WHY ASIAN PARENTS HAVE THEIR KIDS’ BACKS IN SCHOOL

Why do students of East Asian descent do so well in school? Because parents are the primary educators.
So concludes Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her column on the subject was published July 31, 2017.
While American parents are concerned with how engaging their child’s teacher is, how much homework their child will have and whether their child will be able to balance school and other activities, such as band or soccer, in East Asian countries, parents are worried about one thing: whether their child will learn, Downey writes.
The Asian children’s success will depend not only on their own effort, but that of their parents, she writes.
That difference may explain the performance gap between American students and those from East Asian countries, Downey writes.
According to a research scholar on East Asian education, this lagging performance by American students will not change unless we upend two beliefs: teachers are responsible for student achievement and parents play a supportive, rather than primary, role in their child’s education, Downey writes.
Cornelius N. Grove, author and researcher on East Asian education, has challenged the assumption that school performance is determined by innate aptitude, Downey writes. He says children bring – or don’t bring, in the case of some U.S. students – a receptiveness to learning and a moral and cultural imperative to excel, Downey writes.
Students who fail an algebra test here might say, “I’m just not good at math,” Downey quotes Grove. East Asian students use failure to figure out what they don’t know and redirect their study plan, Downey quotes Grove.
One could argue that while education is important, so are other things in life. The balance American parents look for in their children is a worthy endeavor. We want children to have a life, to do things that kids do, to enjoy growing up and not be put in a pressure cooker.
On the other hand, some parents can be too loosey-goosey, fret about the child’s self-esteem, etc.
Those old enough may remember when parents sent kids to school, let them figure out what to do, perhaps had one or two conferences a year with teachers and that was it. Some parents were disinclined, or perhaps even incapable, of helping with homework.
Still, “we have masses of young people (In the U.S) who aren’t able to do simple math, who have trouble reading a sentence,” Downey quotes Grove.
Yet, she quotes him, “we are not short of entrepreneurs in this country.” If your child is an entrepreneur, and is looking for something to apply that trait that could earn him potentially a lot of money, there are many vehicles out there that may fit him or her. To check out one of the best, message me.
The bottom line is that parents have to find the happy medium in which their child can excel in school, and still be a kid. The parents have to devote a higher priority on education, and not leave everything up to teachers and schools.
The children have to want to learn. A parent who cultivates a child’s desire to learn is parenting at its best. So let your kids be kids, let them do what they enjoy, yet still have focus on education. Perhaps the parents can take a leading role in increasing school performance of American children.
Peter

THE KING LEGACY, ADULTS, CHILDREN

#MLK #Selma #adultsandkids
Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A question to ponder: if King came back today, what would he think about how we handled his legacy?
Beverly Keel, a columnist for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, raised this question in a Jan. 18, 2015, column. Keel was 2 when King was assassinated in 1968. But after seeing the movie “Selma,” she was struck when the movie ended by saying that King was only 39 when he died.
But, as she says, King led and acted as an adult. Yet, many in the world today act like children or adolescents. As Keel points out, even country music, once filled with truth-telling songs by Hank Williams and Kris Kristofferson, is now filled with songs that objectify women and celebrate intoxication.
Today, there is a wide gap between the economic haves and have-nots. How do you see this gap? If you are a have, do you hold what you have up so high that the have-nots will never reach it, then laugh as they jump up futilely trying to grab it? Or do you help those have-nots try to get what you have?
If you are a have-not, do you look at the haves with jealousy and envy, and whine that they have what you don’t have? Or, are you open to looking for ways to get what they have?
One option is a childish behavior. The other option is an adult behavior.
If you prefer an adult behavior, no matter your circumstance, one option is to visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
King’s battle is still being fought today. There are those who behave like children, who see King’s battle as a power struggle, fought with weapons. There are others who behave like adults, who know they are morally right, and carry on, often behind the scenes, to make things right.
As long as there are adults, and there are children, even morally right battles may never be won. Making things right will never be easy. But the adults will ALWAYS carry on peacefully, help others and often see their own success.
You can look at your own situation, your own life, and determine whether you are behaving as an adult or a child. You may not always see the adult solutions to every problem, but, as an adult, you are always looking for them. If you look hard enough, and take advantage of opportunities presented to you, you eventually will find the “adult” solution that suits you.
If you look at your situation, your own life, as a child, you will always look at others having what you don’t, complain profusely about it and hope those others get their due someday.
Remember, too, that adults want others to have what they have. Children do not.
King worked very hard, suffered greatly and put himself in harm’s way to do the adult thing. He indeed paid the ultimate price Perhaps his biggest regret is not living to see the fruits of his sacrifice.
What would he think if he came back today? What would you want him to think, if he came back today?
Peter

WHY DESIRE TO BE AVERAGE

#average
The country group Alabama’s song, “Cheap Seats,” is an anthem to average.
It talks about middle-sized towns, minor league baseball and a local band that is, “not that bad, and not that good.” But, the average guys love to dance after watching their minor-league game so the average band is just fine.
How great the “average” life is.
Many people look for politicians who are “average” people, but usually can’t find them.
You see, “average” people can’t afford to give up their average jobs that support their average lifestyles, on the chance that enough “average” people will vote them in.
So, as a substitute, the “average” folks look for politicians who can RELATE to “average” people.
This begs two questions: how do we define “average,” and why is it desirable to be “average?”
The definition of “average” is fluid. In our smarter, technologically advancing world, it changes by the second. We often desire to be average because it’s safe, comfortable and we’ve been told by our elders that “average” is good. It grounds us. It gives us security. It tells us not to take chances or risks. And, by the way, all the people we want as our friends are all “average.”
“Average” people raise good children. Hopefully, those children will become good, yet “average,” adults. Average people mind their own business and, if they are lucky, maintain a good, average life in old age.
With the fluid definition of “average,” might there come a day when we won’t want to be “average” anymore?
When might the day come that we become better than average, even “great,” without becoming different people?
We all want what the above-average people have, but the essence of our “averageness” makes us not want to jump out of our comfort zone to go for it. Those who do are no longer considered “average,” and may even be resented by most “average” people.
But, in most cases, as we elevate out of “averageness,” we become different people in the process. This begs a final question: is that a bad thing?
Perhaps we don’t want to elevate because our friends will resent us. Perhaps we don’t want to elevate because doing so will require us to do “uncomfortable” things. Perhaps we don’t want to elevate out of fear of disappointing those we love.
Make no mistake: those who elevate from average will become different people. That difference may be resented by some friends. But, in the elevation process, one may make many new friends. The discomfort one may have felt in the elevation process will not only subside, but also eventually become very comfortable. Confidence in achievement greatly mitigates discomfort.
If you want to elevate, but see yourself currently as “average,” there are many vehicles available to help you rise above “averageness.” For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll see lots of “average” people who have indeed elevated.
It was said of the late Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, that he was like the Tennessee River: right down the middle in his political viewpoint. Sometimes, being right down the middle can accomplish more than being an “average” person.
Peter

POWER: IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU USE IT

Every dispute, situation or dynamic is centered around power.
Those that have it tend to want to use it to control others.
Those that don’t have it look to find something they can use as a weapon against those in power.
When terrorists cannot implement their agenda, they use terror tactics to inflict damage against those whom they cannot conquer.
When a criminal wants what someone else has, knowing that person would not give it to him willingly, he gets a weapon to force the exchange.
Our only hope is that those who gain power use it to help others, not hurt others.
Anyone can gain power. Most of those who are successful in business, for example, didn’t get there without hard work, good fortune and some help from others. Now that they have achieved their success, are they using it to take from, or give to, others? And, in the process, are they using, or otherwise taking advantage of others to achieve their goals?
Some see power as evil, unless they have it. Power does not have to be evil. It can be very good, if used properly. Of course, it can be evil if not.
How do we use power for good? We use power to empower. We use power we have achieved to empower others. For example, we use our power as parents to empower our children. How? By acting toward others in ways you would want your children to act toward others.
You see, you can tell children anything, but what you tell them won’t matter unless they see you acting the way you are telling them to act. You can tell a child to stay away from drugs, but if you are taking them yourself, chances are your children will follow your actions.
If you are an employer, you can’t expect your employees to give you their best if they believe you are not giving your best to them. They have to see you act in the way you want them to act, and you have to reward them the best way you can if they perform well.
If you are a teacher, your students will follow what you DO, more than they will follow what you TEACH. Actions are the best teacher. Students can learn from books, but they will learn best when a teacher not only acts professionally, but shows the students respect. A good teacher empowers.
Anyone can get power. Almost no one is powerless. One just has to think right, find what they need to get power, then empower.
You are just a “working person,” you say? Your current job may not give you the power you want, but there are many ways outside of your job that you can gain power. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find the classic tool to not only give you power, but give you the power to empower.
We all believe that if we had the power, we would use it wisely, and for the benefit of others. For some, achieving power changes them for the worse. Still others who gain power change for the better.
Some who gain power just want more of it, and will do what they must to get it. Others who gain power just want to give themselves to others and empower.
If you had power, would you distribute it or hoard it? Doing the latter could eventually come back to bury you. Doing the former could change the world for the better.
To paraphrase an adage, power can corrupt. Absolute power can corrupt absolutely. But the opposite can also be true. Power can enhance. Absolute power can enhance absolutely. It all depends who has it.
Peter

YOUNG VS. OLD IN A CHANGING WORLD

It started in the 1960s.
Young people wanting something better than – or, at least, different from – what their parents had and cherished.
Some 1960s protests turned violent. Today, in countries all over the world, the protests are very violent. The police and military in many countries are turning on their own people – largely young people – for trying to change the status quo.
Reporters David Kirkpatrick and Mayy El Sheikh discussed the chasm between young and old in Egypt, which has already overthrown its longtime dictator. But in that country, the “new” government hasn’t given them what they want.
The reporters’ story was published in the Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, edition of The New York Times.
We see it in countries all over the world – Syria, Ukraine etc. Young people want more freedom. Young people want to be who they really are – not who their parents or other elders want them to be.
If you are young today, the world is very different from that in which your parents grew up. Jobs are scarce. Employers are reorganizing every five minutes. So, even if you are lucky enough to land a good job, you can’t expect it to last.
Your parents may not understand you. They want what’s best for you, but may not have a clue what that is. All they have to go on is what was best for THEM.
If you are older, you shake your head at the younger generation. After all, your “dream” was a secure job with benefits, some advancement potential and a pension when you retired. If you got that far and achieved that: congratulations. But those younger than you may never see that. They will really have to be diligent to have financial security when they are your age.
Yes, the world is an ocean liner. It is certainly not a cruise ship, but in many cases it turns just as slowly. Make no mistake, though. It is turning. Perhaps it is not turning as quickly as the younger people want, but it is turning. When it turns, it will go in a very different direction.
Companies and employers have experts watching the ship, and trying to determine which direction it will go. Unlike the world of the past, this world will be turning constantly, as innovation in communication, manufacturing and technology evolve, and re-evolve.
Innovation, combined with education, give young people the courage to be who they are, not who their parents or elders want them to be. They have different, and more modern, ideas about how to live. In their minds, if they are going to survive, they have to fight for what they believe in. They have to fight for the freedom to be what they want to be.
In a changing world, we – young and older – need to have a Plan B. If the world changes in a way we don’t like, we need something that will give us the security to be who we are, and want to be. We need something that will allow us the freedom to not be dependent on an ever-changing employment situation. There are many ways to accomplish this. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Meanwhile, fight to be who you are in an ever-changing world. At the same time, let others be who they are, as long as they mean you no harm. Throughout the world, give the young people the freedom they so crave. With freedom comes innovation. Innovation will come, whether we want it to or not. So let people innovate.
If you are older, you must realize that change isn’t all bad. If you are younger, remember that your elders are fighting to keep what is dear to them. When young and old understand each other, the world will be more peaceful and prosperous for all. As Paul McCartney’s mother told him years ago, “Let It Be.”
Peter

SHIFTING PARENTING GOALS

You’ve heard the stories. A kid grows up in a great family with wonderful parents, then, for some unexplainable reason, gets into trouble.
Perhaps it happened because his parents had a somewhat misguided goal: to raise a good kid.
Andy Andrews, author and storyteller, talked about this when he spoke to the Team National convention in Orlando in July 2013.
He says that parents should not have the goal to raise good kids. Instead, their goal should be to raise kids that will become great adults.
What’s the difference? Look at it this way: a parent tells the story of how their child went wrong when he grew up, and they say they did everything right. But did they?
Some parents believe that if they can keep their kids isolated into their own world for as long as possible, they will have values so embossed into their being that they will never want to stray into the world of drugs, alcohol, crime etc.
Some parents want to influence kids to the point of having a say in whom they marry.
But sometimes, restricting kids can create pent-up demand to explore the outside world. They may want to meet people who are not like them. They will want to see places they were never allowed to see, or do things they were never allowed to do.
Some parents don’t want their children asking questions. They’d prefer to give them only information they “need to know,” and on their terms.
No parent can stop curiosity. No parent can stop the natural feelings children may have for others as they grow older. No parent can keep a child in a bubble for life.
What one hopes for as a parent is that the child grows to make good choices. Sometimes, that might mean exposing them to people who’ve made bad choices while they are young.
In the movie “The Jazz Singer,” Neil Diamond’s character grows up in a very conservative Jewish household. His father tells him that he has to know where he came from to know where he is going.
Instead of being a cantor in a synagogue, Diamond’s character grows up to be a singer who performs pop music in front of huge audiences – like Diamond in real life.
Being a successful performer is not what his father wanted for Diamond’s character. He wanted him to use his talents as a servant to the synagogue. Eventually, the father came to embrace the son for who he is.
Children will become who they are, no matter the circumstances in which they grow up. A parent’s goal is to see their child become a great adult – one who helps others, who has humility, integrity and generosity.
If you raise a child like that, you are a successful parent. The child may get there via a path you did not design for them, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the result on the other end.
Raising good children is fine, but it doesn’t stop there. Watching them make life choices can be painful to you, but you have to love them for who they are. If they get in trouble, help them. If they pursue a life path of which you don’t approve, just look at the result. If they have excellent personal qualities as adults, you did a great job as a parent.
If you have grown to adulthood and are looking to make good choices, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It could be the biggest life-changing choice you could ever make. No matter what you do in life, choose wisely and make your parents – eventually – proud.
Peter

TALK IS CHEAP; DIALOGUE IS VALUABLE

“Can we talk here?”
Comedienne Joan Rivers made that question famous.
The point was not for dialogue. SHE was going to do all the talking.
When parents want to “talk” to their children, presuming they are not yet adults, how interested are the parents in what a child might have to say, unless it’s an admission of wrongdoing?
The parents want to do all the talking.
That point was sung home in the Rod Stewart tune, “Young Turks.” When the boy and girl ran away from home, the boy wrote a letter to the girl’s parents to announce that they had given birth to a son. He apologized that it had to come to that, but, as the lyric goes, “There ain’t no point in talking if nobody’s listening, so we just ran away.”
Talking can be productive ONLY IF someone is listening, and is allowed to talk back. With children, talking back can be a punishable sin. With teens, allowing them to talk may give parents clues about what they are really thinking, what they may be hiding and what they may be planning. Getting a jump on that can mean the difference between keeping the kids at home, or having them run away.
Talking may be cheap. It’s dialogue, and listening, that are valuable.
When people can talk to each other, see the other’s point of view, much good can happen.
Dictators can have power, but that power is dwarfed by good dialogue.
DICTATORS VS. DIALOGUE
In a dictatorship, things can get done. When there is dialogue, things can get done more willingly, therefore better and more powerfully.
When there is dialogue, each side of the conversation may not see ALL the results they are looking for. It may be more like everyone getting SOME of the results they were looking for. That type of talk, usually followed by a handshake, a hug or a kiss, gets the kind of results EVERYONE involved can buy into.
Some people prefer to have guns, or other weapons, do their talking. The results may be desirable to the aggressor, but how much more powerful is resolving a dispute with words rather than weapons?
For that to happen, people have to be willing to accept, even embrace, scenarios they don’t entirely create. They have to listen, talk, and let others talk back.
Some things are best left unsaid. Make sure that when you are having a stressful conversation that you think before you talk. You can make clear what you are thinking without using inappropriate or insulting words. If someone utters such a thing, the listener has to realize it was said in a time of stress. The meaning may be totally different from what the listener perceives, because the listener may also be under stress.
Not all conversations are pleasant. Some don’t have to be unpleasant. Try to make your part of a conversation as informative as possible, without unnecessary emotion. Try to listen hard to the other person’s information without unnecessary emotion.
For a way to earn potentially significant income with less talk and more listening, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Let the tools, and others, do the talking for you.
In general, however, speak softly, listen hard and let others talk back. You’ll sense real power in great dialogue.
Peter