McNerney: Helping Our Children Remain Strong

I wish I had some good news this October. Since we are still in the midst of this distance learning, low socialization era, good news is hard to find. Since this whole time period is also new to us, we don’t have a frame of reference to guide them. We can’t say: “I remember when I was cooped up in my house for seven months.” This is uncharted territory for us and our kids.

Read more

McNerney: Dealing with Distance Learning—Staying Engaged in Online Classes

We, as parents, are in uncharted territory with distance learning. Since our generation has never experienced learning in this way, we are making it up as we go along. Fortunately, learning experts have begun seeing certain trends and have been developing suggestions on how to make the best of our new situation. In this month’s column, I will share some tips and ideas that will ease some of the stress and exhaustion of our new learning environment.

Read more

McNerney: Praising with Purpose

In my book “Homework – A Parent’s Guide To Helping Out Without Freaking Out!” I discuss the idea that there are three ways that we can lead our children. Most, if not all, of the ways we lead as parents can be categorized in one of these roles: The Supporter, The Consultant, and The Boss. I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about the role of The Supporter recently and thought I would share some of my ideas.

Read more

McNerney: Leading our Kids About School in the Fall

Loudoun parents are facing significant difficulties in trying to do what is best for our kids. By now, if you have a school-aged child, you have decided whether they will be doing distance learning or the “hybrid” model of two days in person and three days online learning. For most of us, this wasn’t an easy decision. In fact, I would suggest that this could have been the hardest decision up to this point in our childrearing days. Many of us have been questioned and challenged on our decision by a myriad of people, including family members, neighbors, and friends.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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:

Read more

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.

Read more