(The following excerpt from Shielding Children From Hard Truths Hurts Rather Than Helps by Richard E. Cytowic, M.D., recently appeared on psychology today.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
Well–meaning parents sometimes try to shield their kids from unpleasant facts. They assume that the tough details of reality will upset the children and inflict grave harm. But evidence to the contrary shows how mistaken they are. Efforts to sugarcoat reality or shield children from harsh truths unintentionally hamper their ability to learn from misfortune and develop the resilience that makes negotiating adult life easier.
I must disagree with the well–meaning mother who penned an op–ed in this morning’s Washington Post. She advocated, “Sparing kids from catastrophe for as long as possible.” The kid in question was her 8–year–old daughter. The unpleasant facts from which she wished to spare her included the disappearance of Malaysian flight 370 and the presumed deaths of all 239 passengers on board, the invasion of Crimea by Vladimir Putin, the shooting deaths of protestors, the car and suicide bombings in the Middle East. The litany of horrors she wished to hide from her daughter was endless.
The Mother’s Side Effect
I felt sorry for the mother. I felt sad for the child because Mom’s good intentions were robbing her of exactly the kinds of lessons that would help her grow up.
The Hull Truth
We learn resilience by facing adversity and getting past it.
Hide and Seek
The impulse to protect kids from unpleasant facts is similar to the self–esteem fad currently practiced by educators. The idea rests on the assumption, not backed by any evidence, that high self–esteem must lead to high academic achievement.
The approach has not worked, which is what one would expect of a policy based on no evidence. Well–intentioned as it may have been, the gambit has failed to boost student achievement. In fact, it did precisely the opposite by undercutting the way the brain learns from mistakes and revises its expectations.
The trophies for everyone approach motivates students to amass more unearned rewards, instilled a sense of entitlement, and gave them an inflated sense of their abilities. Imagine handing a fisherman a fish. You might think you are doing him a favor, but you are robbing him of the pleasure of achievement, of catching it himself.
Marilyn Monroe — “If you can make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything.”
(The following excerpt from If You Want Her Heart, Make Her Laugh by Paul Hudson recently appeared on elite daily.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
No matter who you ask, every woman will tell you the same thing: She wants a man who can make her laugh. It’s a universal fact for all those who enjoy laughing – which, as far as I know, is everybody. Is that all a woman is looking for? No. But her finding you funny increases your chances with her three-fold.
Making a woman laugh is literally making her happy. Have you ever seen a sad laughing person? Only if he or she is wearing one of those creepy clown costumes. Otherwise, it’s basically impossible. If she’s laughing, she’s happy and having a good time. If she’s happy thanks to you, then she’ll like you for it. It’s really not rocket science. If you can’t make her laugh, then she’s probably not going to want to spend time with you.
In all seriousness, making a woman laugh is really the only way into her heart. You don’t have to make her hysterical. You don’t need to have her dying of laughter.
But if you can’t get constant smiles and giggles, you’re not doing it right. When you can get a woman to anticipate the laughter, anticipate the fun and enjoyment of interacting with you, you’ll see her face light up the moment she sees you. When you get this, you’ve got her. If you light up the same way she does because she makes you laugh and smile all the time, then the two of you may very well be on your way to falling in love. But it all starts with laughter.
(The following excerpt from My Grandma’s Money Lesson Are More Fantastico Than Yours by Beth Strojohann recently appeared on dailyfinance.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
My grandma is awesome. Not just the cute, little old lady kind of awesome –- but the “I don’t give a heck what you think about me” kind of awesome.
There are a lot of lessons that a full- (and hot-) blooded Italian learns while growing up. Talking with your hands? Acceptable. Pulling over to the side of the road to knock on a stranger’s door and ask to pick figs off of their tree? Definitely OK. Accordion jam sessions in the backyard? Absolute musts.
Being Italian comes with fun life lessons, but having a grandma who emigrated from Italy has also provided me with some of the most practical money advice I can recall. There is a ton I’ve learned from her, but when it comes to money, these three lessons take the cake … or the cannoli, whichever you prefer.
1. Decide Where to Save and Where Use Those Savings to Splurge
To this day, my sisters and I still stand horrified at the kitchen sink while cleaning up after family gatherings. Not only are there pots and pans to be washed, but plastic plates, cups, utensils and Baggies — even Saran Wrap has made it into the mix a few times. My grandma is relentless when it comes to reusing things. And despite the heckling, the whining and the poking fun, she’s never backed down.
2. Be Persistent
Have an old set of pots where one has a scratch? My grandma is the master of negotiation. It doesn’t matter if the company doesn’t make the product anymore or if she bought it 15 years ago. This woman will pull out her files, search for the warranty, and demand a replacement item even if the warranty has expired. She’ll climb a customer service call center chain until she reaches the top, and can sweet-talk her way into a new vacuum, set of pots, or some other household appliance.
3. One Person’s Trash Is Another’s Treasure
My grandma started downsizing some years ago, which people often do when they age. What transpired over the following few years resulted in some holidays and birthdays to remember. Members of our family began to receive clean (but used) coffee cups with a $20 bill inside, or random blankets or knickknacks from around her house wrapped up in the guise of a birthday gift.
Ultimately, our families are a key part of our money histories and beliefs. Growing up exposed to good or bad habits can have their effects on us. My grandma always set an example by working hard and being tenacious, which my Dad picked up on and passed down to me. What kind of money lessons have you learned from your family?