What Makes a Successful Ten Year Old?

Friday, June 06, 2014

(Rob Manning/OPB)

KJ Dell'Antonia, lead writer and editor on the Motherlode blog on, explores the measures of success parents have for kids - is it getting good grades and excelling at sports, or cleaning up after dinner, unprompted? Is it the effort, or the achievement? Parents, can you separate your child's success from your own?


KJ Dell'Antonia

Comments [7]

Amy from Scarsdale

Just for the record, Scarsdale has no gifted and talented programs, and there is absolutely no tracking until seventh grade. At that point, there are two sections for mathematics. In eighth grade, there are three sections. Quite a surprise to this former Manhattanite.

Jul. 20 2014 08:54 AM

You are so right.... I feel Brooklyn has become like Scarsdale. We quickly want to segregate our "successful" kids to fast track them. What is success and yes, what about late bloomers? I really did not like this segment but maybe because I see the pressure our kids have been under with testing and a year of stress trying to place in a middle school..... only to fail.

Jun. 06 2014 12:41 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I hate the word "successful" almost as much as I hate the word "marriage." Everyone should be free to do whatever they want, or whatever they are attracted to doing by nature and disposition, and no "parents" or any outsiders should care one way or the other as long as they don't harm anyone else. Everyone's life should be their own business and nobody else's.

Jun. 06 2014 11:21 AM
Jaime from New York,NY

Oh my god, are you really so clueless? Success for 10 year old boys is what they can get away with. Conduct is tempered through fear (does not mean violence). Outside of that you are being snow jobbed.

Jun. 06 2014 11:20 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

I'm a NYer sitting in Mexico listening to this conversation with my mouth agape. What makes a successful ten-year-old? Seriously, what has happened to my city? To my country? This conversation is so dysfunctional and sad; it shows a society that is so out-of-touch with reality that it will surely be ill prepared for the future, a future which will not have any time to sit around discussing how to raise a successful ten-year-old.

NY used to be a place that bucked these empty suburban values, now NY seems at the forefront of promoting them. Surely this is what an empire in decline looks like. Brian and his acolytes might want to get out of Cobble Hill every now and again and see how the rest of the world lives. Middle class (white) Americans are living in a bubble that, once punctured, is going to leave large swaths of people completely incapable of survival. And the children of these empty, fearful people will be completely screwed.

Jun. 06 2014 11:18 AM
Marie from Bergen Cty NJ

Very interested in this topic as I have a difficult 10 year old who has so much potential but struggles in school & socially. I want him to reach his full potential & concerned that at this tender age, there are already some limits placed on him by the outside world, i.e. the assumption by the school that he is not one of the smart kids (school is already tracking the GT kids). In sports, he is average & in our sports oriented town, so many adults have already decided who gets to play rec sports. We want him to believe that he can do what he sets his mind to & not to feel limited. It does not seem that late bloomers exist anymore. I'd like to believe this is still possible

Jun. 06 2014 11:12 AM
Amy from Kensington

I always thought a successful 10 year old was a kid who is curious, polite, kind and tries his/her best.

But we live in District 15 in Brooklyn where there is middle school "choice". I discovered I was wrong about success for a 10 year old. A successful 10 year old in public school where there is choice.....must test well, of course have high grades, be competitive, and be out-going enough with adults to interview well for a slot in one of the three decent PUBLIC middle schools!
The DOE defined success for us and my son didn't measure up. The DOE has helped to make my shy kid feel the opposite of successful.


Jun. 06 2014 11:11 AM

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