Turn off those devices: Why you should listen with your eyes

Have you ever heard the same story twice in one day? I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Go-Giver with Bob Burg, and he was interviewing Motivational Keynote Speaker and Author Neen James. She proceeded to tell a story about how a five-year-old child can remind us how life really should work. Later, that very same day, as I attended the annual Rocky Mountain Project Management Symposium, I heard the story again when I sat in her session at the conference. I decided the repetition was a sign. I needed to pay attention.

Insight from a 5-year-old

Neen James was sitting with a next-door neighbor chatting over some coffee. Her neighbor’s 5-year-old son, Donovan, kept interrupting their conversation with a string of questions. Finally, he became so frustrated with Neen’s lack luster answers, he put Neen’s face in his hands and told her to, “listen with your eyes!”

Sometimes the greatest wisdom comes from a five year old. “To listen with our eyes” is to listen actively, which means focusing on the other person and what they have to say. We all want to be heard, and that means we also need to be active listeners.

Our reality

In today’s world, we are inundated with distractions from numerous devices. I’m not telling you anything new here. Your kids are the iGen, the generation growing up with devices.

When I’m speaking with my kids and they are on a device or playing video games, I know they aren’t hearing anything I’m saying. The same goes for my husband when we try to talk while he’s on his iPad. Bottom line is that dividing our attention between those we’re with and our little distraction pods is disrespectful.

It’s not just 5-year-olds and parents disgruntled by the lack of attention. In Dr. Jenny M, Twenge’s book iGen, she interviews a 13-year-old teen named Athena, who complains about the negative impact of friends who pay too much attention to their phones when they are hanging out with her. Dr. Twenge asks how it makes her feel “when you’re trying to talk to somebody face-to-face and they’re not looking at you?” (p. 298) Athena’s response says a lot:

It kind of hurts… It hurts. I know my parent’s generation didn’t do that. I could be trying to talk about something super important to me, and they won’t even be listening. (p. 289)

So, what can be done about devices?

Here is what we do in my house:  NO DEVICES WHEN IT’S TIME TO TALK…PERIOD.  When one of us has a question or wants to share, we put our devices down.  When it’s time to eat a meal at the table, devices are in another room.  With the distractions gone and eye contact made, let the conversation begin!

The Benefits!

What has been the payoff from implementing these practices? I know my husband and I are demonstrating and fundamental life skills along with modeling what active listening looks like. If I think about how am I going to get my kids ready for the world, it’s doing everything I can to develop and support good communications skills. Teach your kids to listen with their eyes and you’ll be amazed at the improvement in your relationship. Here’s the thing though, it only works if we do it too.

The point of all this is that my husband and I want to provide a place where our kids can celebrate success and share when things aren’t going well. This is an ongoing challenge for all families. But the gateway to this connection is to take the advice of a 5-year-old and, “listen with your eyes!”



The Go-Giver Podcast with Bob Burg

PMI Symposium

Listen with your eyes

IGen –

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Stuck in the muck? Getting started is sometimes easier said than done.

A big question parents often ask themselves is, ‘why can’t my kid just get started?’ This query causes a lot of angst and frustration in many homes and classrooms. Unfortunately for some of your kids, getting started is hard and can be more complicated than we think. The challenge for us adults is not to pass judgment on our kids’ inability to get started and to assume they are being lazy or defiant. Instead, it’s our job to look past the behavior and figure out why they cannot start.

I remember when my youngest was in 4th or 5th grade and he was sitting at the kitchen table just staring at his work. I looked at him and wondered what was going on. He’s a good kid, I reminded myself. I knew he didn’t want to be spending hours upon hours on his homework. So, I came to learn task initiation was a struggle for him. He had the best of intentions but just couldn’t get started. So, I found resources to help — both books and amazing experts who offered me some great guidance.


Here are some ideas I learned that might help you, too:

Transitions from one task to another may be more difficult for certain kids. Be mindful about what they are transitioning from. For example, video games and YouTube can make the transition to homework oh so painful for all involved. Eliminate this pain by making YouTube or video games the reward for completing the homework.

Does your kid just stare at their computer when they have to write something? Is getting the words from their brain to the keyboard or pencil too big a gap to leap? If you see them struggling, a big clue is whether they can talk about the topic.  If so, you may need to use some tools like voice activation software, or you can simply type word for word what your kid says. Parents: no editing. Let your kids use their own words. As long as you do that, you’re not cheating. Eventually, the kids will be able to write on their own. It is important to meet your kid where they are so they can start to experience the wins of getting the work down.

Sometimes the task can seem so big, that your kid literally doesn’t know where to start. For instance, there are too many math problems on the page. Ask them how many would they like to see, and cover up the rest. Or just write one problem on a separate sheet of paper and have them do one at a time. Again, we are looking for a process that meets their current need so they can feel the success of completion.

Sometimes hearing about problems from the student’s perspective can   help you better understand the weight of their dilemma.  Listen to student Marcus Allen explain why getting started is harder than you think through this video.

It’s hard to watch our kids struggle with getting started. Again, the challenge for us adults is that we have to step up and be willing to experiment, look past the behavior, and be consistent in our efforts. It can be hard to make these efforts, especially when fatigue and the daily grind take hold. Stop and remind yourself that you are training your kiddo for adulthood.

Meet your kids where they are and assume that your kid has the best of intentions and is just stuck. Your job is to reach out and help them learn how to move through the muck, until they have the skill to go around it themselves.



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Are Children Becoming Less Creative?

Sharing a recent article from the publication “ExchangeEveryDay” about creativity trends in US education. Interesting reading: why are the creativity scores of America’s youth falling?

“Kyung Hee Kim, Ph.D., an educational psychologist at the College of William & Mary, in Virginia, has spent the past decade poring over the creativity scores of more than 300,000 American K-12 students. The news is not good: ‘Creativity scores have significantly decreased since 1990,’ she says. Moreover, ‘creativity scores for kindergartners through third-graders decreased the most, and those from the fourth through sixth grades decreased by the next largest amount.'” So writes Carolina A. Miranda in a CNN blog post.

She explains, “The scores Kim is referring to are those generated by the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking — the standard-bearer in assessing creativity in children since the 1960s. In fact, the results of the Torrance Tests are also better indicators of lifetime creative accomplishment than childhood IQ. The tests consist of open-ended questions, such as ‘How many uses can you think of for a toothbrush?’ Scores are awarded based on the number and originality of the ideas produced. A creative child might respond by saying that he can brush his cat’s teeth, polish a rock, and clean his fingernails — all answers that show dexterity in generating a wide range of potentially useful ideas.”

Source: “Why we need to let kids be creative,” by Carolina A. Miranda, January 3, 2012,

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Lessons from Bob Ross and The Importance of Positive Energy in Parenting

It’s funny where you can find parenting inspiration. My junior in high school came home one day last week and asked “who is Bob Ross?”  You know, the famous painter of happy little trees from the 80’s.  He had seen a trailer for the next Deadpool movie with Ryan Reynold’s that started with a spoof of his PBS show “The Joy of Painting”.  After watching the trailer ourselves (caution, may not be appropriate for all ages) and laughing a little harder than our son expected, we explained who the real Bob Ross was and had to show both of our boys a video of his actual show from the archives. We thought they’d last five, maybe ten minutes but to our surprise, they were mesmerized and watched the entire episode.

Positive Perspective

His soft spoken style and quirky humor had them smiling and amazed at how he could create a complete oil painting landscape from scratch in less than 30 minutes.  My husband and I had forgotten how full of positive energy and life lessons he was. After watching two more episodes as a family, we came away with some great quotes from Bob Ross to keep things in perspective:

  • “We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy little accidents.”
  • “In painting, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. You can bend rivers. But when I get home, the only thing I have power over is the garbage.”
  • “Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.”
  • “It’s the imperfection that makes something beautiful, that’s what makes it different and unique from everything else.”

As parents, we can get caught up in the pressure of the daily grind and let our imaginations around our kids future get the better of us. Life is about the small things and the life lessons along the way.  These Ross’isms are a friendly reminder that it takes courage to step out of our comfort zone and just getting started.

What To Do With Feedback

A key theme from Ross is that we are not good at everything, and that’s ok.  He tells a story about how he studied under a master portrait painter for a year. Finally his portrait teacher pulled him aside and suggested he stick to landscapes.  Ross laughs about this and agreed with this feedback. Learning to take constructive feedback is a learned skill as it’s important we teach our kids what to do with that information. This feedback could have easily discouraged Ross or caused him to resent his teacher.  Instead he realized he needed to spend his time, energy, and focus on his passion which was landscapes.  He turned this focus into a fifteen million dollar business. In today’s world, it is more important than ever to teach your kids how to focus their attention, energy, and time on their talents and interests.

Finally, most people don’t realize that before pursuing his passion for painting, Ross was a sergeant in the Air Force whose job it was to yell and scream and order people around.  After leaving the Air Force, he decided he would never yell at anyone again.  Ross provided value and made a big impact with his show and business, all while speaking softly and having a sense of humor.  If there is a lot of yelling in your family, ask yourself how effective that has been.  Can we reduce the volume and develop a greater connection with our kids while achieving better results?

As Ross reminds us, the only things we have control over are ourselves and the garbage. If you are experiencing the normal frustrations of parenting, I highly recommend watching an episode or two of his show to gain a little perspective.  At the very least, his soft spoken style and words of wisdom will provide some momentary relief and a chuckle. Think of it as an alternative to meditation.

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11 NFL Lesson Ideas To Use This Season

Are you ready for some football? The NFL season kicks off this weekend. It should be fun!

With the Broncos being so popular, it’s hard to think of a school in Colorado that won’t have at least a few hundred students wearing the orange and blue on Fridays. Let’s hope they can have a good season, make the playoffs, and bring home another Lombardi trophy.

Football season is a really good teaching tool, too. There are ton of numbers involved. Great heroes (and anti-heroes) to read up on. And the history and geography of all the teams. Here are 11 easy class ideas to integrate football into the class for all students.  

Hope these make some good class connections! Enjoy the season.


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10 Effective Communication Tips For Teachers, Parents, and Students

The beginning of a school year is an exciting time, with a ton of activity. In addition to building goals, it’s also super important for setting clear, crisp communication guidelines. Purposeful communication makes the beginning of the school year so much easier for everyone involved. A smooth beginning might not guarantee perfection, but you can be sure that a mismanaged beginning is a recipe for dealing with behavioral issues and playing catch up.

August and September are also the months when it seems as if things are happening at 100 mph.  Communication is key throughout the year, so begin early. They can be huge time savers in the end.

Teacher Tip One: Teachers, mail a postcard home and then make a follow up phone call during the first week. Sending a postcard home addressed to students makes them feel welcome in their new class. It also eases anxiety. Sending a card with a personal touch on it, like a favorite sports team or a national park you might have visited during the summer, humanizes the experience as well. In your note, remind the student they are going to have a great year. When the first week of class ends, call the parents letting them know how great their child’s first week was. If this sounds like a lot of work, you are most likely to go to voicemail, based on personal experience. Leave an upbeat message. It will make a huge impression.

Teach Tip Two: Spend the first few weeks with at least one getting to know you activity per day, and be sure it involves oral or written communication. You want to build new relationships right away. You also want to develop a routine where students are comfortable sharing ideas in small groups. Bring the class back together and pull names out of a hat so one or two students can comment on how the activity worked. As always, give them the option to pass, ensuring shy students aren’t put on the spot.

Teacher Tip Three: As a culmination of the first few weeks, invite the principal into your class to firm up rules and expectations. Tell the students the principal is coming as an advocate and confidante. Principals are extremely busy people, so you will only need a few minutes of their time to make an impression with students. Getting students and administration some time together is a huge step in building trust that can come in extremely useful when there are disciplinary issues.

Teacher Tip Four: Have a welcome back party with your teaching team, and be sure to invite family along. Do this early, and as often as possible. Reinforce learning as a fun activity. You can even have themed parties, showcasing work. I used to love hosting international days that the class worked in with history units. We served great cuisine, had a bunch of fun, and reinforced all our learning goals.

Parent Tip One: Parents, write an email to the teacher asking how you can help make the year a good one. In your introductory email let them know that you are so glad that your son or daughter has such a dedicated teacher. Flattery always goes a long way, especially in an inbox. Teachers get dozens of emails a day, so be sure to establish a partnership that serves everyone’s best interest, including the teacher’s.

Parent Tip Two: Attend all the welcome back events you can, and be sure to casually establish a rapport with your children’s teachers. It’s fine to talk shop at welcome events. Likely, you’ll want to set up a formal meeting because teachers are limited by confidentiality in how much they can go into detail with a bunch of other people around. And don’t be afraid to ask for a conference early on. This is often the least busy time of year for teachers and so meeting them for a conference is a lot easier, especially if you pitch it as proactive session.

Parent Tip Three: Find out how involvement will look. An overly strong parent advocate can, potentially, work against the very thing the teacher is working on, like building autonomy. Communication by all parties is important. For example, some kids want to be dropped off at class all the way till high school. Some kids want autonomy by second grade. These are telling signals and can inform all parties on the best way to handle academic, social, and emotional intervention. This is one of the touchier areas, because we all want to do the right thing, and sometimes the right thing is letting the child work an issue out on his or her own.

Student Tip One: Students, get a planner and a planner buddy who is more organized than you are. This is pretty self explanatory. If you are not organized, you’ll know it. You’re losing things. Missing deadlines. Or your planner make you feel like this. Some students are more meticulous than their teachers. Essentially, make sure the super organized can help the less organized. As a teacher, I’d choose a buddy to help me organize my busy desk, reinforcing their own organization.

Student Tip Two: Be proactive and communicate early with the teacher, letting them know what you’d like to get out of the school year. I’ve had students personally shake my hand after the first day of school. That made quite an impression. If that’s not so easy for you, send them an email, letting them know where you want to succeed. Or chocolate always works. Whatever way is easiest for you, being proactive with a teacher goes a very long way. Remember, teachers are human beings; they like getting nice things. And nothing’s nicer than a student who shows interest.

Student Tip Three: Join a club or, better yet, create one on your own. Chances are there are likeminded people out there who’d be thrilled with your idea. Find a cause. Draft a fantasy team. Build a Minecraft network. Volunteer to grade papers. Above all, get recognized for doing the right thing and for stepping up. School’s got enough social pressures to begin with, so why not come up with something that brings people together? It will definitely set you apart, and open up all kinds of opportunities to be engaged and engage others.

If you find these ideas are working for you personally, let us know! We’d love to hear from you. And thanks for considering The School Communications Agency for all your school communications needs.


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Helping Kids Get Organized

We have a guest post on our blog today from Roxanne Turner.  Roxanne is a Board Certified Life Coach with extensive training in ADHD and executive functioning, focusing on the process of getting things done. Today she writes about Organization: Helping kids learn how to organize.

Organization! By; Roxanne Turner
When I was little, my favorite thing about school was getting new supplies at the beginning of each year. I loved the new pens, folders, notebooks and getting to figure out how I was going to organize my stuff throughout the year. Each semester offered an opportunity to make changes.  Alas, I was in the minority.  To say most kids struggle with organization is an understatement.  It is a skill that must be learned and practiced.

Knowing their assignments, when they are due, and the resources needed to complete them is over half the battle to being successful in school.  Being organized is the key to that part of the puzzle.  Most kids know how to do the work, but struggle keeping track of everything or knowing where to start.  As parents, our role is to provide the support our kids need without doing the work for them.

So where do we start?  First, kids need to relate to the concept and understand what’s in it for them.  Initially, being organized takes time and effort so we need to reframe the concept so they understand the benefits:  Homework gets done faster, more free time for activities such as sports or video games, less frustration, etc.

Next, tap into how your student organizes things they are interested in such as music, video games, Apps, etc.   Organization comes more naturally when we are passionate about something so leverage that to draw parallels to school work and find tools that work for your student.  Have a conversation with your student to discover what they like about how they organize their things and what works for them.

With my son I gained some interesting insight when organizing his closet. First, I learned he had a strong aversion to hangers so we went out and bought a dresser. This worked much better for him but as he started to put his clothes away I stared in confusion as he put his underwear and socks in the bottom drawer, then his pants/shorts in the next drawer, and finally shirts in the top drawer. This was backwards from how I would have done it but he explained, “I put the clothes in as I get dressed, makes more sense to start from the bottom up.” Once he had the right tool (dresser), putting away and organizing his clothes in a way that made sense to him was no problem.  That information was useful when it came to organizing his school papers.

There are three different kinds of organizational styles: visual, spatial, and chronological.  Here are some clues to what your student’s style might be:

Visual Organizers:

  • Did you see my back pack?
  • When doing homework puts all the items out in front of them


  • Do you know where I put my backpack?
  • Clears off the area when doing work


  • Do you know when I last had my back pack?
  • Stacks homework in a certain order before or after completing an assignment

With a basic understanding of the style or combination of styles your student demonstrates, you can provide more effective solutions. Visual organizers like color coding and other visual cues. Spatial organizers need to have all supplies within reach when doing schoolwork, and a clean work area that “feels good” to them. The chronological organizer can remember sequential steps in some sort of order and keep stacks of paper on their desks that may appear messy.

There is no magic cure for the chronically disorganized. To begin to develop a system, it starts with questions like:  “What do you think about three ring binders?” “How about color coded folders, one color for each class?”  “Do you want a dedicated homework folder, one side for homework to work on and the other for homework to turn in?“

Once you have some input from your student regarding what they like and don’t like, now you get to experiment with different tools and work together to create that daily/weekly 5-10 minute routine to maintain their systems. If time is not being invested consistently, it makes it difficult to see what is and isn’t working. It takes time but stick with it. Small gradual changes at first translate to big changes over the long haul.

Through these conversations, your student will be providing their input and increasing their personal investment. Keep in mind your system may not work for them.  You can use your system as a starting point but if they say no to your ideas, that’s ok and will usually get them thinking about what might work for them.   When you head off to the store, have them take the lead. Don’t be discouraged if they grumble, mumble, and possibly roll their eyes at first. Just provide a friendly reminder about what’s in it for them. A good one to use is that it will get you off their back.

Finding the right solution for your student is an evolution as you and your student reflect on what’s working and what’s not.  The final step for you is to ensure repetition and consistency.  Studies show that it takes 66 to 264 repetitions (Dr. Phillippa Lally, psychology researcher at University College London ) to develop (good) habits.  Don’t expect to have a conversation, setup some tools and see your student become organized.  It will take constructive reminders and follow up (no yelling or accusations) to make it stick.  Be patient, they will get there.


Book reference: Organizing the Disorganized Child by Martin Kuschner, M.D. & Marcella Moran, M.A., L.M.H.C

Roxanne Turner, PmP, BCC (CCE Board Certified Coach)

Photo by Luke Palmer on Unsplash

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Teaching is the art of making students believe in themselves. Motivating students to believe is often at the heart of a student’s success. Show me a student who believes in themselves, and I will show you a student who is in charge of their learning.

Ultimately, when a student believes in themselves and finds success, they’ll be off and running.

Keeping that motivation alive during the summer months is a huge step in the right direction. You don’t want your son or daughter to experience the dreaded summer learning gap.

Here are some tips on how to keep motivation alive and flourishing in the second half of the summer. Following these will most definitely help students start their new school year with the momentum they need to succeed.

TIP 1: Embrace Their Uniqueness

Students learn differently, so they’re always motivated to learn in a style uniquely their own. One of the most important things you can do is to be sure students reach down deep to find their true voice, their true passion, and follow that in their learning.

Developing passions requires deep commitment on the part of the teacher and the student, and will only succeed if a truly trusting relationship is established.

With students home for a bit longer, you are the teacher. Build trust by embracing whatever uniqueness they carry. Build this partnership by setting realistic goals for the next year. With each goal, have your son or daughter develop a solution, and support that mission as often as possible.

Tip 2: Foster Their Abilities By Highlighting Success

Continually highlight successes to develop a relationship built on motivation. Even if they are buried, there’s a treasure in there – every student has their share of success stories so highlight successes early and often.

To truly motivate a student is to take a very important stance – everybody from the highest reader to the developing writer has talent.

Remember, students come in all shapes sizes, quite literally. Don’t be mistaken to think that there are easy students and difficult students. It doesn’t matter at what level a student learns. What matters is they feel successful, and the more they do, they more they’ll give you back.

Tip 3: Communicate Their Successes Around

Most importantly from a motivational perspective, success needs to be communicated. The biggest stakeholder in a student’s life is their parent or guardian, so to truly expand on motivational successes, keep those close to you and your child informed including: teachers, relatives, community stakeholders, and friends. It’s not bragging to highlight a student’s achievement. It’s just smart – the more people you can motivate who are involved in a student’s life, the more they will be motivated in their own.

Sharing success might not be that easy after a particularly frustrating day or week. In that case, why not ask the student to list the successful moments they have experienced? Chances are, you will see success in a new light. It’s a great teachable moment and a wonderful opportunity to build a key partnership because communication takes a team effort.

For more ideas, please reach out to us. We are with you for all your motivational needs. And, of course, your communications needs, too.

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Improved Open-Ended Communication Inspires Learning Communities

John Hunter is a fourth grade teacher, and he’s one of the best around. Watching his Ted Talk, I was in awe at how he expertly communicates with children. He truly believes that informed parents, engaged communities and better schools arise from high quality communication. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s well worth your 20 minutes. One of the most impressive strategies he implements is his ability to ask open-ended questions. As a teacher, I have practiced rigorously on the best way to engage students, and being open-ended is a huge help. There’s no doubt being open-ended helps bridge the gap between parents, schools, and communities.
I overheard a conversation at Panera recently that reaffirmed the importance of being open-ended. Here’s the actual conversation:
“How was your day,” the adult asked. “Good,” the child said. Then, the adult asked, “What did you learn today?” “Ummm…Math,” was the rather uninspired answer.
Being open-ended reinforces and revitalizes. At the end of a busy day, kids are tired. Some kids don’t like questions in general and are hesitant at sharing information. But mostly, kids find closed-ended questions restricting. Open-ended questions can get kids to talk in a free-flow manner, hitting on elaborate ideas that even the most ardent question-asker didn’t even know the kids had in them.
If you want to have a fun, communicative experience, the rule is simple. Basically, don’t ask kids questions in which the answer could be yes or no. I’ll illustrate an example. I asked my nephew once, “Do you want some vegetables?” I bet you can guess his answer. It was a resounding N-O. The fault was all mine though, because what kid would want a vegetable at 3:30 in the afternoon when dinner was a few hours away? After all, he’d be getting some on veggies on his plate at that hour. So, the next time I picked him up after school, I had learned my lesson. I rephrased the question.
If you could have any vegetable in the world before you get to eat this chocolate s’mores bar (showing him the chocolate s’mores bar) what would it be?” I had him. He went silent, and thought for a few seconds, running through his list of vegetables. He smiled, and said watermelon. Well, not bad. But watermelon is a fruit, I said, but I’d take it since he’d be getting some good sources of vitamin C before he had his snack of choice. We then went on to have a fun conversation about fruits that look like vegetables. And then fruits that taste like vegetables. Remember, none of this would have been possible with my first question, because it was closed-ended. But, open-ended questions opened up an opportunity for so much more inquiry. Now, I have even this printed out for those busy moments when I forget to think of my own open-ended questions. When we communicate with our kids, they communicate back to us. That’s the lesson here. And they never cease to amaze, according to Hunter, and every teacher probably ever!
Another thing I admire about Hunter is that he encourages open-ended communication to foster inquiry far beyond our expectations. When he’s teaching his inspiring “World Peace Game,” he assigns one of the most important (and challenging) books written of all time – The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. To fourth graders! When we arm our students with these opportunities, and communicate our objectives in clear, open-ended ways, the sky is the absolute limit in what we are be able to get them to speak, write, and create. Kids want to share their positive experiences in school, but too often readily engage in negativity and gossip.
Again, open-mindedness trains them to think in successful terms. Involved communities leads to better schools, and what better way than sharing success stories? Next time you ask how their day was, it would be wise to turn that statement around and ask them ways in which tomorrow could be even better.
After all, that is the goal of excellent communication, making tomorrow better than today, and being open-ended adds another quiver in your arrow. At The School Communications Agency, we believe 100 percent in providing opportunities for success through the power of positive communication. If you are interested in learning more about what we do, please contact us for more ideas today. We would love to help in your efforts in building your community and improving education.


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Positive Messages Lead To Positive Results When Advertising to Parents

Sponsors, are you ready for an alarming statistic?
According to a recent report conducted by Common Sense Media, kids aged 2-11 are exposed to over 25,000 ads per year. That’s almost 2,100 ads per month. Put another way, that’s an incredible 15 ads per hour. So yes, we truly live in advertising age. While it’s true that ads are coming in fast and furious over traditional airwaves, more than ever kids are being exposed to clickbait-style media. Advertisers know this, and are good at targeting digital natives, perhaps too good.
There is no doubt that student-aged consumers are a huge target audience, and no one in the business of creating profit would be wise to ignore that fact. For years, there have entire marketing campaigns focused around this demographic. But, only fairly recently has research been squarely focused on product placement and the impact it’s having on kids, raising questions about the types of products kids are being exposed. Questions increasingly ponder whether or not kids should be burdened with purchasing decisions in the first place. As one study put it, a lot of times kids don’t have the mental capacity to differentiate between what is part of a TV program and what part of it is the ad. The same study pointed out that about 14 percent of all commercials they sampled had an overtly negative message.  That sounds small, but out of 25,000 ads, that would be 3,500 ads featuring negative content per year.
So, is there a viable alternative? The School Communications Agency believe there is. Advertising a positive message produces better results in the long run – for kids, for schools, for consumers, and ultimately, for sponsors. TSCA ads are ALL family friendly, tailoring needs that kids and parents genuinely want to attend to.
Take this list of Forbes’ best advertising campaigns of all time.  These ads have the same underlying ingredient – they are all extremely positive.
As you know, very soon “Back To School” drives will begin. Stores will be flooded with them, vying for your dollars. TSCA sees this as a chance for sponsors to hit a positive message out of the park. Why would you want to display your positive message with us?
Last year, the National Retail Foundation reported that families with children in grades K-12 planned to spend over 20 billion dollars on back-to-school supplies, and it’s trending up almost every year. Sponsors, what a great opportunity to send a message to potential consumers, while helping schools at the same time. Kids and families have so many needs, and a positive message is front and center among them.
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