Preparing our Kids for Success: Where
is your Focus?
Mark E. Crawford, Ph.D.
What’s happening at this age?
About to move into puberty (can start as early as 9 or as
late as 14)
Hormones start affecting emotions, thinking, and behavior
Brain about to undergo a major change
Kids starting to gravitate toward peers
Kids become more self-aware and self-conscious
Kids start developing more independence
Kids start developing their own identities
Factors that affect a child’s
Temperament of parent
Begin with the end in mind (Covey)
What one word would you hope
best describes your child by the
time he/she begins college?
What makes people happy?
Enjoy everyday pleasures
Have goals they are working toward
Value experiences over things
Research on character
“Character traits are three times more likely to
predict a high school student’s future success
than any combination of scores including GPA,
IQ, SAT/ACT scores, or class rank.” - Paul Tough
Wisdom and Knowledge(creativity, curiosity,
judgment, love of learning, perspective)
Courage (bravery, perseverance, honesty, zest)
Humanity (love, kindness, social intelligence)
Justice (teamwork, fairness, leadership)
Temperance (forgiveness, humility, prudence,
Transcendence (appreciation of beauty and
excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality)
Successful parenting involves:
Not taking everything personally (either failures OR
Keeping a long-term perspective
Most effective parenting styles (according
to research on teens):
1) Thoughtful Control
Permissive…Thoughtful Control…Excessive Control
(Involved without hovering)
2) High Warmth
(Compassion, but not symbiosis)
3) Effective Communication
Cutoff Communication Talk
Kastner & Wyatt (2009)
The Three R’s
(Journal of Pediatrics 2011: Coyne, et. al.)
Limits for media in general? (AAP suggests 2 hr/day limit
for all electronic media)
Cell phones?? (American Academy of Pediatrics Council
on Communications suggests wait at least until 11 or 12
years of age)
Teach clear rules, limits and etiquette for all electronic
media use (don’t be afraid to restrict or monitor!!)
Confront your Demons:
Can you accept your child’s imperfections, mistakes, shortcomings, failures, etc.?
Do you need your child to achieve in order to feel good about yourself?
Can you receive and accept negative feedback about your child?
Do you compare your child to others his/her age and get anxious if they are “behind?”
What is your greatest fear for your child?
What is your idealized vision for your child?
What is your most painful memory as a child?
What “unfinished business” do you have with your parent(s)?
Assess your own strengths and weaknesses as a parent…
Sleep (establish good habits early!)
ENJOY now….don’t get too far in the future.