All children have the ability to learn. All children can succeed in school. But to help underachievers, parents and schools must work closely together. Here are some suggestions:

Be positive. Underachievers usually have low self-esteem. Try to focus on the positive, not the negative. Talk about "things you are working on," not "things you are bad at."

Be clear. Make sure you send a clear message about what you expect. You might say, "I know you can learn, and I expect you to try your hardest in school."

Be consistent. Tell your child you expect him to study for a certain time each day. Don't let your child put studying off until late evening. As the commercials say, it's better to "just do it."

Be open. Let your child take ownership of his own learning. Set aside regular time to talk about how things are going. Be sure to listen to what your child has to say. Where possible, make adjustments to include his suggestions for change.

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