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.

teen acheive

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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Hope for Your Kid’s Future During COVID-19

Parents isolated at home with children, teens, and college students are saying to themselves, “Yikes—I need hope for my kid’s future during COVID-19.”

Hope is here.

Here, 7 reasons to have hope for your kid’s future during COVID-19.

Pass this on to a friend who needs increased hope in uncertain times.

Kid's Future During COVID-19

1. The at-home schooling you’re doing now is not going to hurt your kid’s future.

I know it’s imperfect. I know it’s difficult to have a school routine when you don’t have enough quiet workspaces for all of your kids—and you’re trying to work from home too. It’s OK. Just do what you can, and trust that the gaps in your kids’ education during COVID-19 will even out later. They will.

2. Carefully isolating your family is the best thing you can do for your kid’s future during COVID-19.

I know it takes time and energy. I know it’s stressful. I know you’re having to think about survival details you’ve never thought of before. I know you wonder when it will ever be over.

But keep on. One day at a time.

When you isolate, you help protect your kids and others from grief over the deaths of people they love—and you protect us all from an unnecessarily prolonged economic downturn.

The more diligently we isolate, the faster this will be over. I promise.

3. Remind yourself daily: This is temporary.

Dr. Eileen M Feliciano, Psy.D. comforts us with these words: “Take time to remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We will return to feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.”

4. COVID-19 will not diminish your child’s future college or grad school prospects.

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How to Use the Full Focus Planner

How can college students keep themselves focused and organized, so they’re in the best position to get the highest grades possible—preferably while studying less than most other people? My recommendation to students is, use the Full Focus Planner.

full focus planner

The Full Focus Planner is a paper planner.

“Paper?” you’re thinking. “Come on, that is so low tech! What next—are you gonna tell us to chisel our appointments and task lists into stone tablets?”

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Don’t laugh at paper planners!

Top productivity gurus like Michael Hyatt are telling us—paper planners are the best. Especially the ones with lots of room to write.

Paper planners are quiet—without beeping distractions and pop-up notifications.

And, because all your notes and thoughts are right there in front of you—in your own handwriting—you don’t have the “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” problems that plague people who try to do their daily planning on electronic calendars.

You can see a short helpful video about the Full Focus Planner here.

Yes, I know Michael Hyatt has gray hair—but don’t let that throw you!

I’ve followed Michael Hyatt for years. He really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to high achievement and cut-to-the-chase, lean productivity.

(You can see me thanking Michael personally in the acknowledgements section on the very last page of my book.)

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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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Teen Constantly Angry? It Could be “Launch Anxiety.”

15-year-old Luke had been in a dark, angry mood all day long, starting from the moment his mother wished him a cheerful, “Good morning!” and set hot scrambled eggs and a fresh hot caramel roll in front of him at the breakfast table.

Luke ate in broody silence, and his mother felt momentarily thankful for the quiet. If Luke could just get off to school without a screaming mood swing and slamming doors, today would be a good day.

Luke’s mom looked at him chewing the buttery, drippy carmel roll. His eyes were flat, his face devoid of appreciation or joy. She felt anxiety rise in her own chest, but then rationalized it away. “It’s probably just hormones,” she told herself, “and there’s nothing I can do about that.”

Actually, it’s probably not “just hormones.” It’s more likely “launch anxiety,” which is something you can help with more than you realize.

depressed boy blog photo canva

Rather than hormones, your teen’s dark moods, depression symptoms, mood swings, blunted, flat emotional responses, and hair-trigger anger are far more likely to be linked to a psychological condition called “launch anxiety.” The good news? Keep reading. There’s a lot parents can do to alleviate “launch anxiety” and help teens to feel better.

What is “launch anxiety”?

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