“What the heck for?”
“Cuz I must be retarded!”
This is my sons excuse for poor grades; that he must be retarded. Nice.
Mind you, he’s the one that started the conversation about his grades telling me how disappointed he is in himself. Now, why would you tell me what your grades are before you need to? You’re 14, you should have a pretty good idea as to how I’m going to react to poor grades! And then you’ll sit there and roll your eyes and sigh heavily as I put you through another torturous speech about personal responsibility and accountability.
Maybe he thought he’d warm me up before report cards came home in a few weeks? Or maybe he’s just a glutton for punishment? I don’t know. Either way, Sylvan Learning is not the answer to my son’s procrastination and laziness.
Yes, he’s smart. Wicked smart (as they say up north), but because he’s so smart, he seems to lack the motivation to implement any effort.
He’s one of those kids that can sit in a classroom and listen to a lecture without taking a single note all year long and still do well in school. I hated those kids! And you know why, don’t you? Cuz I had to bust my ass to get all those damn A’s trying to make my parents proud of me. Which, by the way, the last time I hung my grades on my moms refrigerator was in my last semester of undergrad school. Sad, right?
Hey, at least today I can say I’m not trying to prove myself to anyone else but myself…even if it did take me 28 years to figure that out.
My son has been in so called “gifted” classes since he was in 3rd grade and whenever he has done or said something extraordinarily “gifted” (a.k.a. lacking common sense) we have always made sure that he understands that’s why he’s in “speeeciallll” classes for “speeeciallll” kids (note the sarcasm in there). But in his K-8 school, being in gifted classes didn’t just mean that you were farther ahead in your studies then the rest of the “normal” kids; it also meant that you NEVER came home with homework (unless there was a project). You may be asking why this is the case, and of course I was curious as well. My son explained that it was because they moved through the material so quickly that with the time they had left in class they finished their homework. I later confirmed this in a parent/teacher conference to make sure he was not lying to me.
Unfortunately, this has all but set my son up for failure. You see, he’s so used to not having to work hard for his grades (because they did everything in groups and copied off each other), that today, in his freshman year of high school (a high school I like to think of as a public college prep), he can’t seem to understand why he he would need to do any kind of work like ummmm, gee I don’t know……STUDY in order to get good grades.
Study? He looks at me with this look of “what the hell is that?”
The millennial generation is a very interesting and unique generation of students. They are the epitome of multi-taskers. A typical afternoon of homework in my boys’ rooms includes the TV being on, music blaring, facebook chat sessions, and incoming text messages. When I was a kid I could only handle the music playing and even today as an adult only music or only the TV on while I’m working. A world of studying in silence is obsolete in my kids’ lives. They’d probably go insane. And I’m sure a lot of you are saying I should make them turn it all off, and maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn’t, but if it makes you feel better to do it in your house, then be my guest. Because honestly, that is not the problem I see with my kids and their performance in school or with this generation of students (and I have to deal with the 17/18/19 year old’s in my own classes). What I do see as the problem, is that they lack motivation, inspiration almost, to do anything for themselves. They have been so coddled by parents and a society that celebrates wiping your ass for the first time with a ribbon that says “Your Awesome!”.
I mean, let’s look at sports for a second. In my day, only the winning team got a trophy. But today, EVERYONE gets a trophy just for “participating”!! Yay!!!
I actually quit coaching soccer after a few parents ragged on me for being too hard on the kids. “They’re just out here to have fun,” they said to me. Are you serious? If you want your kid to have fun playing soccer then go outside and play with them, but don’t pay for a league and stick them on a team so they can stand there picking their nose while the opposing team runs circles around them scoring goal after goal. I mean, what happened to competition? Passion to win? Motivation to be #1? (Around here, in order to cultivate that sense of passion and motivation you have to be loaded with cash so you can afford all the spring break, summer break, and winter break training camps.)
And while I gripe about it, I know that I have fallen prey to this new mentality of positive reinforcement and praise and yadayadayada. But I tell you what, I’ll be damned if my kids are going to conform to achieving C’s because, according to the school system, “that’s passing”.
A few months ago, a teacher told one of my sons that because he had done so well in the beginning of the school year, even if he did poorly for the rest of the year, he would still pass.
Soooo, no matter how many fights and arguments and torturous lectures I have to put them through to make them understand that average is not good enough, I will continue to do it until they begin to reap the benefits of hard work and realize for themselves that they are not going to receive a trophy, or a degree, or a high paying job, or the home, vehicle, or vacations of their dreams, just for PARTICIPATING IN LIFE!
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