It is with great pleasure that I extend our offer to be part of the
student body of PARENT UNIVERSITY. We had a record number of applicants
this year, so yours is an accomplishment in which you should take special
pride. Parent Universities faculty and our president join me extending best
wishes. Well done!
I look forward to
welcoming you personally during New Student Orientation. Let us know as soon
as possible that you'll be joining what I'm sure will be our most
distinguished class ever. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me
or any member of the admissions staff if we
can be of
assistance to you as you make your plans...
Dean of Admissions
Wouldnt it be nice if at the time of the arrival of your first child,
you also received an acceptance letter from the Dean of Admissions at
Parent University? This
acceptance letter would include a commitment from Parent Us administration
and faculty to assist you with every aspect of your parenting experience?
Many parents underestimate themselves and their capacity to manage
family life. When an issue
arises, a natural instinct is to scramble for the nearest parenting book or to
seek counsel from an outside source. Although
these resources can be very helpful, focus first on the fact that You
can solve most problems by generating the solutions for yourself.
A very important step in this process however, is to allow enough
time to develop and work your solutions through.
A parents role includes presiding, protecting, and providing, for the
family. Parent University assists
parents by offering courses in Human and Child Development, Elementary and
Secondary Education, Nursing, Mathematics, English, Organizational
Communication, Sociology, Psychology, Medicine, Economics, Engineering,
Business, Corrections, and Law, just
to name a few. Many parents earn
Masters and Doctorate degrees. Masters
degrees that are awarded on the way to the doctorate and Doctoral programs that are designed to create scholars
capable of independent research that will add new and significant knowledge to
the parenting field. We're talking about a multi-year program typically
taking anywhere from fourteen to twenty years to complete--and
Parenting is not a short-term project.
It is a life time journey. Avoid
thinking that some day you will get it right and then all of your problems
will be over. Rather, measure
what you get right on a daily basis. Dr.
Denis E. Waitley wrote:
There is an
Ill, well never see
stops, inflation ceases
Our mortgage is
paid, our pay increases
Ill where problems end
Where every piece
of mail is from a friend
children are sweet and already grown
Where all the
other nations can go it alone
Where we all
retire at forty-one
backgammon in [or golf] in the island sun
people look to tomorrow
To erase this
days hardship and sorrow
happiness on lay away
through a [self-inflicted] blue today
cannot be sought
It cant be
earned, it cant be bought
where you are right now
Pushing a pencil
or pushing a plow
Going to school
or standing in line
waiting, [enjoying your time]
If you live in
the past you become senile
If you live in
the future youre on Someday Ill
The fear of
results is procrastination
The joy of today
is a celebration
Is that the
journey [becomes the destination]
You can save, you
can slave, trudging mile after mile
never set foot on your someday Ill
paid all your dues and put in your time
Out of nowhere
comes another Mt. Everest to climb
From this day
forward make it your vow
Ill and make it your now!
Four important Parent University lessons that can be applied on a
day-to-day basis are:
Lesson Number One: Lead your
W. Scott Whipple, Executive Director of the Granite Education Foundation
in Salt Lake City, indicates that parents must lead their children to have
self-esteem. Self-esteem is the
worth or value that we give to ourselves.
If self-esteem is positive then we do positive good things, if
self-esteem is negative then we struggle and life becomes more difficult.
Scott suggests that to build self-esteem each child needs to feel unique, be
connected, have power, and be influenced by positive role models.
Positive self-esteem is developed over time and is directly associated
with the choices that are made. Self-perception, that is, who we
are, can be, and want to be, is
at the heart of this decision making. Self-perception
and self-esteem go hand-in-hand. When
faced with a decision to drink, smoke, do illegal drugs, or have pre-marital
sex, the youth with positive self-perception and self-esteem would never
consider doing any of those things because their life has been planned and
mapped out under the direction of parental leadership. If however, a youth
makes a wrong choice and falls into a pattern of negative behavior, then is
the time when the responsible parent steps in.
Lesson Number Two: Eliminate
distractions, obstacles and detours.
From a parents point of view, peers are the single most powerful source
of outside influence in a young persons life.
For good or for bad. Somewhere
between the ages of eleven and fifteen, parents seem to lose some of their
credibility and kids seek other sources for validation. That validation mostly
comes from their peers. It is
natural for teenage boys and girls to expand their boundaries, but when those
boundaries go beyond what is acceptable,
parents need to step in and intervene.
One young man in ninth grade had a history of smoking tobacco and
marijuana, drinking alcohol and, trying to take the virtue from any young
woman that would give in to him. He
was loosely supervised at home. When
his parents were confronted with objections to his behavior, they would deny
that he was doing anything wrong and defend him to the end.
This young man targeted a girl his same age.
Her parents became concerned when her grades started to suffer and they
received reports from school that she and this boy were showing public
displays of affection (kissing, hugging, holding hands etc.) in the halls at
school. She told her parents that
he was going to quit smoking and drinking for her.
Her parents contacted his parents and suggested that ninth grade
wasnt the time for these two to pursue a relationship.
His parents didnt think it was a big deal and became antagonistic
toward them. The mixed message
that came from the different homes became confusing to the girl.
For the next four months she wasnt allowed to associated with anyone
that they didnt first approve of. The
school administrator helped to keep them apart during school hours and one or
both of her parents were with her all of the rest of the time.
This was very difficult because when a youth is grounded and
restricted, the parents becomes the enforcers.
The cops. Everything
rotates around the restricted youth: home
life, work, and relationships across the board.
After four months of the girls restriction,
the young man went after another girl, he was subsequently caught with
drugs on school property and expelled. The
girl then realized that he wasnt what she thought he was but by that time
her peer group and her values had changed from what she had formerly committed
to. For the next two years her
social life was of highest priority. She
struggled in school, and was in constant dispute with her parents. It wasnt until the middle of her junior year in high
school that she realized that her life needed to change.
The train had passed her by and in order for her to graduate with her
class and have the regular freedoms that most teenagers have she would have to
do what seemed impossible. If her
parents hadnt eliminated many of the distractions and obstacles, she would
have been even worse off than she
was. Now she had to catch the
Lesson Number Three: Assist
and support your children so they can achieve.
Remember possible lies straight through the middle of impossible.
Champion parents go beyond exhaustion.
When they feel like giving up and giving in,
they find it in within themselves to reach a little higher and dig a
little deeper. In the case
of the distracted girl, her parents helped her to structure her personal,
home/family, school, church, and social life with balance and discipline.
The girl saw that if she was going to succeed in life, it was up to
her. Her parents could assist her but ultimately she had to do the
Dr. Ronald J. Hermansen, Associate Director of Granite School
Districts Adult And Community Education counsels us to remember that
children are not property that we own but human beings deserving of our
best efforts to help them mature and become productive citizens and future
responsible parents. Then he
suggests some dos and donts that
we should apply when we assist our children.
We should not hit, abuse, hurt, yell, get angry, lose patience, use
sarcasm, smother, frown, indulge, spoil, put down, ignore, play favorites,
compare, forget, or give up. We
should: love, praise, sing, play, encourage, joke, smile, laugh, cry,
vacation, visit relatives, hug, listen, respect, and keep trying.
Lesson Number Four: Persist.
Press-on and never give up.
Barry Richards, Director of High School Services for the Granite School
District says: A common sense approach to raising good kids so that they
can become accountable and responsible adults,
is to love them unconditionally, and to never give up, no matter
Additionally, Barry suggests that there are many things that you can do
to strengthen your role as a parent. Children
need to feel that they are loved in their home.
As a parent, do you express your love frequently,
and do you spend time with each child individually?
Do you listen to the concerns of your children and initiate action to
help them? Are you available and
approachable when your children have serious issues?
Is here a comfortable place in or around your home to do this?
Do you celebrate your students success in school?
Never compare one of your childs successes to another.
As a parent, you need to provide a quiet place for your students to
study. You also need to set up a mutually agreeable time schedule
for homework (about six hours per week).
Homework is practice time for school success. It is important to establish a regular habit of doing
It is important that parents regularly talk to children about their
hopes and plans for education and their careers. Parents need to be a role model in taking classes and courses
from colleges or community education. If
learning is important to parents, it will generally be important to your
child. Keep in touch with your
childs school and his/her teachers. Dont
expect perfection from your child but encourage them to do their best.
Involve your children in community activities.
Meet with your children and help them choose activities matching their
interests. When possible,
as a parent, volunteer your time, material, and resources to these
See that your children have the religious affiliation with the church
your choice. Attend at least one
service per month together.
Set rules for your child. Enforce
consequences when rules are broken. Set limits on the number of nights including weekends when
your child can spend time out of your home. Check whenever your child goes out
as to where he/she is going and with whom you child is spending time.
A precise time should be given for their return.
A mutual effort to communicate is key to your success.
Finally, take courage from this quote from President Calvin Coolege:
Press On, Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; Unrewarded genius Is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; The world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Darol Wagstaff is
President of Youth Motivation Institute and Champions For Life Speakers Bureau.
He serves as the at-risk youth committee chairman for the Granite
Education Foundation. For a free
parents guide contact the Granite Education Foundation at: (801) 268-8590.