JuLeah - posted on 05/28/2011 ( no moms have responded yet )
So, I was working with this 7th grader who proudly stated he would get an ‘A’ on an upcoming exam.
I asked, “What are you doing to make sure that happens?”
He had no idea what I meant.
He was not that interested in actually going to class everyday, didn’t really participate when there. He kind of did homework, but mostly watched TV.
He got a ‘D’ on the exam.
“The teacher gave you a ‘D’ cause you earned a ‘D’”
He didn’t see it. He could not see where he had any power in this situation. He was not able to see anywhere he might makes changes, or even why/how his actions influenced this outcome.
It was a stupid teacher randomly handing out letters cause she didn’t like him.
I was struck by this, but really I see this, to a greater or lesser degree, in nearly ever teen I work with.
They don’t get it and I did not understand why. I have taught in many countries and all ages. Teens in this country seem so disconnected. They become young adults that continue to struggle with theses concepts.
I had a thought; we don’t raise them to understand this concept. Kids raised ‘close to the earth’ Kids raised in nature, kids raised by parents who subscribe to ‘natural law’ seem to make connections that kids removed from nature can not wrap their brains around.
When the child is five or more, most parents are still blowing on their soup. We don’t let them do this or that because they might get hurt, might fall. We not only remind them to take a coat, we put it on them. I can’t tell you how many 6yr olds I know that can’t put on their coat. We tie their shoes, ‘help’ with homework (meaning do it for them) we run to their defense with excuses and explanations for everything. We step between them and a library fine when they forget to return a book. We go to their teacher demanding an extension or extra credit on their behalf. They lose their cell phone we buy them a new one. We go out of our way so they never feel bad, are never upset, depressed, angry.
My sister would take her kids out for ice cream and a party if they had called a friend who could not play that day and got sad about that situation. So, they learn to think we have failed them if they are ever sad for any reason. They demand someone cheer them up.
Kids raised on a world where they have to figure it out, they have to make it work, they have to deal with all consequences of their behavior, tend to function better as adults.
The 7th grader was not able to see a connection between his behavior and the grade, because a connection has never been made for him. And in this case, the parent was upset with the teacher too. She demanded her son be allowed to retake the test, used the test he took as a study guide, and drilled him till he could answer each question.
He got an ‘A’, but still hates the teacher.
I attempt to be mindful of this when raising my child, and have been told I am too hard on her. She refuses what is served for lunch and later complains she is hungry. I say, “I am sure you are, but you can make it till we eat again.”
I have been told I am too lenient. I allow her to scale to the top of whatever she thinks she can climb at a park. “She will fall and break an arm. How can you allow that?”
I joke, “I know her insurance number” but no one laughs. She has never fallen, she might, and we will deal of she does, but I would prefer her to fall then never climb.
Does anyone else see this pattren?