The Case of the Overall Underachiever

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have become very concerned about our 11-year old son. He’s a perpetual underachiever in almost everything, from school to the ball field. We know that he can do better – he’s smart as a whip! How can we encourage him to do better?

A: We all want our kids to get good grades, have lots of friends, and do great things in life. But before your child (or you, for that matter) can accomplish those goals—or any others—he has to answer two questions. First, “Is this goal actually worth achieving?” Second, “Am I capable of achieving it?” If the answer to either (or both) questions is “no,” chances of success are pretty slim, whether in school or the real world.
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