By Cheri Fuller
Kids who succeed and overcome obstacles in school and life usually have one thing in common: They have at least one person in their life who had high expectations for them and provided support and structure for their dreams. Like Shavar, a little boy labeled "at risk" at school because of his unstable home and failing grades. He was shuttled among family members but when he was eleven his mother was murdered and he and his sister went to live with their grandma. She began working nights to pay for he and his sister to attend a private school because they lived in a bad area. She had high expectations for his behavior and insisted on homework and reading, all the while believing he could achieve.
Shavar didn't disappoint her. An A student, he attended college, graduated from Duke University with honors and became a lawyer. He had the inner drive but it was fueled by his grandma's belief in him and her guidance.
As the school year begins, one of the strongest influences on your child's achievement is your expectations. Studies show that kids remain loyal to parental expectations. If kids hear positive expectations—that they'll do well or they can meet the daily challenges—then they do much better in the classroom.
Here are some ways to express positive expectations:
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