- Encourage academic and career goals: Talk to your child about his favorite subjects and help him make the school-career connection early on. Plan family activities that connect with what he is studying in school to emphasize real-world connections to academics.
- Set high expectations: Show your child that hard work is rewarded; kids who believe effort and achievement go together perform better academically. Set up a contract with him to complete his schoolwork before going out or turning on the TV.
- Praise successes: Positive reinforcement builds confidence and academic interest.
- Beware of put-downs: Criticism can damage your pre-teen's fragile self-esteem and make her less willing to challenge herself.
- Encourage kids to write whenever possible: Writing letters, e-mails, and thank you notes will help develop crucial writing skills.
Find out more about keeping your child motivated.