I like L's advice. My kids are like that too, very self deprecating when they can't do something the way they want. I too tell them that to be good at something you have to work hard and practice every day. Savana hates her handwriting. About 2 weeks ago I showed her some writing she did when she first started going to school last year and she couldn't believe how much better it is now. Her face lit up. I also make a point to praise hard work, and be really specific about it. Like, "Wow, your E's are looking so neat. I can tell you've been working on that."