Here are four things that will make any child more successful:
1. Support. Kids need to know that someone is in their corner. They can be successful if they feel that someone cares deeply about whether they succeed or fail, and if someone is proud of their successes and their efforts.
2. Boundaries and expectations. Kids need adults who act like adults. Parents who are firm and loving have children who do better at school, feel more self-confident and get into less trouble than kids whose parents are too strict . . . or too lenient.
3. Empowerment. All people need to know they make a difference. Encourage children to provide service to others. Make sure they take part in school, community or religious organizations that give them the chance to do community service.
4. Constructive use of time. After school, kids still need to be involved in constructive activities. Research shows that middle schoolers who watch more than 10 hours of TV per week are at greater risk of drug use, early sexual experience and school failure.
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