DEAR HARRIETTE: My 12-year-old son is an OK student who is extremely social. He also likes sports a lot. Now that school has started, he has asked to sign up for lots of extracurricular activities, but I am concerned that it is too much. I want him to enjoy school -- including having friends and socializing -- but his studies should come first. How can I impress upon him that he has to do well in school before being allowed to do everything else? -- First Things First, Atlanta
DEAR FIRST THINGS FIRST: Carefully review the schedule that your son is proposing. Then make your own schedule that includes a healthy amount of time for homework and overall study. Look for what pockets of time might exist for extracurricular activities. From that perspective, consider what your son can do. Go through this process with him so that he can see your thinking. Let him know you want him to have a well-rounded life, but that education comes first. Suggest a revised schedule that allows him to do at least one of his fun activities. Let him know that he may be able to add to his fun options if his grades improve this semester. Supervise his study and get him help if you think he needs it. Every child learns differently. Work with your son and his teachers to determine how you can best support him on the road to success.