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Your Turn: What Can You and I Learn and Do Differently Based on Our Recent ‘Excellence in Education’ Series?

October 11, 2014

Yesterday was the conclusion of my series of seven blogs based on the Excellence in Education Awards given out recently by St. Louis Magazine.


To refresh your memory —

1.  Being involved matters.

2.  Tell your child you love them every day.

3.  Read with your child every day, and ask questions.  We have to create thinkers.  Our society and our world rest on innovation.

4.  Don’t work so much that you miss your child growing up.

5.  Be excited about school, teachers, principals.  It all matters because all kids are listening to the conversation.


1.  Love hard.

2. Embrace failure.

3. Say “Yes and….”

4. Embrace technology.

5. Get a network or people who are as like you and as unlike you as possible.


1. Let your children do what they can for themselves.

2. Make sure they experience some kind of disappointment in their day — so they know how to deal with it.

3. Read to them every day.

4. Sit down on the floor and play with them.

5. Teach them to try first before asking for help.


1. Always smile.

2. Before you speak, take a deep breath.

3. If you are real with your child, your child will feel that he or she can be real with you.

4. If you go the distance, they will go the distance with you.

5. For every one frustration, try to find four or five specific compliments for your child.


1. Trust the teacher.

2. Know that the teacher loves your child.

3. Be in close communication with teachers.

4. Share family issues with teachers.

5. Don’t white-knuckle it.  Enjoy being with your child during his or her schooling; it goes by so quickly.


1. Help your child understand the importance of developing a schedule that allows time at night to study, read, and do homework.

2. Get involved.  Let the teachers know they have your support.  If you need resources, ask for them.

3. Continually tell your child that he or she can achieve what he or she wants.

4. Know what your rights are as a parent and what your child’s rights are as a student.

5. In the summer, keep your children involved in something that involves their brains.


1. Read with your child every day, no matter how old he or she is.

2. Communicate; converse with them.  Be interested in what they are doing at school.

3.  Communicate with the teachers at school.

4. Be involved with every aspect of the child’s life that you can.

5. Love them.


Glancing back over these, what do you see as a consistent theme or two?

How could you and apply this in your own life as you come into contact with children and youth?

Serious questions…I’d love to hear your answers.

Hit the “Reply” option here, or contact me through any another means.

And thanks in advance.

From → Uncategorized

  1. Loving children and telling them so is a key theme throughout!

    Involvement is also an issue closely with the child. As with my eihgt-year-old granddaughter, Tara, a few months ago, full well knowing that I can’t change the climate at home, but I could give her an outlet. I bought a pink journal with a band to keep it closed. I covered it on the front with stickers from the movie Frozen. On the blank front page of the journal, I wrote “Tara’s Journal, Keep Out”. When I gave it to her, I explained how she could wirte in it instead of yelling at her mom when she is in trouble. She brought it with her when she came over while mom and dad went to dinner and a movie last night, for two reasons. One was because the elastic strap had become undone on one end and she knew Grandma would fix it without reading. Secondly, was so she could read one of her entries to me; one she made shortly after getting the journal. It was about being grounded from a computer game, and I quote, “for no apparent reason” and how unhappy she was with her mom for it. I am not sure whether she had heeded the loving advice (for both their sakes) about not fighting with her mom about it, but she was so happy with her ability to write it out. Later, I had a chuckle about the very adult-like, “for no apparent reason” wording! I read to her for years, with her for a couple (her one page, me the next and so on), and now she reads her chapter books to me.

    Communication is key in all aspects of life, and runs throughout in the and for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren along with the teachers/other adults he/she interacts! From other parents to teachers to Sunday School teachers, and any other adult the child is involved. It is key with all children though some of these lists are strictly for those different from the others.

    Reading to, reading with, and being read to is another consistent admonishment to adults. I am an avid reader and installed that trait in my children. Both of the twins, Will & Catherine, like me, just can’t seem to establish enough book shelf space. They come by it honestly. It is mind-boggling for me to realize that, after the advent of the Kindle, Catherine’s books are in the thousands. She was so addicted to reading, she took a speed-reading course in college so she could read and comprehend as many books as possible. She and her daughter Tara go to the Library every other week, sometimes every week. They each have their own book bag. Both come home with 10 to 12 books and they consume them. I agree that reading is essential. For their sister, six and a half years older than them, after years of fighting against and now with the dyslexia, is just beginning to enjoy reading at a leisurely pace. I did the same things with her as the older children, but I couldn’t beat back that dyslexic dragon. Today, I could have taken changes in enlightening parents in the reading challenges with their cihldren, ALSO evident throughout.

    Teaching disappointment! I, with my natural and educated death, dying, and bereavement education and knowledge, I was good at helping my children through the many deaths that occurred with people they loved at their tender ages. I didn’t shelter or shield them. However, when it came to the disappointments we run into at every turn of our lives, I didn’t do so well. I attempted to sugar-coat and shield. At least one of my three children handles the daily petty disappointments poorly. By the time the teen years with holes punched in walls, I couldn’t get through. Even now, in the thirties, it is a roadblock in personal and professional dealings. I think it is becoming apparent to him/her, but it is painfully slow while watching it. We can’t shield them from the little disappointments just as we must help them to face the big ones!

    Be with them, play with them. love them; are underlying recurrent themes! Love, to me, is overall! Love can cover a multitude of smaller missteps! Did I leave anything out?


    • I think you covered it well; thank you. Real life is sometimes messy, and not all messes are easily cleaned up; right there with ya.


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