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Exercise caution when posting kids on social media

IOL – Lisa Vaas

“All over the country, proud parents and children are sharing pictures of themselves on their first day at school in their school uniforms either at home, or right outside the school premises. However the Film and Publications Board (FPB) have cautioned parents on the following: * The child’s face is all over the internet on social media, this picture can be used by anyone be it for positive or negative use.” (more)

The 529 Plan Change That Could Help Families Save On Education And Taxes

Forbes – Renee Morad

“Beginning in 2018, taxpayers will be able to increase their tax savings when funding their children’s private school educations. According to the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 529 plans, a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs, have recently been expanded to include elementary and secondary school expenses. This means that taxpayers will be able to withdraw up to $10,000 per year tax-free for elementary and high school expenses, such as tuition and books.”(more)

Nurture as important as nature for success

Japan Times – Noah Smith

“The question of nature versus nurture is an important one, but also an incredibly delicate one. How much of the disparities we see in society are fueled by a lack of good education, social influences and role models, and how much are due to natural ability? Given that people in advanced countries spend multiple decades of their life in school, this is an important question.”(more)

Parent Engagement in the Digital Age

Edutopia – Emelina Minero

“In school districts around the country, handwritten notes, calls home, and face-to-face meetings are rapidly ceding ground to new technologies that better meet the needs of parents and schools. According to a 2016 report, there’s been a steep drop in the number of parents who believe that more intimate forms of communication—face-to-face meetings with teachers, for example—are the most effective means to convey important information about students. The same study found a growing acceptance of digital methods.”(more)

Family Engagement Key to School Choice Efforts Succeeding; New Report Finds Promising Signs in 18 Cities

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“Family engagement is key to getting education reform and school choice right, panelists said Tuesday at an event in Washington. “There is so much goodwill around the [education reform] strategies that are being deployed,” but leaders are often charging forward and missing opportunities to engage families and community leaders, said Robin Lake, director of the Center for Reinventing Public Education, an education research center at the University of Washington.”(more)

Love and communication important during teen years

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Parents and teenagers live in different worlds with different pressures and perspectives, so communication between adolescents and parents can be strained. Here are a few strategies you can use to minimize conflicts during this challenging time.

Use humor.
Humor is an effective communication tool, because it breaks down barriers and commands attention. Disguised as fun, humor can be used to teach, introduce new ideas, share beliefs, and implant knowledge.

Listen.
Perspective and practice make a big difference. The way an adult perceives a problem is often very different from the way a teen views the same issue. What seems like a life catastrophe to 16-year-old may seem insignificant to a 40-year-old.

As a result, teenagers often have things to say to adults, but get frustrated because they do not feel like they can express their concerns and feelings. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who was born in the 1st Century, might well have been instructing 21st Century parents when he said, “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

Keep it short.
Teens are perceptive and smart, so a few words go a long way. No one wants to feel like they are being lectured, so it is best to say it once.

Compliment.
The way we speak can often result in the outcomes we are trying to avoid. Comments and instructions couched in negative language, with excessive use of words like “don’t”, “never”, and “no” may lead to poor behavior. Instead try to focus on the positive things your teen does.

Prepare and Allow.
It is easy to view your kids as younger than they are. As teens age, they need more responsibility. Adults who continually enforce rules that do not acknowledge demonstrated capacity for independent and responsible behavior, can alienate teens.

Wait.
If it isn’t an immediate health or safety issue, it is sometimes better to wait for the right moment to discuss a problem rather than force a discussion at a poor time.

Connect.
Your kids internalize and interpret everything you do. They read your face, posture, voice, and stance. They subconsciously search for physical cues to what you really feel about them. Make sure they know they are loved, respected, and appreciated.

Even though the transition from child to adult can be challenging, love and open communication can make the journey easier for everyone.