Build These Into Kids

A warm hello to all our parents out there.  Today I want to suggest three things to build into your kids to enhance their success.  They are Educational Aspiration, School Performance, & Achievement Motivation.  Let’s start with Achievement Motivation.  We’re after with Achievement Motivation to create the desire to learn and do their best every day.  Some kids feel as if school is a waste of their time.  If you sense this with your young person, encourage them to set some goals for themselves, either short-term, like on time to class every day, or long-term, as in career goals.  Encourage them to ask questions in class, to participate.  I want to encourage parents to sit with their kids and talk about how school applies to their lives, success, and overall well-being.

The second Build is Education Aspiration, and it aligns with the first one of Achievement Motivation.  I am a big believer in goals set for the future.  I like to ask kids, “What career do you see yourself in as an adult?”  Help them think about other people around your family and how they make a living: your hairdresser, grocery store, bank, technology, and other professionals.  Sit with your kids and have a conversation about what they could do for themselves.  Once they have picked a professional or general area, discuss the education that will be necessary.  Would practice in the profession require trade school, community college, or college certification?  Is there a license involved, which would then require testing of some sort?  This association to career helps kids realize that a class they may not be crazy about will come into play when they must pass a licensing exam to practice their profession.

The third Build is School Performance. When we encourage kids to earn above-average or better grades, we help them gain a ticket to college, scholarships, financial aid, increased test scores, such as the ACT, SAT, and other meaningful connections that lead to success.  When parents neglect these conversations, they are setting their kids up for mediocrity, living at home still at 25 without any goals.  Hire a tutor if your child is struggling in an area.  Could the child go and see the teacher before or after school?  What is extra help available after school at the school site?  Help kids understand that skipping an assignment or not turning in a little worksheet can affect their grades.

I encourage parents to spend time with their kids talking about Educational Aspiration, School Performance & Achievement Motivation.  These are not one-time conversations but conversations that happen repeatedly.  Your kids will thank you for your tireless efforts when they are adults in successful careers and a bit of financial freedom.

Additional information is available at What Kids Need: School Performance – Dr. Rich Patterson (

Teacher Magazine has a great article at Supporting students’ career and educational aspirations (


Yours for Better Parenting,