Archive for the 'Parenting & Raising Kids' Category

Parent Teacher Conferences

I promised in the previous report card entry that I would write about parent-teacher conferences or PTC’s as some parents, teachers, and school administrators call them.

Here are some tips for parents in order to use their time efficiently while meeting with their children’s teachers.

1. Go To The Conference – I know that might sound silly, but the plain truth is that most parents don’t bother to go the meetings. Your child’s education is worth the hour or two it takes to attend a parent-teacher conference.

It’s also true that most of the parents that do attend are the ones who least need to be there because their children tend to do better academically and behaviorally.

However, all parents should attend, even those whose children are excelling in every area if no other reason than to provide positive reinforcement to the kids and to show support for the teaches. Also, you might find out that there are things the kids could improve upon that you didn’t even know were problems.

2. Be Prepared – Teachers will naturally have a list of specifics to discuss for each child. Parents should also come prepared with topics they would like to cover in the meeting.

3. Be Considerate Of Other Parents – If it seems like the discussions of your child’s issues could become in depth, use the original PTC as an introductory meeting and make plans for a longer session at a later time in which you can meet with that teacher or multiple teachers at one time when other parents aren’t lingering outside the door waiting for their turn.

4. Be Respectful, But Not Intimidated – Some parents, especially those that haven’t been in school or classroom in a while, can get overwhelmed with memories of their own bad experiences in school and suddenly get tongue-tied as if they were errant schoolchildren who didn’t do their homework!

If this happens to you, relax and remember that you and the teacher on the same side – working for what’s best for your child.

Family Thanksgiving Travel Plans

Familiy Travel At Thanksgiving

As we approach the Thanksgiving weekend, which is traditionally the busiest travel time of the year, I’m wondering if you have firmed up your travel plans.

With all the recent news about the airline industry, I wonder if some people will really think twice before they purchase flights and make other travel arrangements. It seems unlikely at this late stage that people will actually opt for alternate transportation simply over the TSA screening process issues.

There are challenges no mater how one chooses to travel with kids. Whether by car or plane, one good tip is to always have ways to keep the kids occupied.

Older kids and teens are overly addicted to electronic devices so they will probably bring their own entertainment with them. The problem here will be getting the kids to put down the electronics and interact with the family.

For younger kids, though, it is up to the parents to plan ahead and divert the kids from the hassles of travel to family activities.

Here are some ideas:

1) Many board games come in travel sizes and are perfect for fitting on airplane tray tables.

2) Verbal word games such as the license plate game and its many variations work well with younger kids. You can choose a state and then scan license plates on the highway until you find a car from that state.

A more imaginative license plate game is for one person to read the letters on a plate and have the other person make up a word of phrase that fits the letters. (This is best done using the first two letters as one letters is too easy and three might be too challenging.)

3) Another game that works well in a bus station or airport is to decide on an item such as a red pocketbook or a green hat and then have the kids scan the crowd until they find someone with the requested item.

Student Report Cards

Can it really be that time of the year again when kids are bringing home report cards?

Doesn’t it seem like parents just got through Halloween and are already getting requests for wanted Christmas toys? We haven’t even mentioned that we are little more than a week away from Thanksgiving. Somewhere in there, it’s time for report cards as well as parent-teacher conferences which we will discuss in a future entry.

Here are some tips for parents in how to approach report cards.

1. Review the report card first by yourself when you have to look it over and absorb the information. A quick glance while you’re watching TV doesn’t cut it.

2. Sit down with your child to go over and discuss the actual grades as well as written comments from the teachers. Ask the child to to give his or her opinions of why particular comments were made about him or her.

3. Ask the child for a self-evaluation as well. Ask what he or she is proud of on the report card as well as what he or she would like to improve on for the next grading period.

4. Have the child come up with an action plan to reach the goals discussed in step 3.

First Job After College

Finding A Job After Graduation

We don’t talk too often on this parenting blog about parents and the roles they play in the lives of their college age kids. We tend to think that by that point in their children’s lives, the parents should have given the kids a strong foundation in how to behave like decent responsible members of society and the parenting job has moved onto a more hands-off stage.

With the way the economy has been dragging along the past couple of years and the unemployment numbers keep staying so high all over the country, parents should be helping their college age kids have realistic expectations of what to expect from the job market upon college graduation.

Even in a booming economy, a young person’s first job out of college may not be in the area he or she studied. However, with a little creative thinking and guidance from parents, grads can choose a job that will ultimately help them land the dream jobs in their chosen fields.

Let’s use an example in the insurance industry. Let’s say a young woman was a Marketing major in college. Although not able to obtain a position in Corporate Marketing right after graduation, a job is offered in an insurance call center handling requests for group life insurance quotes.

How can a young employee make this work to her advantage in the long run? She can decide that she wants to work in Marketing at the life insurance company and then take advantage of her surroundings to learn about the different kinds of life insurance products offered such as whole life, term life, universal life as well as similar offerings like annuities.

Every customer that calls into the call center seeking those life insurance quotes can actually provide our hypothetical insurance customer service representative a complete Marketing education that she couldn’t have obtained from textbooks.

By actually listening to and talking with each potential customer, she can figure out exactly what the thousands of customers wants and needs are – what the motivations and emotions are behind wanting to obtain life insurance.

Learning how to market to those people a matter of figuring out how life insurance meets those wants and needs. Of course, once she has an actual job with the marketing department, she will be proactively demonstrating to the public the company’s products can meet wants and needs of consumers before the consumer even realizes the wants and needs exist. That’s a key to being a brilliant, cutting edge marketer.

Think of you could apply this same logic to your college graduate’s career paths and their first jobs out of college.