The following story is repeated by countless parents throughout the school year and even during summer vacation. A distraught parent seeks help to improve the scholastic performance of her child. Most common sense advice contains elements that, in the proper combination and setting, will produce limited results with some kids. Trudi Richards, a marketing expert and mother of an adolescent underachiever, feels she's heard and possibly tried all the suggestions available.
TRUDI: I was told he was spoiled, so I set about to unspoil him.
WRITER: How did you try to do that?
TRUDI: I discussed responsibility with him. I showed him that his father and I both had responsibilities that were obligatory. Some we didn't mind at all and some we weren't too happy about, but, nevertheless, we had to face them. Some tasks, which may not be fun, just have to be done. As an adult, you must do them. That's the way life is.
WRITER: How did he respond?
TRUDI: He said he understood.