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Student and Learning Affirmations

Today’s Thought: 

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ~ Robert Frost

In our modern, fast-changing world, learning is no longer confined to a period of years that we call “formal education”. The world where that was possible is long gone. We don’t learn information once and it lasts us for our entire lives or careers. In fact, learning is a life-long endeavor that lasts far beyond the classroom.

Most careers require continuing education and re-education as fields change, expand, and cease to exist. Some fields change so rapidly that the information by a college freshman is out-of-date by the time that student reaches his or her junior year. This is what it means to live in the information age. We are in a constant dance with information through its conduit learning. In fact, the most successful and happiest people are those who become students of life.

They understand what Frost meant in the quote above. Frost was articulating what Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Life is the THE teacher. Experience is THE teacher. Our “teachers” and “gurus” are merely facilitators opening our hearts and our minds to be good students of these great teachers. Knowledge is just knowledge.

It is the role of the student to  be a visionary, to use knowledge to transform and transcend experience. The affirmations in this article are targeted at the student, the learner. They encompass everyone from the second-grader learning math to the student of life seeking the meaning of life. There will be more added to this list, but this is a good start.

Student General

  1. Today and every day, my thirst for learning is alive and well in me!
  2. I can learn anything! I can know anything! I can be anything!
  3. This semester is MY learning experience and I take from it what is useful to me.
  4. I love the challenge of finals! I am acing all my finals this semester.
  5. I am a student and being a student is ALL about the possible!
  6. I am a great student and getting better each and every day!
  7. Learning new things is a challenge and I love challenges!
  8. I am prepared for my tests. I love taking tests. Tests are a breeze for me.
  9. I thrive and I succeed at school! Learning is my gateway to an abundant future.
  10. When I am exposed to information that benefits me, I absorb it like a sponge!
  11. Learning is life. I love learning and I am good at it!
  12. Today I study hard, so tomorrow I can make my difference!
  13. Education is the gateway to my future! Today I make the most of my academic opportunities.
  14. Today I take charge of my education. The more I learn, the more I achieve.
  15. As my demand on my thinking grows, my learning expands.
  16. I am the engine of my learning!
  17. I am a good learner. Learning comes easy for me!
  18. My life is what I make of it and today I make it a great place to learn!
  19. Today I set aside my fears and achieve all my educational goals.
  20. I am smart and today I prove it!
  21. A great student lives within me and today that student shows up in my classes.
  22. I grow and I learn at my own pace.
  23. I value my education because it prepares me for a bright and successful future.
  24. I value my education because it creates a more complete me.
  25. This semester is MY semester! I succeeding at a whole new level!
  26. Education is the path to freedom and today I walk that path with confidence.
  27. Education is my way up! Education is my way out! Education is my way through!
  28. I am bigger than this test! I am better than this test! I AM acing this test!
  29. I contribute to the learning environment in every way that I can.
  30. I set high standards for my educational experience and I achieve them.

Student by Category

  1. Math is fun for me! Math is easy for me! Math is fun and easy for me! (Substitute class of choice)
  2. In those moments when I want to give up and quit, I remember this doctoral dissertation is a doorway to my dreams.
  3. I am easily and effortlessly gathering my research and documentation for an outstanding dissertation.
  4. I am writing a groundbreaking dissertation that receives high praise.
  5. I easily and effortlessly learning new processes at work.
  6. English to Spanish! Spanish to English! I am quickly learning and applying the Spanish I learn. (Substitute your foreign language)
  7. Uno, dos, tres. Spanish is as easy for me as one, two, three!
  8. Grad school is the gateway to my dreams. Today I am claiming my dreams!
  9. I have outstanding credentials! Any grad school would be lucky to have me!

The Seeker

  1. What is mine to teach, I willingly share. What is mine to learn, I eagerly absorb.
  2. Today I find the pearls of my enlightenment scattered along my path.
  3. Love is my teacher and life my classroom. Today I am an honor student.
  4. I am always open to learning a better way.
  5. A chance to learn is a chance to grow. I love growing!
  6. Learning from my morning, I make adjustments to my afternoon.
  7. I hear and I know. I see and I can. I DO and I achieve.
  8. Ordinary thinkers conform to the tribe. Extraordinary thinkers transform it.
  9. As I transform my thinking, I make it easier for those around me to do the same!
  10. Today I pledge to learn from what I don’t understand rather than fearing it!
  11. I learn from every experience. I grow from every experience. I thrive on every experience.
  12. I CHOOSE to move forward every day, growing and learning as I go!
  13. Today I release my either/or thinking and open my mind to new possibilities!
  14. I refuse to unconsciously become the past! I choose to consciously become the future.
  15. Whatever I need to learn always comes my way at just the right moment.
  16. Today I am choose to learn my life lessons the first time. I refuse to waste my energy learning them over and over.

Original Quotes

  1. One empowered mind changes a life. Many empowered minds transform the world.
  2. Every new experience is a new opportunity.
  3. The world is built from ideas, as surely as it’s built from atoms. The world can be transformed by rearranging either.
  4. Some days our progress is small, but our learning is much.
  5. A lesson learned is a heartache missed.
  6. A lesson learned is
  7. As an open leaf collects the morning dew, an open mind collects wisdom.
  8. An open mind opens worlds. A closed mind stifles them.
  9. An open mind is a growing mind. A closed mind is a conquered mind.
  10. An open heart opens the mind. An open mind opens the world.
  11. A closed mind gathers no light. An open mind thrives on light.
  12. Education that flows one way is conditioning, not education. True learning is always collaborative.
  13. The dogmas that you hold, hold you.
  14. A little vision takes you further, faster than a lot of knowledge.
  15. Actually, great minds don’t think alike. Great minds innovate and transform the status quo.
  16. In every moment, your thoughts are transforming your world consciously or unconsciously. It might as well be consciously.
  17. Big questions are scary things, but their answers can bring big transformation.
  18. Experts tweak the status quo. It takes visionaries to transform it.
  19. Authentic learning is about staring big truths in the face and refusing to blink when questioning them.
  20. The tribe will always conform you until you have the courage to transform you.
  21. The great learner transcends then transforms the group by pursuing truth, even at the expense of the group’s most cherished dogmas.
  22. One empowered thought is the birthplace of a life transformed.
  23. Do you create your own paradigms or are you a tenant farmer in someone eles’s paradigm?
  24. Your paradigms should serve you, not the other way around.
  25. Unless you awaken and think for yourself, those who control your paradigms will control you.
  26. Bigger thoughts change me. Bigger actions change my life. Bigger paradigms change everything.
  27. A paradigm tested by questioning is a fortress. A paradigm untested and unquestioned is a house of cards.
  28. Learning is not a period of years in your life. It is your life. The classroom never closes.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss. – Siti

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How to Encourage Your Child to Love Learning

So your child has grown older, and you’re ready to give them a head start in getting ready with math. Well, that’s great! This article will give you some tips and ideas on how to best instruct your child while not making them fall asleep.

  • Part 1 of 4: Offering encouragement

(1) Encourage your child. What do you think would make for a more enriching class-time experience, an excited and ambitious one or a defiant, uninspired one?

(2) Keep teaching the child at a consistent pace. Sit down with them daily or at least biweekly to fuse the concepts into their minds. Never forget to keep it fun!

(3) Begin teaching your child with an interactive activity. There’s so much of options. you can use flashcards or a simple sheet of problems. Give them a handful of small objects and let them use those to count out the answers to the problems. Make sure you also have them learn to use their fingers in case no objects are available.

  • Part 2 of 4: Teaching concepts

(1) Teach concepts, not just memorization. While memorization can certainly be helpful, it’s even more helpful to have the child learn exactly how mathematical functions work. This way, they can also begin to apply their knowledge in other ways. That will help them when they begin to move on to more complicated math.

  • Make multiple activities that show how the concept works.

(2) Always make sure that your child completely understands a concept before moving on. If you skimp out on anything, it will be confusing for them and they will not be able to work as well as they should be able to when you apply it in other ways.

  • Part 3 of 4: Making math real

(1) Enhance the learning experience by playing games with the things around you. For example, ask them to say how many more pictures on the wall there is in the living room than the dining room. Have them count them both, then subtract.

(2) Continue to incorporate the concepts you’ve taught into fun things in real life. For example, measuring fractions when baking cookies, asking how many cats are at the pet store or how many showings of their new favorite movie are playing that day.

  • Bring up problems when you’re out with your child. In the grocery store, for example, ask them how much money out of $10 you’d have left if you bought green beans for $1. This will also help make the connections in their mind to help them to become better at math.

(3) Play board games. Board games with two dice rolled instead of one can be a good application for learning basic addition. When they get older, games that use play money, like Monopoly, can help them learn more about adding and subtracting money.

  • Part 4 of 4: Keeping it up

(1) Reward your child. At the end of your time sitting down to work with them, reward them somehow. Whether you give them a small piece of candy or you just hug them and express how smart they are, it will give them confidence and help them strive to do better.

(2) Don’t quit! Teaching your child math isn’t something that happens overnight. Skills need to stack up in their minds like building blocks, and while schools are a primary educator in your child’s life, you are one of the most important!

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44 Proven Ideas Parents Can Use to Help Their Children Do Better in School

DadSonReadingMaking Time Count

1. Put specific times on your calendar each week when you will spend time with your children. During that time, focus your love and attention on your child.

2. Use car time to talk with your children. There’s no phone or television to interfere. No one can get up and leave. And kids know they really have your ear.

3. Plan to eat at least one meal together as a family each day.

4. Look for things to do together as a family. Get everyone involved in choosing how to spend your time together.

5. Try giving children television tickets. Each week, each child gets 20 tickets. Each ticket can be used for 30 minutes of TV time. Any tickets remaining at the end of the week can be cashed in for 25 cents each. Parents can still veto a certain program, of course.

Reading to Your Child

6. Try relaxing your family’s bedtime rules once a week on the weekends. Let your children know that they can stay up as late as they want, as long as they are reading in bed.

7. Help your child start a home library; paperback books are fine. Encourage your child to swap books with friends. Check used book stores. Give books as gifts.

8. Want your children to be good readers? Let them see you read.

9. Try holding D-E-A-R times at your house. “DEAR” stands for “Drop Everything and Read.” During DEAR time, everyone in the family sits down for some uninterrupted reading time.

10. With young children, try reading to them during bath time.

11. Use the “Rule of Thumb” to see if a book is on your children’s reading level: Have them read a page of the book aloud. Have them hold up one finger for each word they don’t know. If they hold up four fingers and a thumb before the end of the page, the book is probably too hard for them to read alone. But it might be a great book to read aloud.

Building Self-Esteem

12. Have children make a “book” about themselves, with their own illustrations and wording. “A Book About Me” is a great way to help your child see themselves as “somebody.”

13. Help your child discover their roots by talking with family members during holiday and other visits.

14. Constantly look for ways to tell your children what you like about them, and that you love them. There is no age limit on this. “When I do something well, no one ever remembers. When I do something wrong, no one ever forgets.” Those words were written by a high school dropout.

15. Let kids overhear you praising them to others.

16. Try “King/Queen for a Day” for good report cards.

17. Help kids learn from problems, not be devastated by them. Many parents don’t ever use the word “failure.” They may talk about a “glitch,” a “problem,” or a “snag.” But even when something doesn’t work out as they’d planned, successful people try to learn something from the experience.

Discipline

18. In good weather, put two angry kids on opposite sides of a strong window or glass door. Provide each with a spray bottle of window cleaner and a rag. Then let them “attack.” Their angry words will turn to laughter…and your window or door will be clean!

19. Try role playing to eliminate constant fighting. For five minutes, have the fighters switch roles. Each has to present the other person’s point of view as clearly and fairly as possible. Odds are, they’ll start laughing and make up. Better yet, they may come up with a compromise solution that both parties like.

20. For better discipline, speak quietly. If you speak in a normal tone of voice, even when you’re angry, you’ll help your child see how to handle anger appropriately. And if you don’t scream at your kids, they’re less likely to scream at each other or at you.

21. Try a “black hole” to keep toys and other belongings picked up. All you need is a closet or cabinet with a lock—the “black hole.” When something is left out that should be put away, it gets put into the “black hole” for 24 hours. Once a favorite toy or something your child needs is locked up for 24 hours, there is greater incentive to keep it where it belongs. This works best when the whole family participates.

Solving School Problems

22. Try looking over children’s study materials and making up a sample quiz as they study for upcoming tests.

23. Visit your child’s school in a time of peace before major problems develop.

24. Make report cards a positive experience. Preparation: Ask, “What do you think your report card will tell us?” Getting ready is helpful. Perspective: Understand that a report card is just one small measure of your child. A child with poor grades still has plenty of strengths. Positive action: Find something to praise. Focus on how to improve.

25. Be aware that your attitudes about school affect your child. If you hated math, be careful not to prejudice your child.

Motivating Your Child

26. In addition to the three R’s, children need the four A’s: Attention, Appreciation, Affection, and Acceptance.

27. Some researchers believe every child is gifted, if we will just look for the ways. Helping children see their giftedness is very motivating.

28. Encourage children to read biographies about successful people. As children learn about the traits that made others successful, they are often motivated to adopt those same success patterns in their own lives.

29. Motivate your children in math by challenging them to figure out how much change you should get back from a purchase. If they get the amount right, they get to keep the change.

30. Praise children constantly.

Building Responsibility

31. Try a simple cardboard box to help make your children responsible for school belongings. Have them choose a place for the box, perhaps near the door or in their room. Every afternoon, their first task should be to place all belongings in the box. When homework is finished, it goes in the box, too. In the morning, the box is the last stop before heading out the door.

32. Help children understand, and take responsibility for, the consequences of their choices: “I chose to do my homework; the result was that I got an ‘A’ on my math test.” “I chose to get up 15 minutes late; the result was that I missed breakfast and nearly missed the bus.”

33. Try giving your child the responsibility of growing a small garden, even in just a flower pot. The positive and negative results of carrying out their responsibilities are very clear.

34. One way to keep children moving in the morning: After they wake up, begin to play their favorite CD. Give them until the CD plays through to get dressed for school.

Reinforcing Learning

35. Encourage kids to collect things. Whether they collect rocks, shells, leaves, or bugs is not important. By collecting, children are learning new ways to make sense of their world.

36. Estimating is an important math skill. We estimate how much our groceries will cost. We estimate how much time we’ll need to complete a project at work. You can help your child learn to estimate at home. Here’s one idea: As you’re driving, estimate the distance to your destination. Then estimate how much time it will take to get there. Use the odometer or a map to check your work.

37. Talk about geography in terms children can understand: Go through your house and talk about where things came from. A calculator may have come from Taiwan. A box of cereal may have a Battle Creek, Mich., address, or White Plains, N.Y. Talk about where the wheat for your bread came from. Where was the cotton for your blue jeans grown? Tell your children where your ancestors came from. Find the places on a map.

38. Show your child that writing is useful. Have them help you write a letter ordering something, asking a question, etc. Then show them the results of your letter.

Homework

39. Try playing “Beat the Clock” with your child during homework time. Look over the assignment and figure out about how long it should take to complete it. Allow a little extra time and set a timer for that many minutes. No prizes are needed. There is great satisfaction in getting the work done on time.

40. Teach your child to use the formula “SQ3R” when doing any homework assignment. The letters stand for a proven five-step process that makes study time more efficient and effective: Survey, Question, Read, Restate, and Review.

41. Here are tips to make homework time easier for you and your child:

  • Have a regular place for your child to do homework. Use a desk or table in a quiet room. Be sure there’s plenty of light.
  • Find a regular time for homework. You may want to make a rule: “No television until homework is finished.”
  • During homework time, turn off the TV and radio.
  • Help your children plan how they will use their time.
  • Set a good example. While your child is doing homework, spend some time reading or working yourself. Then when homework is done, you can both talk about how much you’ve accomplished.

42. Nitty gritty homework tips:

  • Do the most difficult homework first. Save “easy” subjects for when your child is tired.
  • Do the most important assignments first. If time runs short, the priorities will be finished. Do what’s required first.
  • Finish the optional assignments later, even if they’re more fun.

43. Look over your child’s homework every day. Start at an early age and keep it up as long as you can. Praise good work. Your interest will encourage good work.

44. Try having your child teach you the homework. The teacher always learns more than the student.

Author: Dr. John H. Wherry. 
Source: The Parent Institute.

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Should You Give Kids Rewards?

rewards-for-kids-01As parents, we’ve all been there before: maybe it’s potty training or trying to get your child dressed in time for school. Perhaps you’ve offered a little treat—a sticker, a cookie or a trinket—for motivation. But what’s an appropriate reward? And are we raising little Connors and Maddies with a sense of entitlement?

While motivating children with incentives of money, toys or even a special activity can be very effective, some experts believe this prevents youngsters from developing their own sense of responsibility. Alfie Kohn, author of “Punished by Rewards,” believes that giving incentives—even nonmaterial ones—only serves to control youngsters. “While dangling extra TV, ice cream or story time in front of a child asks less of us,” Kohn says, “it can never get anything more than temporary obedience—and it buys even that at terrific cost.”

But not all experts agree. According to Dr. Virginia Shiller, a psychologist and instructor at the Yale Child Study Center and coauthor of the book Rewards for Kids, rewards can help parents teach their children new habits. Shiller says the key is in how the incentives are given; in setting appropriate, realistic goals; and in figuring out a strategy to achieve them. “I was inspired to write this book by my own parenting experience, and I’m happy to say my sons—now in their late 20s—are very responsible people,” says Shiller. “This is not purely behavioral modification. I’m much bigger on using it as a learning opportunity.”

Whether or not to offer rewards is a personal decision. Here are some tips to help your family:

>> How to Use Rewards Effectively

  • Kids can begin to understand the concept of a reward around age three. Developmental age is just as important as chronological age. The main thing is that toddlers are past the stage in which they are locked into oppositional battles (“No! I don’t want ice cream!”).
  • Make rewards fairly immediate. Younger kids may need more immediate goals, while older kids can understand working toward longer-term rewards. Incentives can be small, and they don’t need to be money or a toy. Even a trip to the library or park can be a treat.
  • Use charts. A sticker can visually remind young children of their achievements. Or have fun and draw a scene and add stickers of trucks or animals to it.
  • Set realistic, specific goals. Don’t try to change too many things at once. If you try to work on getting to school on time, being nice to siblings and cleaning up toys all at once, that’s too much. It’s better to target just one or two actions in a particular chart.
  • Help your children reach their goals. Work with them to figure out how they’re going to achieve their goals. “If it’s a chart about getting out of the house in the morning, and they think, ‘I could find my shoes in the evening instead of a last-minute search for shoes,’ then they’re actually learning a strategy,” says Shiller. And don’t forget to take the opportunity to praise your child!

>> The Dangers of Rewards

  • Leads to nagging. With a rewards system, the burden often falls on the parent to remind kids to do the necessary tasks. “After the first couple of weeks, it doesn’t work very well,” says Christine Carter, author of “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents.” “If you are in this bribe, threat, nag cycle, then it’s not working. And the kids know it’s not working.”
  • Could prevent children from developing a sense of doing the right thing.” Psychologists refer to intrinsic motivation as the desire to do something based on enjoyment of the action itself, rather than on achieving an outcome or reward. “The type of reward doesn’t much matter,” says Kohn. “The problem is with the whole idea of carrot-and-stick control. More than 75 studies have shown that extrinsic and intrinsic motivation are not just different; they tend to be inversely related.”

>> If rewards are not working for your family, be flexible!

  • Make sure theres not an underlying issue. For example, if your child has a strong resistance to going to school, you may want to look into whether there is an underlying problem, such as bullying or an undiagnosed learning problem.
  • Rethink your requests. Are the tasks you’re asking of your child age-appropriate and beneficial? If they are, instead of trying to entice your child into doing things, spend time explaining the value of those actions. “First, we let kids know what’s important to us and why,” says Kohn. “Second, we engage children’s minds, helping them to reflect on—indeed, to wrestle with—moral questions.”
  • Have a family meeting. If you have been using a rewards system and decide it’s not right for your family, hold a family meeting and explain to your kids that things can work differently around the house. “Know that they’re going to resist and it’s going to be horrible for a couple of weeks,” says Carter. “But if you’re consistent, eventually they will feel much more in touch with their own personal power and how much they contribute.”
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Five Key Skills for Academic Success

It’s never too early or too late to help your child develop the skills for academic success. Learn how to build these skills and stay on track all year long.

It takes a combination of skills – organization, time management, prioritization, concentration and motivation – to achieve academic success. Here are some tips to help get your child on the right track.

Talk to your Child

To find out which of these skills your child has and which he can develop further, start a simple conversation that focuses on his goals. Ask him about his favorite subjects, classes he dreads and whether he’s satisfied with his latest progress report.

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Listen for Clues

Incorporate your own observations with your child’s self-assessment. Is your child overwhelmed by assignments? She may have trouble organizing time. Does your child have difficulty completing her work? She may get distracted too easily. Is your child simply not interested in school? She may need help getting motivated.

Identify Problem Areas

Start here to help your child identify which of the five skill areas are trouble spots.

1. Organization

Whether it’s keeping track of research materials or remembering to bring home a lunch box, children need to be organized to succeed in school. For many students, academic challenges are related more to a lack of organization than to a lack of intellectual ability.

Tips to help your child get organized:

  • Make a checklist of things your child needs to bring to and from school every day. Put a copy by the door at home and one in his backpack. Try to check with him each day to see if he remembers the items on the list.
  • Find out how your child keeps track of his homework and how he organizes his notebooks. Then work together to develop a system he will want to use.
  • Shop with your child for tools that will help him stay organized, such as binders, folders or an assignment book.

2. Time Management

Learning to schedule enough time to complete an assignment may be difficult for your student. Even when students have a week to do a project, many won’t start until the night before it’s due. Learning to organize time into productive blocks takes practice and experience.

Tips to help your child manage time:

  • Track assignments on a monthly calendar. Work backward from the due date of larger assignments and break them into nightly tasks.
  • Help your child record how much time she spends on homework each week so she can figure out how to divide this time into manageable chunks.
  • Together, designate a time for nightly homework and help your child stick to this schedule.
  • If evenings aren’t enough, help your child find other times for schoolwork, such as early mornings, study halls or weekends.

3. Prioritization

Sometimes children fall behind in school and fail to hand in assignments because they simply don’t know where to begin. Prioritizing tasks is a skill your child will need throughout life, so it’s never too soon to get started.

Tips to help your child prioritize:

  • Ask your child to write down all the things he needs to do, including non-school-related activities.
  • Ask him to label each task from 1 to 3, with 1 being most important.
  • Ask about each task, so that you understand your child’s priorities. If he labels all his social activities as 1, then you know where his attention is focused.
  • Help your child change some of the labels to better prioritize for academic success. Then suggest he rewrite the list so all the 1s are at the top.
  • Check in frequently to see how the list is evolving and how your child is prioritizing new tasks.

4. Concentration

Whether your child is practicing her second-grade spelling words or studying for a trigonometry test, it’s important that she works on schoolwork in an area with limited distractions and interruptions.

Tips to help your child concentrate:

  • Turn off access to email and games when your child works on the computer.
  • Declare the phone and TV off-limits during homework time.
  • Find space that fits the assignment. If your child is working on a science project, she may need lots of space; if she’s studying for a Spanish test, she will need a well-lit desk.
  • Help your child concentrate during homework time by separating her from her siblings.

5. Motivation

Most children say they want to do well in school, yet many still fail to complete the level of work necessary to succeed academically. The reason is often motivation. Tapping into your child’s interests is a great way to get him geared to do well in school.

Tips to help motivate your child:

  • Link school lessons to your child’s life. If he’s learning percentages, ask him to figure out the price of a discounted item next time you shop.
  • Link your child’s interests to academics. If he’s passionate about music, give him books about musicians and show how music and foreign languages are connected.
  • Give your child control and choices. With guidance, let him determine his study hours, organizing system or school project topics.
  • Encourage your child to share his expertise. Regularly ask him about what he’s learning in school.
  • Congratulate your child, encourage him and celebrate all his successes.

Often what holds children back from trying is the fear of failure or the memory of a time they didn’t do well. You can help break this cycle by celebrating your child’s successes, no matter how small, and by giving him opportunities to succeed academically.