“Why does any of this stuff matter?” There was a time when more students did well enough in school by caring about grades or parent approval. Some barely passed and others did well. They may even feel like they are “trying”, but the reality of low grades and feeling bored tell a different story.
With technology expanding our views as well as providing a myriad of distractions, the regimen of high school or college has taken on a higher level of “boring” or “stupid.”
Motivation and a student’s WHY for school matters!! There is a line of control when students do things because they are expected to and when they do things they want to do. Normal teen development – yes, but it is also illustrated with more students simply checking out of caring about school. Some students even happy with a D in high school since it isn’t failing, Low motivation = Minimal effort + low focus.
If their grades are good enough to get into college, they find out that minimal effort and not focusing doesn’t bring the expected GPA needed to get the college degree. Even when schools try to teach good study skills – students don’t care about the content and therefore, don’t pay attention to what they could have learned for later coursework.
Consider this: Why learn to write a good paper for English? It translates to putting together concepts and main ideas so they can create a presentation for a future job. Makes sense, but future jobs are just that …future! Not relevant to now.
So what can parents do to help their young person be the productive and responsible adult they want them to be? Consider a different perspective?
What if the student:
- Explored what DOES get them excited?
- Created a plan to learn something that they DO care about?
- Felt free to talk about themselves, their fears, or dreams in an environment void of perceived judgement and not connected to “school”, with it’s negative connotations?
- They were motivated to learn something of interest to them, and then learned about engaging and creative study strategies for that topic? And then those skills were transferred to traditional academic courses?
- What if they developed new understanding of their learning that also supports students with ADHD?
Academic life coaching for college success and life direction can be an answer that helps a young person be in control of their future – their way. Life is more than school, and incorporating the whole person through our work can be the difference needed for transforming what school means to them.