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How to help a teenager who hates school



The concerns of the child's parents will regret missed opportunities.

Dear Carolyn

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

CARO CAROLINO: I have a 15 year old son who is obviously brilliant but hates school. My husband and I can not take him to the helicopter for success because (a) we do not want to be a helicopter parent, and (b) have developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempts on our part to monitor school work and homework .

While we believe that "actions have consequences" is the best motivational tool – it is an athlete – it is demoralizing to see him feel good just by skating. It's smart but assumes that everything that is scholastic will suck. It has been screened for depression and learning difficulties and falls into the gray area for both. Until last year he regularly saw a psychologist and a tutor, but he stopped seeing them because he was both resentful, and it seemed like a waste of time and money.

And for what it's worth, his grades and behavior are right where they've been for the past three years.

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We told him that we will pay for whatever help he needs, but he must tell us that he wants it and will appreciate it. I think I'm okay with the steps we're doing, but how can I overcome my disappointment that he's not curious to learn?

I know that the plans I had for him as a child were waaaaay at the top (Rhodes's winning Heisman-trophy) and I love him for what he is, but I can not overcome the feeling that he will regret missed opportunities, and my disappointment for the fact that he has no interest in anything academic.

– Teenagers – ugh

CARI TEENAGER-UGH: Following the path that you have traced for him could be the reason why he misses the opportunity to understand who he is, what interests him, what is good, what is his purpose in life and what vocations / re-enactments to best use talents and interests.

So please broaden your perspective as you watch it grow. This is the best remedy I know from disappointment: being open to the beauty of what you have.

This age seems to be a good time to diversify the way in which it also spends its time and contributes to your family.

And if he preferred to work with his hands? What if he liked cooking? Fix things? Garden? What if he had an eye for _____?

He varies his business and looks.

Beyond these domestic expectations, however, that every healthy child should be able to meet anyway, it might also be helpful to accept having made the point. Points. And to bring it where it is, you've done some dragging, which sometimes can not be avoided.

But dragging someone with you must be in front of you, and there comes a time when you can not stand before you. You have to step aside and see where he leads himself – closely supervising, of course, but more in a role that falls when you were first inclined to push. It's not just about your child and his specific ways of going to school. It's part of the natural evolution of your parent role – the scary part when you start letting go and see if you've given him what he needs.

In reality necessary, not "necessary" for a Heisman. Good luck.


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