Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Parent's Letter to My Children in School

*A Parent's Letter to My Children in School
*Written by Jeff Thredgold, CSP, President, Thredgold Economic Associates

*To my children…*

With your return to school, I find myself thinking of how much the world has
changed since I was in your shoes. The world is now a much "smaller"
place—people of all cultures can communicate and travel with ease. You face
great challenges today…just as I did…just as my parents before me. These
words of advice might be helpful:
Recognize that the only limits you face are those you set for yourself
"Be the BEST that you can be"
Recognize that YOU are responsible for your successes and failures
You must earn your way
Strive for excellence…not perfection
See the glass as half-full, rather than seeing it as half-empty
Focus on positives, rather than on negatives
Look to praise, rather than to criticize
Look for ways to succeed, rather than excuses to fail
Commit yourself to constant improvement
Understand how important education is to success
School is the key. Technology rules. You need better skills to
Learn what is being taught, but most importantly, learn "how" to learn
Develop other information sources to verify, or challenge, what you are
being taught. "History" is routinely twisted or re-written to support a
particular point of view…get other ideas
Treat teachers, administrators, and fellow students as you would like
to be treated
Be the first to say "Hello"
Develop your mind in school, but also develop other skills and
interests, including music, art, and physical fitness…this is where teamwork
develops its roots
Be a well-rounded person
Resist taking "easy" classes
Dig into math, the sciences, and computers…these form the technical
foundation for future success
Study language
Speak and write English correctly
Appreciate other cultures by learning another language
Be honest in your approach to learning
Resist the temptation to cheat—you only hurt yourself
Develop a keen interest in the outside world
Pay attention to the "news"…the "real" world can be very different from
the student world you live in today
Avoid the temptations of alcohol, smoking, drugs, gangs, and
irresponsible personal behavior
Understand the steps you take today have lifelong implications
Choose your friends wisely
Do what you can to make a teacher's job easier, not harder…teaching is
one of the most important, most difficult, and most underpaid jobs in the
Participate—but don't be a pain!
Be a friend to all. Extend a hand of friendship to all other students,
regardless of race, creed, gender, or color
Make a special effort to be a friend to those less fortunate than you
As you mature and face new challenges, don't hesitate to discuss with
me what is on your mind…you might learn from the mistakes of others

Recognize how LUCKY you are to live and be educated in this great
country. People from around the world are dying every day trying to get
INTO this country…not out
Don't forget to have fun!
School can be a great time in your life
Experience it
Live it
Enjoy it

Many of these suggestions will be useful throughout your life—learn them
well. I wish you the greatest success in your efforts and hope you find
school both rewarding and enjoyable.

* Dad*