A parent asked: Help! My son went from an A to a C+ in science… what is going on?? Parents are terribly scared. So many of you have put your finger on one of the most frustrating and scary moments in raising bright, young boys: Most boys are checked out of school. They won’t take pride in (or ownership of) their academic/school work until late, typically freshman to sophomore year, sometimes later. Meanwhile, parents know what’s coming. There are realities to consider. The stress builds at home. Everyone is overwhelmed!
Yes, he has stopped trying and he’s avoiding his work. Before you see your son as the problem, step back and see the big picture first
This has been one of the worst years in my memory seeing kids and families. They are completely stressed and beyond their ability to adapt to the demands placed on them. There aren’t enough tutors, pills, executive coaches, Russian Math classes, or psychologists to “fix it.” And, don’t forget the late long winter we had here in New England that just battered everyone down, compounding the situation.
The biggest problem, though, isn’t these boys. It’s us. We keep following the herd blindly and piling on more and more expectations, whether its grades, sports, social expectations. And we are doing it to them earlier and earlier. This is not the world we recall of our childhood.
Back to your unmotivated, school-hating son. What to do? Here’s what I recommend:
See the deeper, richer aspects of what’s going on beneath the shrugging that frustrates us as parents. Behind the shrugs and “bad attitude” there’s a real human being trying to grow up and feel good about himself.