Archive for the ‘Passion’ Category

You graduated, now what?

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

“I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it.”

– Harry S. Truman 33rd President

If you are celebrating high school or college graduations this season, it probably feels like you just dropped them off at kindergarten, you blinked, and here you are.

College kids have to be pulled away from their cushy, carefree, totally unrealistic existence to the real world.  Some have secured jobs, many have not, and a very small percentage will be lucky enough to do the work they love.

High school graduates are excited about prom, parties and the pressure being off. They’ll shop for their dorm rooms, connect with their roommates, and in late August kiss their weeping parents goodbye. For these kids, it’s an escape from the endless parade of adults asking three questions since the start of their junior year:

  1.  What colleges will you apply to
  2. What major are you considering
  3. What do you want to do for the rest of your life

With more career choices than ever before, it’s difficult for anyone to figure out, let alone a 16-year-old with limited life experience.  As parents, we want our children to do what they love.

 That is a tall order, which is why I started the Project Imagine!® seminar – to help kids and parents work together to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

 There are a few good things to call out about this webinar:

  1. Since it is a webinar, you can participate from the comfort of your home
  2. It opens the dialog for an honest discussion about choices
  3. There is no single right answer, so it is not a test. Everything depends on the individual and what is important to them.
  4. The ‘homework’ involves the child asking others about what they see.  This is an eye opening and helpful discussion since the child is pleasantly surprised to hear what others (teachers, family, and friends) see as their strengths; great for their self-esteem.
  5. The best part is that it becomes a new connection between parents and kids as you explore and learn about new careers together.

We tell our kids they can do anything they want to do.  Let’s help them actually get there!

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? “ -Marianne Williamson

To learn about the webinar, click here

To register, click here.

 The summer is the best time for this!

 Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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We need another hero

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.

Albert Schweitzer

We took a trip to Gettysburg when my son Michael was in middle school and a Civil War reenactor. With his commentary, we walked Picket’s Charge and learned so much more than facts you learn in school.  He explained how we lost a generation of good young men that would have been husbands and fathers.  That profound loss and sacrifice reinforces the point that Memorial Day is about understanding, remembering, and paying respect to those that served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us could enjoy our freedom.

Unlike the song, we don’t need another hero, we always need heroes. 

On this Memorial Day, I want to thank my son, serving the US Army in Afghanistan along with all those serving, and thank their families as well.  To walk in their shoes, much like the way we walked Picket’s Charge, is a good way to understand.

Here are some youth group organizations that salute military opportunities:

  • National Middle School Cadet Corps – a program is designed to introduce middle school students to responsible leadership roles while serving as a bridge facilitating a smooth transition into high school.
  • Young Marines – a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building, leadership, and promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Young Marines is the focal point for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Youth Drug Demand Reduction efforts.
  • U.S. Army Cadet Corps – following the emphasis on youth development which has been targeted by the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army Cadet Corps utilizes the spirit, traditions, and models of the U.S. Army to further the development of America’s youth.  The development of body, mind, and spirit are the key elements of this program.  These elements are stimulated through close order drill, precision military formations, physical fitness, martial arts, and the privilege of wearing an Army uniform.  Skill areas include instruction in both basic military and high adventure training, such as Rappelling and Mountain Climbing; Map, Compass, and Land Navigation; Marksmanship and Weapons Safety; First Aid and Water Survival; and Scuba Diving.  Instruction is given in both classroom and hands-on environments.
  • Civil Air Patrol – Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.
  • U.S. Army Junior ROTC – Providing a quality citizenship, character, and leadership development program, while fostering partnerships with communities and educational institutions.
  •  U.S. Naval Seal Cadets – Through organization and cooperation with the Department of the Navy, to encourage and aid American youth to develop, train them in seagoing skills, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues.

The picture at the beginning of this post is Michael as a little boy celebrating the return of our troops from Operation Desert Storm in Nutley, NJ in 1992.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day, and be sure to thank a solider for their service.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An apology to my son

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

I would like to open this blog with an apology to my son. 

Now an adult, Michael is intelligent, curious, loves to learn new things, and very closely follows the things he is passionate about.

So why the apology?

From the 4th grade on, at the end of each school marking period, our house was not a happy place because report cards were distributed.  I knew the less than stellar grades didn’t reflect his real ability.  My frustration would heighten especially as he promised the marks would get better because, “This is the new Michael.” 

That never happened.

What did happen was a consistent yet subtle change.  His room was filled with books on the topics he loved; philosophy, religion, mathematics, military tactics, leadership and most of all, music.

When we played Trivial Pursuit, all the adults wanted Michael on their team.  When we watched Jeopardy on TV as a family, I would count all the money he would have won if he had been on the show rather than sitting comfortably in our living room. 

While I was worried about grades and the status of good grades; he knew better than me that education was more about the love of learning.  What was at stake was my relationship with my son.

For this reason I want to share a manifesto written by Seth Godin, my favorite author.  I encourage you to download, print, read and share – Stop Stealing Dreams (what is school for?).

Godin writes that the education system was designed when education became compulsory and children were moved out of factories.  The objective was to create very obedient factory workers when these same children grew up and would return to the factory.   That approach will not help create new ideas or help find someone’s passion.

The world has changed dramatically, but education has not.  That is a much bigger problem, but like any problem, we can solve it if we understand what is really wrong.

Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.

Your problem is much easier to solve.  Don’t let an out of date education system, ruin your relationship with your child, or destroy your child’s dreams.

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Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®