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by Abigail Van Buren

Family Dog Gets More Attention Than Man in Loveless Marriage

DEAR ABBY: I'm a student who maintains a decent GPA. However, my parents believe they have a genius in the making.

Since I started at a new school, my mother has been pressuring me more than twice as much. She no longer talks to me except to pester me about that B or C in algebra or any other class. I understand that she wants me to be smart, and I know I should be trying to live up to her expectations of a flawless, straight-A student, but I don't believe I can. Please help me. -- UNDER PRESSURE

DEAR UNDER PRESSURE: It might help if you would talk with your teachers about this, and ask if they think you are working up to capacity. If they feel you could be studying more effectively, they may be able to help you earn better grades.

However, if that's not the case, ask if they would speak to your mother at the next parent-teacher conference and explain to her that you are doing all you can. The kind of pressure you're getting at home may not only not help you to raise your grades, it may be counterproductive.