Teen Parenting Expert’s Tip of the Month – June

Successful in Life
By Barbara McRae, MCC

Do you know any people who were successful in school and not in life? Of course, you do. Learning how to take tests well is a skill that can be learned, but it’s not enough. Contrary to popular belief, good grades are not a good predictor of success.

If you don’t believe it, take a look at Albert Einstein who struggled in school and is still considered one of the most brilliant men of our time. You see, intelligence – including social and emotional intelligence – is a much better predictor of success than grades. Specifically, “learning agility” is considered the best predictor.

Teens often have difficulty staying focused on their school work in high school. This is more often the case when they haven’t been encouraged to enjoy the learning process. If parents and teachers make learning all about getting a top grade, teenagers can easily get discouraged and stop trying.

Parents also often want help when their college students drop out of school due to poor grades or a lack of interest. Individuals flounder when they are unsure of their direction. More than anything else, young people need to know their purpose. They need to know what their God-given strengths are. Once they know WHO they are, they’ll KNOW what to do.

A college education isn’t always necessary in order to live a satisfying and prosperous life! Harrison Ford dropped out of Ripon College, a private liberal arts school, after having taken some drama classes because he knew what he was all about. And granted it took him 14 years before he became an established actor. Meanwhile, he became a carpenter to pay the bills, but he didn’t give up on his dream.

You can help your kids by helping them understand themselves better. Focus on what’s great about your son or daughter. Help them recognize their strengths and their purpose.*

My best,

*For more information about our Study of YOU™ program for teens and undergraduates, check out the quiz at:


(c) Barbara McRae
Teen Parenting Expert, Campus Calm

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