The Kid Whisperer: How to reject the 'well-rounded child' fallacy

Scott Ervin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Lifestyles

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a mother of three with two in college. My third child is going to be a junior in high school. My first two were very successful academically in high school and they now go to very good colleges. My youngest is very proficient in arts, music (he plays three instruments and composes songs), writing and literature. He actually gets perfect grades in these areas. Math, science, social sciences, etc., he has no interest in, and he is a C and D student in those classes. This is causing significant discord in our home where excellence is expected. Our first two just rose to the occasion and worked hard in everything they did. How do I get my high school student to work hard in all he does by seeing the importance in doing well in all subjects?

— Chelsea, San Jose, California


“You shouldn’t do that” is the answer to your question.

Let me answer your question with a multiple-choice question. See if you can get the right answer:


What was the overall high school grade point average of worldwide sensations Picasso, Taylor Swift and Ernest Hemingway?

A. 3.9

B. 4.0

C. No one knows.


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