29Aug 2016

The Best Advice for Your College Student

August 29th, 2016|0 Comments

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 [...]

23Aug 2016

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

August 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

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 [...]

16Aug 2016

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

August 16th, 2016|0 Comments

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 [...]

9Aug 2016

Why The Olympic TV Coverage Is Bad For Your Health!

August 9th, 2016|2 Comments

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.   Here is the key. NBC is placing their earnings ahead of our [...]

4Aug 2016

Another “DARK” Day For Public Health

August 4th, 2016|2 Comments

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.   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 for any politician to let his or her conscience get in the way of a possible victory. President [...]