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Scene in Plattsburgh - Style & Substance

School is back in session, and some well respected teachers, KATHY CHURCH and LIZ JENSEN, recently shared with us their wisdom about their years of loving instruction, discipline and rewards. The question we posed was, “What can students do to be better students?” and they had two rapid responses; “try your best, your teacher knows when you are and when you are not trying” and “talk to your teacher about your concerns”. We followed with another question, “How can parents help their children be better students?” A more complex answer and discussion followed. Their advice makes perfect sense, but following it is much more complicated! “Let your children fail, listen to the teachers, limit extra curricular activities by not filling up your children’s schedules (they, and you, need down time), follow the rules (and expect your children follow them), and eat dinner at the table.” That response indicates the expertise that they have acquired and through that wisdom, really know what matters. CATHY and LIZ say they are always learning from students and their parents, and after years of trial and error, can see what works!

We are often asked questions about parenting and “young people today.” Parents, extended family, and even employers talk with us about a sense of entitlement that many young people exude. Now, we are not generalizing, we meet more young people that are hard-working, gracious, intelligent, and fun. However; we do feel that often children are running the show instead of the adults. This dynamic can, and often does, lead to chaotic and unhappy interactions in families and in the public domain.

In our experience, when the rules are followed, there is much more time to spend on creative learning and less to spend on discipline. When well-rested kids come to school they are ready to learn and when kids sit at a dinner table and have engaged conversations with their family, they feel supported and are able to communicate better with their peers and teachers.

Email us your questions and comments at yourstyleandsubstance@gmail.com, and look for the new schedule for FREE ADVICE NIGHTS in our upcoming columns!

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