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My son doesn’t want to work hard at school. He is in 7th grade and gifted. Should I leave him alone or continue to nag him, hoping he will change?
S, from Naperville, Illinois

Dear S.,
It sounds like your son is gifted enough to take charge of the family. Still, he is only in the 7th grade, and therefore legally bound to obey his parents. So it seems to me that your role as a parent goes far beyond nagging and hoping. In the first place, nagging will produce only negative results, and your hoping will be in vane. Your son should be given very specific instructions on what he should do and how he should behave. If those instructions are not followed, restrictions will be enforced and privileges denied.
It is extremely important for his development to learn to respect and honor family authority. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for him to honor and respect societal authority and religious authority, and he will be headed for trouble

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