Tag Archives: success

The One thing All Players Need from Their Coach and Parents

Without adults, there would be no organized youth sports. But adults can ruin it for the kids. In this guest post, writer Quinn McDowell gives us adults some good advice. Managing the Complexity The dynamics between players, coaches, and parents … Continue reading

Millennials – Can They Learn to Fly without Their Helicopter?

Recently I had an interesting conversation with an IT executive about his technical staff, and we ended up talking about “millennials,” the generation of adults currently in their twenties and early thirties. He said their narcissism, lack of resilience, attitude … Continue reading

Do You Over-Praise Your Child?

Praising a child is a good thing, isn’t it? Doesn’t praise boost self-esteem, which is crucial to achievement, sound decision-making and healthy relationships? According to Heidi Stevens’ superb article, “In Criticism of Praise,” in the January 2015 issue of the … Continue reading

My Top 5 List of What Parents Can Give Their Adolescent Children

Nearly every parent knows that growing kids need unconditional love. And of course young children are powerless and innocent about most things, so they need our support for food, shelter, security, clothes, medical care, etc. A big theme of my … Continue reading

The 12 Most Important Insights for Parenting Teens

A common question from parents: “There’s so much advice out there, a lot of it is conflicting. What should I focus on? What’s most important?” Over the years, I’ve read most of the classic books on parenting, and I’ve given … Continue reading

Conscious Parents Can Take Luck out of the Equation

My parents weren’t what I call “conscious parents.” They were good, caring people who raised eight children, with varying results. By “raised,” I mean they did the best they knew how to give us food, shelter, clothing and the necessities … Continue reading

Six Secrets To Your Son’s Success In School

For several months a group of writers focused on the issues of boys and men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges boys and men face in … Continue reading

Anderson Cooper Bears Witness – To the Value of a Work Ethic

One of the cries of the heart from many of the parents of grown children is that their kids are still living at home, that they don’t have the focus and will to make their way in life. Parents know … Continue reading

Team Sports – Part of the Answer for Parents of Teens

You know about the tragic circumstances that teenagers can get involved in: pregnancy, STDs, alcohol and drugs, bullying, depression, food disorders, suicide, breaking the law, rebellion, gangs, poor grades, dropping out of school, running away from home. You read the … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Coaches – One Gets It, One Doesn’t

What informs my insights about parenting? The real world. And a lot of that is just stuff I read in the local paper. Today I read two stories about coaches. Here in Texas there has been a scandal due to … Continue reading

Justin Bieber and Dennis Rodman – What These Two Men Have in Common

Poor Justin Bieber. I read that he was arrested, forced to wear a jump suit and photographed for a mug shot because he was drag-racing in Miami in a rented Lamborghini. Oh, and he failed a sobriety test, DUI for … Continue reading

Adults Can Improve the Way They Mentor Youth – And Make a Difference

Adults care a great deal about the youth in their communities. They want fewer kids to be at risk. They want more kids growing up to be strong, happy, successful adults. They’re willing to be mentors to young people. And … Continue reading

Kid Hacks His Education, Hacks His Life

You’ll want to watch this video all the way through. This 13-year-old boy is amazing. You’ll wonder how young Logan LaPlante could become so smart, so articulate, so mature, and so happy after only one year of adolescence! As you … Continue reading

Wisdom…

Forty years ago, I was in graduate school at Duke University, in over my head, learning as hard and fast as I could to catch up to my classmates. It paid off – I earned my Ph.D. four years later. … Continue reading

Build a Bot, Train a Brain

What if there were a teen extracurricular activity that was fun, wholesome, kept kids off the streets and the couch, while permanently wiring their brains for critical thinking, problem solving and social skills? And oh yeah, I forgot… and a … Continue reading

Critical Thinking – What It Really Is and Why You Should Care

These days, parents are hearing about the “teen brain” in the popular media. The message is that the “prefrontal cortex,” the area of the brain in charge of critical thinking, is still under construction – that this a big reason … Continue reading

Gloria Estefan Gives Credit to Her First-Grade Teacher

I recently read an article by Marissa Villa in the San Antonio Express-News, “Singer Estefan hasn’t forgotten the lessons of a teacher.” Popular singer Gloria Estefan was only six years old and couldn’t speak English, but her teacher, Dorothy Collins was … Continue reading

The Generation Gap – A Failure of Parent-Teen Communication

A teenager made a dumb mistake and damaged a tool. His father, angry, shouted at him about carelessness and irresponsibility. No love, understanding or respect was communicated in the heated interchange. The boy felt like a failure and resented his … Continue reading

The Silver Spoon Syndrome – Give the Gift of Work

Jennifer was a clerk at an auto parts store in Vista Hills. She got the job because Jackson, her husband, was a mechanic at the Chevrolet dealership and was friends with the owner. But she, like her husband, was a … Continue reading

Single Mom Creates a Village to Raise Her At-Risk Son

In his classic book, The Wonder of Boys, Michael Gurian makes the claim that “three families – not one – raise a healthy boy to healthy manhood.” The first family is the “nuclear family,” the parents and grandparents who raise … Continue reading

From Boys to Men – Tales of Two Adolescents

Recently I attended a large family reunion and talked to a lot of young people I hadn’t met before. The conversations I had with two different 22-year-old young men left me wondering. Shane seemed like a loner in this crowd. … Continue reading

Life is Hard – And Then You Strive

I’m recalling a moderately distressing experience that started with a phone call. My wife was about to return home from a shopping excursion at a mall about 30 miles away when her car wouldn’t start. She asked me to drive … Continue reading

My Vision: New Rites of Passage Appropriate to the Modern World

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1st Corinthians 13:11. In the modern world, boys don’t … Continue reading

From Teen to Adult – Take Luck Out of the Equation

I’ve written often about how important it is for teens to work on exercising the critical thinking part of their brain (for connecting the dots, analysis, judgment, self-control and decision-making). Parents need to know that this part of the brain … Continue reading

I Got Lucky – My 9 Rites of Passage

I’ve been reading about traditional and modern rites of passage. So far, the two most helpful books have been Crossroads: The Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage, ed. Louise Carus Mahdi, et al (1996); and From Boys to Men: Spiritual … Continue reading

A Good Idea – Raise Your Child to Be an Entrepreneur

This article from the online Wall Street Journal got my attention: “How to Raise an Entrepreneur,” by Barbara Haislip. It not only quotes some of the great entrepreneurs of our time about the personal strengths that matter, it suggests tips for … Continue reading

Inspiration for Parents to Do the Hard Things

QUESTION: What can you do as a parent that is super-easy and super-safe and super-quick that will reward you with great fulfillment? ANSWER: Well, how about the next time you take a break, look around you and mindfully appreciate your … Continue reading

Are You a “Conscious Parent”?

In another post, I talked about a movie that portrayed a dysfunctional family that included two well-intended but – as I described them – “unconscious” parents. I put my own parents in that category. I knew that my mom and … Continue reading

Free Resources – Help Your Teen Wire a Smart Brain

Every time a teenager tries to figure out why something happened, tries to understand the relationship between thing A and thing B, tries to see the connection between cause and effect, foresees possible consequences, evaluates options, solves problems and consciously … Continue reading

Latipha Cross – Teen Hero

One of the images I took away from Paul Tough’s book, How Children Succeed, was that of a crying teen girl being consoled by her girlfriends in a school cafeteria – because her daddy bought her the wrong kind of … Continue reading

My Interview with Lon Woodbury of LA Talk Radio – What Parents Can Do to Help Wire Their Teen’s Brain for Critical Thinking

Lon Woodbury (LA Talk Radio) and I had a great discussion about the teen brain (to listen or download, scroll down to January 28, 2013). I talked about the big changes going on in the pre-frontal cortex (PFC), the last area of the … Continue reading

Street Smart Kids – Teens Need to Hear This Stuff

When I was young, the adults around me shared very little advice, wisdom or skills. So by the time I left home, I was pretty naive. I didn’t know how naive I was! All I knew was that I was … Continue reading

Chief Daddy Officer – Loving Father ‘Leads’ His Daughter

This is a unique book on parenting. Chris Efessiou, a highly successful entrepreneur and executive, believes that the personal strengths and interpersonal skills essential to effective leadership also apply to being an effective parent. I’ve always believed this, and in … Continue reading

A Coach and a Miracle – Autistic Boy Becomes Sports Hero

It’s an amazing story. A high school basketball coach gives Jason McElwain, an enthusiastic autistic boy, a role as team manager. In his senior year, the coach promises him a jersey and a chance to play in the game on … Continue reading

Playing Chess Can Boost Your Child’s Intellect – Permanently

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I often write about adolescence as the sensitive time of life during which a child’s brain can be wired for basic critical thinking skills. The window of opportunity opens at puberty and closes … Continue reading

Larry Winget’s Work Ethic Message to Graduates

Larry Winget My colleague, Meredith Bell, has published an article about truth-telling author and speaker, Larry Winget. You’ve heard the phrase, “tell it like it is.” Often called “the pit bull of personal development,” Larry is famous for telling it … Continue reading

The Story Behind the “Wise Uncle” and “Wise Aunt” Books

For quite a while now, I’ve felt that the kind of personal development that we encourage with adults should begin during the teen years, if not before – that in fact the adult learners we serve with programs like ProStar … Continue reading

Teen Development – The All-Important Core Strengths

A successful, happy life. I guess everybody knows it takes more than than money and beauty. Just ask Bernie Madoff and Kim Kardashian. And guess what…It also takes a lot more than a good education and business know-how. I try … Continue reading