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Thread: How do I motivate my ISTP son?

  1. #51


    Quote Originally Posted by Rhadamanthus View Post
    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.
    Well, we'll see how his follow-through is. Fortunately, he is becoming a little more self-motivated. He really really loves math & science, especially math. He is interested, so he's doing well in those subjects. If I could just get him to do decently in the other subjects I'd be satisfied.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jen View Post
    I hear you're alright for an INTP

  2. #52
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    Jan 2008


    Good, if you didn't go along with the ISTP plans more than 2-3 times, this would make the ISTP apathetic towards you. Also keep in mind that that the ISTP believes in fair-play/fair-ness so there's no real manipulation behind it.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I know that ISTPs need the reward to be immediate, instead of too far down the road. The more immediate, the better.

    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.

  3. #53
    Fight For Freedom Array FFF's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    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.
    My french teacher in high school would tell the bad kids, "McDonalds needs you." It wasn't very effective.

  4. #54
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Array Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Nov 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    This post just reminded me of Cynthia Tobias.
    I laughed my head off the first time I heard her on the radio.
    Talk about strong-willed!!
    Here's her site.
    Can't Make Me - For parents of the strong willed child.

    One of her books is called:
    You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded):
    Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in your Strong-Willed Child

    She was/is a school teacher, too.
    I've started reading this book and it's wonderful. The author is a SWC herself and explains why the way things are phrased matters to those kids. The important thing is getting their buy-in so they're making the choices.

    I know you had a good talk with your son about getting his homework done. Just wanted to reiterate this author has so many worthwhile things to say, you might enjoy reading the book anyway.

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

  5. #55
    Senior Member Array millerm277's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by ImNotTooPopular View Post
    My french teacher in high school would tell the bad kids, "McDonalds needs you." It wasn't very effective.
    The issue with that statement, is that kids can generally tell whether or not something is relavent or not. With ISTP's, if it is, they'll probably be doing decently with it to begin with, and if not, they'll see right through you, and statements like that won't have any effect. (If you can find a way to show it being useful, that can work).
    I-95%, S-84%, T-89%, P-84%

  6. #56
    Senior Member Array celesul's Avatar
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    Jun 2007


    I think that having any sort of job helps, even if it is just chores helping neighbors in the summertime. Whatever works. I have had a job working for my dad before, and while it was okay for summer, I know it would be tedious for any period of time longer than that. So I want to have an interesting job.

    One of the things my parents have repeatedly told me is that the people at better colleges are probably the sort I'd like more. They point to the annoying, shallow kids in my class, and say that if I slack off, those kids will be my classmates in college. That is a pretty big motivation.

    Given that you say he likes school, I'd recommend showing him the grades necessary to get into MIT. (the princeton review websites shows it. You may have to register, I don't remember). Be happy that he at least likes some of his classes (my brother liked none of them, and it was impossible for my parents to motivate him). Also, what are his strengths in school? For example, my memory is extremely bad, but I'm rather good with concepts. Although our honors/AP classes are not easy, they are more conceptual, which is easier for me than memorizing a list. Aside from that, the classes are generally more interesting. If that is true at your school, you could show him that. It is a motivation to work, to get good teachers and classmates, and more interesting work. We also get substantially less busy work. ^.^
    "'You scoundrel, you have wronged me,' hissed the philosopher. 'May you live forever!'" - Ambrose Bierce

  7. #57


    Quote Originally Posted by sinnamon View Post
    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.
    I'm not going to lie, you sound exactly like my dad when I do poorly. He always called me out and had me tell him what I thought should be done just like you. Then afterward he would do the same thing as you about not wanting to be over bearing.

    I know it's redundant and all, but punishment does nothing. Whenever I was punished, or more often just nagged, I would simply ignore my parents. If they told me they were limiting computer time, I would observe the punishment for about a week.

    Certainly the most effective thing for me when it came to motivating me to work was my parent's disappointment when I did poorly. I always hated that. So yes, just be open with your son. That's my advice.

  8. #58
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    Oct 2008


    I agree with those that said you have to explain why the homework is important the task itself, SPs need to see value in what they do or they move onto something else...

    Of course *chuckle* you would have a hard time convincing me homework is important

    The rich didn't get rich from American education haha (no offense guys... Aussie education isn't really that much better.)

  9. #59
    Senior Member Array Tiny Army's Avatar
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    Jan 2009


    I have an ISTP younger brother who has been failing high school classes for years. He's also one of Sony's youngest employees and makes more money than I do.

    I found the only way to motivate him to do homework is to somehow find a way to turn that homework into a way to subvert authority even more. If he thinks a homework assignment is stupid I come up with ways for him to continue to make his statement that the assignment is stupid while still doing the assignment.

    Example: In the 6th grade the guidance counselor made his whole grade write an essay about their deepest personal fear. I suggested that he write about how his deepest personal fear is having to write about his deepest personal fear.

  10. #60


    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny Army View Post
    Example: In the 6th grade the guidance counselor made his whole grade write an essay about their deepest personal fear. I suggested that he write about how his deepest personal fear is having to write about his deepest personal fear.
    you should have seen the letter I had to write to the bishop when I was being confirmed. It was awesome. But yeah, that might work. Maybe.

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