June 24, 2019

Are We Pushing Our Kids Too Much

Here’s another update I’m sharing from a friend that recently posted it on Facebook, Kelly Phillips Erb. Apparently, I’ve got a number of friends who are sharing some really great stuff on Facebook lately right? This update focuses on whether or not we should be pushing and accelerating our kids through their educational years as fast as we are. Or, perhaps not deciding one way or another, but making sure we’re conscious of the reasons we’re doing so and understand the ramifications of that effort in the long run. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


Graduation DayToday, I overheard parents discussing how they are putting their kids in summer school so that they can graduate early. The plan is to stack college credits in high school so the kids (and they are still kids) can get through college in three years and start graduate school early. The one mom said, “She’s going to compete, she’s going to get it done.”

I don’t purport to be an expert on parenting. Goodness knows, I have made and continue to make mistakes as a mom. Just like all of us, I’m learning as I go.

But I want to tell you a story. Many of you know that I started school at age 4 (after loudly complaining that my brother got to go to school). I skipped a grade. I left home at age 14 to attend a residential high school. I started college at age 16.

I was always the youngest (except at law school, thanks Ambreen). I was always trying to prove myself. I was always rushing. I wanted to keep finishing early because I wanted to start the next chapter as quickly as I could. And I don’t regret any of those things because every step along the way – even the mistakes – made me who I am today.

But I do want to say this. As a mom, the thing I want to teach my kids more than anything is to ENJOY.EVERY.MOMENT. Don’t rush.

All of that speeding ahead? Yes, it gave me some opportunities – but I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t have found them anyway. The things I missed? The school trips? The parties? Hanging out after school? Lazy summers? I can’t get those back.

I have resisted efforts to skip or rush my kids. The most we relented was letting Ames take an accelerated math class. I have good kids and they are doing well in school. They enjoy playing sports and attending clubs at school. In summers, we’ve been traveling, not taking classes (Kate excepted but she did that on her own as an online class). I know that achievement is important and I try hard to balance their own appetites for success with the understanding that they also need some time to have fun and be carefree. The stresses associated with adulting will come soon enough.

Studies prove that we don’t laugh as much as adults as we do as kids. We’re not as active. We don’t take as many risks. Somewhere along the way, we lose all of that. I think about that a lot now that I’m older. And I intend to let my kids be kids for as long as I can.

* Edited to make clear (as in the comments) that I’m not suggesting that skipping and accelerated classes are bad ideas. Skipping was the right choice for me and my kids are taking some of those accelerated classes. There may be valid reasons – like avoiding college debt as Miranda Marquit points out – for some of these choices. When it comes to my family, I just want to make sure those reasons include something other than just being first.

Kelly Phillips Erb and an attorney with The Erb Law Firm PC, in suburban Philadelphia, PA, where she focuses on tax law for individuals and businesses. Erb is also mom to three children, so she can add “dinosaur expert”, “cupcake baker” and “princess dress designer” to her resume.


Are you pushing your kids to get double-credit for classes and courses in college and high school? Are you letting things happen on a slower, perhaps more organic level with that accomplishments and educational goals? Again, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Are You a Doctor? Didn’t Sleep in a Holiday Inn Last Night?

Doctor w/ ClipboardI’m taking this post from a friend’s Facebook wall as he recently shared. His daughter has been amazing at battling some medical issues and the story below is about the experiences shared by a woman who relies on the same type of IV feedings (TPN) that my friend’s daughter relies on for nutrition. I share this post because I want to challenge people to just think before they open their mouths and give their opinions or share their thoughts on a subject. Be aware that you may (and more than likely don’t) know all the details about a situation. The facts you’re not aware of could be (and probably are) crucial to having a clear understanding of the reality you see in front of you through your limited and biased perception of another person’s life.

I don’t want people to not talk to each other and not interact, but do so from a level understanding of what you may be sharing. Unclear about something? Respectfully and sincerely ask someone for insight and more information. Don’t assume you know history that you’ve never been associated with in your life. Enough talking by me. Read the shared story and think twice (or more!) before you open your mouth next time.


“I stopped at the grocery on my way home tonight and set a new record for the number of people who felt the need to offer commentary on my appearance and weight (it’s usually only 1 or 2 people per trip – today was ridiculous). For the record, I’m the heaviest I’ve been in well over a year AND I’m wearing horizontal stripes. I’ve done all I can do to keep fellow shoppers from having to suffer through looking at me while shopping. I’m sorry I can’t shop in the middle of the night so they don’t have to see what is in my cart.

[Holding box of cookies in one hand and doughnuts in the other, pondering which mess and sugar-high I will regret the least when giving them to my students tomorrow as a reward for surviving ISTEP]

Random Man I Don’t Know: “You need to buy 10 of each of those and maybe you’ll get a little meat on you. Men like women with curves.”

Me: *** ignore him and walk away to find less-judgmental selection of cookies ***

[Broken-hearted in the Jello aisle at the discontinuation of peach Jello, I pick up box of sugar-free cherry Jello and realize I grabbed the wrong one – reach for full-strength Jello…]

Random Lady I Don’t Know: “Fad diets aren’t good for you. You’re already too thin. You need to buy some real food, not Jello. You need to shop the perimeter of the store and only eat real foods and a lot of meat to fatten you up a little bit. Stay out of the middle aisles with all the fake food.”

Me: *** Resist urge to point out she’s in the Jello aisle with me, ignore her, and walk away. ***

[Pick up carton of skim milk]

Random Store Employee: “That’s the last carton of skim milk because we’re waiting on a truck. You don’t need skim milk, so why don’t you buy the 4% and leave that for someone who needs diet milk.”

Me: *** Put the skim milk in my cart and walk away. ***

[Pick up container of fat-free cottage cheese. Turn around and wait. Look at every person in aisle. Wait for the comments. Keep waiting. Nothing happens. Determine cottage cheese is random-person-approved. Put cottage cheese in my cart.]

[Pick up case of bottled water.]

Random store employee: “That water weighs more than you do. Let me lift it for you.”

Me: *** Refuse and then ‘accidentally’ stomp on his toe when he tries to pull it out of my hands despite my refusal. ***

[Pick up case of Diet Root Beer.]

Random Woman I Don’t Know: “I can tell you have anorexia. My friend’s daughter had it, too. You shouldn’t drink diet soda. It just makes your anorexia worse. Why don’t you give me your phone number and I’ll get the name of the place my friend’s daughter went for treatment. I can call you with the name so you can go there!”

Me: *** At this point, I lost it. I’m wearing horizontal stripes, damn it, and I’m allowed to walk in public with, gasp, my body! This woman was the last straw. ***

Me: “Oh my gosh, are you a doctor?!?”

Random Woman I Don’t Know: “No, I ju…”

Me: *** interrupting *** “I’m so glad you’re a doctor!! I need your help! My IV pump settings are messed up and I can’t reach my doctor to fix them!” *** yank IV pump and bag of IV fluids out of my purse where they were hidden and shove them in her face *** “Please help me reset this! I’m so glad you are a doctor and stopped me to offer your medical advice. You are my hero!”

Random Woman I Don’t Know: “I’m not a doctor. Oh, you poor thing. You have cancer. I’m so sorry!”

Me: “Oh my God! I HAVE CANCER?!?! I HAD NO IDEA! Oh, God! Am I going to die? Are you an angel from God sent to tell me I’m dying?”

Random Woman I Don’t Know: “No! I thought you had cancer because… well, I… why do you have that IV?”

Me: “You’re the doctor. You tell me. You already diagnosed anorexia and cancer. Surely you can diagnose this, too. Or you could mind your own business.”

Me: *** walks away. resists urge to go find all the other people and tell them off, too ***

[Bag with skim milk falls over onto the floor in the self check-out lane and it busted open all over the floor. I’m not sure which one of us that karma was aimed for, but Random Store Employee who told me not to buy it is who came to clean up the mess.]

I’ve ALWAYS ignored and walked away every single time I go to the grocery alone. (Every. Single. Time. At least once every trip!) I think I’m going to start being the not-bigger person from now on. That lady’s horrified face when I shoved my IV pump into her hands was worth every degrading comment I’ve received over my entire lifetime! Can I start walking up to random people at the grocery and offering them medical and nutrition advice? Pretty please? It’s only fair.”


Hopefully that helps someone in the future.

A Brilliant Cross-Over From Real Life Fitness to Video Game Play

NBA 2K17 Screen Shot

I just read an article that I believe is an absolute brilliant type of cross-promotion and marketing between two companies.

Earlier this year my wife got me a fitbit HR as a gift for my birthday. I thought back then that the integration between the device and my phone and my online profile was a good measure. You see I can connect with my friends and family members that may also have a FitBit device and challenge them to certain levels of activity. The most common of these is just a simple step count. The somewhat standard challenge goal for most people is to get 10,000 steps a day.

Well, fitbit has partnered with video game developers for NBA 2k17 to give you in-game player development perks if you obtain a 10,000 step goal in real life. That’s right! Brilliant right? I know when I was playing Tiger Woods golf on the Xbox regularly, just about the only thing I could think of was doing whatever I could to get my custom player’s skills up as high as I could so I had an advantage on both the game itself and anyone I might play against, including my wife! The downfall to that relationship was that it required me to spend as much time as possible playing the game, sitting on my butt in front of the TV.

With this branding crossover, you start to reward kids with a direct exchange of being more active in real-life to gain something in the virtual video game. This time not just with gadgets from https://progamerreview.com/best-gaming-monitors/. What if we started finding more crossover promotions that promoted healthy activities instead of bad ones? Imagine Subway giving away power up codes for eating a low-fat sub and not ordering a soda? Granted, that’s going to go against their bottom line with the no soda thing, but you get my point.

What if parents could get little credit codes they could give their kids for positive behaviors that were directly related to health and fitness, or maybe even just good grades. Finish all your vegetables on your plate at dinner, here’s 25 booster points. Get an A in science this semester, here’s 1000 booster points. Imagine getting an extra life in the Super Smash Flash 2 game if you finish your term paper.

The biggest challenge once this became popular would probably be working on ways to keep people from gaming the system. Because whatever system is out there for rewards, people will be looking to game it.

What are your thoughts on this type of marketing cross-promotion?

Original Article: Here’s Why Harrison Barnes Always Gets in his Steps Before Sitting Down to Play