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If someone made a penalty we worked it out amongst ourselves…if we got pissed at each other we worked it out, and by the end of the game we all walked home happy even though one team won and one team lost. In my book, Generation iY, I warned that this is our last chance to save their future. I, too, grew up playing sports with guys in my neighborhood.

Is it up to that person to kick himself in the ass and, in essence, re-teach himself how to live in the real world? Or is there help to be sought? This article denotes some excellent ways to prevent making these mistakes… but what to do when the damage is already done? Realizing that one is not prepared for adulthood can be shocking but it leads to action. The next step would be to start making conscious decisions to move toward independence. This may not happen overnight but enough steps in that direction will add up.

Finally, I would recommend that a young person surrounds themself with other mature adults — finding a mentor to give guidance and perspective on this journey is incredibly valuable. I am SO glad my parents cared enough to let me fail when I needed to and they had zero interest in being my friend. They had McDonalds for lunch because their parents forgot to make them a healthy lunch. They had every toy they wanted because their parents felt bad for not spending time with them.

They taught me about choices, privileges, consequences and rewards. They taught me about right and wrong and policed me as a child so by the time I hit junior high, I could police myself. My parents knew my friends and everyone was welcome in our house. They taught me manners. They made me do my homework and there were consequences when I behaved badly. They let me skin my knees, fall of monkey bars, trip over my own feet and they cleaned me up, stuck a bandaid on what needed it and sent me off to go play some more.

They laughed when I asked for an allowance and taught me about responsibility. I drank from a garden hose, caught frogs, ran barefoot, ate veggies straight from the garden, dirt and all, and I survived. This article clearly outlines what mistakes have been made by parents and teachers, why they have been made, and how parents can solve the problems they have created. I appreciate your candor and matter-of-fact tone. It does much to recommend your solutions. I am the mother of two adult children 25 and 23 who navigate the world fairly successfully. And I am a veteran 17 years teacher who has taught both college and high school.

My current position teaching 11th and 12th graders is challenging only because my students will not take responsibility for themselves and theri work, neither will they weather the difficulties of learning. If they do not master it the moment they hear it, they will not put in the effort because they consider it beneath their notice.

The fault, they figure, is mine because I did not explain it clearly enough. Have you any advice or maybe a book about how teachers can begin to turn the ship against the tide of parents, administrators, and district personnel determined to coddle and hand-hold these students until they are 30? Thank you for your work. Hi Gina — thanks for taking time to comment. My two recent books deal with this problem and provide solutions. Check out Generation iY and Artificial Maturity — both are available at http: Hope you find them helpful.

My children grew up with no cell phones, ipods etc. They went outside to play, read books, rode their bikes and used their imagination. Rode the bus to school so they had to make sure they got up in the morning to catch. They were in figure skating and hockey. Learned how to get along with other kids and adults.

They did their own homework; when they needed help wed would help not do it. Some parents need their kids to be kids. Lots of time to growup. I worried about my girls i still do and my grandchldren like every parent should but you have to let them accept responsibility, learn from their mistakes and guide them along the way. Should be sent to all the schools and copies given to each child. My son became very angry with me one day. I worked part-time as a Media Aide at his school and he had come to me to sign a paper he had neglected to show me the night before.

I am your librarian right now. They are not yours to keep under your wing forever. They are a gift which you nurture, love, guide and educate until they can stand on their own as a thriving, contributing and loving independent being. That is a great, practical example of how to lead students to maturity. Thanks for adding to the conversation! This puts everything I intuitively know about parenting into words.

My mother shielded me from hurtful things, like her arguments with my father after their divorce, but never from regular life lessons. I do believe parents have a responsibility to protect their kids from certain things — like the details of a divorce — but expose them to appropriate risks. There are too many parents at the primary school collecting their senior school kids from their classrooms!!

If you can reach it you can eat it, if you are thirsty you can help yourself from the tap. We have a trampoline and gymset outside and the kids even the 4 year old regularly play out in the cul de sac on bikes and scooters. If we run out of milk or bread the 9 year old gets on her bike and rides to the shop to buy more. He can walk himself to the gate to meet me after school and walk himself into school in the mornings. My teen has a part time job that she juggles around her study and still manages decent grades.

They know their limits and are willing to have a crack at anything, even when they feel it could be a little dangerous. I would rather they learn these lessons BEFORE they learn to drive, so they might be less likely to wrap themselves around a power pole at speed. Thanks for sharing these practical examples of how you are raising your kids to be self-reliant.

Each of these small steps are moving your kids to maturity daily.


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I am an Occupational Therapist and yes, I have seen it a lot in our therapies.. I recently read Free Range Kids: What a refreshing departure from the countless fear-mongering books and articles that parents are bombarded with. Thank you for being another kind and sane voice. I am often told by helicopter parents that I should be at the park, get my kid out of the tree or off of the top bar of the swing set. It is nice to read an article that says to let my kids have these freedoms and risks. I love my kids but lets be real my job is to equip them for adulthood and then release them on the world, not to hold their hand and do everything for them.

I read an article when my 11 yr old was 2 that said we are abusing our Children by over protecting them and I agreed. But I have not seen anything as direct or pointed towards letting go as htis article since then. Thanks for taking time to comment. It sounds like exaggeration but I would agree that over-protecting is a form child abuse. It may not be as obvious as other forms but it certainly produces long-term effects that are anything but positive.

I have often said that my job as a parent is to make myself obsolete. My oldest is preparing to move overseas, alone, when she finishes high school this spring. The earlier we can recognize and accept this reality, the better off our kids will be — both now and in the future. This article is everything I see with parents now adays, and it frustrates me. These kids are never gonna grow up to be productive citizens because they can hardly function and make decisions on their own.

This article is dead on. Thank you so much for validating what I know in my gut and what the newer generation of parents refuses to accept or believe: No running, playing on the ice, no this, no that at every turn. Grade 8 graduation has turned into the likes of grade 12 prom.

We are raising adults, preparing them for the real world since they were little, making our job obsolete. That IS the goal of parenting. I am supposed to give out tickets for kids who help, kids who are polite, kids who walk quietly in line, kids who do their work in class. There was a computer program to handle all the data. I am uncomfortable rewarding behaviors that should be simply expected and I sometimes ignore the rewards systems.

Is there a better way to handle this? This is similar to parents who reward students or give allowance based on just being a member of the family. I think it is far more helpful to establish baseline expectations that everyone will be held accountable for. Then establish rewards for going beyond these baselines.

I agree with most of what you said, but have a few issues with the third point. While we should be praising hard work, there are children that excel because of intelligence and not hard work. There is a great John Wooden quote: I do tell my children they are smart and gifted because they are. They need to understand that what comes easy to them may be hard for a friend and they cannot look down on that friend or have unreasonable pride because of abilities given to them.

We strongly need education that gives each child an equal opportunity to struggle, fail, and succeed through hard work. We must remember to praise kids for things they have control over like effort , not things they have no control over like intelligence. I think appropriate praise guides students to rise to the best of their ability by realizing where they need to focus their efforts. I agree with letting them tumble, fall, forget things, etc. Every time he had to fix the car or do a project around the house I had to be his helper.

Somehow I know how to take care of my house and cars and they are lost. Looking back, my parents were not hard on me. Where I thought my father was being lazy he was actually doing additional parenting during his to do list. The next sentence in the article says it could be either. The author is clearly not advocating survival of the fittest. There is a huge difference between survival of the fittest and living with the consequences of relatively safe behaviors that could cause some harm. Breaking a bone or spraining and ankle is not the end of the world.

The result of these consequences is that I learned from my actions. I still wanted to do these things, but figured out how to do them in a way that would not hurt me. Just like the real world that you will eventually experience as an adult. Probably due to the fact that they are less likely to make realistic risk assessments. The study never mentions later effects as adults.

Un-spoil Your Kid

Showing that risk-taking behavior peaks during adolescence They had twice the test-writing practice two tests as the first group one test. Oh my god finally!!!!!!! Thank you for writing this. As a junior high teacher, what you have written here succinctly sums up the problems we face trying to teach kids to be smart, well adjusted, independent people. I wish every parent could read this as I know no one intentionally wants to set their child back but this is what is happening.

If the small changes you suggest were implemented it would do a world of wonder for students and parents alike. There are so many kids coming out of high school these days with a sense of entitlement but no work ethic to back it up. I have chosen certain, age appropriate things for my 3-year-old daughter to have to do each day: I also try not to give empty praise too much though I know I still do! It is so important to begin to teach independence early on. I am a first grade teacher. I am lucky enough to teach in a Gifted Education program that does not attach GPA-meddling grades to cross-curricular projects.

We promote effort as reward. We try to put the love of learning back into education. Without the big gold star, nothing is valued. Sorry teachers as many have posted I have faced the opposite in the school system, teachers giving my daughter high marks for what I thought was poor effort. Not perfect attendance, just a reward for showing up.

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So while parents may be bubble wrapping I have fought school systems that are worse dominantly pre-high school. At 18 years old the law declares a person to be an adult, I strive to make my child ren law abiding, responsible, aware and independent adults by that time. And in a state where there is no job security especially for teachers you want to keep your job.

A right-to-work state does not have to give a reason for firing you. We were told that it is still a failing grade. I have problems with this as do most teachers, but what do you do when you are told to do this or yelled at and run the risk of losing your job.

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My response — deal with it — get over it- and learn from it. I did as well as my friends and fellow students. At the school I just left, the principal told the faculty to give students multiple times to take a test and multiple times to turn in missing assignments or poorly completed assignments.

But as a teacher, we cannot change it. I have seen the elementary age years go from confident to fearful children. The three reasons stated above are key. Very important for all parents to know… Thank you for writing it! Fabulous article — well received on Facebook too … within ten minutes of sharing it, three others had shared it. So let them fail, let them fall, and let them fight for what they really value. We must prepare them for the world that awaits them. My parents were the meanest parents in the world and they taught me to be the same. It meant that i must surely be a bad teacher.

Now i am in business and i see the results. Workers with no teamwork ability or problem solving skills at all.

10 Things Every Parent Can Do to Stop Bullying - A Fine Parent

Still living in Taiwan. Unless there is systemic abuse where a student is singled out, the kid needs to be more on their own. If there are concerns they should be addressed between teacher and parent without letting the kid know that the parent disagrees with the teacher less there is systemic abuse once again. Whether or not your kids can stand on their own two feet. Thank you for writing this article.

I had heard the story of Dr. People miss the point of praise for self esteem. My son was a great athlete and a so-so student. I learned that kudos for sports triumphs were not necessary, he did that stuff anyway. Praise for good test marks or good work in school transformed him.

10 PARENTING MISTAKES WE SHOULD AVOID

Teachers asked what happened at home to make the change, it was so apparent a turnabout. He sees the stuff you discuss here and shudders at how unprepared for life the students are. Sooo true…I believe a lot of it started with Children having hurt feelings over not winning one of the typical three awards when joining a sport…the end result was everyone got a medal for participating. I do not think it should be that way. We stopped making our children strive for advancement, because parents would make sure they got there. Children need to know that when they get older, they have to be the ones to go out there and become someone..

I teach high school and I see these detrimental effects every single day. Teenagers who cannot read: I know I sort of ranted here, but I am pretty passionate about this stuff. Children and teens need to be allowed to grow up and Jen, you have nailed this! Thank you so very much for saying this so well and backing it up so thoroughly. There will be children and parents somewhere who eventually will be very thankful for the difference you made in their lives! I guess I must be doing something right because my soon to be 5 yr old daughter already hates me! I strongly believe in discipline, manners, responsability, letting them make choices and dealing with consequences!

I have my daughter and 3. I love this article!! I see way too many parents who believe they need to fill their kids full of esteem so no one can knock them down…. I see this all too often. My children are learning to do things for themselves, no matter what it is. I was raised the old way, my children will be also. No way will I have snotty back talking, rude, selfish, immature children running around who believe it is my job to get them through the day.

I love my kids too much to allow them to go down the smae path many parents are following. This really sums up what has been happening to our world. Not allowing children to experience life while in parents care greatly reduces their ability to react in a responsible accountable manner. I made soooo many mistakes when raising my four children. However, with the older ones especially, they learned so much about crossing the street, when to and when not to talk to others, etc.

Our youngest was just at the beginning of all of these new and modern ways of treating our children. They article was superb. Always felt like I stood alone in my thoughts about it. Hope many will read it over and over and think about these three things. The real world awaits and all must know how to function in it and survive.

Elmore, I would like to thank you for writing this article. I am so glad that I stumbled upon it. I have one 16 year old daughter and another 20 year old daughter, both of whom have recently begun to display a horrible sense of entitlement! Is it too late to change all of our ways, and help them to become better adjusted adults? I enjoyed this article! I grew up learning piano and saxophone and performing in music festivals every year.

There was first, second and third places given in each class. Nowadays music festivals at least where we are from have watered down the competition. They no longer give firsts, seconds, or thirds, everyone gets a medal and certificate just for playing and, in some cases, there is not even a mark given at all! Kids are not stupid. They know who performs better and who failed. Thanks for a great article! Parents need to learn to let their children grow and learn by their own experiences, with their parents support and guidance.

When the parents show respect for the teacher and consistency in way they discipline the child, only then will the students learn to respect and appreciate their teachers. Let them fail a test if that is what they deserve, let them fail a grade if that is what they need, maybe the only thing they might need is a little more time to mature. Get them extra help in the areas they are lacking. Children need to learn to fall but also they need to learn to get up. Their decision making skills are non-existent, coping skills nil, have no sense of money or finances, common sense is out the door, and seem to just stumble through life calling Mommy or Daddy after every mistake which are endless.

It scares me for the future….. Funny what can turn into a pandemic these days. I have seen too many kids playing one parent against another, or crying just for the attention, drove me crazy. We want to protect them, but we need to let them learn to protect themselves too. I agree with most of this article. Kids need to play and take risks, and learn responsibilty,and consequences. When we go to the park she climbs everything she can reach. I want her to explore, and have fun. I want her to have responsibility and consequences.

Thank you for putting into words what I have been thinking since I became a parent 4 years ago!!! You made some interesting points about the self-esteem movement. No one else is saying something positive — very true — AND even worse also not the mother and especially the father. Did your father rave? I completely agree with this article, unfortunately since the majority of parents now hover over their children, it makes it even more difficult for parents who want to teach their kids some independence to do so. You mention going to the park and playing a game of baseball.

All the other kids in the neighbourhood are busy with other scheduled activities. When I was a kid, you could go to the park, meet new kids, have a tree climbing competition, leave the house with a hand full of nails and a hammer and build a fort somewhere. Kids now would not even know what to do with a hammer, specially without being supervised by a parent.

We would have a bunch of kids, the older ones leading the younger ones. When I was a kids, during the summer, the neighbourhood would have children playing outside until the street lights came on, then we would check in with our parents, and likely keep playing outside longer, just a little closer to home. Now in the summer, the neighbourhoods are empty and quiet.

All the kids are sent away to daycare or camp. I find that I hear alot of kids say that they are bored and there is nothing to do. They have never learned how to find something to do for themselves. I do, on occasion, take my kids to a park that is further from home, since I know there will be other kids there. I have often been told that I am mean by my kids because I will not give in to their every desire.

As someone who teaches college students, I see the negative effects of over-parenting all the time.


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  8. It does these great kids no good, and they suffer. I try to follow the suggestions you have outlined in this article. I try to let my five year old navigate the playground dynamics on his own. I try to let him figure out how to avoid dangerous situations. My son also responds really well to material rewards in his behavioral plan. I can assure you, we still have plenty of unconditional love, and my son gets that. I just wanted to include this comment as a reminder that we must not judge everyone, or if we do, we must be open to the idea that our judgements are wrong.

    Someone with the guts to say- we cant shelter our children. Im tired of feeling like a bad parent bc I allow my 6th grade son to walk with his 9 year old brother and 5 year old brother to school it is literally one street over. After kidnappings all over the news people are outraged that how dare we let kids walk to school without an adult.

    Even though I had my eye on my 5 year old nephew in the store the ENTIRE time, some lady came up and told me You need to keep your child closer to you! He was never even an arms width away. As with all things, there needs to be a balance. Am I going to leave my 5 year old home alone? But will I allow my 12 year old to babysit for an hour to teach him responsibility? Balance and common sense. Good to know I am not the only parent out there not willing to shelter my kids and disable them. I do however always tell my children they are accepted even if they fail, and I praise them often.

    I dont think too often, and I think they know the balance. Something to watch out though for. Im not sure how I feel about that, I think it depends on what you are saying to praise them vs encourage them. What a wonderful article, I have tried to impress upon my peers that in order for their kids to grow up they have to fail a time or two.

    It amazes me when I listen to parents who rush to defend their child for the most insignificant things and then complain that their child takes no responsibility. My boys have pitched in at home since they were old enough to put their laundry in a hamper, now they are the first ones to offer help, we had no catastrophes in high school as some of our friends did.

    Nice to see their is someone sane in this world…. Oh, by the way I am 72 and raised mine that way…. Was this all a magic?? We had only been married for a short time and had another child who was 1 year old. We had been arguing and quarreling nonstop since the day our first child was conceived, no love nor trust from him anymore so he divorced.

    And all these whiles, I have been trying all different means to get him back, I also tried some different spell casters from other countries, but none of them could bring Richard back to me. It was only Dr Aluya who guaranteed me an urgent 24 hours spell casting, and he assure me that my husband will be with me before Christmas day.

    I am writing to offer my thanks and deep gratitude to you for keeping your promises, and for using your gifted and great powers to bring him back today 24th of December I was thrilled to know that you are specialized in reuniting Lovers. I never thought, in my whole life, that I would be writing to thank someone for casting a love spell on my marriage, but that day has arrived! I have never been happier in my life, and I feel like all of my dreams has turned into reality now.

    Thank you, Dr Aluya, for helping me through the worst times of my life, for being such a great spell caster, and for giving me a love spell that has brought me so much joy. If you doubt his ability, trust me. You should take a chance. It pays off in ways you could never even imagine, Contact him through his email: Well, considering the examples provided I guess my kids should be praising me! Ya know… just sayin.. I wouldve lmao if I wouldve been asked that. I like the tips you share, It will an addition to my knowledge as an educator, it very important you have skills and you know to teach the student to right track..!

    Hi there to all, the contents existing at this web page are truly awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows. Copy a listing from location A 2. Is a brand new arbitrage formula — very few people know about it and even less are actually using it. These are touchy topics to debate whenever let alone in a very personals ad. The following are five questions you should ask or get solutions to before meeting up with your matches on a real first date.

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    The Ongoing Action Plan for Fine Parents

    Tim Elmore on February 15, at 4: Max Nichols on February 17, at 5: Nick Christian on February 15, at 3: Your eight steps are great suggestions that lead to maturity rather than cowardice. I do agree we want to produce maturity, not cowardice in our kids. Amy Mathews on February 15, at 4: Gary Zulinski on February 15, at 4: Tim Elmore on February 15, at 5: Sharah Frierson on February 15, at 5: So glad to hear that you are finding it helpful.

    Connie on February 15, at 7: Tim Elmore on February 16, at 6: Your parents set an example all of us can learn from. Appreciate you taking time to comment. Tiffany Hammond Christian on February 16, at 5: Richard Stanford on February 16, at 6: Luna on February 18, at 8: Joy Woods on February 16, at 9: Robin Joseph on February 16, at Thanks for adding to the conversation. Jerry DiPalma on February 16, at 4: Tim Elmore on February 17, at 9: Jean McDonald Anderson on February 16, at 7: Lu Warren on February 16, at 7: Amanda Sklepowich on February 18, at 1: CBenson on February 17, at Jill Nesbitt on February 17, at 6: Kathy on February 19, at 9: Shea on February 17, at 9: I know it can get frustrating at times.

    Veronica on February 17, at Sarah on February 17, at 2: Janice on February 17, at 3: Karen on February 17, at 3: Yolo on February 17, at Tim Elmore on February 19, at 2: Merianne Smith on February 17, at Mary Therese Rooney Griffin on February 18, at 4: Glad to have you in the club! Mother of two Nina Becker, of Glen Cove, New York, describes the frenzy of activity surrounding the homecoming of her younger son, Kevin, whom the Beckers adopted at 18 months.

    I canceled all playdates. I stopped scheduling, so we could all have fun together on our own terms. A couple of considerations for unplanned, at-home time: TVs and computers should be off-limits. But if your child suggests you play a game together, by all means say yes. Strive for a balance between planned activities and downtime, and everyone—kids and parents alike—will be happiest.

    Even the youngest baby will start to equate comfort with consuming if the bottle is always offered to quiet crying. So will the toddler who is habitually given apple juice after a fall or a cookie for good behavior, says Dr. Karp, who adds that what a child seeks—and what is important to give—is your attention, pure and simple. For them, parental attention is about more than just "getting enough"—it means everything in the world to them. Your attaching a treat to the deal alters that perception.

    Karp, allowing that the occasional bending of this rule is to be forgiven. Your child has a tantrum in the grocery store? By all means, offer her a cookie. And it will really work then, because you haven't overused it. At some point your child will break every rule you make. But if you react to each infraction with the same show of disapproval—Mommy's mad; he's in the time-out chair—he may not reach an understanding of what prompted the rule-breaking behavior in the first place.

    Simply put, your child's "misbehavior" is a direct result of the fact that he cannot control his emotions—and it is one of parents' most important tasks to teach their children how to do just that. He isn't purposely being 'bad,'" says Pantley, who calls emotion-fueled outbursts on the part of very young children "biologically, psychologically, and absolutely normal. So while you may well impose the appropriate disciplinary measure that time-out, for instance , a calm and compassionate conversation is important too.

    Ask your child questions, and provide suggestions, Pantley suggests: What will make her feel better? Do you think you can help her bear give her a hug? Your intentions are good. In an effort to make the best choices for your child, you read up on how to impose just the right nap schedule, adhere to the appropriate amount of television viewing, and calibrate the best nutritional balance of protein, fats, and carbs.

    Trying to get it all right can be exhausting, and you're sometimes plagued with guilt that you haven't lived up to these standards. The truth is, there are a lot of experts out there—and far too much advice, some of it conflicting. For example, do you sense intuitively that a baby music class will be difficult for your month-old son, who wails when forced to sit still for even short periods?

    Ditto the reading-readiness software program that while loved by the neighbor's 3-year-old is not a hit with your own. She may get frustrated and turned off. Your gut may be telling you that she'd get more out of doing something else with her time: There's a benefit for you, too, in taking this approach. A baby who once loved an activity now rejects it. Parents can be quick to assume that something's wrong when, in fact, it may be that he's matured.

    While measuring your child's outward signs of growth in inches and on the scale, remember that he is making strides on the inside too—emotionally and cognitively. The parents' role as their children evolve from infants to toddlers and beyond? To evolve right along with them. Afterward, we had hot dogs and a soda—a special treat. These rituals made going to the doctor more palatable. It was a tradition he carried on with me and my two sisters for years. I remember feeling so special having him all to myself for the evening. Then we'd deposit the earnings in our savings account.

    It was a math lesson, small-motor exercise , and one-on-one time with Dad all 'rolled' into one. We'd go to breakfast and the car wash. He worked a lot, so we really cherished this time. All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation.