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Your child doesn't have to be a genius to do well in school.  But he does have to be motivated and willing to work.  As a parent, there are lots of things you can do to motivate your child and encourage academic effort. One of the most important is building his self-confidence and setting him up for success.  The experts say that the more parents do to help their child feel successful, the more he will be willing to strive for success.

For example, turn setbacks into learning opportunities.  Tell your child that everyone makes mistakes.  The important thing is to learn from his mistakes.  Encourage him to use positive self-talk:  "I have studied the lesson.  I know the facts. I am going to do well in class today."

Ways to Encourage Academic Effort
  1. Help your child set achievable goals.  Then, don't wait to offer encouragement.  Point out the small successes along the way:  "You did better on this week's quiz.  Keep it up and you'll raise that grade before you know it!"
  2. Nurture your child's natural curiosity.  Welcome his questions.  Show your own curiosity about things, too.
  3. Be a model learner.  Let your child know that learning never ends.  Talk with him about the things you learn when you read the paper or when you chat with a friend. Source: 2005 The Parent Institute, Reprinted with permission from “The Parent Institute,” a division of NIS, Inc.,