When it Comes to Making Career Choices, Let Your Child Do the Driving

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter just turned 15, and I want to start preparing her for the future. Specifically, I want to make sure that she’s on the right career path, whether than means going to college, trade school, or something else after she graduates high school. She’s only got a few years left, and I’m a little concerned that she doesn’t seem to have much direction. How do I steer her toward the right career choice?

A: As parents, we all want our kids to succeed in everything they do, from getting good grades to finding the right life partner to landing the perfect job. But parenthood is an ongoing lesson in the difference between control and influence. When our kids are young, we’re pretty much in control and we’ve got a huge amount of influence. As they get older, they take on more and more control over their own lives. We have influence, but a little less every day. And by the time they’re around your daughter’s age, we have almost no control at all, and whatever influence we still have is much more powerful if we wait until we’re asked to help rather than offering unsolicited advice (which a lot of teens and young adults will see as an attempt to control them anyway).
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Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment

[amazon asin=0762786655&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Luis Fernando Llosa, co-author of Beyond Winning.
Topic:
Smart parenting in a toxic sports environment
Issues: Why kids shouldn’t do organized sports until about age 11; the importance of not trying to live your sports fantasies through your children; avoiding bullying, trash talk, and elitism; picking sports based on your child’s developmental stage; suggestions for how to revamp the youth sports industry.

Beyond Winning + LTG William E. Ingram + LTG Michael Ferriter

[amazon asin=0762786655&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Luis Fernando Llosa, co-author of Beyond Winning.
Topic:
Smart parenting in a toxic sports environment
Issues: Why kids shouldn’t do organized sports until about age 11; the importance of not trying to live your sports fantasies through your children; avoiding bullying, trash talk, and elitism; picking sports based on your child’s developmental stage; suggestions for how to revamp the youth sports industry.

LTG IngramLTG William E. Ingram, Jr. Director, Army National Guard


LTG FerriterLTG Michael Ferriter, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (ACSIM) and Commanding General, U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM)

Helping Dad Grieve

Dear Mr. Dad: My mom passed away three months ago. I moved into my parents’ home to support my dad through these hard times. The problem is that it’s like I’m in prison where I can’t do anything. I feel sad and depressed and find myself crying a lot during the day. Is that normal? My dad and I don’t get along either. He’s messy and I’m not. I like structure and he doesn’t. It’s a nightmare—what can I do?

A: When you look at lists of the most stressful life events, the death of a spouse or close family member and moving to a new house are at or near the top. You and your dad are both dealing with a huge amount of pressure. As a result, it’s not surprising that there’s some friction between you.

Losing a parent is very different than losing a spouse (notice that I’m not saying “more” or “less,” “easier” or “harder”—just “different”).

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Sure, Dad, you can watch me play–as long as you stay in the car

When my youngest daughter was four, we signed her up for a summer soccer program. The coach was wonderful, encouraging, supportive, and everything else a coach should be. He started each practice with some stretches and a run from one end of the field to the other. Young Zoe was quite shy and didn’t want to run so I offered to run along with her on the sidelines.

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