DEAR HARRIETTE: I have two children who are in junior high school, and my wife thinks I am too hard on them when it comes to their school grades. As their father, I expect nothing less than an A-minus on their report cards. My children participate in multiple activities. For example, I have them taking piano lessons, my daughter takes dance and my son is learning how to play basketball. I want our children to have the best opportunity to go to the colleges of their dreams and live the best life possible. Our neighbors think we are pushing our children too hard. I really do not care what they think because I have to be responsible for my family. Do you think I should take it easy with my children, or should I continue to propel them into greatness? -- A Man With a Plan, Brooklyn, N.Y.
DEAR A MAN WITH A PLAN: Talk to your children to learn how well they are balancing their responsibilities. Listen to them to determine if they are happy or stressed out. It is good to have strong academic performance, athletic ability and extracurricular activities. It is smart for parents to encourage their children to succeed. But it is not wise to pressure them so hard that they feel overwhelmed. Work with your wife to ensure balance as they strive.