“Every parent has a dream for their child; what is your dream?”
This is the question educational consultant, Barbara Leventhal, asks parents the first time she meets with them. “The most universal answer,” she says, “is, ‘I just want my child to be happy.’”
“It’s usually in middle school when parents come to me, realizing that their child is turned off. Once this happens, there are often a myriad of problems that can start to happen, from eating disorders and cutting, to unsafe friends and distractions while driving. And I believe that most of these things happen when kids are disengaged in learning.”
As a former classroom teacher and then school administrator, Barbara now works with middle and high school students, teaching them study skills and time management, what is often referred to as executive function.
In this podcast, Barbara gives parents the answer to what their child needs to be happy.
School is for kids but Hyde is for families.
Holly White, former Hyde parent, has a blended family that all benefited from Hyde School, although only her youngest child attended the school.
She talks candidly about getting past the disappointment of not having your child at home with you for high school, the financial burden of the tuition, and especially the resistance of the teen to leave home and go away to school.
She uses the term “deterioration of the fabric of our family,” a term that typifies many families today. At Hyde, Holly learned that she was the peacemaker in the family, and how that role held the family back from creating a vision by which to live. She now lives with the weight of her foot in Truth over Harmony.
“What would it be like if parenting was fun and exciting and life with your kids was full of peace, harmony, cooperation, and respect?”
This is a question early in Vicki Hoefle’s book, Duct Tape Parenting.
Consistent with the Biggest Job philosophy, Vicki teaches parents that the true job of parenting is what our kids will be like from the ages of 18 – 80. She stresses that moms have got to get out of the job of being the maid in the house; that when we do for our kids what they can do for themselves, we send the message to them that it’s not okay for them to make mistakes.
“Look at how you might be feeding the weeds of bad behavior and attitudes,” she writes, “by noticing your responses to your children.”
If you’d like a blueprint, complete with road map and directions, on how to raise respectful, responsible, and resilient kids – here it is!
Paul Tough’s book, his third, is great! Although focused on disadvantaged populations of kids and families, there are many ideas, interventions, and strategies that apply to all populations. These include:
Focusing on children who grow up in chaotic and stressful environments, Paul talks about the influence that adverse childhood experiences have on both kids and those who are parenting or teaching them. He relates stories about proven interventions that he has observed, sharing the outcome of long-term studies. He shares with us his hope for change in education, and why he thinks it takes so long for change to occur.
You’ll hear a lot from the book in this interview with Paul, but you’ll still want to read this little, 114 page powerfully-packed book!
For more about Paul Tough, visit his website at www.paultough.com/helping.
Is parenting different today than it was 20 years ago?
How much does fear of a more unsettled world affect parenting today? Why do parents protect their children more these days? Is the world really less safe? Is the job of parenting different?
Children today, especially teens, don’t really know what it means to “grow up.” Is this a problem with the child or with our parenting?
We take a look at this question with podcast guest, Claire Grant, Executive Director of Family Education at Hyde School. Listen to what Claire has learned in her 35 years of work with parents and teens, and learn from her what parents can do to raise children who will achieve their potential.
Randi Levin, a transitional and reinvention coach in New Jersey, talks about her experience as a child of divorced parents and the effect it had on her growing up. She feels that children of divorce experience the divorce for much longer than they realize, and that pieces of it stay with you throughout your life.
After the recent death of her mother, she recognized that her mother’s death caused her to relive the divorce in some way.
Randi says, “No matter how old your children are when you divorce, the foundation you lay coming out of the relationship with your significant other sets the tone that your family will have for the rest of your lives.” She sees this as very important and asks parents to remember that they are not divorcing their children.
Hilary Jacobs Hendel is a psychotherapist in New York City who helps her clients heal and transform themselves by using the science of emotions. Her expertise is in AEDP, which stands for Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy.
She suggests that it’s often a comfort for teens to be able to be angry at their parents; that when parents make decisions for their kids that are not popular, the kid can be angry, but they won’t feel shame about their choice because in some circumstances the decision needs to be made for the teen.
She counsels parents on how to “be there” for their teens and at the same time be able to step back enough to let the teen feel the support and ask for it if needed. She finds parents are as frightened of the separation from their teens as the teen is, and she acknowledges how difficult it is for parents to let go because of all that is out there and available to kids today.
Back in 1962, Joe Gauld, founder of Hyde School, had a crisis of conscience because he felt the American education system was too focused on achievement and not enough on character. He shares with us the founding of the first Hyde School in 1966, stating that the school was founded on the belief that, “Every individual is gifted with a unique potential that defines a destiny.” Later, he learned the school must incorporate an essential parent program, as he discovered that “Home is the primary classroom, and parents are the primary teachers.” He also shares that parents need to go through the same process as the kids.
Joe talks about how distractions – those parts of us that take us off track from being our best - in both parents and kids, can cause shame; but once these are realized simply as distractions, we can deal with the shame and move on.
In Joe’s words, “I think that parents today are too worried about parenting, and the worry takes away their strength in parenting. It’s just a matter of connecting with their kids, recognizing that their kids want to grow and they just want someone to help them grow.”
Lastly, he talks about the importance of vulnerability in order to grow. And he recommends two things parents need to do. You’ll find them in the podcast.
Laura Main is an educator who knew that her son was not getting what he needed in his hometown, public school setting. He was classified as a special needs kid, but no one was paying attention to what those special needs were, nor was anyone concerned that this student live up to his unique potential.
After being told by a psychiatrist that she was “wasting her money” sending her son to her, Laura found Hyde School. Here her son turned into a “special kid,” not a special needs kid, thanks to the dedication and vision of the faculty at the Hyde School in Woodstock. He became a leader who learned to speak in front of large groups, and he loved learning to be part of a team.
Tune in to hear Laura’s story about how Hyde helped not only her son, but herself and her entire family.
After sending her son to a wilderness program, Fern Weis had learned about The Hyde School and knew it was the right place for her son and their family. Two things sold her on Hyde: the 24/7 character culture and the parent program.
“We were good people,’ she said, “and we tried our hardest, but our good intentions were not enough. We didn’t give our son credit for being able to maneuver through life; instead of going for his best, we were always trying to prevent the worst.”
A former teacher now turned parent coach, Fern finds that most of her clients are frustrated with the lack of communication they have with their teen and the deterioration of the relationship. She also sees a lot of parents who are abdicating their role as a parent.
In this podcast, learn Fern’s tips for changing the dynamic with your teen.
Is Hyde really a school for parents? Malcolm Gauld shares his journey as a student at Hyde, a faculty member at Hyde, as the Head of School, and his journey as a parent in the program.
He also shares some insight into the teen mind. Find out the answer he gets when Hyde asks students, “If you had a serious life problem and you needed to get some help, who would you seek? Would you choose your parents? Would you choose a Hyde faculty?”
On what exactly “family-based character education” is, he states—“if you put great teaching up against poor parenting, poor parenting will win as the ultimate influence in a young person’s life. What we need to do is have great teaching and great parenting.”
On the Hyde School Family Education program, “The parent program at Hyde, for me,” says Malcolm, “was my deepest experience as a Hyde person. It caught me a little bit by surprise.”
Having worked with teens and their families for decades, Malcolm has also developed some keen insights into the college process, and shares his #1 rule that, if followed, seems to always guarantee a student will be successful in college.
Wouldn't it be great to be a parent who didn't fear failure for your child? Who didn't worry if your daughter studied or not for the biggest test of the semester? Who trusted that if the grade wasn't what she was capable of, she would speak to the teacher and take care of it, not you, the parent?
How can one become this kind of mom or dad, who knows when to take hold and when to let go?
Listen to Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, to find out. You'll start to understand the deep reasoning she uses to explain the importance of allowing your children to struggle, and how to be the kind of parent who puts raising competent, capable adults ahead of their own happiness.
How can a parent take the long view in parenting when the police have just arrested their teen for drunk driving? Or when the school has called and said, “Your daughter is not going to walk with her class due to a plagiarizing incident…,” or any other myriad of challenges that kids seem to put before their parents.
“Take the long view,” says author Laura Gauld. “Instead of asking yourself, ‘Will my child grow up to be happy?’ or, ‘will my child be independent as an adult?’ ask yourself, ‘will my child learn how to take a risk and fall flat on his face?’”
In this introductory podcast to Parenting Teens: The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have, based on the book of the same name by Laura and Malcolm Gauld, learn from Laura the importance of taking the long view, the importance of having a personal vision for your life, and that it’s never too late to change your parenting.