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.
Yup. Being forced to learn things you will never use is even more torture.
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.
From my point of view, I know what I want to do and don't want to do. Someone else telling me/trying to force me to do it, doesn't make me want to do it, it just makes me annoyed.
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.
That would work, but is very hard to do, especially with subjects that obviously have no use.
As a note: Punishments will have an opposite reaction of what you intend, rewards will rarely work. The only way things are likely to change is to find a way to convince him of it's use. If there isn't a use...you're probably out of luck.
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.
I know that ISTPs need the reward to be immediate, instead of too far down the road. The more immediate, the better.
Originally Posted by 6sticks
That's the worst thing you could have done. Why should he do you the favor of getting good grades if you're punishing him? If he has any spirit in him he'll do worse until you give in.
I know this because I was in this situation. You can't make an ISTP do anything.
I have just learned something in the past couple of weeks about my son (and my ISTP) husband. They are very relationship oriented. I have noticed in the past that my son will do something for me when he wants something. Not in a manipulative way. It's more like, "I understand that this is the way it works. If I want you to do something for me, I have to do something for you."
Or if I took him to the store to get him some clothes he needed - I "did him a favor" - when we got home, he would open my car door for me. This was my reciprocated reward for doing him the favor. What I'm attempting to say, in my very typically poor INTJ way, is that they are very "favor" oriented in their thinking - at least mine are.
You might be able to work this around in your favor - no pun intended.
I have noticed in the past that my son will do something for me when he wants something. Not in a manipulative way. It's more like, "I understand that this is the way it works. If I want you to do something for me, I have to do something for you."
This resonates with me. I also get frustrated when people do things for me (ie gifts), and they don't ask for anything in return, or I don't know what they want in return. I'm also not a fan of doing favors out of pure kindness -- I usually want something in return.
I've only recently noticed this pattern of my behavior. In the past it's been so automatic that I do it without thought. It's like "eye for an eye" has been programmed into my subconscious.
I do see how cold it is, though, and how badly some people dislike this kind of behavior. It's hard to stop.
My few cents on this matter is that you shouldn't punish him. Restore status to normal, show him the bad side of town etc. But for the LOVE of GOD, don't take away his stuff. That will only make him hate your guts, and thus not respect or listen to a word that comes out of your mouth.
I used to be the same, but somewhere along the way I picked up the pace again and started doing well. But that mostly came from my own gathered information that i'd be poor and unhappy later on if I didn't do something about the status quo.
Anyway. Give him back his stuff, and then try reason with him. Sit down and take a long talk with him about it, like two grown-ups, not grown-up to kid.
I am not sure about ISTPs, but as an ESTP I've always, no matter how young I was, been very irritated with people who treated me as a minor. And now I can really say that I wasn't wrong with thinking so. Some kids aren't that stupid or irrational, really. Try the talk thing...
"I do this because I love you and want you to have a good future. Some day we will not be there for you and then I want you to be able to stand on your own legs and not have to depend upon me/us... etc"
Being independent is really important for thinking kids. My father used to do that tactic with me and it got me to listen.
And to let him know that you get proud if he gets a B or above, and to let him know that you get sad when he gets bad grades etc. Eventually I think things will turn out OK. Just don't do the punishing part.
Who knows what this bad grade thing comes from? Maybe he doesn't like his class or something. I know my class wasn't good for me when I was 12 to 15, and that highly affected my grades. But then it picked up when I didn't see them anymore from age 16 to 19.
There are probably many factors in this and I bet you don't know half of it.
Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come