Wednesday’s Parent: Favorite lines and tips

If you enjoy a fun read where you get helpful information and insights, check out some of my favorite lines and tips from past posts. These twelve cover parenting issues of stress and preparing children for college and beyond. I threw in a bonus to make it a baker’s dozen.

Want more? Wednesday’s Parent is here for you. Read the past posts, catch us each Wednesday, connect via social media and comment if you want us to address a specific topic. We’d love to hear from you!

  1. Button pusher’s resistance guide to parenting Some topics push buttons and both parents and children react. Emotionally it feels like an alarm that keeps ringing. This changes a teachable moment into a lesson in frustration for all. Sometimes, parents’ own buttons are pushed. The result isn’t any better. Read on for 12 ways to resist the button push and spark a dialogue.
  2. Parental peer pressure You may want to boast about the colleges on your student’s list, those she got into, and the one he chose to accept admission from but bragging rights shouldn’t be part of any of these decisions. Read on for examples of parental peer pressure and some good advice from Thomas Edison.
  3. Valuing academics From the first time parents hold their newborn to the good-bye hug at the college dorm, parents want their child to succeed. Books are often the first formal learning tool parents share with their offspring. Babies may chew on them but children’s minds savor the knowledge contained on the pages. Read on for how parents may show the importance of academics to their children and ignite a life-long love of learning from preschool through high school.
  4. Adding the extras Colleges want interesting, motivated students who show commitment to their passions and will not just fit in but will contribute to their campus. And parents want their children to be happy, full-filled and successful in school and beyond. Read on for 5 ways parents may help their children explore, learn and thrive with all the extras to make this happen.
  5. 10 out-of-the-gift-box ideas for a healthy lifestyle If only chocolate was a leafy vegetable, ice cream sodas were fresh water, lounging on a beach burned calories and tanning was good for your skin. Read on for 10 out-of-the-box gift ideas to encourage good health any time of the year.
  6. Will your child be a good citizen? As teens transition from high school to college, college to the working world, the decisions they make have greater and greater consequences. Will they maximize their higher education opportunities? Will they remain curious and become life-long learners? Will they make sure they are informed about current issues? Will they be able to support themselves? Will they care about others? Will they do a good job picking out our nursing homes? Read on for how parents may help.
  7. 7 Shakespearean steps to good decision-making Life is full of choices and the quality of life depends on the quality of those decisions. Read on for seven steps to making good decisions based on Shakespeare’s timeless quotes.
  8. Passing the responsibility torch He’s got his mom’s eyes. She has her dad’s smile. He’s got his grandpa’s sense of humor. No one ever says, “She has her grandma’s sense of responsibility.” Maybe it’s because many react to the concept like responsibility is a four-letter word. Read on for a list of typical problems and preventive solutions for parents to teach responsibility now before their children go off to college as young adults.
  9. 6 Circus lessons for balancing the budget Many kids and parents are fans of the circus. They marvel at the skills of the aerialists, acrobats and animal tamers. They laugh at the antics of the clowns, consume tasty treats and watch the sideshows. Read on for the powerful financial lessons that may be learned from these performers to help teens learn about managing money.
  10. Stressing out the college process Reactions to stress vary from fatigue to frenzy. Some may be frozen in a state of inaction, unable to be motivated. Others may find themselves so agitated they can’t concentrate. Read on for the best ways to handle, use and break from stress.
  11. 6 great examples to cure Senioritis This troubling “disease” is usually associated with high school seniors but the joy of the passed holiday season, vacation breaks, and winter doldrums can afflict parents and students of all ages. Read on and take a cue from six great cultural examples to get well quick and cure senioritis.
  12. 6 antidotes for spring fever First senioritis then spring fever. These are the two non-medical maladies that plague students and their parents. Read on for 6 flowery antidotes.

Here’s a bonus post for Mother’s Day for those who believe this should be every day:

Embracing your almost adult-children on Mother’s Day

Read Suzanne’s post: Stress, Stress and More Stress

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: 5 fantastic tips to refine a college list Part 2

Finalizing a college list. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Finalizing a college list. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

The hard part of forming a college list is whittling it down to those schools that offer a student the best chance for success. Last week had tips about information gathering to jump start the process in 2 phases, 3 points for forming a college list.

Here is Part 2 with five tips for analyzing and refining the choices.

!. Define the student’s definition of success The definition of student success varies with each student. Wednesday’s Parent: Hunting and gathering a college list Part 2 explained this and gave five ways parents may help their child find their college matches.

2. Judge the college. How good a job a will the school do to help a student achieve his vision? Use the parent-student team approach to have frank discussions about college, career and future lifestyle goals. Write them down. Go back to the college list and eliminate those that are least likely to help the student attain her dreams.

3. Take a closer look. Go over the list again twice. The first time think emotionally. How did the campus make the student feel from the college visit? Sometimes it’s an unexplainable positive or negative gut reaction. The second time think logically about the school’s academic and extracurricular offerings. If there is a wide divide between the two impressions, it’s probably not a good choice. Students have to be vested in their college attendance for best chance of thriving.

4. Get selfish. Though they may be considered part of fact gathering, brand names, recommendations and what others are doing do not determine the final college list. The focus is on what will work best for a particular student based on his talents, skills, goals and qualifications. Colleges use the admission process to find students they want. Students should use the process to find schools that will help the student get what he wants.

5. Put in the time. The more time spent on making a good college list, the better the chance for student success. Find the places where the student is most likely to get a great education that:

  • Fits her abilities and stretches her opportunities
  • Provides the tools to graduate (or go on to grad school) on time
  • Prepares him for a future with manageable debt and the ability to be self-supporting at the life-style desired

Read Suzanne’s post: Making the Illogical Logical-The Final College List

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Suzanne and I will share more insights into making a great college list on Wednesday’s Parent night (the fourth Wednesday of each month) on #CampusChat, Wednesday, July 23, 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will talk about the many factors to consider, how to finalize the list and the parent role in the process. Join us and bring your questions and comments.

UPDATE: If you missed the chat or participated and want to review the great information and links shared, check out the recap.

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

How Academic Performance Affects Children’s Confidence

Confidence. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Confidence. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Part of raising independent, self-supporting children is making sure they have the confidence to thrive on their own, know who to count on and ask for help when needed. Alexandra Berube shares some keen insights about how education influences student self-esteem starting with kindergarten in her guest post. Well said Alexandra.

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In my years as an educator, I have commonly found that students at all ages are good at hiding what they don’t know. It’s a basic human emotion to want to fit in with your peers and not let anyone see that you’re falling behind. I remember times myself in middle school and high school when I was too embarrassed to ask a question in front of the class and would just plod along, hoping to figure out the concepts on my own at some point. I remember in particular that I didn’t understand most of what was going on in my Pre-Calculus class, and I’m sure if you asked many adults, they would tell you the same; everyone remembers some class that completely baffled them, but their pride kept them from asking for help.

What affected me the most was my work with kindergarteners, because there is such a large range between skill levels at that age. Some students come in reading chapter books fluently, and some come in without knowing all of their letters. The ones that are behind immediately see what their peers can do that they can’t, and it makes them become more quiet and isolated. They often find opportunities to hide in the crowd so that no one can see their weaknesses. It is so sad and troubling as an educator to see the confidence of a child at such a young age already start down the path of self-doubt.

When I work with middle-schoolers, they know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and they know what they are “bad at.” There is no reason that an eleven-year-old should already have decided that they are bad at an academic subject. Of course there will always be concepts that are more difficult than others in each subject area, but at some point children internalize that they are just not going to succeed in certain areas, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They learn to compensate for their weaknesses by focusing on their strengths, but as a result, their weaknesses grow and grow from underuse. How many adults do you know that say they are terrible at writing, or terrible at spelling, or terrible at math? Ask any of these adults when they decided these facts about themselves, and I’m sure many of them will tell you that those roots lie very deep in their educational history.

It is so important to encourage children at every single stage of development that no matter how difficult a task or concept might appear to be, they can master it. Yes, some children will develop to be brilliant mathematicians, and some will demonstrate a natural talent for expressive writing, but there is no reason for any child to grow up feeling like they are impeded in some way, and that they can never move past this break in confidence to be successful in their future.

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Alexandra Berube started Boston Tutoring Services, LLC., in January, 2010, while teaching her second year of Kindergarten in a small, inclusive classroom. Her background experience in test preparation, including ISEE/SSAT/ACT/SAT, led her to focus on these services in addition to academic subject tutoring. Personal attention and individualized instruction are the cornerstone of Boston Tutoring Services, and she seeks to guide and fully support every family through the process of working with her tutors. She only hires the highest quality tutors with educational degrees, teacher certification, and a superior level of expertise in test preparation. As a former teacher herself, with an M.Ed. from Lesley University, she believes that having a personal connection with parents is crucial to a child’s success, and understanding the value of an individualized approach makes all the difference.

Wednesday’s Parent: 2 phases, 3 points of the forming a college list Part 1

Creating a college list. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Creating a college list. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

College lists hold the key to college success. Your student will be applying to schools off the final list and attending one accepting him or her.

There are two parts to completing the task of creating a great college list. The first is about information gathering (here in Part 1) and the second has to do with refining and analyzing the choices (Part 2 will follow next week).

To underscore the importance of a good college list, here is a review of three important points contained in former posts to help you help your student complete phase one of the college list formation process:

!. Hunting and gathering a college list Part 1 Form a parent-student team that is all about helping the student find and realize his goals, his options, his interests.

2. Pose this question: Is college a love match or a consumer purchase? Get organized by knowing what to look for. Check out the college consumer variables, campus personality and school quirks to answer this question.

3.  Picking a college by its flavor It takes strategy to form a good college list of well-suited schools that will help students stay on track and graduate. Start classifying schools that meet similar student needs.

 Read Suzanne’s post: Illogical College Choices—Part 1

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: Must-know tricks and tips for successful college visits

Campus this way. Pjhoto by Wendy David-Gaines

Campus this way. Pjhoto by Wendy David-Gaines

Successful college visits don’t just happen, they are planned. That’s why this Wednesday’s Parent revisits the topic of visiting those institutions of higher learning to decide if they belong on the college-bound’s short list.

I gathered together six of my writings about college visits so families may know before they go:

Parent role in college visits

Visiting a college is a great way to evaluate a “good on paper” school but students and parents have different roles.

Taking a collegecation

If you enjoy mixing business with pleasure then you are going to love visiting colleges. It’s the best way to check student-college fit and get a vacation. I call the trip a collegecation (family vacay + college visit).

Top 10 questions to ask on college visits: Part 1

Parents and the college bound are ready to visit colleges but aren’t sure what to ask when they get there. Attending a college information session and tour are part of good college prep, but these school introductions are designed to market the campus and show off its perks…There are 10 top questions to ask and they reflect parent and student chief concerns for academic/nonacademic best fit. Here, in Part 1 of this article are the top five questions parents should ask on college visits.

Top 10 questions to ask on college visits: Part 2

While a college application is all about the student showing what he can do for the school, college visits should be about finding out what the college can do for the student. As parents and students set foot on campus, a million thoughts are churning in their heads but what are the most important questions to ask?…here are the top 5 for students:

Top 10 nonacademic reasons why parents and students visit colleges: Part 1

Counselors and colleges urge prospective students to schedule college visits as part of college prep to help them form a college list. Although both students and parents want to find the best educational fit, there are key nonacademic factors that can drop a college off the list…Here, in Part 1 of this article are the top five reasons for parents to visit…

Top 10 nonacademic reasons why parents and students visit colleges: Part 2

“Go visit colleges,” say counselors urging college bound students to get busy with their college prep. “It will help you decide if the school is a good fit.” Counselors are not just talking academics. They know there are nonacademic factors that can drop a college off a student’s college list faster than than their thumbs can text…here is Part 2 for students.

Read Suzanne’s post: College Visits and the Illogical.

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: Safety revisited

STOP for safety review. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

STOP for safety review. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Safety and ways to protect ourselves and our children are topics that demand repeating. Our guard is up at the beginning and end of the school year but in between, routines may make us lax. Such is the case in summer. However, the warm weather break doesn’t make dangers disappear in camp, on vacation and even in our own backyard.

Suzanne and I are reviewing our safety tips for you to share with your teens and continue to enjoy a Happy and Healthy summer.

Here are my six ways parents can help their children of any age learn to protect themselves: Safe v. Sorry

Read Suzanne’s post: Top 5 Posts about Safety

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start! \

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

 Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: The surprise on a college-bound summer to-do list

Summer. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Summer. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

The first and most important thing on a college-bound summer to-do list may be done while lying in a hammock or walking on the beach. It is best done when thoroughly relaxed. It may take hours. It may speed up completing everything else on the list. Sounds like a perfect summer activity, right?

(While students are busy with their list, parents may focus on their own with these classic 7 summer to dos for parents of college-bound.)

Form a college-bound summer to-do list now. Before those lazy hazy longest days of the year seem to fly by faster than a short winter’s day, take a moment to form a summer to-do list. That way parents and their college-bound students will see a set of goals to achieve and figure out when to accomplish them prior to the start of the next school year. Avoid the frustration of procrastination while still in work mode or you may be trying to squeeze in two months worth of activities into the last weekend before classes begin again.

The first thing on the college-bound summer to-do list is a surprise. Shakespeare phrased it best in Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78:

“to thine own self be true”

Most teens don’t really know who they are or what they want. Summer is a great time for introspection. Thinking about this quietly, analyzing their own talents, skills and abilities, likes and dislikes, aptitudes and short-comings will help them figure out what they want college to do for them. It will also narrow the fields of study they want to learn more about and those they need help with now.

There are many choices to add to the college-bound summer to-do list. There are two categories of activities for teens over the summer. One concerns health and the other academics. Students may search extracurricular, job and school opportunities to pursue what they want.

Health As teens grow toward adulthood, they assume more responsibility for their own health. Summer is a great time for them to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle. They may think about the best ways for them to incorporate adequate rest, good food and proper exercise into their busy schedules. They may also think about how to best avoid acquiring unhealthy habits or ditching negative patterns.

Honing soft skills will help the college-bound reduce stress in college and beyond. Collaboration, communication, problem solving, time management and leadership will help teens adapt and thrive in new social, academic and business situations.

Students may also start to address financial health issues and learn more about money management and budgeting. They should understand the concept of affordability and be prepared for a college cost talk with their parents.

Academics When teens have a better understanding of who they are and what they want it is easier for them to select activities that will help or interest them. The emphasis is on general improvement, discovery and enjoyment of learning experiences. Having fun gaining knowledge and satisfaction with mastering new concepts sets the college-bound up for future success.

Some things to-do include: Reading, taking a summer course, volunteering, creating from blogs to building something, finding a mentor, joining a professional association or club, doing an internship or job, gaining skills, preparing a resume, narrowing down a college list, visiting colleges on a collegecation, working on vocabulary, writing a college essay and application, and choosing a major.

Read Suzanne’s post: 5 Things a College-Bound Teen Should NOT Do This Summer

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The #CampusChat on Wednesday, June 25, 9pm ET/6pm PT addresses summer activities for college-bound students and how parents may help. Join Suzanne (@suzanneshaffer) and me (@pocsmom) as we host our monthly #WednesdaysParent with guest Ashley Hill @prepforcollege owner of College Prep Ready. Ashley is a College Success Coach and Scholarship Search Strategist.

If you missed the chat or want to reread the excellent tips and advice, click here. ____________________________________

Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: Using irony and a proverb as self-motivation for your teen

The path to self-motivation. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

The path to self-motivation. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

The problem of motivation before the longest school break has many parents worried. The concern is teen’s thoughts of summer fun are pushing aside the facts of studies learned right before finals. It’s a big issue for the college-bound when grades matter on college applications and worse for those with college acceptances which may be rescinded for poor academic performance.

Suzanne and I already gave our tips for dealing with spring fever and senioritis. An irony and an old proverb may have the best solution now.

Irony: The longest day of the year is the summer solstice which means the days grow shorter just as summer begins.

Proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Your teen probably isn’t thinking about the irony because he’s too happy focusing on summer fun, perhaps a job and definitely a break from the routine grind. As for the proverb, you probably have tried several ways over the years to motivate your child. Most likely, none of these involved teaching the skill of self-motivation.

Merging the ability to concentrate on objectives with the skill to to self-motivate sets your child on a path to independence and self-sufficiency. In college he will be able to light his own fire to complete class assignments. For work, she will be able to get the job done by set deadlines. As to meeting family and friends obligations, he will step up. All by him or herself.

Self-motivation comes from within and the result is parents may be able to put away those carrots or sticks used in the past. Think of it as a great companion to our tips for passing the responsibility torch.

Here are four ways self-motivation leads to your teen’s success:

1. Goals If your teen understands what he wants, he has a better chance of making goal attainment his own priority.

2. Empowerment If your teen knows her capabilities, she has the confidence to try it her way.

3. Urgency If your teen has a to do list and matching deadlines, his actions will lead to his own successes or failures.

4. Rewards If your teen is vested in the outcome, she will find her own satisfaction in achievement.

Read on for Suzanne’s post: Motivating an Unmotivated Student

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: Surviving your teen’s prom

Gold star award for parents surviving their teen's prom. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Gold star award for parents surviving their teen’s prom. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

I think there should be award ceremonies for parenting. One of the featured categories should be Prom. At the very least, gold stars should be handed out.

How parents deal with this high school rite of passage runs the gamut of feelings from worry to excitement. Teen expectations are also running at an all time high.

I survived my kids’ proms and you will survive this year’s prom season, too. Suzanne and I gave our insights about partying and the college-bound teen but prom presets some unique issues. I did a quick web search and found several suggestions for parents and students. Many tips revolve around prom safety. I’m sharing 10 of my favorites:

1. Trust your parenting from about.com Teens  Prom is a way for your child to test the good decision-making skills and values you have taught. it is also a time for parents to step up their game if they are hosting or double-check their teen’s plans if they aren’t.

2. Have a plan from EmpoweringParents.com When you consider consequences should your child disregard or defy your limits and expectations, think like a business transaction rather than emotionally.

3. Initiate the conversation from USNews.com Prom provides a new venue to revisit conversations about drinking, drugs, driving, sex and other risky behaviors a few days prior to the party. Here the emphasis is on having fun and creating wonderful memories while keeping safe.

4. Provide perspective from San Diego Family Magazine Teens have a bright future of adult learning and working within reach. Bad behavior may result in more than parental ire. High schools may suspend or expel and colleges may revoke acceptance offers for illegal behavior. Definitely not a good start towards independence.

5. Communicate with others from SADD It’s good to speak with other parents and get info from the school, prom venue and driving arrangements to confirm prom plans and learn the rules.

6. Help with the prep from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Sunburns from last-minute tanning attempts, dehydration from exercise binges to get in shape, illness from crash dieting, skin and other allergic reactions from cosmetics/dyes, and blisters from ill-fitting shoes may be easily avoided with proper planning and trial runs of products being used for prom.

7. Budget in advance from me Call me crazy but I couldn’t see why families go so financially crazy with college around the corner. As a parent/student team, we brainstormed possible expenses and ways to hold down costs to take advantage of sales, discounts and options. My children did the same with their friends so we were also able to cost share certain expenses.

8. Charge the phone from Cook Children’s Health Care System Make sure your teen’s phone is charged when he/she leaves. Decide on a code-word or phrase to use to prevent teen embarrassment if a call must be placed.

9. Take the picture and don’t cry from CommonHealth They look so grown-up, don’t they? Hold back the tears and prolonged good-byes and take a picture to celebrate your child’s growing independence. Years later, most kids will want this prom remembrance showing off freshly pressed and carefully planned attire no matter how much future styles change. You will want it, too.

10. Continue the conversation from Nassau County Security Police Information Network Pre-plan, role play, and set guidelines and curfews. Most importantly, be their back-up. If plans change, teens should know to call with revisions and if they need a ride home.

Read Suzanne’s post: Oh the conversations you should have (before Prom)

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: Parenting the superstar and the struggler

Many paths lead to success Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Many paths lead to success Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

The college-bound often place the schools they are considering in one of three categories based on college admission requirements and student qualifications. Reach schools are those where student qualifications don’t fulfill college requirements but the student really wants to attend. Match or target schools are those where student qualifications meet college requirements. Safety schools are those where student qualifications exceed college requirements.

College choices may force a reevaluation of how parents and students view their current position as superstar, struggler or squished somewhere in between. For example, a school valedictorian may fall short compared with other applicants for admission at an elite college. Or an average student may be a catch for a college with lower selective criteria. Or a struggler may find himself on a par with other students on campus.

The college process can shake up perceptions and turn self-images upside down. Parents may prepare their students for the future with these five tips:

Recognize accomplishments Self-confidence in one’s abilities starts with recognizing the capability for achievement. Low self-esteem is the enemy here that will erode a student’s desire to try.

Praise the effort Not all hard work achieves the goal but many will say it is the failures that lead to future success. The key is finding reward in the journey as well as in accomplishment.

Provide opportunities Some things come easy and some things are more challenging. Which is which differs according to one’s talents, skills and abilities and therefore some activities are more likely to lead to positive outcomes. Look strategically for ways to increase chances for success and strengthen weaknesses.

Have options There are always obstacles to goal achievement but there are also many yellow brick paths to success. Expectations are most helpful when mingled with other choices to adjust and prepare should Plan B or C be necessary.

Keep smiling A positive attitude accepts new challenges as opportunities. Most importantly, it puts setbacks into perspective and uses breakthroughs as motivation.

Read Suzanne’s postTwo Kids; Two Academic Styles

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.