The One Thing You Should Want Your Kid to Have for Christmas

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

For kids, the holidays are all about getting what you want: from gifts, to days off of school, to an abundance of sweets.

Unfortunately, what kids want never end up being things that they need.

So this month I went on a search, to find someone that was a master in understanding teenagers and could share with me what our students NEED in order to be successful and happy.

The person I was introduced to was Dr. Laurence Steinberg who is a world renowned psychologist and distinguish professor at Temple University. He has been studying the adolescent brain for over forty years and wrote the book on teen psychology! He has been a guest on Oprah and the Today Show to share his research and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

I sat down with Dr. Steinberg last week and asked him several questions about student success and you would not believe what he shared…

We had a thirty minute conversation and I was able to have it all recorded so that you can be in the know of what it takes to raise successful teenager (Merry Christmas!).

But if I could only break down our conversation into one nugget of advice it would be what he shared to be about why some students succeed when others fail:

“If you’re a parent, the number one thing you would want your child to have is good self-regulation,  the ability to control one’s thoughts, actions and feelings. It is the number one predictor to success in college and the real world.”

If you want your child to graduate from a four-year university or be self-reliant as an adult, your student must have the discipline and perseverance to stay the course even when things get hard.

To continue learning about Dr. Steinberg’s research and how you can help your child improve their self-regulation skills, listen to the full interview!


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