Archive for summer

Summer presents an amazing opportunity to move our kids towards self -management.  In my time working on a college campus and from the research I conducted concerning the college transition, it was clear that students were not prepared for the stress, change and responsibility of managing their own lives when they left home.

This outcome stems from an underlying shift in the priority of parents. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s the predominant goal of parents was to raise self-reliant kids, which was

Our Kids are less prepared for Life on their own

vital. This is the reason I believe self-management is one of the most important skills for our kids to develop. Self-managing kids have more confidence, resilience and ability to handle adversity as they move towards and into adulthood. I am convinced that today more than ever we need to stop focusing on raising children and start focusing on raising the days of exploration, wilderness and family farms. Today the priority has become protecting our kids, which has led to adults managing more and more of their kids’ lives, success and decisions.  As a result, kids are less prepared for life on their own and many are relying on their parents into and throughout college leading to the growing reality of delayed adolescence in our society. Read More →

Summer provides parents a great opportunity to move kids towards understanding themselves and the responsibility needed to help them mature and succeed.

As parents we can make summer a season of development with our kids because they have more free time and are not consumed with school, activities and sports.  To accomplish this we need to view our kids and our role differently.

We can Make Summer a Season of Development and Responsibility

For some parents, like Deedee and me with our oldest at age nine, it may mean you need to do some things to reconnect with your kids at a deeper level.  This was a level that was missing with our kids. Even though they knew we cared deeply for them, they saw that our focus was on their performance and behavior. This caused our oldest daughter to avoid us, hide things and give one word answers rather than entering into conversations with us.  Our focus on performance caused our kids to retreat from responsibility because they knew we would harp on how they under-performed rather than encourage them in their effort and learning. Read More →

Soon our kids will be out of school and summer will be upon us. What will occupy our kid’s time?  Will they watch You Tube, be engrossed on social media, or game the summer away? These of course are the options they will likely migrate to, if left to their own devices.  This is a dilemma I face as a father every summer, given that my office is in a 25 x 25 room at our home and my wife is in town.

I have found that planning for the summer with your kids and empowering them to make some key decisions can make a big difference. For younger kids there are day camps like the one my daughter Jennifer worked for the last two years, called Game-Time.  Involving them in discussions around the need for these programs and what they will do for the summer is an important part of developing adults. Talk to them about the factors around the decisions, this will help them develop evaluation and decision making skills.  Often kids just need the transparency and information to develop understanding, a sense of responsibility and purpose in the plan for their summer to make things go much smoother.
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