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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Success Starts at Home (part 1)




A cross post with my blog over at the Balancing Act on the Lifetime Channel. (View part 2 life on the Lifetime blog)

The fact is that student success is more highly correlated with the parent than the teacher. A 2005 study through Harvard (Parental Involvement and Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis) that looked at all research studies about parenting and school success found that:

"Two of the patterns that emerged from the findings were that the facets of parental involvement that required a large investment of time, such as reading and communicating with one's child, and the more subtle aspects of parental involvement, such as parental style and expectations, had a greater impact on student educational outcomes than some of the more demonstrative aspects of parental involvement, such as having household rules, and parental attendance and participation at school functions."

Have you ever heard the statement:

"How do children spell love? T-I-M-E"

Well, you can now say:

How do children gain success: T-I-M-E.

Is it any surprise that it is the same answer?

The Sweet Smell of Success

After the football game Thursday night I smelled horrific. Not just bad but locker room bad. Three days in a gym bag bad. My sweaty 6'6" almost 200 pound junior got to play in the second half of the game. Not just play but he had a great game, opening up a hole for a touchdown run and playing as part of our team. (I later found out he got a “pancake” sticker for putting an opponent on his back.)

The other team is from a school twice our size and in a higher division. We won by 1 point last year in the last 2 seconds. Every game with them is a killer and it is a great rivalry. We are 14-0 from last year and this was our 15th win -- WE WON! My son was part.

My son has to work hard for what he gets in football. It has been very hard the last two years seeing him give every thing he had just to be a practice dummy for our state football team.

It is hard seeing your kids work hard and not get what they desire. But not once have I or my husband discussed playing time with the coaches.  I am convinced that is NOT what good parents do.

  • Good parents help their kids prepare.
  • Good parents help their kids see that hard work and goal setting does show rewards.
  • Good parents help their kids see that life isn't always fair.
  • Good parents believe in their children to work through things.
  • Good parents seek wise advice and step in only when necessary and in that case, very rare.
  • Good parents never quit.


So, that sweat smelled good to me. It meant that his hard work has paid off and he got to play and contribute on the team.

Bring it on. I'll take that sweat any day.

Because when I see my children when they are 40 (God willing) I will think they are successful if they are doing WORK worth doing and contributing to a team. Do they make the world around them better? Do they stand up against injustice? Are they making a difference in the world? Are they investing their lives long term in their own children? Are they willing to work hard today for a payoff next year or in ten years or later?

Research, life experience, and my time as a teacher have helped me help my children succeed. How can a woman who is wildly busy (I run a blog, 4 businesses, a non profit, author of 2 books, presenter, and full time teacher and I run 7 miles a week) still take time to help her children succeed? How do we balance it all?

This is what the balancing “act” is all about and yet it can’t be an act. It has to be real balance or your children suffer or you suffer. Let’s take this journey together.

In my next post in this series, I’ll share with you 10 tips for starting student success at home.

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