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  1. #11
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    My parents tried the whole punishment thing with me....totally useless. I didn't like being forced into things so I just took the punishment. They did manage to force me to get a job in grade 12 though by saying that if I didn't, they'd kick me out (and I believed them). Ultimately I appreciated it, but I definitely resented that for a while. They didn't try rewards but I don't think that would have worked either. Hmm...what did work?

    -my parents told me from a young age that they couldn't afford to send me to school and I'd need good enough grades for scholarships if I wanted to go
    -I wanted to be a vet for a while and I knew I needed good grades for that
    -more than anything it was just that I felt bad when I got a bad mark so I put in enough effort to not do badly but not a bit more than the minimum needed....

    I guess I can't say much other than in my experience ISTPs are hard to motivate externally, they have to want to do it first....so if there is no internal motivation, I'm not really sure what you can do. Just make sure he's aware of what, realistically, he needs to do in order to get where he wants to in life....but really, at 12, that's still a long way off from mattering. It's only in the last few years of high school that it'll matter, and then only marginally.

    Edit to add: something to watch out for, if you try to scare him or exaggerate and tell him something like he'll be working at McDonalds for the rest of his life if he doesnt get straight As, he'll know you're full of it and then won't take anything you say seriously. Be realistic in your assessments and he'll be more likely to believe you...or at least that's how I am.
    Last edited by Randomnity; 02-25-2008 at 05:12 PM.

  2. #12
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    I guess I can't say much other than in my experience ISTPs are hard to motivate externally, they have to want to do it first....so if there is no internal motivation, I'm not really sure what you can do. Just make sure he's aware of what, realistically, he needs to do in order to get where he wants to in life....but really, at 12, that's still a long way off from mattering. It's only in the last few years of high school that it'll matter, and then only marginally.
    I guess this is really my point also. YOU probably won't be successful by trying to micro-manage him into being motivated - HE has to realize it himself and WANT it. Where does he want to end up? flipping burgers, skid row, successful with money in the bank? Give him a few years - then just point out the realities - SHOW him the realities.

  3. #13

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    I generally agree with having him understand why its important.

    He may also be bored beyond belief. Maybe he needs more of a challenge.

    Motivation is the last think I can give advise about, but maybe you can get him motivated enough to stay in the "B+" range alone.

    You also mentioned him going to "Ivy League Schools," etc. I think for any 12 year-old, knowing your parents have those sort of expectations can be a bit much. He may be smart enough, but he still has a few years yet.

    Perhaps you can also reassure him that he will still be allowed to be a kid. That it is not an either-or thing. He doesn't have to study all the time and not play any more than he has to play all the time and not study.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #14
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    My parents tried the whole punishment thing with me....totally useless. I didn't like being forced into things so I just took the punishment. They did manage to force me to get a job in grade 12 though by saying that if I didn't, they'd kick me out (and I believed them). Ultimately I appreciated it, but I definitely resented that for a while. They didn't try rewards but I don't think that would have worked either. Hmm...what did work?

    -my parents told me from a young age that they couldn't afford to send me to school and I'd need good enough grades for scholarships if I wanted to go
    -I wanted to be a vet for a while and I knew I needed good grades for that
    -more than anything it was just that I felt bad when I got a bad mark so I put in enough effort to not do badly but not a bit more than the minimum needed....

    I guess I can't say much other than in my experience ISTPs are hard to motivate externally, they have to want to do it first....so if there is no internal motivation, I'm not really sure what you can do. Just make sure he's aware of what, realistically, he needs to do in order to get where he wants to in life....but really, at 12, that's still a long way off from mattering. It's only in the last few years of high school that it'll matter, and then only marginally.
    My husband's cousin has a fourteen year-old son, an ISTP into baseball, scouting, gaming and listening to rock music. Last year his grades dropped precipitously. His mom and dad took away all electronics, but let him play baseball and go to scouts. His grades rose and have stayed up. It worked because they made computer use contingent on his getting decent grades.

    He's into Led Zeppelin and wanted to paint his room black, which they didn't allow, and he has very long bangs that hang into his eyes, which also bugs his parents. Now thanks to his being a pitcher, he'll have to cut them. "Pick your battles" is a wise parenting strategy and often Life decides things for us.

    You're worried about a bright kid who's not trying hard, but many kids, especially boys, don't get the point of school or college until much later than their parents would like. If you have a minimum expectation (all Bs) and he meets them, he gets his privileges. If he doesn't and you're convinced he could, take away something that matters. I know you said he'd be happy in an empty room, but you can probably think of something that he'd miss.

    Reality-testing in the form of having a low-paying job or volunteering in a soup kitchen could work, but those would involve projecting himself into the future, something 12 year-old boys aren't known for doing well.

    Good luck...

    Jae Rae
    Proud Female Rider in Maverick's Bike Club.

  5. #15
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    He is motivated. Internally. You can't see him doing work, but he is.
    we fukin won boys

  6. #16
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinnamon View Post
    Any specific practical suggestions for these scenarios?
    Unfortunately, I'm drawing a blank. The environment in my home and school was one of "failure is not an option," with "failure" defined as not trying your hardest in everything you do. I never really considered dropping out, and even if I had, I probably still would have attempted to make straight A's until the day I decided to not show up anymore. All-or-nothing.

    I think I do have some advice, after all. Don't try manipulative shit, like reverse psychology or subtle inflections of tone. If you want him to change, sit him down and have an open honest conversation about why you think keeping his grades up will be beneficial. And most importantly, be honest about your emotions! I think he will appreciate that.

  7. #17
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    You need a better reward I think... A reward that is self derived... He needs to want to do well.

    I agree with what other people have said already. Find him classes and school work that he deems challenging enough to worth his time to tackle. Also have a chat with him to see where his interests lies.

    Good luck with that.

  8. #18
    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    ... Deja Vu much?

  9. #19
    Member sinnamon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    ... Deja Vu much?
    Well ahem. I thought I'd come to a place where there actually might be some ISTPs.

    I started to just link the discussion, but I thought there might be rules about that kind of thing, & it's not like I was actually going to go look for & read rules to figure that out -- just N my way around to compensate for my innate laziness.

  10. #20
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinnamon View Post
    ...
    Everyone else in the house is an XNXX (ENFJ, INTP, ENTP), & we just can't relate to his way of thinking. I grew up in a home where I was the alien. I want to help him succeed at the same time that I let him be free to be who he is as an individual.

    Any ISTPs or people who love them that have some insight?
    You got some excellent responses.

    I have a 21 year old ISTJ daughter, 17 year old ISTP son, and a 14 year old ENFJ son.

    Have you seen the book, Nurture By Nature? I think there might be some helpful suggestions and insights in there for you. It's been a great tool in helping me understand my kids better.

    When my ISTP was about your son's age, he did the most curious thing. He asked me if he was allowed to get Cs and Ds. I told him in no uncertain terms that he most certainly was not! Apparently that was enough for him and he set his own standard of getting mostly Bs in school. I have no idea what I would do in your shoes, but I do understand how frustrating it is.

    Like your son, mine is bright, but they just hate applying themselves to school work. My son is foremostly a "hands-on" learner so sitting and listening to lectures can be absolute torture for him.

    I'm a little confused because I thought taking away privileges works. I just consulted with my son and he says that if I took away his privileges because of bad grades, he would "just get madder and do worse". I asked him what he thought would work and he shrugged.

    This wouldn't be easy to do, but if you can show him how getting good grades will help him reach his goals, or have a practical application in his life, it will probably help. My son often makes comments about learning "stupid" things that he can't use in real life. Learning needs to be practical.

    My son wants to be a professional skateboarder, so I feel your pain.

    But he's also willing, at this point, to go to a technical school and get some hands-on training, though he doesn't know what he wants to do.

    I wish you good success.

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