Category Archives: Dialogue with our kids

Tackling Academic Challenges: Tip #5-Reward Their Efforts

Here’s the last tip in our series.


Just to review:


Tip 1.  Identify the problem


Tip 2.  Help them decide on an action plan


Tip 3.  Be their compass


Tip 4.  Come up for air


Tip 5.  Reward their efforts   


Our role is a constant and committed one. We want the very best for our children. We know how tough the world is and we want to equip them to be successful in it. As we applaud their efforts, even the smallest of steps, we help build confidence in them. As they rise up and do what they should, we need to reward them for a job well done. We may not be all the way home yet, but certainly on the path to getting there. By our positive feedback, we help our kids stay on track and give them the encouragement they need to run the race all the way to the end.

Three Words They Hate to Hear

“How was school?” Now I’m not sure when that happens exactly.  But one year along the way in their educational journey–we ask it and they hate it!  So what’s a mom to do?  I want to find out how their school day went.  So I think to come at it from another angle.  “What did you learn today?” They hate that even more–bad move Nancy Drew!  Ok–so let’s put our heads together.  We’re sharp, intelligent women!  How hard can it be to unearth from a child how his or her school day went?  Pretty hard–if they don’t feel like talking or telling us or both!

Here’s my attempt at cracking the code of teenage silence and getting inside the heads of my high schoolers–I confess–I use humor and I do my best to not ask questions when they first get home but confess again that I don’t always succeed.

I try to save questions like, “Do you have any homework?” till after they’ve had time to get in the front door, eat something and relax for a few minutes.  The more space I give and the more accessible I am, the greater the potential there is for them to open up and talk when they’re ready.  They’d probably prefer if I just text them instead!! Not likely! It’s just a thought–can’t wait to hear yours!  Wishing you a great school year!!



Talking with our kids about what the future holds

     In a few days, our nation will write a new chapter into its history as we witness our first African-American president sworn into office.  It’s an exciting time, even as we face economic uncertainty and radical change.


     This is the perfect opportunity to engage our kids in a dialogue about this pivotal time.  Our teenagers will be soon be entering college and/or the job force.  What will they find there?  We are being called to a time of change–what will that mean for us and for them. 


     By discussing the local, national and international issues at hand, we can help kids as they shape and form opinions.  They need our input, feedback and critique.  They need to see us wrestle with challenges and respond with resilience and resourcefulness.  They need to see us step up along with others across the country to bring about the necessary changes that are required to get us back on track.


     Our kids may be scared as they hear the news that the “sky is falling” but we can help them stay positive and solution oriented.   We need to show them that the way forward is through and that we intend to go forward and to make the best of things.  Our kids are watching us–our actions, reactions and responses.  As we turn over the page to this new chapter, let’s offer hope and encouragement, guidance and counsel, as well as mentoring and modeling–all the things that make us parents and a vital and vibrant part of our society.