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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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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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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In College? Do This and Slash Your Student Loan Debt

If you’re currently in college—or if you’re a parent who’s taken out dreaded Parent PLUS loans—you’d love for a hero in a red cape to swoop down and tell you how to slash your student loan debt.

The hero is here.

slash your student loan debt

1. Slash your student loan debt by applying for scholarships while you’re in college.

Oh—you thought that students could only apply for scholarships during high school?

It’s not true. Sorry—you’ve been given bad information that could cost you and whomever you marry massive amounts of unnecessary debt. Bad information that could compound your parents’ grief if you die unexpectedly.

Here’s the truth. Students can apply for scholarships while they’re in college, and while they’re in grad school.

2. Apply for 10 scholarships every single year during college and grad school.

Knocking out 10 scholarship applications each year is actually easy.

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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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Having Marijuana in this Form is a Felony

With all the national conversation around legalizing marijuana, many teens are jumping to the uninformed conclusion that it’s low-risk for them.

Experts, however, are extremely worried about the impact of marijuana on developing adolescent brains.

Not only that—but there’s one certain kind of marijuana that’s so dangerous that possession of it is a felony. Make sure your kids know this, because if one of their friends pulls it out, they’ll want to run for the hills as fast as they can.

marijuana

My grim conversation with the police officer

When I interviewed a police officer to get information for this article, he told me in grim terms that the form of marijuana called “wax” (also known as “dabs” or “hash oil”) is especially dangerous for teens and adults due to its exorbitantly high THC level.

It’s so dangerous that possession of even a tiny amount of it is a felony.

All teens who use marijuana, or who have friends who use marijuana, need to google the word “felony” to understand the prison term that results from this—even for first offenses, even for juveniles.

This is one of the strongest arguments there is for being extremely careful who you get into a car with.

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12 Ways to Get Grad School Paid For

So, your kid just got into graduate school or medical school. That’s great! Now you’re wondering, “What can students do to get their grad school paid for?” Here are the 12 ways to get grad school paid for that I give to my clients at GetIntoMedSchool.com.

Share this article with a student whose financial future you care about!

get your grad school paid for

1. Try to become an employee of the school you got into.

Call 10 different numbers at the school you got into, and try to become an employee of that institution. Keep trying. Maybe you become a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course, or maybe you serve food, or maybe you work in the university’s daycare center, as my friend Susie did years ago at the University of Minnesota. One of your employee benefits may very likely be reduced tuition. Ask the school you got into if this is ever done. If you want to get your grad school paid for, this should be one of the first strategies you try.

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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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