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Teens: A Potential Problem

Although a high score on an aptitude test suggests certain kinds of abilities in children, it is a very poor indicator of a child's full potential. There is much more to earning straight "A"s than a high score on an aptitude test.

In fact, a child's future success is more closely linked to his or her ability to

  • Put off gratification
  • Put forth effort
  • Focus
  • Organize tasks
  • Self-motivate

Unfortunately for parents, there are no widely used standardized tests that measure these abilities in kids. So, the best advice for those whose children have exhibited a high aptitude but are currently performing at an average or below-average level is to determine whether their sons and daughters are deficient in one or more of the abilities mentioned above. If that's the case, parents should stop talking about their children's potential and start having a conversation about how to help their teenagers develop these abilities.