Here’s Your Best Advice to Yourself

When I attended my daughters’ college graduations, I listened to the speeches and then retired promptly to my own computer to type my imaginary commencement address, highlighting what I would have recommended for their lives. After attending my own recent reunion (see blog at boomerhealthinstitute.com), I realized something. What people recommend for others is usually what they are secretly recommending for themselves.

 

So, let me ask you. What are you recommending for your children as they progress through life? Does it differ much different from what you are recommending for your own life? Take a look at my two imaginary college commencement speeches. Do you agree with the suggestions? Are they striking a familiar theme that you offer to your own children? Give me some feedback. I would love to see how we vary in our approaches to a happy, successful, rewarding life. I think you will discover that your advice to others is your best advice to yourself.

 

Dear Skyler,

At your two graduation speeches, your classmates were told you were brilliant and should now turn that brilliance into action. The various speakers were good, but if I had addressed your class, I would have offered a far different message. Typical for […]

Blog, Connections|

Here’s The Best Parent – Child Gift

What’s the best parent-child gift? Actually, I think there are two pillars that make the best gift to any child: love and time. In today’s world, love is a lot easier to give than time. Too many parents are caught up in the onslaught of work and bills. Too many parents come home from the office, too tired to pay sufficient attention to their children. Consequently, we are depriving ourselves and our children of much of our happiness.

 

friends hug each other deep relationship & bonding - vector icon. This also represents reunion sharing love emotions human touch friendly embrace support care kindness empathy compassion

In my recent blog on the Time Magazine article on “Ordinary Parents: Extraordinary Children”, the article highlighted the importance of maintaining a conflict free home. The world is chaotic enough; let the household (and especially the relationships within the household) be a safe haven from the surrounding chaos. But in that safe haven, you need time together. That’s 1:1 time with each person. That’s not the occasional “hello, how are you doing?” exchange.

 

I have highlighted the statistics in prior blogs, but let me repeat. […]

Blog, Connections|

Time Magazine: Raising Extraordinary Kids

Usually, I like to highlight my own ideas in these blogs. However, for this post, I wanted to encourage readers to review Time Magazine’s September 5, 2016 lead article on “Ordinary Families – Extraordinary Kids,” Since some of you might not have access to this Time magazine issue, I am going to summarize the article’s key findings. Because I think they are crucial for any parent.

 

Passion for Success Concept. Modern Illustration. Multicolor Passion for Success Drawn on Dark Brick Wall. Doodle Icons. Doodle Style of Passion for Success Concept. Passion for Success on Wall.

In this Time magazine article, the author examined ordinary families that produced extraordinary kids. Success of those kids was defined by their leadership, service, or achievement; it was not defined by fame or money. The author highlighted how these families were different in so many ways (ethnicity, wealth, areas of interests, etc.), but the author tried to uncover what was common (and necessary) for producing such successful kids. The article discovered 6 key features for raising extraordinary children.

 

First, each family seemed able to instill a sense of drive in those kids, coupled to a […]

Blog, Connections|

Even Better Advice for Your College Student

In the prior blog I highlighted the importance of focusing on your friendships in college as opposed to focusing just on your grades. However, I wanted to expand the umbrella of that recommendation. Parents should encourage their kids, in the college years, to focus on things that truly matter. Too often in life the things that matter are at the mercy of the things that do not matter. Since college habits often become life habits, it is important to establish the right priorities and the right habits during those early adult years. To illustrate that point, here is a letter to my daughter, Skyler, in her freshman year of college.

 

Dear Skyler,

We received the following bit (below) from a friend and we thought you might enjoy it.

         A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups ­porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite – telling them to help themselves. After all the students had a cup […]

Blog, Connections|

The Best Advice for Your College Student

What is the best advice for your college student? It may seem counter cultural, but I strongly encourage parents to encourage their kids, as college students, to shift their focus away from grades. Today’s college student faces enormous challenges. Besides the daily cultural chaos across the world, the current political rancor of our election, and the repeated headline of disasters (terrorist attacks, fires, floods, earthquakes, etc.), they are facing an increasingly competitive world with greater barriers to financial success. The solution is to help them focus on finding real happiness, not superficial acclaim. Happiness doesn’t come through higher grades; it comes through following your passions and establishing friendships. In this world, your kids are going to need those friendships to battle through life and its many challenges. Here is how I addressed the issue with my daughter, Skyler, when she was a college freshman …

Dear Skyler,

It was fun to hear the account of your Halloween activities and Halloween choices.  Should you go to the New York Halloween parade or stay in your dorm room and write your essay? And the next morning, after you had enjoyed the Halloween parade and gone to bed without writing your essay, should you skip your […]

Blog, Connections|

How to Help Your Teen Transition to College (Part II)

Once your teen has departed for college, how are you going to stay in touch? I suggest setting up a pattern of frequent communications. For my wife and myself, it was constant cards and letters. For other parents, it may be weekly cell phone calls or regular skype sessions. For some lucky parents, whose kids are attending a local college, it might be frequent visits. In all of these communications, I encourage you to share how much the individual is missed and how much you appreciate any efforts toward increased communication – while giving your teenager encouragement and support on the road to independence. Here is one of the earlier letters to my older daughter, Skyler, trying to convey those points, as she started her freshman year.

 

Dear Skyler,

It’s Wednesday night and I am heading upstairs to climb into bed.  As I dragged myself up the stairs, I swung by Austen’s bedroom to see if her door was open. She might be only 17 months younger than you, and just a junior in high school, but you have trained her well. Your habits are now her habits. Privacy is sacrosanct. Her bedroom door was closed so I found myself edging toward […]

Blog, Teenagers and College|

How to Help Your Teen Transition to College (Part I)

Are you getting ready to help your teenager head off to college? How are you going to react with that departure? What will you say once your son or your daughter leaves the nest? Are you going to offer any advice? Here is my first letter to my daughter, Skyler, after dropping her off for her freshman year at college. Maybe you will experience some of the same feelings? Regardless, I suggest you share your feelings, trying to improve your relationship despite the geographic distance. It worked for me; and I think it can work for you. Just remember: geographic separation does not have to lead to emotional separation. Share more, not less. Then watch how your communication can bring the two of you closer and closer.

 

Dear Skyler,

It is 10:50 pm PST and I have been up since 6 am EST, so my bones are tired, my head is throbbing, and my cognition is more than disjointed, but I would be remiss if I did not make the effort to write you my sincere thanks. Thanks for just being you. Thanks for allowing me to accompany you to your move-in freshman day at New York University. It has always been a privilege to be your father (after all, your birth […]

Blog, Teenagers and College|

Why The Olympic TV Coverage Is Bad For Your Health!

Every two years we are subjected to NBC’s presentation of the Olympics, rotating from the summer Olympics to the winter Olympics. Every two years we are also subjected to 17 days of Prime Time Olympic TV, scheduled from 8 pm to midnight. In almost every cycle, the sporting events, which are shown at night, are already completed. However, they are the premier events with the most popular athletes, reshuffled to keep us watching right up to midnight with many of the top events saved for the last part of the telecast.

 

With so much of it taped, NBC could offer the same package from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm or at least 7 pm to 11 pm. But they do not. Why? Because they want the highest ratings with the maximum income from the sale of their commercial space. As you may have heard from the talking heads during the recent political conventions, the prime time for a TV audience is 10 pm – 11 pm. That’s the hour with the highest number of viewers. That’s the hour when NBC can make make the most money.

 

Sack and money, vector

Blog|

Another “DARK” Day For Public Health

President Barack Obama signed the “DARK” Act on late Friday afternoon, July 29, following the grand tradition of trying to hide some political action, just before the weekend, with the hope that the general public will not have noticed. DARK stands for “Deny Americans Right to Know”; and it is a phrase referring to the food industry’s goal of blocking the public’s demand for GMO labeling on all food products.

 

In 2007, when he was running for re-election, President Obama pledged to the country, gaining many additional votes, that he would support GMO labeling. After all, 90% of Americans wanted GMO labeling. But like so many of today’s politicians, he just broke that pledge – again, hoping no one would notice. So much for a man’s word. So much for a politician’s pledge for real change. For me, it was an unexpected disappointment.

 

Red white and blue vote and tick symbols for elections

In these blogs, I am apolitical. I don’t support either party. However, what President Obama just did on July 29th reflects the reality of our political system. There is too much at stake in the current election […]

Blog|

The Financial and Life Challenges for Millennials

Research has shown that millennials are expected to be the first generation to earn less money than their predecessors. Currently, millennials (those individuals born between 1980 and 2000) are expected to earn less than Generation X (those individuals born between 1966 and 1980). In the U.S., the financial trend has been upward for each new generation for the past 100 years. The millennials will be the first generation to break that economic trend.

 

The primary reason is the market crash in 2007-2008, the subsequent slow economic growth in the United States, rising costs, and the degree of student debt. Even the current events, like the financial troubles within Europe and the Brexit vote, are expected to hurt, not help, any possible trend toward higher wages. The current global conflicts, including ethnic/ religious conflicts and terrorism, are likely to lower economic growth for the millennials.

 

Broken piggy bank on the table against grey background, close up

The challenges for the millennials goes beyond money. Yes, they are going to spend more money on rent than any generation. Yes, they are going to be buying their first house later in life than […]

Blog|