Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What the Floods in Texas Can Teach Our Children

The storms and flooding in Texas over Memorial Day weekend had tragic consequences. Several people died, many more are missing, vehicles were swept away, and many people were left stranded, unable to reach home. Many have posted videos of flooding in Boerne and San Antonio.  One of the most sobering showed a Jeep being swept away by flood waters in Boerne. The driver made it out of his vehicle in time, but his was a very rare case.  My 20 year old son and his girlfriend were at a party on Saturday when the weather worsened.  Thankfully, the host parents decided the best course of action was to turn the party into a sleepover to keep all the kids at the party and off the roads until the waters subsided.

Though we do our best to trust our children will follow our advice and make good choices, parents of teens and young adults often feel some fear and stress each time they see their child pull out of the driveway. It can be a real struggle to teens and young adults to focus on safety behind the wheel when, at these stages in their development, they often feel invincible.

Situations like the flooding over the weekend provide a great opportunity to pass on the vital parental wisdom to seemingly “invincible” teens and young adults that one poor decision can have tragic consequences. In this case, deciding to drive through seemingly slow moving water or around a barricade is a choice that could end lives - that of the driver, passengers, and sometimes even rescue workers.

Make time to talk to your sons and daughters about incidents like these, using age-appropriate language, while they are still fresh in everyone’s minds.  Exploring the feelings around the tragedies helps everyone process them in a healthy manner.  Discussing what happened and what other choices a person might have made can help your children learn critical lessons that will stick with them, and help them to be more mindful and cautious if dangerous situations arise in their futures.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ending the School Year on a High Note – Let’s Chat!

School's almost out for summer! This is the time of year when it is very natural for your sons and daughters to get so excited about summer that they might struggle to apply themselves in school. Here are some simple and easy tips to help your children finish out the school year strong.

1. Set some goals

Encourage your child to set reasonable goals for what he or she wants to achieve by the end of the school year. Working towards a goal will help your student stay motivated to do his or her best and keep to a study schedule.  A great way to encourage your child to do this is to model it.  Set and share some of your own goals for the same period and you can share your progress.

2. Break down big assignments into smaller pieces

Teach your son or daughter to identify small steps to achieve larger projects or to study for an exam, so he or she can recognize the forward progress of the large assignment. The satisfaction he or she feels will help him or her keep on going.

There you have two great ideas.  JOIN ME, Parent Coach Janet Bonnin, for more on the next Parent Info On the Go Chat!

Parent Info On the Go!

I'll be joined by Parent Advocate Angela Woodrow as we co-host the May Parent Info On the Go Chat this Tuesday, May 19 at 7 PM CT. This is a great audio interview series with experts like me who help you parent smarter. Each interview, about 20 minutes in length, will give you great information on how to improve an area in your life or that of your children.  

In our session on Tuesday, I’ll share more helpful ideas on how to encourage and help your kids finish the school year strong.  Bring any questions you might have and we’ll talk about them.

Email me the phrase “Finish Strong” to and I’ll send you the free call-in information and details of the call for Tuesday, May 19 at 7 PM CT.  I hope to hear you on the call!