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When kids check out, we need to step up

Sharon’s story has great takeaways for most parents who wish their kids were doing better academically, but might especially resonate with Moms of teen boys who just aren’t showing interest in school. Hockey, basketball, friends? Definitely. Homework or studying? Not so much.

Sharon was worried about her Grade 8 son for a few reasons.

  1. Sebastian didn’t connect with his teacher at all.
  2. He’d always liked school but not this year. He stopped getting assignments in on time. It got harder and he felt like he wasn’t smart enough to do well anymore.
  3. Despite the fact that he’d done well academically in the past, and worked hard to improve in hockey and basketball, he seemed to show an inherent laziness towards school work.

Above all, Sharon worried because she didn’t have a plan to change her situation. She knew things would persist as they were or get worse, and she feared what was in store if her son didn’t regain his confidence before starting high school.

Deep down she knew he wanted to do better, but just didn’t know how.

So we set to work implementing the plan to get Sebastian back on track. After our first session together, Sharon told me it was the first time Sebastian had ever sat and done school work for 90 minutes.

He wasn’t overjoyed about it, but he did it. And he kept doing it. And we started having some laughs with Sebastian as he got back on track. The issues with his teacher didn’t disappear overnight, and he had some ups and downs with grades, but on the whole?

Sebastian saw what he needed to do to stay on top of his school work. And when he put that into practice?

He started getting his work done and in on time. The quality of his work improved. His relationship with his teacher became more positive.

He created a dazzling poster for his book report (seriously, it had sparkling gold letters and was amazing), which his teacher selected to be publicly showcased. When he told his Mom, he was trying not to smile and pretend it was no big deal, but she could tell he was really proud.

He put in the effort to do his Poetry Showcase properly, over a weekend no less and despite not being fond of poetry.

And so on.

Sebastian continues to see and produce what he’s actually capable of. The teacher wrote recently to share how well he’s doing. Sharon sees him on a more positive, productive path where it’s easier for him to do his best.

We have three main takeaways here:

What happens when kids don’t have rapport with their teachers? They’re often less motivated to work, let alone actually learn. We want them to build out their own internal drive and desire to do well for themselves.

What happens when kids feel stupid or like they’re just not getting it? You might see full blown panic attacks or crying episodes, or watch them double down on not wanting to do work/pretending it doesn’t really bother them. The scary thing here isn’t about school though – their entire sense of self is threatened or defined by the perception that they’re somehow less than or inferior to others.

Laziness can actually make it easier for your kids to do better in school. We want our kids to spend as little time as possible on school work to get the results they want. I want your kids to come home, eat/rest/nap, get their school stuff done and go enjoy themselves. Get in, get out. “Lazy” students typically respond really well to this approach.

Sharon knew her situation wouldn’t turn itself around by hoping it would or taking stabs in the dark. She took action to get the strategy and support she needed to make it happen.

Let us help you do the same. Book a call here. It’s free, and our sole purpose is to see how far we can take YOUR kids.

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