There are going to be peaks and valleys. You don’t want to let kids quit during a valley.

Advice from research psychologist and MacArthur Foundation “genius” award winner Angela Duckworth in an article titled Grit Trumps Talent and IQ

“I believe kids should choose what they want to do, because it’s their life, but they have to choose something,” she says, “and they can’t quit in the middle unless there’s a really good reason.” There are going to be peaks and valleys. “You don’t want to let kids quit during a valley.”

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How To Make Your Kids Smarter: 10 Steps Backed By Science

Article from TIME magazine by Eric Barker titled How To Make Your Kids Smarter: 10 Steps Backed By Science

9) Peer Group Matters

So what does have an enormous affect on your children’s behavior? Their peer group.

We usually only talk about peer pressure when it’s a negative but more often than not, it’s a positive.

Living in a nice neighborhood, going to solid schools and making sure your children hang out with good kids can make a huge difference.

What’s the easiest way for a college student to improve their GPA? Pick a smart roommate.

  1. Music Lessons
  2. The Dumb Jock Is A Myth
  3. Don’t Read To Your Kids, Read With Them
  4. Sleep Deprivation Makes Kids Stupid
  5. IQ Isn’t Worth Much Without Self-Discipline
  6. Learning Is An Active Process
  7. Treats Can Be a Good Thing — At The Right Time
  8. Happy Kids = Successful Kids
  9. Peer Group Matters
  10. Believe In Them

Best Parenting Tip Ever

From New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle’s Talent Code Blog

For three decades, Miller and Brown made a habit of asking college-age athletes about the ways their parents had made a positive or negative impact. After several hundred interviews with a wide cross-section of kids, their informal survey had two insightful discoveries. Number one: what kids hate most, by an overwhelming margin, is the conversations during the ride home after the game. You know, that quiet, strained, slightly uncomfortable time when parents ask questions, give praise, offer critiques, and generally get involved by saying things like:

Great job today. So what happened on that play?
What did your coach tell the team after the game?
Do you think the team could have hustled more?

These types of moments, Miller and Brown point out, are well intentioned, and often contain truth, but the timing is toxic. The moments after a game are not the time for judgement or pressure and definitely not for instruction (which is the job of the coach, not the parent). In fact, many of the kids said they preferred having grandparents attend games, because they are more joyful and less pressurizing than parents.

But it’s not all bad news. Because there’s a second finding to emerge from their work, and it might be the best parenting tip I’ve ever read.

The kids reported there was one phrase spoken by parents that brought them happiness. One simple sentence that made them feel joyful, confident, and fulfilled. Just six words.

I love to watch you play.

Get on the floor with your kids. They’ll come over and climb on top of you and relax. The more you can get on their level, the less problems you’ll have.

From a wonderful article on parenting advice by Elliott Davis in the Boston Globe …

Debbie Leekeenan, Director, Eliot-Pearson Children’s School at Tufts University

“Allow your children the space to ‘fall’ so they can learn to get up. Teaching your child resiliency is one way to cope with life’s challenges. It is better to experience small setbacks when you are young and learn how to deal with them.”

Bob Monahan, Founder and owner, UPPAbaby 

“Get on the floor with your kids. They’ll come over and climb on top of you and relax. The more you can get on their level, the less problems you’ll have.”

Chritine Koh, Founder and editor, BostonMamas.com; coauthor, Minimalist Parenting

“Present good, healthy options, but do not force-feed them. That translates to everything, including extracurriculars and other activities. It’s about giving your kids options and encouraging them to figure out what works for them.”

Alma Wahlberg, Works at son Paul’s Hingham restaurant, Alma Nove

“Pay attention to what your kids are doing. Be interested in everything they’re doing and be involved. Don’t just send them off to the game. Somebody’s got to go and watch.”

Jeff Kinney, Author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

“Use the phrase ‘I understand’ with your kids, especially when they’re angry or upset. I’ve found that by telling your kids that you’ve felt what they’re feeling — even if what they’re feeling is irrational — it lets them know you’re on their side.

“Be polite, don’t try to be friends with everyone around you. Instead, spend time nurturing your relationships with the people who matter most to you.

From a post titled 60 Ways To Make Life Simple Again

1. Don’t try to read other people’s minds. Don’t make other people try to read yours. Communicate.
2. Be polite, but don’t try to be friends with everyone around you. Instead, spend time nurturing your relationships with the people who matter most to you.
9. Surround yourself with people who fill your gaps. Let them do the stuff they’re better at so you can do the stuff you’re better at.
44. Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven, and likeminded.
60. Make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, and move along.

‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

From a commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005 …

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.