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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Could Graduating High School With an AA Degree Hurt a Kid?

Today I’m writing on topic I never, ever thought I would. Could graduating high school with an AA degree in any way do a student more harm than good? My eyes are bugging out just writing that.

graduating high school with an AA degree

Could graduating high school with an AA degree HURT your kid?

For many moms and dads, one of their proudest parenting moments occurs when their 17-year-old walks across the stage at high school graduation with two years of college already completed. An entire two-year AA college degree already sewn up—entirely at state expense. An amazing, stunning achievement! All while dodging the pitfalls of AP classes—and still enjoying a rich, full high school experience.

Parents who get to experience this proud moment get tingly with excitement thinking of their child confidently diving into third year college courses at age 18, finishing college with a bachelor’s degree at age 20, slashing college bills by half, and having extra years of life before age 22 to tour Europe, volunteer, or start piling up real world work experience that rockets their careers far ahead of their peers. (Making them stellar candidates for grad school or medical school, I might add—if that ever becomes a goal.)

Other parents aren’t so sure.

“Might graduating high school with an AA degree keep my child out of the Ivy League?”

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Elite Education Leads to a Happier Life. True or False? (AUDIO)

Is it really true that expensive, elite private education is so enriching that it automatically leads to a happier, more fulfilled life after college? What does the research say?debt-free college podcast

Join me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 2 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn 6 jaw-dropping, research-backed facts that just might make you think, “Wow—maybe the Ivy League isn’t such a great idea after all.”

You’ll also learn why “for profit” colleges should be avoided like the plague, and which great colleges are likely to be far better bargains than your local state university.

(9 min.)

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

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How to Skyrocket the Growth of Your Teen’s Brain

In Just Minutes

Dr. Charles Fay of LoveandLogic.com is an expert at helping parents grow a teen’s brain by leaps and bounds—while helping adults enjoy a less stressful, more fun family life.

teen's brain

Dr. Fay recently said this on the subject of growing a teen’s brain:

“At Love and Logic®, we believe that kids are best prepared for the real world when we allow them to do as much thinking as possible. It’s good practice for the real world, and it keeps the monkey off of our backs most of the time. Here’s the problem. Do you know kids who like to keep adults doing all of the thinking? Do you know kids who are good at tricking us into doing so?”

One strategy for staying out of this trap is to use plenty of questions.

“The more questions we ask,” Dr. Fay says, “the better thinkers our kids will become.”

Why does this strategy work for growing a teen’s brain?

The human brain naturally seeks closure. When we ask a lot of sincere, good-hearted questions with genuine interest and empathy, it’s like we flip a switch in a teen’s brain that keeps him or her groping through possible answers. Sometimes for long after we’ve left the room.

Dr. Fay says that if we do this, our teen’s brain will have “less energy left over for power-struggles.”

Exactly what tired parents long to hear.

If you’re looking for ways to grow your teen’s brain while doing a lot less mental heavy lifting yourself, try using variations on these great Dr. Charles Fay questions:

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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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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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Top 9 Books I Most Love For Parents and Students

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can literally change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20-somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

(Are you worried that your teen won’t read a non-fiction book? See my helpful article on How to Get a Teen to Read a Non-Fiction Book.)

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can actually change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

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Starting a New Job? 3 Important Items To Bring the First Day

Your daughter is starting her first real job after college. Or maybe it’s you, the parent, starting a new job. No matter the age of a new full-time employee, bringing these three things on the first day of a new job makes a strong positive impression, and sets an employee up for maximum future success.

new job

1. Bring a clean, blank notebook and a pen to the first day of a new job.

You’re going to be learning a lot the first day, week, and month, right?

Pull out your notebook and take notes on what you’re learning. Write down passwords and assigned tasks, and note the names and titles of people you meet so that you can greet them by name when you see them, and later, connect to them on LinkedIN.

In the back of the notebook, make a list of tasks and projects you see at your new job that you might be able to take on at some point. There’ll be many times in the future when you’ll be able to say to those who supervise you, “I noticed that this needs to be done. How about if I take that on?”

When the first day of your new job is behind you, continue to take notes on what you’re learning each day, always including the day’s date at the top of each page. Review your notes each night. You’ll be viewed as a careful person who can be trusted with details—because you’ll actually be a careful person who can be trusted with details.

“Can’t I just enter the things I need to know about my new job into my phone?”

No, don’t do that.

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