Thursday, February 21, 2008

Building Blocks for Character

Positive Character is not something that a child is born with, it has to be taught. Children are constantly learning. They learn when we sit down and teach them, and they learn by watching others. Every influence they are exposed to has an impact, whether they observe their parents calmly discussing issues in the household, or they sit in front of the television watching violence. These influences shape their character.
As adults, we learn that to be successful in life we have to have mulitfacetted characters. WE don’t treat our spouses like we do our coworkers and we don’t treat our coworkers the same as we treat our friends. We must work to help our students apply these principles to their own lives now to begin to prepare them for a successful future. Many times a young person will tell you that acting respectful isn’t part of their character that they’d feel phony.
We have to remind them that there persona has to be multidimensional in order to make it in life. They can’t treat their mothers and fathers the way they do their friends on the street or they wouldn’t have a successful relationship with their parents, the same in school they shouldn’t treat their school time as they would their time in the streets, or they won’t have a successful chance at an education.
Self- Control... Honesty... Respect. These are all character traits that must be learned, we all know what kind of world we live in... but they can live in a better world.
It is so important to establish a foundation for excellence by teaching right from wrong and positive ways to deal with conflict in our lives. It is a given that every child born will face conflicts and have to make choices on a daily basis. If we can give them the tools they will need to be able to weigh their choices and choose to act in a positive manner, then they will have that foundation to be upright, moral citizens in the societies of tomorrow.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Connecting with our teens

These days, teens are growing up in a digitized and exciting ad world where bands promotes their iPods, McDonald's gets them to see Star Wars and an EverQuest II video game delivers them Pizza Hut. But with all these branded entertainment campaigns, what's working and what is doomed to turn off the savvy teen today?

1. Know what's hot.Teens are passionate about the following: Electronics and entertainment; iPod accessories; Target, the place to be seen; NetFlix, which is gaining momentum over Blockbuster; "American Idol", the only must-see TV show for teens.

2. Pick music over film any day. Music is something that does not have a shelf life of three weeks. Looking at music versus films, films are great, but there is a buzz about a film for three weeks and then it goes away. The buzz about an album that can last for a year or more.

3. Turn off the TV. TV is something that is in the background for teens as they are IM'ing with friends or doing other things. TV is "there" and present, and is something they pay attention to, but it does not define who they are.

4. Get into their social networks. 89% of the 200 kids surveyed by Buzz Marketing Group said they were fine when friends send them info about products through "My Space", but on the flip side, 92% of them were not fine when advertised to directly on "My Space".

5. Integrate causes that matter. Cause marketing is very important to teens. They care about changing and improving the world for the better.

6. Let them explore and discover. Wells calls teens the "Google Generation" because "Google" is more than a search to them. It's a window to things that they may not have gotten to so easily before.

7. Give them the tools to customize and document. Young people are really big on owning their own universe, being able to document it and share it with friends, which is why uploading photos or writing music are big trends.

8. Keep them communicating and connecting. Teens are creating their own community or "pods," as they're called. Instead of just having a big group of trendy friends, young people exist in their own "pods," mixing and mingling.

9. Find them on their cell phones. Since teens are on their cell phones more than ever, you can move a lot of her traditional research practices to cell phone based.

10. Be funny, cool and on the Internet. The company called "Myspace" is a great example. Teens sent its sites around to their friends right away, because it was the funniest thing they had seen.