Questions & Responses

Question: As a mother, how do you discuss with your children the best way to handle a difficult teacher?

Dear Reader,

Oh, those difficult teachers...

I have 3 kids, 18, 16, and 11. We have had our share of challenging teachers.

I will never forget the day my 3rd grader came out of the school on the last day of school, stuffing back the tears because of the very challenging teacher that he had been assigned. It was so heartbreaking.

I responded with, "Don't you worry. You are a good kid. Just because others before you had a problem, doesn't mean that you will. You are going to put your head down, work hard, and do your best. Let's give the teacher a chance."

And he did. And if you ask him today, who one of his best teachers was, he will reply, with the name of that teacher.

So much is about attitude. I am a big believer in coaching the kids on attitude. This starts with your example as their parent. Staying positive despite what others may have said about the teacher at hand. Going in with an open mind. Speaking in the positive, rather than the negative.

I also talk to my kids about understanding where their teacher is coming from. Maybe the teacher had a bad morning, maybe things aren't going well in their life or there is a health issue. Try to understand that the bad attitude of the teacher is probably not about them, the student, but instead might be about themselves, the teacher. If that is the case, don't own it, water off of a duck's back. Be the best person you can be and let it go.

I also preach to my kids that a difficult teacher or person in their life is training. There will be many more difficult people in your child's life that your child will need to learn to navigate, this difficult teacher will actually be helpful in teaching some very important relationship survival mechanisms.

The bottom line, give love and help your child navigate. Coaching that getting mad, angry, combative does no good, it might just escalate things.

Always be a role model to your child, show a good attitude, support, and positive communication. As parents, we are the greatest teacher that our children will ever have. Step into those shoes and be responsible.

With love,

Question: Kate, how do you stay active? You write about stacking wood and working outside as a kid but how do you stay active now with a desk job and 3 kids?

Dear Reader,

Thank you for reaching out about this.

It's really hard to find the time to stay active and workout, yet so necessary for my sanity, despite the struggle to keep up the routine of it.

That is one key though, ROUTINE. Think about your day, and when it makes the most sense to fit it in. And then commit to it. Put it in the calendar, remind the people in your life that the time is yours and necessary to keep you happy. For me, the most realistic, untouchable time is at 5 am. It's a stinker, I won't try to sugar coat it. The other key to this is ACCOUNTABILITY. I am an absolute bear in the early morning but I managed to find 2 other people who work out with me--and put up with my sour, early morning mood. (Thank you, Dan and Ken). They keep me accountable. It's magic. Pretty much we all complain every morning about it, but getting on the zoom call is like getting us to the table, and we might as well workout since we all got dressed and out of bed.

Success comes from the schedule, 5 am Monday through Friday--7 am on Saturdays and my 2 workout partners. Without them, I would have quit long ago or been more haphazard all over the boards.

I am personally committed to staying active, every day. If you don't move, your body will decline. Get to it! You got this!

With love,