Archive for the ‘Persistence’ Category

It’s time for the adults to be quiet

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

A child can teach an adult three things… To be happy for no reason. To always be busy with something. And to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires. Paulo Coelho

You remember the saying, ‘the adults are talking’ well perhaps it’s time to listen to the children.

The eloquence and empathy demonstrated by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students is truly encouraging.

Perhaps these children can succeed where adults’ efforts have not been realized.

We say, after (fill in a tragedy) if there has not been change, now, then when?

The adults mobilize, march and move on without impacting change. The victims’ families don’t get the luxury of moving on. Instead they get our short-term thoughts and prayers.

The children will not stop until there is change; they are relentless.

Let’s playback a scenario we can all relate to:

Scene – child and adult in a toy store

Child:       Can I have this?

Adult:      No, I don’t have any money.

Child:       You don’t need money, you have credit cards.

Adult:      I don’t have any money on my credit card for toys.

Child:       Sure you do.  You just bought shoes.

Adult:      I needed shoes.

Child:       I need this toy.

Adult:      You have toys.

Child:       You have shoes.

Adult:      Yes, but.

Conversation continues for 10 minutes more…..End scene with parent and child at checkout with a toy.

Like I said, they are relentless.  I have hope – the kids got this, and they won’t give up until they get what they want.


Have a great week, and have hope.


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®


Constraints help us be more creative

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Next week, parents and teachers join forces to celebrate Read Across America Day, annually held on March 2. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr Seuss, who is known for writing children’s books.

Teachers dress up and plan activities demonstrating the fun of reading.  Though geared to students, there is a lesson we can all learn from Dr. Seuss.

In 1960 his publisher at Random House, Bennett Cerf, made a wager with Theodor S. Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) that he could write an intelligent, entertaining children’s book only using 50 words.

Geisel won the bet and $50; one dollar for each word. Despite the limitation of words, over 200 million copies of Green Eggs and Ham have been sold.

Kids of all ages can learn how constraints help us be more creative.

Constraints are often used as an excuse for not moving forward.  Instead, let’s embrace them and come up with creative solutions.  Don’t buy your child a creativity kit, which is an oxymoron, but rather give them things you have around the house and ask them to create something.  You might be surprised at the result. Talk about how limitations helped the ground crew bring home the astronauts from Apollo 13.

In business, we look for reasons that stand in the way of us being innovative.  We don’t have the time or money, or we haven’t vetted out ideas properly, or don’t have the right talent. I’ve written this before, but if we wait till all the lights are green before we leave for work, we will never begin.

As our children’s greatest role model, what is it that you would love to do?  Get started despite the constraints, and your children will follow your lead.

You may even want to fry up Green Eggs and Ham!

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®


Sorry if I’ve caused you any grief

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Apologies can be sorry things as we’ve learned over the past few years as ‘celebrities’ such as Spitzer, Madoff, ARod, Blagolveich, Michael Phelps, Chris Brown, etc. fall from grace.

Even in my local town, the former treasurer of an elementary school Mother’s Club was recently sentenced to four years in prison for stealing approximately $136,000 of school proceeds during a five year period.

You don’t have to a victim to feel victimized. We find ourselves waiting for the next news story to break as we build protective walls of distrust.

What do our children think? What can we tell them and teach them about these blunders headlining the news?

Do what you’ve always done – teach by your example and don’t expect celebrities to be role models – that is your job. Be the kind of role model that does your personal best and doesn’t look for a silver bullet to meet unrealistic goals. But at the same time, don’t set unrealistic expectations for your children.

• Don’t fight to have them in the honors class if they really don’t belong there
• Don’t argue that the high school coach should give them more playing time if they aren’t the best players
• Don’t challenge the director of the play if the lead went to another child

It’s about putting the right person in the right job.

Which brings me to a person who said he was “simply doing his job” when he miraculously landed his 100,000 pound jetliner in the Hudson without losing a single life. Capt. Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger said he trained his whole life for that landing, as he shared the credit with his crew.

Imagine if Sully hadn’t earned his wings, done the work and was put in the job without the right skill set – the story would have had a different ending. Instead, he did it the old fashioned way; he did the work.

The people your kids look up to should be real, make real mistakes, and most importantly recover from them. The best lesson to teach your kids is that you don’t drown by falling in water, but by staying there.

I don’t have to know you to know that you, like me, have made more than your fair share of mistakes. Let’s enter a new era of responsibility and accountability and sing that old classic to our kids – – “just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.”

Encouraging Mistakes

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Is it my imagination or are children today afraid of making mistakes? That is so disappointing because making mistakes is the best way to learn. Us older folks know that life isn’t about perfection, but persistence.

Sarah Blakely is the young woman who invented Spanks, which are now a household word and enjoy sales in the 100 million dollar range. For those of you not familiar with Spanks it is the modern equivalent of the girdle and a lot more effective.

In Sarah’s story about how she got to be successful, she credits her father who encouraged her to make mistakes. She would come home from school and say, “Dad, I tried out for Student Council and I lost.” He would give her a high five for trying, not winning.

His response encouraged her to continue trying at lots of things. So when she kept hearing no in response to her revolutionary new design – she kept trying.

It’s simple – reward the effort, not the outcome and eventually the outcome will be the reward.

Let’s teach our kids that you don’t drown by falling in water, you drown by staying there.

Do you want your child to be a plumber or philosopher?

Monday, May 28th, 2007


With the carefree days of summer approaching, we have a great opportunity to help our children figure out what they might want to be when they grow up. It doesn’t matter how young they are, exploring possibilities is always a good idea.

There are a number of reasons it makes sense to investigate careers early:

Children that see a potentially bright future are less likely to follow bad influences because they realize mistakes could jeopardize their future.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
Explore…Dream…Discover. – Mark Twain

It gives parents a way to build relationships with children, which puts both in a “learning mode” since neither may be an expert in a
new field.

I am still learning. -Michelangelo’s motto

Discovery is as much about figuring out what you don’t want to do. How frustrating it must be to get accepted to medical school only to learn that you faint at the sight of blood.

It’s not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree. It’s what you do with your life that counts. -Millard Fuller

We can’t live vicariously through our children. It is their career, not ours. All the great commencement speeches talk about doing something you are passionate about. Help your children to find out what that means to them.

An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society, which scorns excellence in
plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will
have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor theories will hold water. -John Gardner

For more inspiration, visit Parental Wisdom Free Reports and print a copy of Project Imagine!

Or read the chapter on Project Imagine in Because Kids Don’t Come With Manuals.

For daily inspiration, call the Parental Wisdom Daily Inspirational Call line
(641) 985-5999 ext. 24290#

It’s like a vitamin for parents

American Idol and Microwaves

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

American Idol

American Idol and microwaves have something in common – instant gratification.

There has been a lot written lately about the rudeness and rejection that contestants face on the show. I wonder what would happen if Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, or Janis Joplin would have auditioned. Most likely they would have never received that coveted yellow slip that gets you to Hollywood.

But who is to say who is and isn’t talented? It is more about persistence and passion. The problem is that we are raising our kids in a microwave world where success has to be instant – it isn’t. Do what you love to do and if you are fortunate enough to make a living at it as well, then you’ve grabbed the gold ring and are truly successful.

The world is full of overnight success stories, but what we don’t realize is those overnight successes worked at their craft for many years while they waited tables or did temp work. The difference is they had a very secret tool – persistence.

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins…not through strength but by perseverance.”
H. Jackson Brown

Here are some famous ‘rejects’

• Balding, skinny, can dance a little,’ they said of Fred Astaire at his first audition.
Marilyn Monroe was told she should become a secretary
• In 1962 Decca Records rejected The Beatles, saying that “guitar bands are on their way out.”
Beethoven’s music teacher declared him ‘hopeless’ at composing.
Albert Einstein’s parents feared he was sub-normal.
• H. B. Warner of Warner Brothers fame scoffed at the notion of ‘talkies.’ No one would want to hear movie actors talk.
• Television, too, was once written off. It would never appeal to the average American family, pronounced the New York Times.
• George Orwell’s Animal Farm ‘It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA’
• “Chicken Soup for the Soul” was rejected by at least 220 publishers before it was accepted by Health Communications. Most people don’t know that this book, which is now a kind of icon in publishing, was rejected by every major publisher in New York. The obvious lesson is perseverance. Don’t give up if you really feel your dream and have a passion for it. That book was a calling. I was driven. It was truly a divine obsession. – Jack Canfield

What other famous rejections can you share? Please enter a comment below and let me know.