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                          A Sampling of our ideas and products

1. The differences in skills (from Chap.4 of our main book)
2. An exercise from our parent workbook
3. An exercise from our teacher workbook

1. The Differences in skills

A hidden reason why accomplished, wealthy or career-oriented parents often have difficulty
adjusting to the demands of family life is that the skills needed are so different. This comparative list provides some insights into those differences. It can also trigger a lively group discussion.

Qualities need to succeed in a chosen career vs.
Qualities need to meet the needs of a growing child

To succeed in a chosen career you need:

A constant striving for perfection
A need to be free from time constraints to pursue an independent life
A goal-oriented attitude toward the project at hand
A way of operating based upon consistent rules and procedures.
A total commitment to yourself
A stubborn self-will
A belief that succeeding must always be the top priority
A controlling nature that enjoys directing others
A concentration on essentials
A concern about image
A feeling that nobody is as smart as you
An ability to create a family that is supportive of your chosen career
A preference for concise information
An insistence on high standards
A need to maintain an executive role over others
An exploitation of others

To meet the needs of a growing child you need:

A tolerance for repeated errors
Plenty of time for family activities
An acceptance of the seemingly capricious nature of child-raising
A way of operating based on the constantly changing nature of the parent-child relationship
as the child grows
A total commitment to others
A softness and willingness to bend
A tolerance for chaos
An understanding that failure promotes growth
A desire to promote independence in others even if their ways are not your ways
An ability to digress just to smell the roses
A relaxed acceptance of embarrassment
A true respect for your child’s abilities free from comparison with your own
An acknowledging that children have their own agenda
A willingness to listen patiently to prattle to help develop a child’s articulateness
A genuine tolerance for the lack of certain abilities
A respect for a child’s right to total independence after a certain age
An ability to put another person's needs ahead of one’s own.
2. A group exercise from the teen section of our Parent Workbook

Topic 17: Dealing with Independence

Henry Highbeam loves to be in control. He thoroughly enjoys making decisions for his charming wife, Hildergarde, and his adolescent daughter, Heidi, 16. In fact he gets furious when decisions are made without consulting him. Heidi wants to take the summer job she was offered by a local restaurant to feel more independent. Henry is horrified and insists she does not need the money. He will give her all she needs. She quietly accepts the job anyway. But within a week Henry finds out when a colleague mentions how his wife had encountered Heidi waiting tables, and how hard she was working.


a) Start by analyzing your own immediate reaction to the conflict that erupted. Then consider what thoughtful action you, as a parent, might take under the circumstances? Discuss with the group at least three alternative approaches.

b) Analyze the potential impact of each alternative on Heidi's emerging self reliance, independence and maturity.

c) Try to reach a consensus about the best possible approach for all concerned, and the reason for choosing that route.


3. A group exercise from our Teacher Workbook

Case Four: Dealing with an Admissions Dilemma

Ms. Capable, the college counselor, has Mr. and Mrs. Executive and their son, Paul, 16, in her office waiting room. Before Ms. Capable can even get started she hears an angry fight going on between the boy and his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Executive had set their sights on Paul going to Hertz U., the finest university in the area. They have totally dismissed Avis U, the highly rated school where Paul wants to go, which they insist is inadequate for today's highly competitive global society.


a) Discuss what might be the internal struggle being waged by the parents? By the student?

b) Consider the peer pressure that the student and the parents might be facing.

c) Try to reach some conclusions concerning how Ms. Capable might act in this situation.