Thursday, April 24, 2008

And the Winner is...

Thanks to a completely random drawing, audited by the Fearsome Four Auditing Company (my dogs, Emma, Molly, Dakota & Sade), Diana Lambdin Meyer was the winnter of Jen Singer's book, "You're a Good Mom (and your kids aren't so bad either)." Thanks to Jen for participating and for Diana, who is a travel writer, for playing - and for everyone who visited and asked Jen a question. When I told Diana she had won, she said, "You're kidding! The question was almost facetious! How fun."

Here's her question: "Where were you and your book when my son, now 19, was at home? Any advice for parents trying to keep their really smart, straight-A in high school, from just enjoying college's freedoms too much?"

From Jen: "I remember my very first weekend in college wondering just who thought I was grown-up enough to be on my own. I went to Boston University, a huge school that sprawls along Boston’s streets. (My grandmother saw the trolley and the Massachusetts Turnpike racing through BU and asked, “Where’s the campus?”) After my college at BU, the College of Communications, held a picnic to welcome freshmen, I wandered off, alone, feeling rather lost. It took me much of that year to find my way.

I’ll bet that high school offered structure and guidance that your son isn’t getting in college. Maybe he feels lost, too. Or maybe he’s simply enjoying the social side of college a bit too much. If it’s showing in his grades, and assuming you’re footing the bill for school, you can either a. Tell him you won’t pay for college unless he gets his grades up to a certain level or b. Let him take a year off to get a job and grow up. (Or threaten Parris Island – the Marines – as an option. It worked on my brother.)

Chances are, he won’t want to leave college, let alone for a job (or the Marines), so he’ll have no choice but to work harder. But give him the tools to find the structure he needs to be a good student. Check with his college to see if they offer guidance counseling, or suggest that he meet with teaching assistants to work out a study plan. Take a look at his living conditions, too. If he’s in a fraternity or if he lives in a “party dorm,” it’s harder to avoid the lure of a good time. Consider moving him to a quieter dorm or off-campus next year.

He probably just needs a push in the right direction – preferably away from the party down the hall."

Stay tuned on Tuesday. Novelist Gary Wilson will talk about his book, "Sing, Ronnie Blue." That book will make great summer reading for someone!

Freelance jobs:

Video Journalists, The Wall Street Journal Online:

Freelance Writer for Online venture (knowledge of Miami)

Bureau of National Affairs Inc. Seeks Correspondents in Berlin and Brussels


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