It might be tempting to let him crawl back under the covers, but going to school and taking
the test will benefit him much more in the long run. The only way
kids develop resilience, perseverance, and confidence is
to work through difficult situations, even if that means
experiencing negative consequences.
We can’t—and shouldn’t—shield our kids from
mistakes. I have a motto: “It’s not failure, it’s data.”
Meaning: Every experience gives you information and
insight that helps your decision-making process in future
situations. By taking the test despite not feeling ready,
your child will learn how he can better prep next time
and figure out how to boz. back.
Once it’s set that he’s going to school, problem-solve the best way to handle the situation. Talk about
how ready he really is, and keep in mind that stress
can make anyone feel under-prepared. Brainstorm
ways to calm pretest jitters, such as taking deep
breaths or repeating a positive mantra like “I
choose to do my best.” Also come up with a
future plan, such as setting a schedule to break
up studying into smaller chunks so it feels more
manageable. Before or after the test, your son
might also want to let his teacher know that he
didn’t study as much as he’d like. This signals
that your child is taking responsibility for his
choices, and it helps him feel empowered to do
things differently next time. n
My child wants to stay home from school because he’s not
ready for his test—and it’s half his grade. What should I do?
Kids & Commitment
These stories that
show kids handling
encourage readers and
viewers to persevere in
their own lives.
BOOKS MOVIES & TV
The Contract by Derek Jeter with Paul Mantell
Inspired by his own childhood, ex-Yankee Jeter
tells the story of a middle-schooler who, despite
obstacles, stays determined and meets his goals.
Free to Fall by Lauren Miller Sixteen-year-old Rory
has to choose: follow the rules of success at her
elite boarding school—or listen to her inner voice.
Spellbound (G) Follow eight young
contestants through the ups and downs of
prepping for the 1999 National Spelling Bee.
Dawson’s Creek The ‘90s teen drama
offers thoughtful takes on the trials of high
Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD
Clinical psychologist and author
of Better than Perfect. Find her at
The Good Kid Project:
12 better homes and gardens | school Visit us at cbs46.com
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