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Raising Successful Kids: Is Your Child a Model Student?

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Challenges, Discipline, and Success!

If you're a parent and want your child to be a successful model student, learn from headmaster, Rick Ackerly. Today our expert parenting author, Rick, is sharing an excerpt from his book, The Genius in Every Child. Let's hear his story and listen to his advice.

The Model Student Story

One day I happened upon a sixth-grade teacher as he was writing progress reports on students. He stopped what he was doing, looked up, and said, "Boy, this girl is a model student. She is exactly what we look for in candidates for our school."

I asked, "What's so great?"

"She eagerly tackles any challenge that I give her," he replied.

Research and Success

The work of Carol Dweck at Stanford supports this quality as a criterion with predictive value. In "The Secret to Raising Smart Kids, "Dweck reminds us that success is not a function of intelligence measured by a test or a set of fixed goals or abilities, but a function of applying yourself to the challenges at hand. It is a matter of hard work and disciplines-those behaviors and habits that help us accomplish our goals.

Students who believe that they have the ability to grow their intelligence will outperform students who have a notion that intelligence is fixed and who feel that the more of it you have, the more successful you will be. Successful people are successful because they work with diligence and discipline to make something of themselves in the world.

At the beginning of the article, Dweck writes: "Our society worships talent, and many people assume that possessing superior intelligence or ability-along with confidence in the ability-is a recipe for success. In fact, however, more than 30 years of scientific investigation suggest that an overemphasis on intellect or talent leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings."

It's not their strengths or their level of academic proficiency that makes a difference in the quality of their lives, but their enthusiasm for embracing a challenge and getting down to work. (From pages 98-99)


I appreciate that embracing challenges with discipline and hard work beat talent and intellect. We all know smart talented people who haven't gone far because they lacked discipline. Of course there are talented intelligent people who love challenges and hard work. They are successful too. But for most of us, our success can be measured by our belief in ourselves, willingness to tackle challenges, and self-discipline.


Pick up Rick Ackerly's The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, and Creativity in Children

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Let's THANK Rick Ackerly for making his wealth of knowledge available in his excellent book. Now parents everywhere have the opportunity to put his advice into action.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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