Wednesday, December 26, 2018


Many very wise people have said that each of us has a unique talent. I believe that’s true. I also believe that MANY people have never searched, explored nor found theirs. Why not take this time when your teenager may be going through some very rough self-understanding times to help them to explore and identify and begin honing their gift. I'll bet they've got one!

I had a friend in high school who sat in the back of the room drawing cartoons and such. He’s now been on the Art faculty at Ohio State University for many years.

Watch, observe, listen, ask innocent questions, note where they go, what they do.  Again, great minds tell us that all human beings are achievers.  If yours isn’t, you may need to stir the pot [no pun intended].  Remember: ASK, DON’T TELL.  Don’t lecture, instruct, try to teach – unless they ask.

Suggest some ideas, opportunities, activities. 
Encourage just about anything.  If you see movement - support, reinforce, compliment it.  Remember – as much negativity as you may see, realize it’s just a scared kid trying to establish themselves. If you’re negative, what would you expect them to be?

CRITICAL ISSUE: if you have given them anything and everything they’ve ever wanted or needed, why would you question why they have no motivation? OF COURSE they don’t!

Don’t be afraid nor hesitate to take things away.  There are three types of motivation: fear, incentive, achievement. Each has a role.  Fear motivation may be needed now to instigate different behaviors.  I once knew a father with a problem teen who, step-by-step, took things away down to the mattress lying on the floor of his son’s bedroom.  His son was very stubborn.  Sometimes, it takes that!


Thursday, December 13, 2018

LET’S TALK ABOUT SUCCESS – for your teen… - - -

Success is NOT what most people believe: simple, quick, fast, easy, done… - so I can go sit down, chill out, play video games, watch movies or TV, etc.

That’s actually almost avoidance – or giving in to that advertising lie – that life is about sitting around relaxing – WRONG!!!

Success IS LIFE – it’s the struggles, the challenges, the victories and the setbacks we all go through every single day – whether it’s traffic jams, forgotten homework, boy-girl relationships, “teacher, I don’t get it,” ‘I didn’t have the time.’  And every single setback we don’t LEARN FROM was a waste of that life, that day, that time. 

The best parent will ALWAYS pause, guide, ‘teach’ and help enlighten their teen regarding what SHOULD or COULD have been learned from that setback.  It’s been said that a failure is a defeat you didn’t learn from.  It’s my opinion that any parent who doesn’t pursue this process is a failed parent.  Will they reject you from time to time? YES, probably just like you did, to your parents – but we soldier on, just like a soldier – defeats along the way, onward and onward into battle, on to success.  Stay the course!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


We are bombarded with How-To messages, lessons, sermonettes, advice.  Let’s whittle them down to The Three ABSOLUTES for SUCCESS for Your Teenager, drawn from 25+ years in the success trenches - coaching, observing, advising, failing, rebounding… These are THE THREE key, top, critical components: Without them, your student is committed to a life of mediocrity!  And WITH THEM, even if they’re average in all other areas, they are essentially guaranteed success.

Here’s why:  we’ve been told repeatedly that knowledge is power.  IT IS NOT! Like a battery, knowledge is potential power – but it’s useless until and unless it’s connected to something – to life, as it were! To connect that battery, the three attributes below are the ‘connecting cables’ to success! And as reported by college officials, far too many college students are significantly lacking in these three traits.

They are:

1.      The stamina and willingness to rebound after a defeat. No one has ever achieved anything of significance without failing along the road to success. And if you’ve shielded them from failures or defeats, they have probably not developed this capacity. [hopefully, not your teenager.]

2.      After suffering a defeat, it’s crucial to LEARN from that setback. REMEMBER - a failure is a mistake you didn’t learn from. If they keep repeating the same mistake over and over, success is getting no closer! As a parent, it’s OK for you to ‘comfort them’ - “oh, it’ll be OK” – but then move quickly on to “what did you learn?” This can take time, effort and exploration. Recognize that it’s overly simplistic and virtually worthless to say “work harder.” Your student needs specifics: do more of WHAT? Do LESS of what? Focus on what specific area or element? And if they were ‘lazy’ – there’s A REASON they were lazy: didn’t really care, didn’t really know what or how to it. This is where you explore, ask, ask, and ask, deeper and deeper.

3.      The final prerequisite building block is true and real goal-setting. If your student/ teen/ young adult can’t convert a wish or a dream or a hope into a real goal, they don’t yet have it.’ Real goals are specific and measurable.  If that hope or dream isn’t either of those, they aren’t goals. And if they’re not specific and measurable, you’ll never know if or when you arrived. The pursuit of goals IS LIFE – whether family and relationships, business or professional success or physical health, etc. Goals need to continue THROUGHOUT life!

As we said at the top, if your teenager possesses and APPLIES these attributes, they WILL SUCCEED – even if their “potential” is only average.  And if they don’t, you can pretty well bet they will fall short of their true potential throughout all of life.

And your key role as a parent is to check, assure or help them obtain these traits and habit patterns. DO NOT ASSUME they know and do these things!!  If you’d like an assessment tool please contact us at for further information or guidance! SUCCESS!!