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  1. #41
    Member sinnamon's Avatar
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    Tonight I called my son into the kitchen while I was fixing dinner & talked to him about the current state of affairs. I told him that I know he felt that at times things were inequitable with regard to his school vs. play. I also wanted him to know there were a few things that have historically been true -- if I gave him computer time he didn't do his homework, if I told him to do his hw first, he rushed through & went to play his games. I also told him that I understood he wants independence & that I want that for him as well. So I asked him to propose what he felt like was a fair arrangement.

    He said that he should have to stay of the pc until I get home (about 30 minutes after he does) & that he should have to do his homework first, let me look at it, & then have pc or TV time for the rest of the evening (except for his chores). I asked what should happen if he started rushing through his work & getting bad grades, & he responded that then he should lose computer priviledges for a week.

    I said done.

    I also told him I didn't like being the grade Nazi & that I didn't want to have to get on line every day & check up on him & his grades. He said he likes checking them every day himself. I said deal.

    He's also much happier with school right now because he started Tech Ed, & the teacher hands them an assignment sheet & they go work on it however & at whatever pace they want.
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  2. #42
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    Hey I was totally serious with my first response, I'll elaborate on the motivations a bit further. It's a hidden flaw in the system that my brother (ISTP, one year younger) and I exploited as much as possible.

    It does all depend on the high school, but in ours, the honors classes were a lot easier to get good grades. I'll explain... Once in the honors programs, you need a 'C' two semesters in a row to get kicked out, and the teachers generally give most of the students get A's and B's in the honors classes (so they don't get kicked out). So they get 5.0's and 4.0's, while only a small percentage of the 'normal' kids get 4.0's. Thus most of them have considerably higher GPA's than is really representative of their effort. It's the 'no child left behind' reality of the way the world works... the kids with everything get more and the kids with nothing get less.

    Nobody really thinks to change this obvious flaw... they think they are just rewarding the kids who are already pre-chosen to have more potential.

    I realized this as a freshman in high school, so I convinced my brother to get into the honors classes for the easier road. If you enter high school in the group that has everything, theres a good chance you'll end with a better representation than your actual ability.

    On top of that, the majority of colleges weight your high school GPA by the grade, not the +'s and -'s when considering admission. So a B- in a honors class is worth the same as an A+ in a normal class. Getting a B- in a honors class is usually 'below average' for that honors class. Undergraduate admissions work by a set algorithm, that's there only to exploit.

    Treating the ridiculous high school curriculum as a system to beat really worked well for us. We treated it as strictly a game to put ourselves in the most ideal situation where a good result would most likely happen... instead of looking at it by the perceived difficulty most people look at it by. 'Honors' and 'AP' mean nothing... and once you realize that, you're set.

    We hated the school curriculum, the only thing it's good for is getting into college. There you can start to put in real effort to go all out academically.

    Unleashing this reality was a good motivator for my ISTP brother. It seems less like work if you're exploiting the system

  3. #43
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    He's 12. You don't motivate a 12 years old, for christ's sake. At least until he's 18, let him do what he wants.

    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
    Of course, because there isn't any.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  4. #44
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Of course, because there isn't any.
    Biggest load of crock I've heard all day. On average, people who stay in school get better jobs with higher pay. You get an education, and you get a piece of paper that's pretty valuable if you want a good job.

    And although I'm not a parent, I imagine that letting a twelve year old do anything they want is not conducive to being able to control them when they're eighteen.

  5. #45
    Senior Member mcmartinez84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    Biggest load of crock I've heard all day. On average, people who stay in school get better jobs with higher pay. You get an education, and you get a piece of paper that's pretty valuable if you want a good job.

    And although I'm not a parent, I imagine that letting a twelve year old do anything they want is not conducive to being able to control them when they're eighteen.
    Really, the paper matters, but who gives a crap where you went to school and what your GPA was? I've got a nice job and had other offers and no one cared about the school I went to or what my GPA was upon graduating. The same applies for my sister; she's not working in her field of study at all and she makes 6 figures a year. I'm not working in my field of study either.

    I'm not saying that there should be zero disciplining or that education is a complete waste... It's not, but it's often very much overrated. The only thing that matters in the end is the piece of paper. Even without it, you can get the same job, just not at the same age. I've got coworkers who barely graduated from high school and they have the exact same position I have... They also have about 10-15 years on me.

    If you want the job by a certain age, go to school and do homework. If you just want to get by, fuck school, but keep in mind that just getting by sucks major balls and you have very little freedom because of financial restrictions.
    That last bit is the reason I stuck it all out. The piece of papers lets you do less for more money in many jobs....
    I 65.63% E 34.38%
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  6. #46
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    Biggest load of crock I've heard all day. On average, people who stay in school get better jobs with higher pay. You get an education, and you get a piece of paper that's pretty valuable if you want a good job.

    And although I'm not a parent, I imagine that letting a twelve year old do anything they want is not conducive to being able to control them when they're eighteen.
    Hey, calm down...I didn't say that there isn't a point in education, ever. I only said that there isn't a point in homework during the early teens, and even less to already think about Ivy League schools.

    I know perfectly well the statistics about the income differential between graduated and nongraduates. Hell, I've written my undergrad thesis on the matter.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #47
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Hey, calm down...I didn't say that there isn't a point in education, ever. I only said that there isn't a point in homework during the early teens, and even less to already think about Ivy League schools.

    I know perfectly well the statistics about the income differential between graduated and nongraduates. Hell, I've written my undergrad thesis on the matter.
    I misunderstood you, then.

    And on second thought I can see the benefit of letting the kid follow his own interests to get a feel for what he likes and doesn't like, rather than blindly doing the assigned work without question.

  8. #48
    Member sinnamon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdal233 View Post
    Hey I was totally serious with my first response, I'll elaborate on the motivations a bit further. It's a hidden flaw in the system that my brother (ISTP, one year younger) and I exploited as much as possible.
    Well, the difference is that I actually work in the school where he'll be going next year, & I can tell you that what you describe is not the case in that school. We do get students in AP classes that don't do their work, & we do fail them or give them whatever grade they earn, & they do get kicked out of the program. I'm sure there are teachers that take the easy way out, but they are the exception, rather than the rule.

    As to getting off his back about school & reigning in the discipline -- I have chilled out on my expectations. I wish he were self-motivated to achieve, but he's not, & super high achievement can only be motivated intrinsically not extrinsically. That said, I don't think that allowing my son to bring home D's simply because he won't do his homework is acceptable.

    Also, I'm a pretty laid back mother altogether. One of my kids (16) has a facial piercing. The 12 year old has this huge white dude fro that hangs in his face. Whatever. Those things aren't really important.

    I look at discipline as a necessary not-fun part of the job, but a job it is. If I'm not doing my best to guide him & present boundaries, then I'm slacking on my job. The easiest thing to do would be choose the path of least resistance & let them do whatever, but that wouldn't be very responsible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jen View Post
    I hear you're alright for an INTP

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by sinnamon View Post
    As to getting off his back about school & reigning in the discipline -- I have chilled out on my expectations. I wish he were self-motivated to achieve, but he's not, & super high achievement can only be motivated intrinsically not extrinsically. That said, I don't think that allowing my son to bring home D's simply because he won't do his homework is acceptable.
    Consistently bringing home D's is troublesome to be sure (a couple of screw-ups are probably, OK). How does your son himself, reconcile this with him wanting to go to MIT? Is there any fear/loathing of teachers or bullying from classmates at school that you are not aware of? Maybe he really does need more challenging work also. Whether S or N, I think almost all students prefer hands-on learning to route memorization of theory. Probably most true for an ISTP.

    He may not be in high school yet, but even C's in high-school can make dreams of getting into a good engineering research school rather unrealistic. There is no switch to turn on that will make someone a good student all of a sudden.

    How close do you live to a research university? Perhaps you can take him there... show him how much work is involved. Perhaps inspire him to do work again.

    How is it that parents are able to reassure a child that their worth is not contingent on their performance, while at the same time stressing the consequences of a good work ethic?

    A tough job. I'm glad I don't have to do that yet.

    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

  10. #50
    Member Rhadamanthus's Avatar
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    The only thing that motivated me to put any effort into my school work was being told near the end of high school that I probably wouldn't have enough credits to graduate high school. As a matter of fact, I probably wouldn't have been able to graduate had I not been able to switch to another school that required less credits to graduate. Rewards never meant anything to me, and neither did punishment. I abhorred the fact that there were morons who were going to graduate, but I would have to take a GED because I was apathetic and lazy. The idea of failure is the only thing that was able to actually motivate me to put any kind of real effort into my school work.

    Most likely differs from person to person, though. You've apparently solved your problem, but I figured I'd respond, anyway, and confirm that reward and punishment sometimes aren't enough to motivate people. If your son is as apathetic and laid back as I, it may take a brush with failure to motivate him. Hopefully, though, your son isn't like me.
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    What exactly are you asking(in normal English)?
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    *scattering done beforehand not to waste space* "If the Scat Man can do it, brotha, so can you!" BABABADABO Skeebibididiyodadadum ZizSazouiiscatbobliboobizizizScoobydoobyscoobydoom elody! I'm the Scat Man...." *sccccattttttt*

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