How to Shift Teens from a Complainer to a Reformer?

Learning to command change

Teens today can often be misunderstood. Their dialogues are quick to get emotionallyempowering teens charged and the older generation could describe them as complainers.  I would not argue with that label at times, but, as with all characteristics, it has a flip side that can be embraced. We have to ask ourselves, how do we as adults help to empower teens to become reformers and not complainers?

Teens will at times find complaints about life inside their social circles, family life, or at school. As parents we wish we could tell our kids to demand a higher expectation or outcome for their life and from their friends. Instead of complaining we want to shift their perspective to the status of a reformer who can take charge of their life and do what needs to be done. So how can the change be made from a complainer to a reformer?

How to become a reformer

The definition of a reformer is a person who makes changes to something in order to improve it. As a teen this can be done by becoming highly alert to your surroundings and its context.

“When you start to feel yourself wanting to complain or are unhappy with your current situation, stop and examine those feelings. Ask yourself, what can I do to change this?

empowering teensIf it feels like something is out of your control, find someone with a higher amount of control and approach them to make the change.”

Even if the teen is unable to physically make the change, that doesn’t mean they can’t start a conversation with people who can!

The parents role

Instead of complainers, I advise parents to see your teens as reformers. Meaning that they’re not satisfied with the way things are because they know it could be better and are willing to work to change them. Feeling powerless is often the source of teen angst. Therefore parents need to put them in a position of power in which they can solve their own problems, as set up and modeled by the adults.

You can start in the home. Interview your teen, or start the tradition of family meetings, to see what they’re happy and unhappy with in the family setting. Having power at home can give them that boost of confidence they need to make changes at school or even in their social circles. A teens observations and demands for change come from a passionate belief that life should be as good for everyone as it has been for themselves.

This can be done by demanding equity and compassion in all areas of life. Becoming areformer is a powerful position from which to approach the wider world that our teens inevitably enter. Teens today represent a cross-section of the world across all parameters—women and men of color, a range of religions and ethnicities, national origins and visa

healthy teens at a party, empowering teens

statuses, complex family dynamics, sex and gender roles.

Challenging teens to do the work

We have many teens today that are willing to do the work to make the changes.  We must present them with the right challenges to get them moving in a positive direction. We want our teens to work hard and take full advantage of any opportunity or challenge put in their path.

Your teen can go from being a complainer to being someone who is willing to jump in and work hard to make that change happen, not perfectly from the beginning but ideally in the end.

Learning to be a reformer is never a clean and perfect process but we take and celebrate each small accomplishment along the path. Our role as parents is to call it out and say “I see your power in action, keep building on that!” Teens are going through many changes on the physical and emotional level. Help your teen by adding a tool for releasing stress into their daily routine. Click here to learn about Transcendental Meditation for your teen!

Interested in learning about how the hero’s journey narrative can help your teenager? Click here.

To learn more about Transcendental Meditation at our school, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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How Much Is Too Much for AP Class Workload?

What are AP (Advanced Placement) Classes?

AP (Advanced Placement) is a program of classes developed by the College Board to give high school students an introduction to a college-level workload. Maharishi School offers Advanced Placement courses in Psychology, Statistics, Microeconomics, U.S. History, Calculus, English Literature, English Language, and Physics.

Why are AP classes important for our students?

Taking an AP class introduces students to the rigors of a college course which helps prepare them to transition to yenet using a microscopecollege. Highly selective colleges expect their students to complete these courses and to pass them with top marks. Many colleges grant students college credit if the student scores well (at least a 4, or 5 out of 5) on the AP exam. Being successful in class and on the test gives students a competitive edge. Apart from the exam results, students who successfully complete an AP course (with a grade C or better) improve their chances of admission to a selective college.

How can we reduce the stress load and still be college prep?

We recommend that most students take no more than five AP courses in total. This way the students don’t feel overly stretched and stressed. As researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill determined, taking more than five AP courses in high school gives no student working in schoolsignificant increase in college grade point average (GPA): More AP Classes May Not Be Better.

The UNC-Chapel Hill article describes their research: “They found that students who take more AP or IB courses do better in college—but only up to a certain point. If two students have similar SAT scores and high-school grades, and one takes zero AP courses and the other takes five, the student with five AP courses will probably have a higher first-year undergraduate GPA (3.26 versus 3.07). Above five courses, there’s no significant increase in GPA.”

So your child still wants to take 10 AP Courses regardless of the stress?

According to the American Psychological Association, 30% of teens feel overwhelmed and depressed as a result of stress overload. Growing up is tough. Teens today are under immense pressure. It can feel as if they are out in the ocean being tossed and turned by turbulent waves. Maharishi School addresses this issue by offering a tool for stress relief called Transcendental Meditation®. By accessing our own inherent intelligence via the TM® technique, we utilize our full potential and are able to move towards goals with less turmoil. Regular practice of TM erodes the effects of stress and creates skillful action allowing our students to take on more work if they choose to do so, with less energy expended. Work smarter not harder!

students meditating stress release

6 Books All Young Feminists Need to Read ASAP

6 Books All Young Feminists Need to Read ASAP

Why is Feminism important? Well, because women are important. However, women have not always been treated as important. Real feminism aims to address inequality by navigating a path to equality for all genders and ethnicities. There is never a better time than right now to get started building your feminist reading list. In no particular order, here are our suggestions:


Women, Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis

Dismantle the patriarchy. Dismantle classism. Be intersectional with this book. Feminism should come in more than just white. Expand your feminist radar with this powerful dialogue from a powerful woman. Learn from Davis; she is the hero we need right now, and she has been doing the hard work for so long.Feminism


Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West

Lindy West was a fabulous as a writer at Jezebel. Now, she is blessing us with a wonderful book  to help us be proud, cool, and unapologetic feminists.


Feminism Is for Everybody by Bell Hooks

It’s time to dive head first into feminist theory. Bell breaks it down for us to show us how applying the tenets of feminism across our society would greatly improve the lives of literally everyone.


Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

Feminism Lorde is here to save us all. She is a strong, powerful, black, lesbian here to educate us with her deep and thoughtful essays and speeches.


Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

This memoir has it all. Join Mock on her journey that includes her experiences of being poor and multicultural in addition to transitioning as a teenager.


This Bridge Called My Back edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Want to understand more about the history of feminism? This is a great place to start. When it was published, this collection of writings helped jumpstart the third wave of feminism. This is a must-read.

There’s never a time better than now to begin deepening your understanding of feminism, its history, and how it effects your life everyday. Here’s a list to get you started. Enjoy!


To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
Fairfield, IA 52556


5 Things You Really Need to Know Before Your College Interview

Preparing for a college interview can feel really scary, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Planning ahead can be a good way to combat anxiety surrounding college interviews. So, we have put together a short checklist of ways you can prepare for, and totally nail, your college interviews.


  1. Be yourself

Colleges are interviewing you. They honestly want to get to know you to see if you are a good fit for their school and that their school is a good fit for you. So relax, take a deep breath, and just be yourself.


  1. Practice

Practice what you’re going to say. Prepare some talking points about things you enjoy, activities you have participated in, accomplishments you are proud of, and so on. Don’t write a script, but know what you are going to say. Prepare some talking points.Dressed for an interview


  1. Ask questions

Ask some thoughtful questions of the people interviewing you. Ask them about their school. Ask them about their hobbies. Ask them about their favorite local coffee shop. Asking questions shows you are engaged and interested. Colleges want to know you are invested in what they have to offer so ask questions!


  1. Prepare

Take time to read articles about what questions the interviewers might ask you. It’s good to have thought over your possible answers so you aren’t taken off guard by the questions. You might get some surprise questions, but they will generally resemble ones on this list


  1. Stop worrying about the time

Most interviews last around 30 minutes to an hour, give or take. Don’t worry if it’s longer or shorter. Most interviews are conducted on a tight schedule so do not take the length of interview as an indicator of how well your interview is going.


Relax. You got this. Good luck!



To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
Fairfield, IA 52556


David Lynch Accepts Co-Chair Position for Maharishi School Five Year Plan

For more than a year our Board of Directors has been busy crafting a new five-year plan.  In collaboration with Maharishi School faculty and staff, they have laid the groundwork to grow and sustain Maharishi School well into the future.David Lynch has accepted a co-chair position for the five year expansion plan of Maharishi School. Maharishi School is a private day and boarding school in the Midwest where students, faculty, and staff practice Transcendental Meditation.

At our annual opening Convocation, we all received some excellent news about the campaign: internationally acclaimed film director David Lynch has agreed to serve as its Co-Chair …starting with his own $50,000 donation!

Parent Juliet Jarmosco captured the excitement and appreciation of David in this video.

Yesterday Mr. Lynch wrote:

Dear Maharishi School Students, Teachers, and Staff, thank you so much for sending that great video!  It thrilled me to my soul! What a great blissful group! I love Maharishi School! Hip Hip Hooray!
Jai Guru Dev, Your Friend, David

David Lynch has practiced Transcendental Meditation, the technique that students, faculty, and staff at Maharishi School all practice, since 1973 and has never missed a session. “Twice a day, every day. It has given me effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within,” David explains. In addition to his support of Maharishi School, Mr. Lynch launched the David Lynch Foundation in 2005. The foundation raises funds to bring TM teachers to those who need the practice most: veterans with PTSD, students in under-performing schools, women who have escaped abusive relationships, prisoners, and many others around the world who have benefitted from the stress reduction offered by Transcendental Meditation.

We look forward to working with Mr. Lynch over the next five years and look forward to working together to promote Maharishi School, as well as to spread the stress-reducing practice of Transcendental Meditation to everyone who can benefit from it, worldwide, which—let’s face it—is just about everybody!

Maharishi School Offers Positive Discipline Parenting Class

Are you challenged by morning routine and bedtime hassles, power struggles over homework and chores, or by any area of parenting where you feel like you’re not quite connecting with your child?

Maharishi School is pleased to announce that our Positive Discipline Parenting Class is returning for its sixth session.  The class will be team-taught by Lower School Head Laura Bordow and veteran Montessori educator and Preschool Lead Teacher Rebecca Bellonci.  Between the two of them, Bordow and Bellonci have decades of parenting and teaching experience and are excited to share what they have learned through the years about positive discipline.

The seven-session class will empower parents with common sense solutions, offer a fresh perspective on what motivates kids, and convey how to increase communication and cooperation. Positive Disciple is filled with non-punitive, respectful methods that incorporate kindness and firmness into parenting, help parents get to the core of their child’s misbehavior, and bring more joy into the home.

This class is open to the entire community, and the cost has been kept to only $20 for the seven-week session.  Your fee also includes a copy of “Parenting the Positive Discipline Way”, as well as many useful handouts and reference sheets that can be used again and again whenever challenges arise.

This session begins on Tuesday, October 4th and lasts from 1:00-3: 00 pm, in the Maharishi School Parlor.  We will offer an evening course in early spring.

To sign up, please email Rebecca Bellonci at or sign up in the Maharishi School Central Office.