McNerney: Tough Conversations with Teens

The past few months have been unprecedented in the number of difficult issues teens and families have had to face. We have seen our teens deal with worries about COVID, a radical change in education, missing their connection with friends, and trying to come to terms with race relations. Teens are working extremely hard to come to terms with these new issues on top of the average, day-to-day issues of adolescence.

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McNerney: The Home Stretch of Home Schooling

Let’s face it: Nobody was prepared for the academic challenges we have been facing for the past two months. The school system wasn’t prepared, parents weren’t prepared, and even families that home-school their kids weren’t prepared for this. We have done everything we can to adjust, but we are completely worn out. How do we, as parents, find the energy that was already depleted to help our children finish the school year strong? As someone who literally wrote the book on homework, let me give you some advice on this.

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McNerney: Family Survival During Forced Togetherness

As so many have said in the past month, we are living in unprecedented times. Our worries about ourselves and our families are at a high level. Even families that get along great are starting to feel the strain. In my work with families during the past month, I have started to see certain trends and have developed some advice that I think can help your family get through this tough time. In no specific order, here are my recommendations:

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McNerney: Your Child’s Love Language

During my professional travels, I have had the privilege of talking with and learning from Gary Chapman, author of the book series “The Five Love Languages.” The book series is excellent and has stood the test of time. Initially, the concept was developed for couples, but we have found that the concepts work for many relationships, including the parent-child connection.

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McNerney: Parenting Dos and Don’ts

Last weekend, I was chatting with a friend I have known since our kids were two years old. He mentioned something that he told his boys early on in their life: “You can do a whole bunch of good things in your life, but sometimes all it takes is one mistake for things to go downhill.” The mistakes he was talking about were things like cheating, stealing, drinking, and other things we worry about when it comes to our teens.

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McNerney: Getting into College—The Myths

I have taken a very close look at one of the biggest anxiety producers for parents these days: Getting our kids into college. In my research, I have found some truths, some myths, and some different ways of looking at this issue that might decrease our own worries and increase the likelihood of success for our kids. In this column I am going to focus on the myth that it is harder than ever to get into college.

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