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2

5 College Majors that are Useless . . .

college students

A recent article slammed a few majors as being useless degrees.  The next two links will take you to the article and a thoughtful challenge.

The Article

5 Useless College Majors – Bright Futura

www.brightfutura.com1/19/12

 Useless College Majors. By Terence Loose at Yahoo. If you’re considering going back to school in hopes that you’ll graduate to more opportunities, there

 The Challenge

Yahoo’s ‘College Majors That Are Useless’… Really?

I have a bit of a different take coming from my experience with three college kids (and two on the way), along with Jody (Masters degree) and my own (Doctorate) taste of education.

My son Tripp has a degree in Studio Art from the University of Texas in Austin.  He is currently a consultant to a governmental policy think tank, employed to convert research into a systems analysis (uses a program called Mathematica).

HUH?  Art to Systems?

Well, sure!  Is the point to get a degree or get educated?  I’m convinced it is to get educated.  Remember, education is the acquisition of the utilization of knowledge…and, once you know how to learn, you can learn anything.

Of course, some degrees are not as immediately employable as others, but the last time I checked, around 85% of graduates are no longer in their ‘field of study’ ten years after graduation!

If the real value is in learning how to learn, then don’t you think motivation and effort will make a difference?  Every student who studies a major she hates (and is likely not designed for) will probably not do well.  I’ll take a student who loved his subject and produced results over a student who muddled through in a ‘good’ major.  The reason is that after it is all said and done…a skill(s) remains.  It is that skill that is employable (a good attitude helps too) since almost every job requires much training AFTER getting hired.

Surely we can notice that no one leaves college fully equipped to do any well paying job…no, no one.

If you pay attention life will learn you a thing or two (sorry…grew up in Alabama 😉  Specifically, life will learn you that you do not know the future.  Why not do well with what you enjoy and see what God might blossom over time?

And, Mom and Dad…why not cheer for your kid’s pursuit of learning…wherever it may lead?

They will love you for it!

 

Fred Lybrand

Leave your thoughts below 🙂

Are We Over-Correcting Our Children?

This just happened…and, as the news goes, this is the kind of strange exception to love and nurture in parenting.  News about good parents doesn’t sell, of course.

2 Charged in Death of Alabama Girl Forced to Run

Authorities say 9-year-old Savannah Hardin died after being forced to run for three hours as punishment for having lied to her grandmother about eating candy bars. Severely dehydrated, the girl had a seizure and died days later. Now, her grandmother and stepmother who police say meted out the punishment were taken to jail Wednesday and face murder charges.

We do not know the story, so caution is appropriate (is mom bi-polar, etc.?).  On the other hand, we do know that a nine-year-old is dead as a direct result of being punished (assuming the article is telling the truth).  Clearly this is awful.  We are all grieved.  We are tempted to wonder what kind of monsters would do this to a child.  We also could pause to realize that these two women are surely devastated by their role in her death and the loss itself of their baby.  Do you really think they would have done something so foolish if they had known the result?

Are you ever monstrous yourself?  Do you ever over correct?  Never correcting a child is a cure for the above, however the devastation of raising and un-caged ruffian is similarly tragic.  There is hope.

Here are a few basic guidelines that will help you stay clear of trouble while parenting well.

1.  Recognize that most habitual behavior in children is learned and operates by cause-and-effect / reward-punishment-consequences

Proverbs 29:12 says, ” When a leader listens to malicious gossip,    all the workers get infected with evil. ” (the Message).  Another way we say this is that what gets rewarded gets done.  Behavior is encouraged…so, look at both the good and bad happenings in your younger children as a matter of what you are teaching them by what you pay attention to.

2.  Use BOTH reward & punishment as often as you can (every single time is OK)

Almost magically, using both reward and punishment forces you to see the real objective and the real issues.  If sneaking candy is an issue, then how could it be discouraged and how could waiting for candy be encouraged?  This kind of thinking helps lead to the real goal of responsible eating.  Isn’t this why dessert comes after the meal.

3.  Make sure the ‘punishment’ fits the violation.

Really…a 3 hour run for eating candy?  Even if it was a lot of candy, the punishment is out of bounds…horribly so.

Strangely, the Golden Rule works out really well here.  Do unto others…would you really have wanted your parents to leave you alone and not correct anything you did?  Really?  Just on language, my parents kept making me pronounce words correctly…which is very handy since I don’t live in Alabama these days 🙂  On the other hand, would you really have wanted your parents to treat you like you treat your kids?  Is the punishments they receive from you the kind of thing you feel you should have had?  Well, perhaps you get the point.

This event is a tragedy…but it doesn’t prove a thing about parenting.  It does, however, call us all to greater clarity and wisdom.

Blessings,

Fred Lybrand

P.S.  Please pass this along if you’ve found it helpful.  Also, our free book on how to encourage the behavior you want to see is available for free at: Help Your Child Change

2

Jesus was not an altruist, so why would you teach your kids to be one?

Jesus was not an altruist

What is Altruism?

Well, as of today when I checked, Merriam Webster claims:

Altruism is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 83rd most popular word on Merriam-Webster.com.

And, it’s defined as…

 Altruism: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others

Pretty big kudos, true?  And, of course, it is incredibly appealing to the idealism of youth (and the hope of heaven). How wildly noble it is to think of other instead of oneself.  The problem is rather simple…is this really possible?  Can anyone really think of other without regard to oneself?

Webster’s adds a few examples, among which we find:

Mary may have ample resources and prefer that her share pass to her children who have greater need and are in lower income tax brackets.
(The progressive nature of our tax laws often fosters such altruism among family members.)
—William M. McGovern, Jr. et al., Wills, Trusts and Estates, 1988

Of course, there isn’t enough information, but was it really unselfish?  Really?  Was she not leaving a legacy or helping her children to avoid later family conflicts?  Was she hoping that they would appreciate what she was doing?  Are the motives purely and perfectly loving?  Really?
No, we don’t know for sure…but it is easy to imagine that she would have felt bad (been thought of poorly) to keep it to herself.

So, what am I saying?  Is there no such thing as altruism?  Pretty much.  I don’t see how an ideal can be truly fulfilled this side of the perfection of heaven.  Worse yet, it is harmful to our kids because it simply teaches them to pursue an unreachable goal.  Why would we do that?

Now, before you wig out (is that still a hip phrase?), consider the most altruistic person in history: Jesus Christ.

The most altruistic action ever taken was His own death for the world (see John 3:16).

And yet, was it completely without regard to Himself?  Was it truly selfless?

Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

So, even in the incredible sacrifice of the Lord…us with him (and the joy accompanying it) was a part of His motive.  But, wasn’t that good and noble and right?  Of course!

You see, there is no way to escape our own self-interest.  God placed it there.  It is the foundation of the Law and it is the Crown of Grace.  We are all glad God loves those we love, but we are glad-glad that he loves us.  It’s just how it is.

The same goes with parenting effectively…it is there self-interest that helps them choose well.

It is true selfisness that has them choose poorly.  The problem isn’t our self-interest, rather it is that we are often self-interested without considering others too.  We are also self-interested without thinking down the road a little (students want to play right now…but as they mature they forgo playing for study…
because it IS in there own best long-term interest!).

Yes, Philippians 2:3–4 (ESV)

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

The translation is fine…it includes our interests too.

Please re-think this…crazy altruism is distracting our youth from the realities of life in an imperfect world.

This is a lesson worth the effort!

Blessings,

Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand

P.S.  I’d love your thoughts below.

18 Reasons to Add a Writing Course to Your Education

As a writer, the creator of The Writing Course, and the father of 5 children who write quite well, I can tell you that there are some really good reasons to work on writing. In fact, I can tell you that my own ability to write as been greatly enhance by courses and books.

And too...nothing quite helps like writing itself. Here are my 18 reasons you (or your kids) should add a writing course to your life-learning:​

  1. If you can write well you are ahead of most of the people you’ll ever meet
  2. The ability to write-on-demand (at will) can catapult a college or business career
  3. Once reluctance to write is gone the skill can be learned…which turns out to be true as a great lesson for many areas in life.
  4. Learning to write well usually means readiness for school and job applications, SAT, essay competitions, college applications, etc.
  5. Once a student knows how to write, conflict leaves in this area so schooling and relationships can get a little better. I’d say it this way, “A child feels closer to a mother who isn’t seen as the source of his tears.”
  6. Closeness and family friendship increases with the sharing of written stories
  7. People often can share more honest, and intimate, thoughts in writing than in person
  8. Writing is rightly known as thinking on paper…learning the skill of writing is also training in the skill of clear thought
  9. Writing well tends to improve the ability to read well
  10. Entire career choices (and college majors) can be considered as legitimate options by the one who can write effectively and easily
  11. The skill of writing is actually essential to learning most subjects
  12. Overcoming the fear of writing translates into how to overcome almost any fear
  13. If you think about it, every year thousands of students flunk out of (or quit) school because of the lack of writing skill alone. In other words, if they could write well, they’d still be in school…
  14. Winning your appeal of grades, insurance claims, tax issues, legal matters, etc., are very often dependent on the ability to write clearly and effectively
  15. Writing for oneself (journaling-type activities) have been proved to be incredibly helpful in personal growth…which is what learning by writing is all about
  16. The pen IS mightier than the sword…more power and more protection than learning a martial art
  17. Writing is a great way to ‘good company’ when you are alone
  18. Writers can impact the world by daring to write

Finally, practicing writing is the key. Of course, FEAR is the biggest reason we don't write (or practice). The Writing Course is a powerful study and how we conquered fear as a family in this area...including such things as others' opinions, grammar, spelling, punctuation, how to get ideas, and how to guarantee interestingness, etc.

​Check it out and tell me what you think.

Off to learn,

Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand

Click to Learn About the Writing Course

What Should Your Child Study in College?

So, I’m going to be a lone and stupid voice…but I want to save you all the heartache in life I possibly can.

Tiringly, parents incessantly nag their kids into pursuing careers that they are suited to only mildly, if at that…and mostly because of money. Now, before you think about an exception–just leave it there, it is an exception. The Grand Mistake is Pursuing a Job Path in College as Your Primary Goal.

Here’s the truth—when you check it out, you find that about 85% of Americans are not in the career field they studied (for) within 10 years of graduation. Do you see the problem yet? 100 folks study hard and in 10 years only 15 of them are still in that field (surely engineers are an exception!) The reasons are likely multiple, yet understandable. Industries are dying and rising before our eyes—change-and-retooling is the climate in this increasingly face-paced world. However, another reason is even more likely— most people find out they basically HATE the field they study for! They were young, they looked at where the money was, and they didn’t give ‘what do I want to do / what do I love?’ a second thought.

That’s too bad.

Here’s a different viewpoint. Go get EDUCATED, don’t go get an EDUCATION. What I mean here is something to do with developing a particular skill. The skill is simply ‘learning how to learn’. Just think about it. If you can teach yourself anything then you are ready for everything. Need to retool? No problem. Need to advance your career by learning something? No big deal.

The point of education should really be to learn how to learn. Learning how to learn is the traditional idea behind ‘Liberal Arts’. The word ‘liberal’ in education used to be connected to the words liberty and freedom. Once you have learned how to learn, then you are free to pursue whatever you’d like.

May I tell you the big secret about ‘what to study’–it doesn’t matter. OK, maybe if you are going to be an engineer it will, but for most other things it really doesn’t matter. If your child will study something he loves in college, then he is likely to do pretty well at it…which means he has a shot at learning how to learn (because he was successful). It’s even better if he has the goal of learning how to learn in the curriculum he chooses.

My dad wisely told me to study English (we thought I was going to be a lawyer) because, as he said, if you can read and write you can learn and communicate. What more do you need? Exactly!

My son, Tripp, finished at the University of Texas (Austin) with a degree in Studio Art. People used to ask me ‘what can you do with that’? Nevermind they cool ways artists are used in the design businesses… I simply told them that he loves it and has a goal of learning, not a goal of a particular job. Also, if you learn how to take nothing (blank canvass) and make something (painting)….well, that seems like a pretty sweet skill for the rest of your life. Currently he has been employed to study public policy issues and map the causal loops in systems-dynamics presentations. He’s thinking next is seminary and a Phd across the pond. Not exactly Studio Art (though he has sold a number of paintings).

Again, what does that have to do with art? You’d be surprised! He has learned how to learn.

Focus on learning the skill of learning…you’ll be surprised how valuable (and FUN) that path will become for your student and your life.

Blessings,

Fred Lybrand

………………….

And Jody Added:

I love Fred’s post here. I will confess, when Tripp first wanted to study art I was a bit hesitant. But Fred is right, it is about learning to learn. Tripp has really done well in his job and has very high praises from his boss on how quickly he learns.I was just reading a book on how so many people are so unhappy in the field of work they are in. This book was telling of the importance of finding out what you love, what your good at, what is fulling to you. Not, what jobs are really hot now, what does the family want me to study, what field makes the most money…

Thanks Fred,

 

Jody

5 Magic Questions to Solve Your Child’s Behavior Puzzle

So, it's totally OK to disagree with me here. I'm less prone to think about psychological reasons behavior (largely because they are so hard to prove...and mostly lots of guessing is involved). Instead, we thought in terms of the structures (environment/ rewards / consequences). After watching all of this with 5 children, Jody and I are more convinced than ever that answering these questions (preferable as a couple if there is a couple) gives the real insight:

1. What do I / we see? (current behavior)

2. What do I / we want to see? (future behavior)

3. How am I / we / the environment encouraging what we see?

4. How can I / we / the environment encourage what we want to see?

5. How can I / we / the environment discourage everything else?

I'm not saying that there aren't 'psychological' reasons...but I am saying that children aren't nearly as psychological as they are practical. If you get more attention that you think is 'good' by acting lazy...then you'll probably keep acting lazy.

For example: Cleaning one's room seems to be an issue for many.

We know children can clean their own rooms / space because they ALL learn to do it very well (and very quickly) once they go to Basic Training in the military! Even when they get a job or go to college they start acting better because of the situation. 

There is no real psychology of why they keep their rooms messy. They have a personality and desires that match or don't match a clean room. So, if the environment changes so that 'keeping my room clean' makes sense...pretty much every child on the planet will keep his/her room or space clean!

Don't OVERCOMPLEXIFICATE things! Just answer the questions above together and see if a new solution doesn't fly up from the ashes of despair!

Blessings,



Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand

P.S. I explain this at length in The Absolute Quickest Way to Help Your Child Change (Amazon)





Children Need Quietness

Often we fail to allow time for quiet for our children. Years ago, when Brooks was a little guy, I went and laid on his bed as he was headed to sleep. I find these times good for debriefing the day. After a few minutes of chatting, this little 5 year old said, “Dad, could you please leave me alone now? I have some things I’m thinking about.” Wow!

Margaret Wise Brown, the children’s author, expressed it very well—

In this modern world where activity is stressed almost to the point of mania, quietness as a childhood need is too often overlooked. Yet a child's need for quietness is the same today as it has always been—it may even be greater—for quietness is an essential part of all awareness. In quiet times and sleepy times a child can dwell in thoughts of his own, and in songs and stories of his own.

Margaret Wise Brown
Author 

Reading is quiet...writing is quiet...time before sleep is quiet. Encourage it and you'll see it. All of us need quiet to gather our thoughts, calm our fears, and boost our courage. Mostly, of course, we really are just trying make sense of life every day from childhood to twilight.

Off to learn,

Fred Ray Lybrand​

Relationship Quiz: Is this the Right Person?

Relationship Quiz: Is this the Right Person?

By Fred Lybrand, author of Glaen

www.glaen.com

 

Mark your answers from 1 to 10, with 1 being “No Way” and 10 being “I Think So”

1.     I can easily picture being with this person 10 years from now.

2.     We agree on everything that is really important to me.

3.     We finally solve our conflicts, even if it takes a while.

4.     If this person stays just the same forever, I’ll be pretty happy.

5.     I feel good chemistry with this person at least once a week.

6.     Our closest friends have good relationships.

7.     I believe growing a soul mate is as right as finding a soul mate.

8.     We always give each other the freedom to say “No” without getting in trouble.

9.     I’ve read or listened to a talk to help my relating to others within the past year.

10.    I am sure I would not be the one to call it quits in this relationship.

Add up you points and consider this common sense scale:

90-100   Fantasy Land (please re-take the Quiz with a little less pretending)

75-90     You are as close to a sure bet as it gets in a world without guarantees

55-75     You have a good relationship that would likely blossom with a little work

40-55     You probably need to find some outside help from some wise friends or mentors

25-40     The relationship needs professional help (pastor, counselor, etc.)

<25        The relationship has almost no chance until you change your mind

 

The 3 Must Haves for Successful Relationships

Friends who won’t speak. A husband and wife who are ‘done’ with the whole thing. Co-workers who no longer look each other in the eye. These three have far more in common than you might think.

Every year around Valentine’s Day, we all elevate our thinking about love and friendship to the sublime idea of Romantic Love. More than affection, this kind of love makes are hearts skip and keep our minds distracted. Surely all of us experience this kind of fantastic imaginary ideal at least once in our lives, if not again and again from time to time.   While romance has been romanticized, it is still the fondness and commitment that makes relationships really feel like what they are—a deep connection between two persons. All of these relationships can run aground in the sea of life. The reason for a shipwreck, however, is that what really works in a relationship is neglected.

It isn’t about love languages, or fresh ideas, or even listening (though all of these are fine). Instead, it is at the heart of Glaen’s message and it can be describe by three simple ideas.

At its core, every successful relationship has three essential elements.

1.     The Point

2.     The People

3.     The Price

The Point simply refers to what a relationship is about at its core. It is not about what you can get, what you can give, or how well two people can change one another. The point of a relationship is relating…which means connecting. We use words like bonding and being on the same wave length. In a romantic context it has as its aim a more intense version of connection called oneness. Honestly, the names don’t matter, but the point does. Relationships that work stay on point and they keep connecting together. Fights are division, coolness is distance, and silence is death. The point of connecting together can only happen in real time (that means, right now). Connecting again and again in real time is what builds strength in the bond; be it friendship, romantic love, or to team members pitching in together at work.

The People are the second essential and refers to the influence those around us wield on our lives. Glaen says, “You’ll never be like the people you don’t hang around.” The truth is that you will drift toward the character and interests (on some level) of the people you are in the greatest connection with. This explains why getting new friends distances you from old ones. It also explains why there is a repetition of connecting with one failure after another (sorry for the bluntness). A failure to recognize this plain fact is a step toward the destruction of the relationships you have or want. Sometimes it is uncomfortable because we really need to change, but in fact, starting with a vision for the kind of person you want to be can lead you to find, keep, and grow the relationships you long to have.

The Price for successful relationships is Truth. Yes, it is telling and living the truth. “But the truth about what?” you might ask. The question itself already says you are in trouble! It is the truth as anything (and everything) comes to the forefront. It is the truth about beliefs, and goals, and faith, and politics. Why does Truth matter? Well, the simple fact is that a successful relationship is an authentic connection with another person you’d like to be like (more or less). For that connection to happen, it is absolutely necessary that you are the ‘real you’ and the other person is the ‘real them’ in the relationship. This truth-based being real means that you and they are connecting and relating and growing together as the real thing. As soon as a mask goes up, the game’s afoot. The best you can hope for without truth is a good relationship with someone you don’t really know…which, of course, isn’t a success by any measure.

For more information about Glaen:

A Novel Message on Romance, Love & Relating, visit www.glaen.com.

Friendships, dating, romance, and marriage—it’s all confusing to college grad-student Annie until the day a white-haired stranger appears in her life. Glaen is an unusual professor and unconventional mentor who guides Annie on a path of discovery that unlocks the secrets of real relationships. Annie discovers the mystifying affect of how learning to tell the truth changes everything in friendship, family, and love.   The solutions Dr. Fred Lybrand offers in Glaen book will astound and free you to quit doing the very things that take away your ability to find the love and friendship you want. More importantly, you’ll discover a fresh path to the possibility of greater connections with those you care most about.

Glaen

by

Fred R. Lybrand

 

The Barnabas Agency

February 2010

ISBN: 978-0-578-04652-5

Softcover/171 pages/

Website: www.glaen.com

Blog: www.glaen.wordpress.com

Become a fan of Glaen on Facebook!

 

 

Should We Re-Think What We Teach Our Kids About Altruism?

What is Altruism?

Well, as of right now Merriam Websters claims:

Altruism is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 83rd most popular word on Merriam-Webster.com.

And, it’s defined as…

 Altruism: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others

Pretty big kudos, true?  And, of course, it is incredibly appealing to the idealism of youth (and the hope of heaven).
How wildly noble it is to think of other instead of oneself.  The problem is rather simple…is this really possible?  Can
anyone really think of other without regard to oneself?

Webster’s adds a few examples, among which we find:

Mary may have ample resources and prefer that her share pass to her children who have greater need and are in lower income tax brackets.
(The progressive nature of our tax laws often fosters such altruism among family members.)
—William M. McGovern, Jr. et al., Wills, Trusts and Estates, 1988

Of course, there isn’t enough information, but was it really unselfish?  Really?  Was she not leaving a legacy or helping her children to avoid
later family conflicts?  Was she hoping that they would appreciate what she was doing?  Are the motives purely and perfectly loving?  Really?
No, we don’t know for sure…but it is easy to imagine that she would have felt bad (been thought of poorly) to keep it to herself.

So, what am I saying?  Is there no such thing as altruism?  Pretty much.  I don’t see how an ideal can be truly fulfilled this side of the perfection
of heaven.  Worse yet, it is harmful to our kids because it simply teaches them to pursue an unreachable goal.  Why would we do that?

Now, before you wig out (is that still a hip phrase?), consider the most altruistic person in history: Jesus Christ.

The most altruistic action ever taken was His own death for the world (see John 3:16).

And yet, was it completely without regard to Himself?  Was it truly selfless?

Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

So, even in the incredible sacrifice of the Lord…us with him (and the joy accompanying it) was a part of His motive.  But, wasn’t that good and noble
and right?  Of course!

You see, there is no way to escape our own self-interest.  God placed it there.  It is the foundation of the Law and it is the Crown of Grace.  We are all
glad God loves those we love, but we are glad-glad that he loves us.  It’s just how it is.

The same goes with parenting effectively…it is there self-interest that helps them choose well.

It is true selfisness that has them choose poorly.  The problem isn’t our self-interest, rather it is that we are often self-interested without considering others
too.  We are also self-interested without thinking down the road a little (students want to play right now…but as they mature they forgo playing for study…
because it IS in there own best long-term interest!).

Yes, Philippians 2:3–4 (ESV)

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

The translation is fine…it includes our interests too.

Please re-think this…crazy altruism is distracting our youth from the realities of life on an imperfect world.

This is a lesson worth the effort!

Blessings,

Fred

P.S.  I’d love your thoughts below.

What Get’s Rewarded Gets Done

Maybe what you don’t like happening is your fault. Maybe you are encouraging the wrong
things in your life. Success is clearly about communication, and we communicate
in many subtle ways. It may just simply be that you are communicating to others
that you want THE OPPOSITE of what you really want.

Just ask, “How am I encouraging ______________________?”

What does you mind tell you ?

Great…now think about how to encourage something different. If you only have
creeps coming up and talking to you, change what you are wearing (or where you
go). If only marginal people apply for the job, change the amount you’ll pay and
where you look for employees.

You may get the idea…but you won’t learn it until you practice it!

Blessings,

Fred Ray Lybrand

Thoughts (below)?

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