How to Parent Kids Who Love to Game

I met with a boy of 13 years the other day. He was sweet and smart, but sad and sullen. He told me about his love for gaming and his struggles with the pursuit of screentime. “They [my parents] never let me play and when I do they just hate it.”

I looked at this boys school work and his weekly schedule. Everything he was doing was for someone else. Not one activity spoke to him or made him excited. The soccer team was awful, the art class was painful. His English and history courses were ‘total drags’. This child spent about 95 if not 99% of his time engaging in work and activity which did not tap into his passions or strengths. Furthermore, he struggled to connect with kids and make friendships. The kids he spent time with loved to make soccer goals and As on papers. He loved to code and level up and problem solve. …

How to Ace Your School-Aged Parenting Gig.

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About 70% of my time at work is spent talking with parents answering questions about their children’s academics. If there is one thing I know for sure it is that getting a child through PreK through College these days requires a modern set of parenting skills and resources.

Here is a quick list of those skills and some my favorite resources.

Know What to Pay Attention To

Too often I encounter parents who have children who are challenged in some aspect of their education. Some students may be struggling to maintain a high level of stamina in reading, and other students do not fully understand the foundations of writing or math. …

Can we do better than this piece of advice?

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I was at a parent workshop at my son’s school this morning — the topic of the workshop was ELA and NYS Math Test Preparation. In New York City, testing is quite important and in grade four the results determine middle school admissions. We happen to attend good public school and during the truly wonderful display of strategies and question types, the teachers arrived at a slide which told us parents what to do at home.

First on the list? “Don’t stress,” the teacher said quite seriously. …

How to make the most of your learning experience.

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The average high school student has one to two assessments per week.

The average high school student has at least one assessment per week. Studying smart becomes a necessity, but many students are not sure of the best way to go about studying. The following are some tried and true study strategies you can use to improve your learning experience.

Be Organized.

Gather all of the material you need to know. Take information from class notes, textbooks, homework assignments and quizzes and write it all down in a document. Organize it into categories.

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Spend time organizing the information you need to learn.

Be Informed.

Ask your teacher what the format of the test will be. If it is “fill in the blank,” then, anticipate questions using that format. If there will be short answer questions or an essay, you’ll want to create some hypothetical questions based on your content which allows you to practice answering these types of questions. …

How your relationships and emotional well-being affect everything.

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I was counseling a family last week about their son whose grades had dipped below grade level. He is a capable student; his testing showed strengths in all academic areas and functioning, so we were there to uncover why he was not meeting his potential. In reading the classroom observations made by the guidance counselor, one particular observation struck a chord with me. A friendship between this boy and another one was characterized as “distracting.” I dug into this social piece and discovered that his friend communicated negatively about schoolwork, enjoyed being distracted from the work, and was often pulling this student toward making poor decisions. As an experiment, I asked the parents to inquire about moving their child into a different class, just for a trial period of a few months. The school complied with their request, and the move was made. It was not long before we saw changes in the student. His affect, his work ethic, and his motivation improved. Slowly, his grades improved and we determined that space between these two individuals was helpful for both of the students. …

Life hacks for parenting thriving children

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I am always looking for ways to improve the lives of students. I can’t walk into a classroom or a home without doing so. I have been privileged to be working in the field of education for the past twenty years. I became a Certified Special Education teacher in the late 1990s, right out of NYU, and since then I have problem solved and have figured out how to change instruction to reach all kinds of learners. I taught in New York City public schools, the private (Independent) schools, and acted as a field supervisor at Hunter College for special education graduate students. I have worked privately with families for about a decade. All of these experiences, and my insatiable appetite for learning how to improve the experiences for parents and children contribute to the ideas I’m about to share. …

How to find it and how to teach our kids to have it.

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No one can develop intrinsic motivation but you — think of it as your own personal map.

As part of my role at EEC, I hire educators from all over the world who wish to work here. I just got off the phone with one — a very capable teacher with years of experience. When I asked her what she was interested in doing with us, she gave me some numbers. The number of students she wanted to work with, the number of hours she has to work, and her pay. There was no lively banter about students she wished to help or her interest in whole child education. She was lovely. …

The power of emotional wellness for our children.

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When students have an understanding of their emotions and coping strategies, the tough times are controlled and powerful, not chaotic and disruptive.

Emotions are tricky and complicated. Many adults are still working on dealing with our own feelings, and it can be challenging to understand how to help our children to have coping skills for their emotions. And yet, emotional well-being is an essential cornerstone to a child’s ability to thrive in school. Families can use the following tactics to develop emotional health at home with their children.

Develop an understanding of emotions. What are the possible emotions and how does one look and act when feeling each one? For older children, families can talk about what people may feel in various situations. This is a helpful activity for teenagers because it allows them to gain perspective. …

How can we teach our children to have balance?

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Living in balance helps us to create a thriving generation

Each year, I spend over 2000 hours working with educators and families applying a whole child philosophy to providing school support. In layman’s terms, that means I educate kids while also promoting the growth of their whole self. A child who is learning math, for instance, needs to have enough sleep, proper meals, study skills, social time, and exercise in order to achieve his best. Balance of life is a key cornerstone to the work I do.

When I speak with parents about their goals, often they wish for their children to achieve greatness in academics. They love to get report cards with As and glowing comments of praise from their children’s teachers. …


Mary Miele

Founder of The Evolved Education Company; Learning Specialist & Education Consultant

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