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Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 1, 2017 – Preparation for the stress and pressures of higher education and adult life need to begin soon after birth, according to Chris Palmer, professor at American University’s School of Communication. In Raise Your Kids to Succeed: What Every Parent Should Know, released in October by Rowman & Littlefield, Palmer shows parents how to help their children conquer anxiety, fear of failure, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and how to enable them to achieve their full potential as individuals.

“I hope that my new book will aid parents and their children to succeed in college and beyond and reach all of the dreams that parents have for their kids, and, more importantly, the dreams that children have for themselves,” said Palmer.

According to Prof. Palmer, a father of three daughters, “college prep” that starts when the child is born is vital for both parents and students, and that a family-centered approach is the best way to help young people succeed.

“College prep”, Palmer writes, “is far more than doing well in tests and composing a fascinating college essay as a teenager. It begins with the modeling that parents show their children when they are young, the family mission statement, the traditions and rituals in the family, listening and reading to them, advocating for them, countering bullying, and all the other issues that I discuss in the book.”

Palmer’s own tried-and-true methods, bolstered by statements from parenting experts and anecdotal evidence show how simple actions, such as praising good work and establishing family goals and proper boundaries, can result in self-assured, confident children.

When college begins, high academic standards, new social relationships and structures, and learning how to live independently can be stressful to students who have not properly prepared for the experience. Palmer’s book explains the life skills that parents can help their kids to acquire before they leave for college, including eating nutritiously, running a household, managing time effectively, being organized, handling emergencies, tracking and controlling spending, and making face-to-face conversation. While the book encourages parents to begin this preparation soon after birth, Palmer’s tips and advice can be implemented at any point along the way. 

“Chris Palmer has the rare ability to give us the big picture of the challenges of raising kids today, but also offers very practical and do-able solutions that will deepen your understanding and connection with your children,” said Kim John Payne M. ED, an education professional and author of several parenting guides. “This book is unflinching, but kind and will very likely leave you feeling, ‘I can do this.’”

All proceeds from the book will go to fund scholarships for American University students.


American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 120 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.