I hope my kids never go to college if they are looking for their own self worth as society defines it. I want them to build their own dreams and to not be defined by the money in their "pockets." As a former high school drop out who is now a Master's level Couples, Child, and Family Therapist I believe I am qualified to assess intelligence. I can tell you, my husband is the most intelligent person I know!! He grew up in a junk yard and he also received a full ride scholarship to the school of mines to become a mechanical engineer. But after a year, college wasn't for him...he needed more freedom to build his dream and use what he already knew. He's happy, productive, and not defined by the pocket he pulls from. He contributes more to this world than most people I know! I have yet to see him unable to fix something mechanical, which also gives him the self confidence to fix most other problems. But nobody says to a kid, "go check out a junk yard if it interests you" because most don't see its potential. Look for potential in everything! Encourage, don't stifle, what a child is interested in! Just like Beckham understands physics from the game, my husband learned mechanics through play! Give kids the backing to trust their own drive to succeed and for God's sake, show up! You get one chance to raise your kids right. Do it right...be present!
If you're kid comes home from school and says, "I HATE that kid!" and your reply is, "Don't say hate. That's not nice!" or something similar, you are telling him (or her) the feeling is wrong, not how to more effectively deal with that feeling. So instead try, "That must feel pretty uncomfortable." This is much more validating. Then he gets to learn problem solving skills as you move into helping him find ways to deal with the feeling that IS there.
When you repeatedly threaten your children with consequences for bad behavior and rarely follow through, you are teaching them, repeatedly, that there's a chance they'll get away with the behavior again. If there is always A CHANCE there won't be a consequence, why do what they're is told?
Mary Bowles, PsyD, abd, LMFT