By Tim Elmore   I will never forget Halloween in 2015. Just prior to October 31, a group of deans at Yale University sent an email urging students to avoid insensitive costume choices. Three days later, Erika Christakis, the co-director of Silliman (one of Yale’s residential colleges) sent her own email to students. She acknowledged “genuine concerns about cultural and personal representation,”

By Tim Elmore   I spoke to an audience of parents recently and found a common thread among their concerns for their children. One after another shared how their child or teen:  Needed extra attention to complete assignments.  Was easily upset or paralyzed by normal hardships. Hesitated to take on new projects or opportunities.   Struggled to adapt to new situations.   Unfortunately, this is

By Tim Elmore   This is part two of a blog series that began last week by discussing the dopamine addiction felt by many students. To read the first blog in this series, click here.    Last week, I wrote about the fact that we live in a generation that’s addicted to dopamine. We live in a society that loves to “binge” on things

By Tim Elmore   Our kids today are growing up in a world where they can become addicted to happy chemicals. Let me explain. We live in a society that loves to “binge” on things we like. It may be addictions to drugs or alcohol, but it can also be simple pleasures like Netflix, TikTok, or even junk food.   Stanford University research psychiatrist

By Andrew McPeak   If you are lucky on Sunday afternoons on the steps of Central Library on Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, NY, you can watch as one by one, the members of the Luddite Club assemble together. They never know exactly how many members are going to show up because most of them have chosen to give up their smartphones

By Tim Elmore   You’d have to be an ostrich with its head in the sand to miss what’s happened to our country over the last decade. We are polarized on many issues, but chief among them is how to even view our nation: Is America junk or a jewel?   One side of this issue points out how pitifully we’ve handled civil rights,

By Tim Elmore   My friend, Don Yeager, recently attended the National Speakers Association convention. In one of the sessions, an author stood on stage reviewing the content and writing process of his latest book. Eyebrows went up as he revealed the book had actually been written by ChatGPT. He smiled as he shared his journey using artificial intelligence that imitated his

By Tim Elmore   Every year, both the media and social media reveal to us how our culture is evolving. From the shows people watch, to the awards programs people celebrate, to the broadcasts and podcasts people tune into, we have much to learn this year, just by observing the habits of American consumers. I have three observations below based on the

By: Tim Elmore     I see a problem today more often than I’ve seen it in the past. It is a collision between mindsets, both of which are essential. They‘re illustrated in the following story. Several faculty and staff members were asked to participate in a special project at their school. They were to plan a celebration of the decrease in COVID-19 infections on

Generation Z, the youngest population social scientists are studying today, was born about the same time as Reality TV. You might remember the precursor to popular reality television was a 1998 Jim Carrey movie called, “The Truman Show.” It was a film about an unsuspecting man living in an average U.S. town whose entire life was monitored by television viewers,

By: Tim Elmore I remember feeling tangible peer pressure in high school. Friends pushed me to smoke cigarettes and marijuana, drink beer, and be sexually active. This was not uncommon in the 1970s. Culture was morphing from traditional to rebellious as baby boomers and Gen Xers pushed boundaries and listened to their peers over their parents.  While I dabbled a bit in

You may remember the tragic story from last April. A sixth-grader found his dad's 9mm handgun, loaded it with a magazine of bullets, and walked onto his campus at Plymouth Middle School outside of Minneapolis. He positioned himself in a hallway, shot the gun toward the ceiling, and watched fellow students run and scream in terror. His goal was to

By: Tim Elmore The postponed Olympics Games held in Tokyo are now history. As always, there were highs and lows for competing athletes, but I’d like to focus on some insights we gain as we watched this year’s young athletes perform.  The major difference for me in these Olympic games was the topic of mental health.  Among the biggest stories from Tokyo was

By: Tim Elmore Did you hear how Columbia University handled their graduation ceremonies? No, I’m not referring to mask-wearing or social distancing. I’m talking about the administration’s decision to host six separate graduation ceremonies, based on the graduates’ income level, race, ethnicities, and gender preferences. My concern has nothing to do with the pandemic, as each ceremony was a virtual one.

By: Tim Elmore One decade ago, I began to hypothesize about a trait I observed in high school and college students. I continued to be baffled by how much they knew yet how little they’d experienced. I researched the reasons for this and came up with a term, which became the title of a book: artificial maturity.  Artificial maturity may sound like

By: Tim Elmore It’s been over a year since students all over the world were sent home from school and instantly had to learn how to learn from home. Teachers tried to maintain academic standards as students transformed their bedrooms, dens, and kitchens into classrooms to try to meet those standards.  Some call these middle school and high school students quaranteens.  They’re now

By: Tim Elmore For years, younger generations have been the brunt of jokes by older generations who felt they were immature, lazy slackers who moved back home after college. A Twitter hashtag called, #HowToConfuseAMillennial even went viral, as social media posts often do. Some samples are: Show them a phone book. #HowToConfuseAMillennial Turn off their autocorrect. #HowToConfuseAMillennial Hand them a job

By: Tim Elmore The year started well, with our work and our money Our weather was warming, and our spring became sunny. Our life was quite normal, and resources were plenty. And it might have continued…if it weren’t 2020. As the spring unfolded, we got new direction, We were told to go home to avoid an infection. It was COVID-19 and it spread through the nations. No one

Most of us have mourned what the COVID-19 quarantine has stolen from our teens. Less class time, more screen time, more boredom, and both students and teachers who are uncomfortable with the new normal. Many traditions were removed like sports games, recitals, school plays, proms, and marching bands on Friday nights. But I’d like to focus for a few minutes on

We have coined a term: “The Pandemic Population.” It represents a portion of Generation Z, high school and college students who have no memories of the 20th century as the Millennials do. They’ve grown up in the 21st century when the world was different, and they’re now coming of age in the midst of a pandemic. While Millennials were marked

We’ve actually heard some good news from European countries like Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Norway. These nations have figured out ways to reopen their schools, some as early as mid-April and early May, without seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases. And, according to the New York Times, “Experts are cautiously optimistic that sending children back to school may be relatively safe.”  The

A few years ago, my extended family gathered for a reunion. My sisters and I reminisced about our childhoods, including vacations, past girlfriends and boyfriends, squabbles we had, you name it. What struck me that day was, while we all remembered significant occasions, we all recalled different details, smaller occasions and we even retained different stories. Behavioral scientists have gathered a

I recently met with a group of teachers and parents to talk about the “Black Lives Matter” protests. Within this group, there were caring adults on both sides of the issue: some that were completely affirming of the protests (even the damage to property) and those who were against the protests, believing they’re not the best way to accomplish the

Our world today is in combat over language. Two sides of any issue vie for the best words that make any opposing view seem, well…wrong. Everywhere we look we see mantras, slogans, and mottos that draw readers in and make them want to side with their cause without even really understanding the deeper ramifications. Because we have short attention spans,

I love remembering the story of two young men who both contracted the deadly disease, Polio, almost a hundred years ago. One man became understandably bitter over his prognosis. He would be confined to a wheelchair and never get to do what most young men do at his age. He decided to give up on his dreams and languished for

At Growing Leaders, we have the privilege of interacting with lots of school administrators, athletic directors, and department heads. Obviously, with such a strange spring semester behind us, these leaders are planning for a new normal this fall.  No one I have spoken with plans for life to go completely back to how it was in 2019.  One high school principal put