Scholastic Parents

Scholastic Parents is your online source for the latest information and advice on learning and development, family life, and school success.

Our Parent Newsletter
Get the newsletter that's right for you and your children:

By providing my email address I am acknowledging that I would like to receive the Parent Update and offers from Scholastic and carefully selected third parties.

Our Privacy Policy is available for your review.

When a Smart Kid Is a Smart Aleck

In a bright child, typical tween attitude may be multiplied. Find ways to respond.


Q: My son just turned 10 years old. He's an extremely bright child and does well in school. However, he has a smart-aleck attitude, talks back to me whenever he can, always thinks he's right, and refuses to listen. Grounding him does not work and I am at the end of my rope. How can I turn this around before he becomes a teenager and it gets worse?

A: Bright 10-year-old boys can be a pain. Since he is academically gifted, your son must likely get good reports from school. However, he may be displaying a similar "smart aleck" attitude with some teachers and peers. I would consult with the school guidance counselor first to determine whether the teachers notice any unacceptable behavior. If the answer is yes, the counselor could help create a behavioral management program both your family and the school could follow.

If the problem is only man