Report card season is meant as judgment day for kids, but in many cases it is the parents who come under scrutiny -- most notably by the kids themselves.
How a parent reacts can bring a kid's self-esteem up or knock it down, can encourage them to put forth more effort or to become complacent and can send strong messages about priorities, values and dealing with being judged.
One of the greatest mysteries in my life, besides how to program my Tivo, is why it's taking me so long to meet my soulmate.
In "Happiness Is a Choice" (Fawcett, 1991), Barry Neil Kaufman, founder of the Option Institute, tells an amazing story about a young patient named Katie, whose parents brought her to him in a last-ditch effort to give her a "decent future." She had severe disabilities and came to the institute with a medical file several inches thick, after years of testing and treatment. Instead of discussing the history or showing the file to his staff, Kaufman asked them to work with Katie for a day and make their own assessment and recommendations, based on her spirit and preferences, as well as traditional diagnostic tools. At the end of the day, one staff member named Annie described to the parents how she had held a favorite puppet of Katie's at arm's length, and playfully encouraged the child to come and get it.
Have you ever noticed how people who buy a newspaper from a coin-operated rack tend to ignore the top paper, and dig down for the second or third copy?
When I heard his voice on my office voice mail, I knew right away that I'd like him. My girlfriend in San Francisco had just left a message forewarning me of this eligible divorcé's phone call.