A six-year study focused on how students met goals and handled problems. The more hopeful students earned B’s and above. Students with lower expectations averaged C’s. And fewer of these students graduated.

Students with high expectations were also healthier. They coped better. Plus they had more athletic achievements.

To instill high hopes in kids, parents can:

• Help kids envision the future. Ask, “What do you see yourself doing when you grow up?” “What brings you happiness?”

• Help your child set and achieve short-term goals.

• Help your child develop her special talents—singing, piano, athletics, science.

• Avoid stepping on your child’s dreams. Focus on what she can do, not on what she can’t.

• Expose children to successful people—in your community and through biographies.

• Talk about successful people. What attitudes, qualities and skills made them successful?

• Foster a “can do” attitude. Stress that success depends more on effort than on ability or intelligence. Hard work and persistence do pay off!

• Turn “setbacks” into learning experiences. Ask, “What can you do to succeed next time?”

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