Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Thing They Gotta Do to Win? Learn to Lose!

Is you’re a child a good loser?

Think about it.
This is important.

Learning how to lose prepares one for success.

Pick a truly successful person, look into their lives, you will likely find the following to be true:

1. They aren’t afraid of being wrong or of ‘losing,’ enabling them to take risks, or try new and unique ideas.
2. When they do lose, they have the ability to learn and grow from their experience; identifying what they can do better next time.
3. When defeated, they are able to see and admire their opponent’s skills objectively and strive to incorporate how their opponents bested them.
4. They are willing to ‘lose’ fans, admirers or supporters by going against the grain, following their instincts with confidence.
5. After being defeated they don’t play the blame game, they don’t feel the need to offer excuses, because they know ultimately it is up to them, what is needed to turn the defeat around is inside of them.

How does this apply to our children’s lives?

1. Are your kids willing to raise their hand in class and participate, offering their perspective, not being muted into silence by being afraid of being wrong.
2. After receiving a bad grade on an exam they prepared weeks prior, can they look inside and see how they could modify their studying process for the next exam. Will they read the red pen comments and make note on how to incorporate what is being suggested, how to fix what has been circled the next time?
3. After running for, and not winning a student government position, do they trash their opponent? Or, can they agree, their opponent’s posters were better, or their speech was more concise, etc.,
4. In peer pressure situations are they able to rise above the pressure and remain true to their convictions, following their instincts on what is right?
5. They don’t come off the field blaming a loss on the referee, poor conditions of the field, their sore toe, or having stale toast for breakfast.

From my perspective, those who have learned how to fail, to lose the game, and to be wrong at times, are those who will achieve, excel and be successful.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Make Sure Your Kids Know Whats 'Behind' the Dotted Line

How prepared are your children when it comes to the daily financial decisions an independent person makes on a daily basis?

Parents, think back to what you've done the last week.  Possibly paid the mortgage, balanced your check book, filled out FAFSA forms, or worked on your taxes?  How much calculus or geometery was needed to complete any of these items?

The majority of high schools do not require personal finance classes to graduate, nor  offer classes in personal finance. 

How many students take on loans in order to attend college, not truly understanding what is involved in the re-payment.  In their determination to go to college, they sign away not realizing all that comes with being indebted. 

I'm not saying student loans are bad.  I am saying that signing a loan, lease agreement, mortgage, or any financial document without having learned the math - before signing on the dotted line.

How many young people are going to start their 'adult lives' indebted without knowing exactly how they got there, nor the best way to get out from under it. 

Knowing the basics of personal finance is important skill set to have in order to be able to make the transition from living with their parents to living on their own.  Understanding exactly what their personal debt/income ratio or the value in budgeting and planning for their financial obligations is too important to not be properly prepared for.

Credit cards are given out like candy, with the details of the relationship in ultra fine print.  They are too easy to rely on - often during the very circumstances one shouldn't use credit for, and perhaps should do without.  With readily available credit, it makes it too easy to be impulsive in their purchases, especially if they don't have the knowledge that would enlighten them as to why they should NOT charge what they can't afford.

If your school system isn't providing this class, then perhaps you should at home.  Open the door to those 'grown up' financial discussions and invite your fledgling adult in to listen and learn.  Show them the skills they need to spread their wings on their own successfully.

From my perspective, we teach them to look both ways before crossing the road, we should teach them to look behind the fine print and know what their signing.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Reading Is Fundamental | Reading Is Fundamental® Grassroots Action Center

Reading Is Fundamental Reading Is Fundamental® Grassroots Action Center

Reading is Fundamental, or "RIF," one of our nation's largest children's literacy programs may not be around for our children for long.

The work they do enables children, who can't afford to buy books, to bring home and keep, a book of their own. For years R.I.F.'s programs have opened children's eyes to adventures waiting to be taken through reading. With R.I.F.'s help, children living in sad and stressful enviornments discover the joy in losing themselves in a book.

Unfortunately, President Obama's proposed  budget for FY 2011 includes eliminating RIF's federal funding, not reduced or merely cut back, but ELIMINATING.

If you've ever enjoyed a quiet moment on the couch cuddling your child, while reading a book, please help other, less advantaged parent's enjoy a moment like that and click here to send an email to your local representatives telling them the importance of speaking out on behalf of the 4 million plus children who benefit from this program.

Can each of us, sending an email and forwarding a link - make a difference? YES WE CAN!

From my perspective, continuing federal funding in Reading is Fundamental is an investment made in the youth of today, and potential leaders of tomorrow.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Justin's Quest

With his parent's love and support, 13 year old Justin manages to find a reason for his recent diagnosis - an inoperable brain tumor, "God knew I could beat it" and "I need to find a cure so other kids, less fortunate than me, won't have to experience what I'm going through."

Justin is quite simply, an extraordinary 13 year-old boy. With drive and determination that set him apart from most teens, Justins decided his response to this devastating diagnosis is to find a cure for brain tumors

Justin intends to make 40,000 baskets
 representing the 40,000 people who die from
Brain Tumors every year.

Justin’s Quest begins here:  Please consider helping this incredibly courageous young man reach his goal.  Here is a child, who even though he is facing the hardest thing in his life he could ever imagine, he manages to think more of the 'greater good' than of himself.

From My Perspective, Justin's response to this disease truly defined who he is as a person:  a courageous, strong and determined leader, one who has my complete respect and admiration.