choose a unit, take a quick unit test to see which concepts they’ve mastered and which they may need to practice more—and then get teaching on the concepts where they need to grow.

Note that Khan Academy is in dire need of additional funding due to extreme use of its resources during the pandemic. If you work for a corporation that might donate to this very worthy cause, visit the KA donation page here.

2. “I’m so excited about research telling us that intelligence and talent can stretch and improve through focus and hard work.”

This is the second sentence that can help your teen achieve more this year.

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A Kid You Care About Has ADHD or Behavior Problems?

This is a very long article—but if you love a child or teen with ADHD or behavior problems, you’re going to want to read the entire thing.

I did not write this. It’s an unedited, lengthy rant from a mother who has been in a situation very much like yours—and found life-changing answers. 

Is your child exhibiting signs of ADHD or behavior problems?

There’s a chance that it could be related to a sleep disorder.

ADHD

I ran the following information by a medical doctor with ENT specialization, and she told me, “Yes—what is described in this article absolutely does merit specialized medical attention.”

This mother’s rant—unedited and in her own words—is below.

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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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7 Ways to Encourage Teen Summer Jobs—Starting Now

Teens tend to think summer jobs are all about the money—but parents know different.

The very act of getting off of the couch, identifying job opportunities, and then actively going after those opportunities builds life skills into your teens that they’ll need long after their summer jobs are over.

If you find your teens resisting the idea of applying for summer jobs, here are 7 strategies that will help. (Even if weeks of summer have already passed.)

1. Let your teen feel the sting of poverty.

If you hand your daughter plenty of money to satisfy her every wish and need—she’ll never feel motivated to work hard and earn money for herself.

Give her a tiny allowance and ask her to stretch it to cover all her own teen life expenses, though—and a grocery store job might start to look pretty good to her!

See my clear instructions for parents on exactly how to implement this “tiny allowance strategy” here.

2. Remember—even June and July are good months to look for summer jobs.

The month of May was insanely busy for your family, just like it is for all families. If your teens didn’t have time to look for summer jobs then, that’s OK. June and July are not too late. Employers are still adjusting staffing in June and July—and some of their summer hires aren’t working out. Your teen may be applying just in the nick of time.

3. Encourage teens to go in person to ask about summer jobs.

Teens who fill out job applications online and then wait passively at home for phone calls are a dime a dozen.

Show up in person and talk to managers, though? Let these managers see a bright, eager-to-work face? That’s something not everybody does, so it can make a powerful impression.

Your teen will likely still be asked to fill out an online application, but the initial in-person, face-to-face contact will give him or her an edge over all other applicants.

4. Have your teen list 6 local businesses where she might like to work. Then…

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5 Ways to Keep Kids From Living Off You in Their 20s (AUDIO)

Most parents worry at least occasionally: “What if these kids don’t find good jobs and become independent adults? What if they want to lie around on my couch until they’re 30?”

debt-free college podcast

Join me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 6 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn the one sentence that savvy parents cheerfully drop into casual conversation, here and there, during the years their kids are ages 12–26. It’ll make you laugh—and it’ll create a firm boundary that just might save you later.

(14 min.)

Prefer to read the content I talk about in this podcast? There are Jeannie Burlowski articles on this same subject here and here.

The show notes for this episode are below.

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Tee Your Kids Up For Career Success (In Just 2 Min.)

You desperately want your kids to succeed academically in school and in college so they can have a shot at lifetime career success—but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.

career success

According to world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck (who’s done decades of high-level research on achievement and success), the difference between academic and career success and academic and career mediocrity boils down to whether the child has a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Carol Dweck describes the difference between these two mindsets this way:

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

—Carol Dweck

This is fantastic in and of itself, but here’s even better news.

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3 Reasons Every Teen Needs A Part-Time Job (AUDIO)

This episode also includes a hilarious idea for making your teen want to go out and get a part-time job!debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 4 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn:

1. How working a part-time job increases the odds that a teen will be academically successful in college.

2. How the advice of author Meg Jay can help your kids leave behind fake, empty confidence and develop genuine professional confidence.

3. The most interesting points Jeffrey J. Selingo made about this subject in his acclaimed Washington Post article.

(10 min.)

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

Do you worry that having a job might damage your kid’s GPA?

Read the helpful, reassuring article I’ve written on this subject here.

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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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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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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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