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How We Learn to Thrive

The Cycle of Growth

How We Learn to Thrive

 It was 2002, and I received the call from Dr. Carroll Rinehart.

"Rinehart here... we're having coffee."

I knew who Carroll was and I was intrigued to be receiving a call from this legendary educator. A contemporary of Fred Rogers, a Lowell Scholar, the Co-Founder of the OMA Foundation, the former Director of Elementary School Music for TUSD, prolific author, and former professor of music education at the University of Arizona. Carroll and I knew of each other, and while I was the Associate Director of Bands at the University of Arizona, the then "retired" Dr. Rinehart hadn't showed any interest in connecting with me. To be fair, I had not showed any interest in connecting with him.

Little did I know that this one cup of coffee would lead to one of most life-changing mentors. 

The Art of the Front Porch

Leaning into Random Conversations

The Art of the Front Porch

When I was a child, our lush, humid Maryland summers often forced me and my family onto our front porch. We had no air conditioning.

My mother had grown up in Baltimore City, with its famous white marble steps, and sitting out on the front porch in the evenings was just what we did. We watched traffic go by, chatted with neighbors out to water their yards, and -- most importantly -- we just talked.


How to create a healthier brain and elevate your energy!


Did you know that you can improve the speed and function of your brain with the kinds of fats and oils you cook with and eat? Well, you can! I have done this for many years and I suggest you keep reading this, and make these simple additions to your daily and weekly routine.

What are the skills that every young person needs?

How can adults (parents, teachers, mentors, etc.) help young people to learn the necessary skills for success in life? While it's true that young people need the care and support from the adults in their life, adults sometimes tend to over-protect their children, to the extent that there is now a meme known as "helicopter parents", which is related to tiger moms, or soccer dads, who are afraid of letting their kids make mistakes.

This parenting style, characterized by a helicopter-like tendency to hover over children (and even teenagers) and swoop in to rescue them at the first sign of trouble, exploded into mainstream consciousness in the early 2000s, just as the oldest millennials were entering young adulthood. This was a time in the culture that was fraught with peril, after events like Sept. 11 and the two economic crashes of 2000 and 2008, where parents had cause for concern over their children's futures.

The worst examples of helicopter parenting include previously unheard-of behaviors like parents attending their adult children's job interviews or calling college professors to argue over a grade. Meanwhile kids emerge from childhood without basic survival skills like how to cook, or clean, or do their own laundry.


While it's true that these parental characteristics generally come from the highly educated middle class or wealthier families with social and financial resources to share with adult children, it's also true that this is an ongoing set of circumstances that may come from many different economic and social backgrounds and that may need to be examined in more detail, if adults are to understand that their over-protectiveness may be stunting the development of young people as they grow into adulthood.

Read on to learn more about this important subject...