DANIEL PATTERSON

Academic advisor, teen advocate, writer, parenting coach, husband & father.

 
 
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5 Ways To Win as a Dad While Still Being a Boss.

There you are...a paragon of success. Gainfully employed. Grinding through a career and well-appointed reality.

 
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4 Unhealthy Norms of Parenting Teens

Poppin’ Bottles

Many parents allow their teens to consume alcohol. Commonly, this is based on a skewed logic pattern that allowing said consumption will make the teen “better” at drinking alcohol in college.

 
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When Parenting Teens, Simplify the Game.

Know When to Hold’em. 

Parents engage in two types of games when managing their teens: Texas Hold’em and Go Fish. The methods, like the games themselves, are vastly different and produce significantly opposite results.

 
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What The Finsta?! The Darker World Of Teenagers And Instagram

Finsta: noun; a fake (or second) Instagram account, primarily used to hide scandalous and overtly sexual behavior, cultivate an alter ego, and function with anonymity to troll peers.

 
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Leveraging Communication with Your Child(ren)

You might not realize that a T-Rex and Jesus have anything in common; according to my daughter, they do. More on that in a minute.

 
 

Free-Range Parenting: The Unintended Consequences

The concept of free-range products and branding is spectacularly successful in the culinary world. I must admit I appreciate and buy into the concept of free-range in that arena; however, I do not support the concept of free-range parenting as a parental strategy or approach. Free-range parenting exists when a child’s needs are provided in-excess of typical freedoms and entitlements (in either scope or sequence), typically both.

 
 

Cracking The Glass Ceiling Of Teenage Mental Health

Preface: Four months ago I joined a club no one wants to join; I lost someone to suicide. Upon impact, the loss transformed my typically gregarious affect into a silent one, exuding the kind of silence you hear after a concert: muffled, fuzzy, dull. But behind that silence was a voice urging me to translate my life-altering pain into meaning. Even so, I found myself unable to turn ambition into action. And then, like the hand of God nudging me, I received a Twitter message from Rachel, a woman who came across an article of mine on social media. Her message read, “Hi Daniel. Any interest in writing an article about teenage suicide prevention?” I didn’t know Rachel. I didn’t ask any questions; I said yes.

Here are four ways to change the conversation about teenage mental health:

 
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5 Steps Closer To A More Resilient Teen

There’s a picture currently going viral; a simple sign taped to the door of a school in Arkansas. It reads, “Stop! If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.” While extremely blunt, the sign accurately summarizes a growing frustration in education: the saturation of overly-involved high school parents.  These parents regularly meddle in, fix, engineer and master-mind their teens’ daily lives.  They intercept teachable moments from the hands of their children thereby preventing the acquisition of a much-needed life skill: resiliency.

 
 

When C’s Are the New A’s

Preface

Resilience is not something you can order off Etsy or Amazon Prime; it is old fashioned; it doesn’t accept credit cards and must be earned in an uphill both ways in the snow sort of way. Resilience is not something parents can command children to absorb and utilize; it is a quality, however, that parents must themselves embrace and demonstrate when children exhibit long stretches of uninspiring, unattractive and historically uncharacteristic behaviors. 

So how does that play into our fast-paced, fix-me-now framework? Not well.

 
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Second Siblings Need Full Sun

You needed some plants. There you are buying your first plant. Upon purchase, it comes with a tiny white insert in the soil telling you exactly how much water and sun it requires. It even discloses how far to plant it from another plant to optimize growth. You soon discover it needs full sun, plenty of water and as for the spacing...that’s irrelevant as it’s your only one. You love the new plant, it really spruces up your apartment; you water it; and you make sure it has full sun. Soon, it begins to grow; and bloom; and brings you so much joy that low and behold, you want another one. You run to the store to purchase it; it’s slightly different, but close enough. However this time, one innocent yet significant error has occurred: you disregard the plant’s tiny white insert in the soil. You toss it; your other plant has done so well that you think why would I need to read that silly card again?! The second plant is placed directly next to the first; it’s watered similarly, given sun similarly; but it doesn’t grow. Hmmm. What’s wrong with this plant? It’s alive but not thriving; it’s not blooming; it’s meek at best and certainly nothing to brag about. What’s wrong with it? Nothing. The plant’s not the problem; you are. You assumed it was just like the first plant, and it’s not.