#077 Reframing Post-Graduation Success for Struggling Students with Scotti Weintraub Transcript


Lisa Marker Robbins 00:39

As a parent, you may have a dream in your mind of what your teens post high school path will look like. And for some families, if their teen begins to struggle during high school, it can feel like that dream is dead. But that doesn’t have to be the case. My guest, Scotty weintrob, believes every kid is amazing and deserves to succeed. She is supports and empowers parents of struggling students to reframe and rethink the road ahead, so that both you and your team will thrive. I’m Lisa Mark Robbins, and I want to welcome you to College and Career Clarity, a flourish coaching production. Let’s dive right in to a great conversation.

Lisa Marker Robbins 01:30

Scotty, welcome.

Scotti Weintraub 01:32

Lisa, it’s such a pleasure to be here today.

Lisa Marker Robbins 01:35

I’m really happy that you’re joining us because I think this is a really common problem. And I also know that for families who are dealing with parents struggling their kids struggling, it can be hard to talk to others about especially other parents. So let’s talk first kind of identify, you talk about like, kids who struggle and I know you really serve kindergarten through 12th grade families that will we’re talking about those that are in high school, and the teens beginning to struggle, what are some of those struggles that you see happening that you support families through?

Scotti Weintraub 02:13

Well, it can be a wide range. As you can imagine, there are a lot of things that have become roadblocks to a teenager as they are. And sometimes it’s that they been having trouble with school academically for the first time, just fine. In elementary school, even in middle school, that’s when the academics start really ratcheting up in terms of difficulty and time spent outside of school that can work, some students start to struggle. Sometimes there are undiagnosed learning disabilities or ADHD that maybe both students have been doing a really good job of finding work on, or masking, that’s a word that we like to use, which just means that you are able to manage it to a certain degree that makes it look like you don’t have a problem.

Lisa Marker Robbins 03:06

Yeah, you know what I also I was a classroom teacher at the junior high and high school level from 91 to 99. So a very long time ago, and a lot has changed in the world and in education. But one of the things that I always noticed was when kids are younger, elementary and middle school, there’s a lot of help of loving teachers who just want to help and support and they’re doing helps that are not necessarily dictated by Oh 504 or an IEP just out of the goodness of their heart. And then when kids get to high school, it’s not that the high school teachers are heartless, but they’re no longer maybe on a team or a co teaching team. And they’re not getting as much of that, in that sometimes then when the stuff starts to pop out, like the problem was already there

Scotti Weintraub 03:55

that they had support. Right? Yeah, they were getting the informal accommodations that they need them to succeed. And I think you’re right that I don’t think high school gyms are doing it in a negative way. But they had a lot of students and you see these new students every hour or hour know what your schedule looks like. And so that can be difficult just to juggle all of those different kids have their different needs. Whereas, you know, in elementary school, when a teacher who sees the same students every day that lends itself to the teacher also knowing the student more intimately knowing what they need and helping meet that more naturally, that can be a struggle in high school. I think actually, by the time students get to high school, sometimes there is a natural expectation that a student should be at a particular level in terms of self management, time management, yeah, executive functioning, but soon students just are not there yet. And I always like to say that just because they’re not there yet. doesn’t mean they weren’t there. They just might not be there at the moment. So I think the key is really trying to meet consider that instead of expecting them to be where their friends are, or some of their peers happen to be. Yeah,

Lisa Marker Robbins 05:16

you know, I had a previous guest on and we had talked about, like the difference between being college capable in college ready. And, you know, that’s a big difference, because they are going to leave our homes. My youngest is a senior in college now, and they’re going to leave our homes and have to be out there doing all that self management. So when you see a falling apart in high school, then I know a lot of parents just start to go like, we’re not going to be able to do this. Yes,

Scotti Weintraub 05:47

I think that there’s panic, even Yeah, worry. But also panic. You see in high school, you see that runway driving shorter and shorter. And if your child is not ready to apply to college, for instance, or isn’t doing the independent research that they need to do, that can be a little disheartening. I think it’s important, though, to keep in mind that, as I mentioned, before every kid comes to it at their own timeline. I’ve learned this one the hard way, my, my 17 year old has always been the kid who will do things on his own timeline. So trying to rush that is in our family. But it’s also that, you know, we are not at floats. And so, while our timelines are different, I was starting, our challenges are not the same as our individual kid. So if we can kind of put ourselves in the backseat, and look at who they really are, I think that helps. It helps me as a parent, I think it helps a lot of people to gain that perspective.

Lisa Marker Robbins 06:57

So would you say like, when a family who you’re working with to support them, and kind of you’re reframing things, is that where do you start? Like, what is a good place for our families who are listening? Who don’t have the blessing of working with you right now? Or maybe they will in the future? But if you were just talking to somebody who said, you know, what would you encourage them to do first, when they’re starting to have all those feelings come up? Because there’s teams starting to struggle, and there’s so much uncertainty, what was your first piece of advice?

Scotti Weintraub 07:29

I think my first piece of advice is to try to, to my own feelings out of the equation. Ah, so hard. It is very, very difficult. I’m not saying it’s easy. But I think that that’s really the heart of what gets people tripped up. That if they find the following way through, that’s in parallel with their child, and they’re gonna have a really hard time. So the first piece is really just taking a deep breath, knowing that everyone is great, and smart, and capable. And that the, whatever that path looks like may be different than what you want, or you had, those are difficult things.

Lisa Marker Robbins 08:11

They aren’t what I liked that you just said, every kid’s smart, because I have three kids, and then into bonus kids. And I would say all five of our kids are smart in very different ways. And academically, intuitively, like hands on problem solver, take things apart, put them together mechanical, technical, and then emotionally intelligent and competitive. I mean, those are three different ways that my own three who are wildly different from one another, there’s, which is usually the case for most families, that they’re all smart in different ways. And I think a lot of times society, particularly when our kids are in high school, we’re defining it, especially when we’re trying to get into college for those that are college bound. And not all my kids went to college. But it was the focus is so much on the academic success in the getting in, that it can be easy to lose sight of other intelligences.

Scotti Weintraub 09:18

Yes, I think that is very true. And our high schools, I think do a good job of routing people to these academic opportunities, which, but they’re not the only opportunities. And what I like to talk to my kids about too, is really leaning into your child’s strengths. So leading with those conversations. I know sometimes when we have hard conversations with teachers, for instance, it can be a lot of negativity. And kids who struggle in school get a lot of negative trends in their direction. So how can we help them find what their strengths are so we can lean into those

Lisa Marker Robbins 10:00

So let’s talk about that whole, like difficult conversations with teachers sometimes because so your kid starts to struggle. And maybe you’re called in? Or maybe you reach out to have a conversation. Do you have some advice? Via we’ve talked about like reframing just our thinking, right, focusing on our mindset. But do you have any advice to parents? Like, how do you navigate those types of conversations with the school?

Scotti Weintraub 10:31

I think starting with positivity is a great first step. Too often, those kind of meetings can become negative, or focus too much on the challenges that the child is having, where you might want to try to highlight what things they are doing well, and how does that inform how we address the challenges. So if, for instance, the student is having a hard time turning things in on time, we can identify them, they’re really good when they have a deadline. For instance, maybe the child needs more support, and suddenly, okay, so they’re good with the deadline. So we focus on that piece, rather than well, they can turn anything in on time and just throw our hands up. So we’re trying to kind of narrow down to where are the pieces that things are going, Okay, we’re going well, and how do we highlight those to help me whatever it is in that moment.

Lisa Marker Robbins 11:29

I love that, you know, it’s in my college major and career coaching course, we use the Berkman personality assessment. And it is rooted in positive psychology. And, you know, one of our reports in the course, is your strengths. And it’s literally going through step by step like your strengths. And it’s, we don’t have a report called your weaknesses. Because, frankly, when it comes to positive psychology, we don’t think it’s not Oh, that’s a strength. And that’s a weakness is just, I

Scotti Weintraub 11:59

always say it just is right. And some people just like, I would just went through my three kids or, you know, let’s just say somebody’s more extroverted, they might excel in sales in relationship building. That doesn’t mean if you’re more introverted, that that’s a weakness is best, your strength is being introverted. So I love that idea of really, I mean, it sounds like if you’re going to take that strategy with these school meetings, you’d really need to get your mind right first, and reframe the stuff as well. Yes, that would definitely be my suggestion. And then in terms of just in the meeting, I think, leading also with a feeling of collaboration, too often those meetings with teacher and so on traders, or whomever in the school, and feel adversarial. And so if we, as parents come to it with a, how can we best help my students, because ultimately, that’s our, our goal is always for the child to succeed. So if we keep that goal in mind, that’s our number one goal. But then to succeed, whatever that looks like for them, it’s enter into our relationship with teachers. And with that some mindset, I’m here to support my child, how can we together help them that through this challenge, and I think that goes a long way in terms of collaboration, and getting teacher buy in on whatever the child’s just to see them as your partners and not an adversary. So sometimes, you know, while

Lisa Marker Robbins 13:34

this is going on, whether it’s academically or something else, actually, as we’re speaking, I’m going to link to a previous podcast episode that was about you know, where there’s disciplinary action taken for your child, and it’s by an independent college counselor who helps families where their kid actually like, they might have gone to, you know, teen jail, or, you know, or they got in big trouble at school and were expelled, which could be one of the issues that you’re helping people with as well, where she focuses more on that you’re more of like, okay, helping the parents on reframing and redesigning things. So I’m going to link to that one, because I think these two are related. But sometimes the whatever it is, is big enough that it starts to derail that dream of what was going to come BAM mediately after graduation. So let’s talk about kind of reframing that in this. I love your approach, again, of being positive and collaborative. What are your suggestions to families who all of a sudden maybe their timelines disappearing, and it’s not going to happen?

Scotti Weintraub 14:46

Well, I think my first thought would be the best thing to as parents recognize that the timeline as we saw before, the timeline might be unique. And if now it’s not the time, which say, as the next step But that doesn’t mean I will happen. It just means that right now is not the right. So it’s again, sort of a mindset shift, but also opening up yourself to the idea of opportunity. So if that timeline is not doubling what happens that your child goes immediately to college or for your school, or whatever you had in your mind? What, what are other options, that lean into those strengths that allow them to gain experience, that maybe aren’t academic, maybe there are opportunities there. And that might allow them time, maturity, that comes with time experience. So there’s learning to be had or all sorts of different environments, I think that’s another really important to keep in mind that learning doesn’t have to equal classroom learning, or rate. Let’s

Lisa Marker Robbins 15:53

dig into that a lot of it because I agree, you know, sometimes people will say to me, one of the frequently asked questions when people are considering enrolling in my college major and Career Clarity course is, can this work for and the, the, like, different lists that I get as my kid isn’t going to college? Or my kid isn’t sure if they’re gonna go to college? My kids already in college, my kids neurodivergent, my kid already graduated. And the reality is, and I wholeheartedly agree with you like, as adults, we’re all going to work right? So we go to school, 16,000 hours kindergarten through 12th grade, yes, I’ve had in any, is how many? Okay, so what you just said, you’re like, Oh, nobody can see you, because we’re on video. But Scotty, like touched your chest when Oh, my gosh, that’s a lot. Man, the average adult works 95,000 hours and their working life. So the reality is whether we have hit some bumps in the road in high school, whether it’s, you know, academically or as I said in Hannah’s previous episode, it was disciplinary, whether we’re neurodivergent, whether we’re college bound or not college bound, everybody needs to love and thrive in that future path. And so what you just hit there is essential when that goes along with this 95,000 hours, there are different types of learning. And maybe we’re at a point where a different type of learning needs to take place, so that we can eventually get to what we love,

Scotti Weintraub 17:29

and where will thrive. Yes, absolutely. I think that a different kind of learning can be very, very valuable, especially for kids who struggle in school, because they often feel very unsuccessful, and not confident in their ability to learn and grow. Because they’re getting a lot of negative feedback, sometimes for some kids, repeatedly for many, many years. So to give them an opportunity that better fits their learning style, or their interests is a place where they can shine and grow in their own way.

Lisa Marker Robbins 18:08

Is there like when you talk about these different experiences where they can get a win? Are there any examples you have of something to maybe plant some ideas for some parents about what could possibly be like a quick web? Because I know, as you’re saying that I’m thinking the kid who like their teachers are on them. Maybe their parents have been on them, some dreams maybe are dying, or at least pause has been hit. We don’t want something that takes so long to get success that it feels like it’s you know, they’re not getting that. So any ideas for like quick wins for kids who maybe are in this space? Well,

Scotti Weintraub 18:48

I think that fabs are a great place for kids who have potentially struggled in school. And I’m not personally wed to any particular kind of job, I just think having a job. And then it’s no my teen who struggles at school. He loves working, doesn’t really love the actual work itself. But he loves the independence. And he loves having a paycheck and feeling that go to work, and you do the work and then warded for it is a huge boost of self confidence for him. So jobs I think are great. But there are also lots of other alternative opportunities, even post graduation for students back years. I know you’ve done a couple of episodes about gap years, and I think the app years are a great opportunity.

Lisa Marker Robbins 19:33

We’ll link to those episodes in the show notes because it’s because both of those episodes well one of them was a solo and one of them was with a gas but we just brainstormed ideas. So I think it could help build on what you’re saying. Exactly. Whether you whether you ever go to college or not. It gives great ideas to like what can BAM happen right after graduation.

Scotti Weintraub 19:52

So just to add to that my websites are always gravel volunteering I think volunteering is also agreeing with us to make an impact and feel good about yourself. And that can look like even doing something in your own community. So volunteering at the Humane Society or the food bank, there are endless opportunities. You can find or doing volunteering. There are programs that have housing, where you can go to spend a month, a few weeks, doing something to help others can also help boost that self esteem and really allow people to shine

Lisa Marker Robbins 20:31

that is so true. Like it helps us to not focus on ourselves. And sometimes we see through those see people who are like, Oh, perspective on what struggle really is, I want to say something about the job piece as we’re wrapping it up, sometimes. I think the college bound folks are so focused on the high value extracurriculars and things like that. And they start to think that colleges will frown upon their kid going out and working. And the reality is, some kids have to work to help support the family. And colleges do not frown on having a job. So I love that as a starting place. Like whether it’s volunteering, or paid work, that can be a really quick win where they’re feeling good about themselves.

Scotti Weintraub 21:17

Yes. And if our goal is to raise or being successful adults, that’s our end goal of all of our parents and like think giving them a place where we can throw them out something they’ve done when school which is where they spent all those 1000s and 1000s of hours, doesn’t own start are big to them. We want them to feel successful. I agree.

Lisa Marker Robbins 21:37

Well, Scotty, lots of great nuggets and their parents, you know, one of the things I hear as we’re wrapping this up is like you gotta take care of yourself to to reframe what’s going on between your two ears in your mind. So if families need extra support, I know you’ve got resources and whatnot. How can they stay in touch with you, Scotty?

Scotti Weintraub 21:59

Oh, thanks. Yes, they can reach me you can send me an email. I promise I’ll respond to it. It’s definitely SC o tt i at reframe parenting, mom. And I have a freebie available that might be of interest to some folks here. It’s a summer parent discovery guide, and it sort of backs do a couple of reframes. I alluded to a couple of them in this episode, but and then helps people do some of that taking talent and thinking about it as a strength. And then using that information to communicate with teachers to have a more successful school year next year. But you could also use that information in a lot of other ways. So you can find that website, reframe. parenting.com/grammar.

Lisa Marker Robbins 22:45

Okay, where you frame parenting.com, and I’m sure they can email you from there, and you’ll reply to their emails. I will. Okay, thanks, Scotty. Thanks, Lisa.

Scotti Weintraub 22:56

It’s been really fun.

Lisa Marker Robbins 23:03

If you’re still listening by this point in the episode, you likely have a team who has struggled in one way or another, and you might be feeling down unsure about what comes after high school, and what to do next. For my college bound challenge this week, I encourage you to write a list of your team’s strengths. This will remind you that you all are going to be okay. Then share that list with your team. It might just be what they need to hear to boost their confidence and help change their path and outlook. Throughout this episode, I mentioned previous episodes that might be helpful to families who have hit some bumps in the road during high school and are trying to figure out what comes next. We’ll link to all of those in the show notes. If today’s episode was helpful and encouraging to you, please share it with a friend who may benefit to sharing following the podcast rating and reviewing helps us resource more students to launch into a successful future. Thank you for listening to the College and Career Clarity podcast where I help your family move from overwhelmed, confused to motivated, clear and confident about your team’s future.