DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #9

Dear Granddaddy, help. I’m stressed over my grades. Dakota B. – A really stressed out teen.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Dakota, let me begin with Henry James, the father of modern psychology. He said that 90% of the worst things that have ever happened to him have only happened in his mind. Therefore, it looks like worrying really is a bad use of our imagination. In contrast, using our imagination in a positive way is becoming very important in a time when computers are doing much of our thinking.

I’m not trivializing your stress, worries, or grades, Dakota. I know your perception of these things is quite real to you. However, the mind is a very powerful thing. At any moment it can be commanded to reshape our perceptions and thus, the realities of what is truly possible. It can present opportunities that are exhilarating rather than stressful and worrisome. Dakota, this is a much better use of our imagination.

Your grades really may not be as bad as you believe they are, and you may not be as far away from improving them as you think. If your grades are not where you want them to be, there are many simple things you can do to raise them that aren’t very stressful. I don’t have room here to go into all the options, but here is just one quick and simple thing kids tend to overlook or are sometimes just too lazy to do. Stay after school for extra help. This builds a better relationship with your teacher, and shows him or her that you are making an effort. It also gives you the extra expert guidance that you need.

Furthermore, remember that school is not only about grades. It is also about developing holistically and learning how to learn. Your future really is yours to accomplish whatever your imagination can perceive.

In conclusion Dakota, getting your grades up really isn’t as hard as you imagine. Stop stressing yourself out and start thinking of all the possibilities your future holds, and how learning all about it is going to be exhilarating and really fun!

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 Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: