fostering a community of people interested in exploring strengths
A friend of mine posted on her Facebook yesterday how her son had been crying for the last hour that he didn't want to go to school. The posts thereafter were a majority of suck it up, all of us have to eventually get used to the fact, we have to suffer through school and suffer through our job.
I was a bit surprised by this, but its a reality for most people!
I responded by suggested she might want to find out why he doesn't want to go. My daughter loves going to her school. Was this a lucky proactive choice in schools? Or partly because of her upbringing or attitude? Or something else?
I do know this. There is something wrong, and it's been this way for WAY TOO LONG. There are lucky proactive jobs out there, like the one company that I visited last week! But for the rest of us, its going to take Leadership. We need to find out what makes us excited, our Strengths, and find these in our kids, so they have a chance to be happy in the school they're in, or....change the school/job system we've come to accept.
I still remember the feeling in my stomach of not wanting to go to school, and I'll never accept the sucking it up answer! For me, or for my daughter...
Dennis, i agree with you for sure !
We have told our son we are not worried about his low subjects, and encourage the better subjects.
I think the perceived success, university, of my other 2 children may have put some pressure on this youngest.
But we see other issues, procrastination being a big one, and most of the issues really stem from that.
I too remember feeling relief that school would be over ( grade 12 only ! )
Somehow i was lucky enough to get into a job i really like that plays to my core strengths.
I know Standout will give ALL my kids a big start in getting to the jobs that really make them tick !
Thank you for sharing this Dennis!! Love your perspective and insight and I too get frustrated by these things.
While I'm not a parent, I have two nephews (14 & 12), volunteer with kids, and my best friend has 4 kids (11-16) and they are part of my family and have been for 8 years now. For all of these kids, I've made it a a point to watch them, listen to them and try to identify within them each of their unique talents and approaches to sports, schools, conversations and friendships so as they got older, I would have more information to build trust and advise them when they come to me.
Here's what I've discovered... When my youngest nephew says he wants to quit soccer (he is very talented athletically and plays at a high competition level), it's not that he really wants to quit the sport but he isn't driven by the same level of competition that the others on his team are, and that he loves the sport but doesn't have any friends on the team which is important to him. This is the kid who 5 years ago, I took to soccer camp and had to play on the sidelines kicking the ball with him, until he saw someone he knew and then was willing to join the crowd.
My friends oldest boy is having troubles in school. Wants to do better, but learns a different way so we found a tutor for him, who could help him learn in a way that works for him. As a bonus... she also works with a large number of IT professionals and the 16 year old is very into computers and wanting to learn how to develop games. So it's a win for him to work with the tutor as he is learning in a new way, has motivation for a field after school, and is developing communication skills along the way.
My point is, sometimes we need to do as you mentioned above.... take more time to listen, to ask better questions, and to identify root causes and motivators. I agree with you... something does need to change. What are some ideas to make that happen? It only takes one to get the ball rolling, fortunately in this community we have 1,000 + :-)
I thought this reply from you was very timely for my own son's situation. I just attended a leadership conference which prompted me to google and found this site. My middle son has been having behavior issues (major) since Dec. Really he has struggled since school began for him-kindergarden...We have found that he is very similar to my youngest son who has autism rather than my oldest son. He needs to be corrected and disciplined in a very loving reinforced way. He requires lot of time, as you are all mentioning and lots of affirmations as well as reminders. He is very smart however, is not "doing school" well. He was basically stuck in public school to a pattern of getting in trouble, getting ISS (in school suspension) and then repeating until he was in OSS (out of school suspension). This lasted several weeks until I asked for something to be done since he was getting no education, then he was switched to a daytreatment school where he received mental health services....he has been there 5 months and has been still on a downward spiral. He learns by more of hands on and of course school is not set up that way, he is also very fast paced and diagnosed with ADHD. I have offered the school ideas and they keep telling me they don't work. I have also went to school with my son. I am not sure what else to try...but I do see huge results at home since we have started working with his strengths. Any suggestions for ideas for schools? I like the idea you have on a tutor with your nephew...I am in a very small town and will have to check into this...If home school was an option for us we would!
Sam, have you read Driven to Distraction? It's a fantastic book about ADD/ADHD and offers lots of insights into the way a person with ADD thinks, as well as helpful suggestions on how to aid them in developing their strengths and even using their "weaknesses" to their advantage. I have ADD and wish I had discovered this book sooner. I see so much of these tendencies in my soon-to-be 7 year old son, and even if he is never diagnosed with this condition, it has already been beneficial in helping me to work "with" him instead of against him.
You sound like a wonderful father and I know that your children are blessed to have your love and support. :)
" Sucking it up" does not cut it. The parent needs to take time, sit down with the child and find out the root of why the child has such anxiety over school. It could be a bulling situation or something as small a missed homework assignment . Our children are reflections of the time we take to nourish them and feed them with positive solutions. Get to know your children.