martes, 9 de diciembre de 2014

Parenting a College Freshman

The following is some advice from a student's perspective that we share with parents of new freshman:

From a Student's Perspective

Your student, along with two million others, is about to enter a time at once exciting and frightening, a period of joy, pain, discovery and disappointment. These students are beginning four years of their lives they'll leave as much different persons than they began.
And, like it or not, you're entering this period with your son or daughter. You'll experience the same happiness and defeats as they - second hand, but just as vividly or achingly.
If you don't believe me, ask my Mom. She watched and waited and worried through four years of ups and downs and mediocres. She patiently accepted my progression and my regressions. She tried, and sometimes failed to understand my way of thinking and doing and being.
And, maybe because of her, maybe in spite of her, I left college after four years a much different person than I'd begun - a much happier person.
So, my advice is: watch and wait and worry and accept and understand. Your children will be happier for your efforts. So will you.
Of course, no one can insure that you'll completely survive your child's first year at college, but there are some guidelines that might help you make it with minimum loss of sanity and a maximum strengthening of your new relationship.
The suggestions are:
A. Purposely subjective;
B. Written by a just graduated student who, therefore, thinks she knows everything about college and, therefore, doesn't;
C. Based mostly on careful observations of mistakes and or breakthroughs made by her parents and the parents of her friends.
At most, they'll prepare you to deal effectively with some predictable first year conflicts. At least, they'll make you think about your reactions to them and that can't hurt you.

Bits and Pieces

(advice, inspiration, reflections, myth dispellations and other words of wisdom for parents of soon-to-be college freshman)
RULE # 1 Don't Ask Them if They're Homesick
The power of association can be a dangerous thing. A friend once told me "The idea of being homesick didn't even occur to me, what with all the new things that were going on, until my mom called one of the first weekends and asked 'Are you homesick?' Then it hit me."
The first few days/weeks of school are activity-packed and friend-jammed and the challenge of meeting new people and adjusting to new situations takes a majority of a freshman's time and concentration. So, unless they're reminded of it (by a well-meaning parent) they'll probably be able to escape the loneliness and frustration of homesickness.
And, even if they don't tell you during those first few weeks, they do miss you.
RULE # 2 Write (Even if They Don't Write Back)
Although freshmen are typically eager to experience all the away-from-home independence they can in those first few weeks, most are still anxious for family ties and security those ties bring. This surge of independence may be misinterpreted by sensitive parents as rejection, but I'd bet that most freshman (although 99% won't ever admit it) would give anything for some news of home and family, however mundane it may seem to you.
There's nothing more depressing than a week of empty mailboxes. (Warning - don't expect a reply to every letter you write - one sequence isn't always followed by college students, so get set for some unanswered correspondence.)
RULE # 3 Ask Questions (But Not Too Many)
College freshman are "cool" (or so they think) and have a tendency to resent interference with their newfound lifestyle, but most still desire the security of knowing that someone is still interested in them. Parental curiosity can be obnoxious and alienating or relief-giving and supportive depending on the attitudes of the persons involved. "I have-a-right-to-know" tinged questions, with ulterior motives or the nag should be avoided. However, honest inquiries and other "between friends" communication and discussion will do much to further the parent-freshman relationship.
RULE # 4 Expect Change (But Not Too Much)
Your student will change (either drastically within the first months, slowly over four years or somewhere in between that pace). It's natural, inevitable, and it can be inspiring and beautiful. Often, it's a pain in the neck.
College and the experiences associated with can effect changes in social, vocational and personal behavior and choices. An up-to-now wallflower may become a fraternity sweetheart, a pre-med student may discover that biology's not her thing after all, or a high school radical may become a college egghead.
You can't stop change, you may not ever understand it, but it is within your power (and to you and your student's advantage) to accept.
Remember that your freshman will be basically the same person that you sent away to school, aside from such interest changes and personality revisions. Don't expect too much, too soon. Maturation is not an instantaneous or over-night process and you might well discover your freshman returning home with some of the habits and hang-ups, however unsophisticated, that you thought he/she had "grown out of." Be patient.
RULE # 5 Don't Worry (Too Much) About Manic-Depressive Phone Calls or Letters
Parenting can be a thankless job, especially during the college years. It's a lot of give and only a little take.
Often when troubles become too much for a freshman to handle (a flunked test, ended relationship and shrunken T-shirt all in one day) the only place to turn, write or dial is home. Often, unfortunately, this the only time, that urge to communicate is felt so strongly, so you never get to hear about the "A" paper, the new boyfriend or the domestic triumph.
In these "crisis" times your student can unload troubles or tears and, after the catharsis, return to routine, relieved and lightened, while you inherit the burden of worry.
Be patient with those nothing-is-going-right-I-hate-his-place phone calls or letters. You're providing real service as an advice dispenser, sympathetic ear or punching bag. Granted, it's a service that makes you feel lousy, but it works wonders for a frustrated student. Like I said before, parenting can be a thankless job.
RULE # 6 Visit (But Not Too Often)
Visits by parents (especially when accompanied by shopping sprees and-or dinners out) are another part of the first-year events that freshman are reluctant to admit liking, but would appreciate greatly. And, pretended disdain of those visits is just another part of the first year syndrome.
These visits give the students a chance to introduce some of the important people in both of his her now-important worlds (home and school) to each other. Additionally, it's a way for parents to become familiar with (and, hopefully, more understanding of ) their students' new activities, commitments and friends.
Spur-of-the-moment "surprises" are usually not appreciated. (Preemption of a planned weekend of studying or other disastrous results) It's usually best to wait for Mom or dad's Day weekend to see your student and the school; that way you may even get to see a clean room.
RULE # 7 Do Not Tell Your Students That "These Are The Best Years of Their Lives"
Freshman year (and the other three as well) can be full of indecisions, insecurities, disappointments, and most of all mistakes. They're also full of discovery, inspiration, good times and people but, except in retrospect, it's not the good that stands out. It took some while (and the help of some good friends) for me to realize that I was normal and that my afternoon movie/paperback novel perceptions of what college were all about were inaccurate. It took a while for me to accept that being unhappy, afraid, confused, disliking people and making mistakes (in other words, accepting me) were all part of the show, all part of this new reality, all part of growing up.
It took a while longer for my parents to accept it. Any parent who believes that all college students get good grades, know what they want to major in, have always activity-packed weekends, thousands of close friends and lead carefree, worry-free lives, are wrong. So are the many parents that think that college-educated means mistake-proof. Parents that perpetrate that insist upon the "best years" stereotype is working against their child's already difficult self-development. Those that accept and understand the highs and lows of their student's reality are providing the support and encouragement where it's needed most.
RULE # 8 Trust Them
Finding oneself is a difficult enough process without feeling that the people whose opinion you respect most are second-guessing your own second-guessing.
One of the most important things my mom ever wrote me in my four years at college was this: "I love you and I want for you all the things that make you the happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are."
She wrote that during my senior year. If you're smart you'll believe it, mean it, and say it now.   

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martes, 25 de noviembre de 2014

5 Mistakes Parents Make With Teens and Tweens

Your child isn't a little kid anymore. They're a teen, or a tween -- and it's time to tweak your parenting skills to keep up with them.
Yes, they're probably moodier now than when they were young. And you have new things to think about, like curfews, dating, new drivers, and friends who make you raise your eyebrows.
No doubt about it: Your teen, or tween, will test your limits, and your patience. But they're still your child. And, though they won't admit it, they still need you!
The key is knowing what efforts are worth it, and which ones backfire.

1. Expecting the Worst

Teenagers get a bad rap, says Richard Lerner, PhD, director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. Many parents approach raising teenagers as an ordeal, believing they can only watch helplessly as their lovable children transform into unpredictable monsters. 
But that sets you -- and your teen -- up for several unhappy, unsatisfying years together.
“The message we give teenagers is that they’re only ‘good’ if they’re not doing ‘bad’ things, such as doing drugs, hanging around with the wrong crowd, or having sex,” Lerner says. 
It could become a self-fulfilling prophecy: Negative expectations can actually promote the behavior you fear most. A Wake Forest University study showed that teens whose parents expected them to get involved in risky behaviors reported higher levels of these behaviors one year later.
Lerner's advide: Focus on your child's interests and hobbies, even if you don’t understand them. You could open a new path of communication, reconnect with the child you love, and learn something new.

2. Reading Too Many Parenting Books

Rather than trusting their instincts, many parents turn to outside experts for advice on how to raise teens. “Parents can tie themselves into knots trying to follow the advice they read in books,” says Robert Evans, EdD, author of Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with the Crisis in Child Rearing.
It's not that parenting books are bad.
“Books become a problem when parents use them to replace their own innate skills,” Evans says. “If the recommendations and their personal style don’t fit, parents wind up more anxious and less confident with their own children.”
Use books to get perspective on confusing behavior -- and then put the book down and trust that you've learned what you need to learn. Get clear about what matters most to you and your family.

3. Sweating the Small Stuff

Maybe you don't like your tween daughter's haircut or choice of clothes. Or perhaps she didn't get the part in the play you know she deserves.
But before you step in, look at the big picture.
If it's not putting your child at risk, give her the leeway to make age-appropriate decisions and learn from the consequences of her choices.
“A lot of parents don't want growing up to involve any pain, disappointment, or failure,” Evans says. But protecting your child from the realities of life takes away valuable learning opportunities -- before they're out on their own.  
Of course, you'll still be there for guidance and comfort -- you're still the parent. But challenge yourself to step back and let your child know you're there for them.

4. Ignoring the Big Stuff

If you suspect your child is using alcohol or drugs, do not look the other way. Even if it's "just" alcohol or marijuana -- or even if it reminds you of your own youth -- you must take action now, before it becomes a bigger problem.
“The years when kids are between 13 and 18 years old are an essential time for parents to stay involved,” Amelia M. Arria, PhD, tells WebMD. She is director of the University of Maryland's Center on Young Adult Health and Development. Parents might consider teen drinking a rite of passage because they drank when they were that age. “But the stakes are higher now,” Arria says.
Watch for unexplained changes in your teen’s behavior, appearance, academic performance, and friends. And remember, it's not just illicit drugs that are abused now -- prescription drugs and even cough medicines and household products are also in the mix.
If you find empty cough medicine packaging in your child’s trash or backpack, if bottles of medicine go missing from your cabinet, or if you find unfamiliar pills, pipes, rolling papers, or matches, your child could be abusing drugs.
Take these signs seriously and get involved. Safeguard all the medicines you have: Know which products are in your home and how much medication is in each package or bottle.

5. Too Much, or Too Little, Discipline

Some parents, sensing a loss of control over their teens' behavior, crack down every time their child steps out of line. Others avoid all conflict for fear their teens will push them away.
You don't have to do either of those things. It's about finding a balance between obedience and freedom.
If you put too much emphasis on obedience, you may be able to make your teen or tween fall into line -- but at what price? Teens raised in rigid environments miss out on the chance to develop problem-solving or leadership skills -- because you're making the decisions for them.
Yet too little discipline doesn't help, either. Teens and tweens need clear structure and rules to live by as they start to explore the world outside. 
As their parent, it's up to you to set your family's core values and communicate them through your words and actions. That's being an authoritative parent, an approach that "helps children develop the skills they need to govern themselves in appropriate ways," Lerner says.
Remember, your influence runs deeper than you may think. Most teens say they want to spend more time with their parents. Keep making time for your child throughout the tween and teen years. Even when it doesn’t show, you provide the solid ground they know they can always come home to.

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lunes, 17 de noviembre de 2014

International Students Day ( Free Online College Fair)

150+ universities, scholarships and more

Presented by U.S. Department of State

Join our largest free online college fair of the year to
  • Ask your questions to 150+ top universities including Cornell, NYU, UCLA
  • Get personal advice from EducationUSA advisors    
  • Interact with expert presenters on tests, financial aid, visa and more!
When: November 19, 2014 (Wed) from 4:00AM to 4:00PM EST
This event is starting at 3:00 AM your time.
Where: Simply login online at 
Sign up now, it is a free event!
Bonus: You could win $1,000 scholarship or 1 of 3 new iPads simply by visiting 3 or more colleges online!

viernes, 7 de noviembre de 2014

About Michigan State University ( visit November 10)

MSU  Facts
Michigan State University Spartans work to advance the common good in uncommon ways. The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world—on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation—and is home to a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.
Founded in 1855
Prototype for 69 land-grant institutions established under the Morrill Act of 1862
First institution of higher learning in the United States to teach scientific agriculture


Nickname: Spartans
Colors: Green and white
Mascot: Sparty
Conference: Big Ten

Campus profile

Located in East Lansing, three miles east of Michigan’s capitol in Lansing
5,200-acre campus with 2,100 acres in existing or planned development
538 buildings, including 95 academic buildings
Approximately 19,600 acres throughout Michigan used for agricultural and natural resources research and education
More than 200 programs of undergraduate, graduate, and professional study
Outstanding record of students earning prestigious national and international scholarships: Goldwater, 40; Rhodes, 17; Churchill, 16; Truman, 16; Marshall, 19; Udall, nine; Hollings, six; Gates, four; and Mitchell, one
Freshman class profile (middle 50 percent of fall 2014 entering class): high school GPA, 3.4–3.9; SAT combined score (math and critical reading), 1030–1210; ACT composite score, 24–28
More than 275 study abroad programs on all continents in more than 60 countries
Degree-granting colleges
  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources • Dean: Fred Poston
  • Residential College in Arts and Humanities • Dean: Stephen L. Esquith
  • College of Arts and Letters • Acting Dean: Elizabeth H. Simmons
  • Eli Broad College of Business/Eli Broad Graduate School of Management • Dean: Stefanie A. Lenway
  • College of Communication Arts and Sciences • Acting Dean: Stephen Lacy
  • College of Education •  Dean: Donald E. Heller
  • College of Engineering • Dean: Leo Kempel
  • College of Human Medicine • Dean: Marsha Rappley
  • James Madison College • Dean: Sherman W. Garnett
  • College of Law (affiliated) • Dean: Joan Howarth
  • Lyman Briggs College • Dean: Elizabeth H. Simmons
  • College of Music • Dean: James Forger
  • College of Natural Science • Dean: R. James Kirkpatrick
  • College of Nursing • Dean: Mary H. Mundt
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine • Dean: William D. Strampel
  • College of Social Science • Dean: Marietta L. Baba
  • College of Veterinary Medicine • Dean: John Baker
Tuition (2014–15)
Resident undergraduate students
  • Lower division: $440/credit
  • Upper division: $490.25/credit
Resident graduate students: $646/credit
Nonresident undergraduate students
  • Lower division: $1,165.50/credit
  • Upper division: $1,202.25/credit
Nonresident graduate students: $1,269/credit
Housing (2014–15)
Residence hall rates
  • Undergraduate (double room/silver meal plan): $4,577/semester
  • Graduate (permanent single room/$300 food credit plus 75 meal accesses): $4,050/semester
Apartment rates
  • One bedroom (standard): $650/month
  • Two bedrooms (standard): $774/month
For a more detailed estimate of costs, visit:
25 varsity squads: 12 intercollegiate sports for men and 13 intercollegiate sports for women
2014 Rose Bowl champions 
17 straight NCAA appearances by men’s basketball team, including six Final Four appearances
One of the largest intramural sports programs in the nation
Facilities: Spartan Stadium, Breslin Student Events Center, Daugherty Football Building/Skandalaris Football Center, Berkowitz Basketball Complex, Munn Ice Arena, Jenison Field House, McLane Baseball Stadium (Kobs Field), DeMartin Stadium (soccer), Forest Akers Golf Courses, McCaffree Pool, Ralph Young Field (field hockey/track), Old College Field, MSU Tennis Facility, and three intramural facilities
Culture and entertainment
Broad Art Museum: committed to exploring global contemporary culture and ideas through art
Wharton Center for Performing Arts: four venues–Cobb Great Hall, Pasant Theatre, MSU Auditorium, and Fairchild Theatre–host a variety of cultural events
Breslin Student Events Center: state-of-the-art arena hosts special events such as concerts, commencements, ice shows, sporting events, banquets, conventions, and trade shows
MSU Museum: offers anthropological, biological, folklife, geological, and historical exhibits and programs
Abrams Planetarium: houses a Digistar 5 computer graphics planetarium projector and a 150-seat Sky Theater
Horticulture Gardens: six distinct gardens over 7.5 acres provide a living laboratory where plants and people grow together
Student organizations
Registered student groups: more than 600 each year
Student media: The State News and Impact 89 FM radio
Greek-letter community: more than 50 nationally affiliated organizations
Programs for persons with disabilities
Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities: provides disability-related information and referrals

lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2014

10 Things Children Learn From Parents

Today I am sharing 10 valuable qualities that children can learn by their parents example. Let me tell you I was lucky to grow up as the youngest child of a loving family. As you can see I am not saying aperfect family but a loving one.  We had plenty of imperfections, plenty of craziness, plenty of hard times and good times, but I always knew that I was loved. The example of many of my family members taught me far more than anything they ever said to me. Inspired by those things that I learned as a child, today I share this post.
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

…here they are!

Be an Example
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

Do you remember as a kid wanting to be just like your dad or mom?
 I used to play for hours dressing up with my mom and sister’s clothing and heels, to look just like them.
HOME is the SCHOOL where our kids learn the most.
We are the book from where they learn the best and the worst of habits. 
The way we speak, the way we treat others, the way we react to situations,
will be far more powerful than the things we teach them.
Be Positive
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

Bullying, name calling, and lack of encouragment is too often part of our kid’s lives.
As parents we have the power to be a source of “sunshine”.
Even as our children make mistakes we can reaffirm with them that every day is a new chance to grow and become the best we can. We can build confidence and teach them how to have a positive attitude
as we choose ourselves to see the donut instead of the hole in our daily lives.
Are we complainers or are we happy?
Are we always thinking ” if only…” or are we always looking for ways to make good things happen?

 If we want our children to have a positive attitude we need to be optimistic ourselves.

Hard Work 
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

I can honestly say that one of the greatest blessing in my life was to grow up without much.
From a very young age I learned that money didn’t grow on trees. Working hard taught me to be self-reliant and  gave me a sense of accomplishment. From hard work I learned discipline, sacrifice, believing in myself, and this gave value to the things around me.
 If we want our children to be hard workers we need to provide opportunities for them.

Dream Big
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

When I was a young child I was asked many times what I wanted to be when I grew up.

No matter how crazy my future occupations could be, I never heard once comments such as “that’s stupid”, “no, you won’t” or even “why would you want to do that?”.
I always received from my family reassurance that my dreams would come true.
Now, I do everyday what I love and I believe that much of my confidence came from my family believing in me before I did.
Let’s be dream builders!

Family First
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

{ Free Family  Printable HERE }
For me one of the biggest challenges of being a parent is how to manage time.
There is so much to do and so many things that can distract us from what matters the most. 
Come on, let’s get real Pinterest has to be on the very top of the list!
I feel that too often it is easy to give family our “leftover time” instead of making family the priority of our lives.
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

It really requires unselfish loyalty to put our family first.
Family requires time.
Reading books, making and eating dinner together, playing games, creating memories,
all of these things require OUR VALUABLE TIME.
Trust me, I know how hard it is but I also know the joy that just a family can provide!

10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

I really believe that gratitude is the key to happiness!
Gratitude was taught in my home every time we bowed our heads in prayer, gratitude was taught every time we didn’t complain for the lack of food, gratitude was taught every time we shared, gratitude was not a word in my family it was a way of living and for that I am eternally grateful.
 If we want our children to be grateful we need to be thankful ourselves.

10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

My mom always used to say  “you don’t have to love them but no matter what you must respect them.”
What a great advice this has been in my own life!
Manners are the simplest way to show respect for others!
Do our children see us treat others with respect, even those from other races or beliefs?
At home, do they hear us say thank you, please, and you are welcome to them?
Do they see us opening doors or holding them open for someone else to go first?
Do they see us restraining ourselves from profanity when things don’t go as we wish?
Do we treat them with respect?
Do we respect our own selves?
 If we want our children to have manners we need to be polite ourselves.

10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

 We can teach children to be trustworthy in so many simple ways.
We can show them with our actions that we are trustworthy.
It is super important for us as parents to think before we make promises to our children.
They need to believe in us, they need to believe that they can count on us. 
 If we want our children to be trustworthy we need to be truthful ourselves.

10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

 { image source }
Courage is what makes us stand up for what we believe in. We need to have the courage of not only dreaming but to come out of our comfort zone to become the best version of what we can be. Courage reminds us to stand up when we are afraid.  
Courage makes us persevere in those situations when fear is telling us otherwise.
 If we want our children to be courageous we need to show courage first.

Love Yourself
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

How many times do we say out loud without thinking things like… ” I am fat”, “I am not smart”?
How many times do we act or treat ourselves like we are not worthy of the best that there is?
Would you agree with the fact that we women especially have a tendency to compare ourselves?
The reality is that in order to love others I need to love me first.
Our confidence will give confidence to our children.
If we want our kiddos to believe that they are beautiful regardless of the size of their pants,
we need to be comfortable in our own skin.
If we want our children to believe they are precious beyond measure,
we need to remember that simple fact ourselves.
It is as simple as that!
10 amazing qualities children can learn from their parents at #parenting #kids

I am not perfect parent and everyday I learn something knew.
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