I know some of us have teenagers who work to capacity. But for the rest of us...(71 Posts)
....when they come home and proudly tell you that they got a "top B"-or, indeed a "top" any grade- do you really never say "But with A bit more work that could have been an A"? Go on, be honest. I promise not to tell anyone
I do it with my two pre-teens, see no reason to stop when they become teenagers.
All. The. Time. To the point where he now tells me that next time he'll do more revision. I think he believes himself...
I do occasionally. My DD is on track for an A in one subject which will beat DH's B and my C in the same subject. But i know she's capable of an A*...
[takes a step back now ]
Mine was told on good authority by a senior student that you only ever need 70 %. He took this to mean in the simplest, tiniest of tests, it was teeth grindingly frustrating.
Oh god yes. Unfortunately for ds he is our second. His older sibling is extremely studious... And has a job (another post-year 11 nag).... He is actually more academic, has a natural curiosity about the world and thinks outside the box. But GCSE revising - nope. Only need Bs and Cs and will be happy with those, despite my protestation that he's capable of straight A stars.
My MIL did this, it didn't matter what mark my DH got it could always have been better. He left home at 20 and for 10 years barely spoke to her, there were of course other factor but this didn't help. He's never made a negative comment about our DC's marks good bad or indifferent. Both have done better than he did (he did pretty well by the way for 35+ years ago) in particular 1 who's got virtually A*'s all the way.
I know if he was writhing this he would say "please don't do it".
Mmm, sometimes I say "so the work / revision you did took you up a grade?" To be positive but shine light on the relative impact of effort.
We had a 'growth mindset' workshop at the school last year. I can't remember the script we should stick to, though.
Belle, my son was like that. He'd ask the teacher what was needed to pass and that's what he'd go for. (The teacher knew this - no idea why they didn't tell him a different mark.) He changed once he was at university though - he's been really hardworking ever since.
My go-to question is "and how was that compared to the rest of the class?". I need to know whether that 62% is amazing or piss-poor compared to everyone else - but I try to make it sound like I genuinely care how Mates X, Y and Z did because I'm interested in them. I'm not - it's all about needing the context. I will rot in hell.
My son generally knows when he's slacked and when he hasn't. And so do I. So if he tells me with pride, I do congratulate him. If he twlls mw sheepishly, I do the look. He is canny though. He told me his mock English Language grade in a coffee shop. Like an errant husband or something
Occasionally with the one who is very laid back and content with the good enough grades he gets by doing the minimum. I tell him he's not making the most of the brain he was blessed with. His reports usually say something along those lines so he'd see right through it if I were to say 'Well Done' continually. Or think I was easily fooled!
My eldest is incredibly smart, top sets for everything and utterly happy to for his work to be good enough. I do ask where his mark was in relation to the class so that I can guage if the result is ok but where he has shrugged his shoulders over mediocre marks which should have been better I have started to remind him that if he wants to do A levels, which he does, and go to a good university, which he does, he's going to have to pull his finger out as his school have tough requirements for the sixth form and they won't bend them at all. I'm hoping that works and I also remind him that he's going to be seriously annoyed if people who he perceives are less able than him do better because they've put the effort in. Hopefully this will work
I have one driven child and one not driven child.
One is female
one is male
guess which is which
Yep my job was to,get them to 18 with the academic qualifications and sufficient extracurricular achievement to do whatever they wanted in life. Blunt speaking isn't a problem in my book. Telling children they are doing fantastically when they are actually being lazy little toads does nobody any favours. The girls stressed and twitched their way to success but the boys both needed a firm metaphorical tug/kick sometimes.
Sorry - they weren't allowed to opt for a job which didn't require qualifications and call it a choice. They had to get qualifications that allowed them to do virtually anything and could then choose a lower paid/more vocational route, if they wished. Not surprisingly none chose not to use the qualifications they had earned at 18.
I wonder what the new GCSE scoring will do. My Nephew who did his GCSEs a few years ago found things easy and consistently getting A* so he put no more effort in as he felt more work would achieve no better result. These 9s are apparently going to be very rare, depending on the DC it may be a positive influence as something to at least aim for, for others a demotivating factor as it is so unattainable.
With DD she is quite self motivated but tends to rush and could do better if she slowed down or put more emphasis on the planning stage. She is only in Y7 so time to iron out these issues, I hope...
A couple of years ago I went on an Understanding Self Harm in young adults course related to work.
I came home and casually asked my then 16 year old, very laid back, happy DS how much pressure he felt he was under. He said on a scale of 1-10, he was probably 11.
Why? Because he was trying his absolute best, and getting high B's in all subjects and his Dad and I would say brilliant, a bit more effort and it'll be an A.
We are not pushy parents. We have let all our children just get on with it, with no expectations than to do their best. Yet, we were the straws that were nearly breaking DS back. The younger two have not felt that pressure from us! Lesson learnt.
DS has lots of ability but basically lazy like myself and my brother.IME nagging has no effect. They need to come to the realisation themselves even if that means the sharp shock of a very poor result.
My boys are total cruisers. They piercer to do the minimum and I do try to encourage them however but I feel that they need to come to the realisation themselves that if they work hard they achieve more. My eldest boy is slowly starting to realise that if he works he can do better than most in his class and sometimes his competitive streak kicks in but it's rare.
I don't see the point of putting children under pressure to succeed
As long as they do enough to pass, that's good enough
I'm a big believer in praising the effort and not the results
I always ask if they did their best. If so, great. If not, how do they feel about that? They don't have to answer, just think about it for themselves.
My DC know that I got a crap degree after great O and A Levels. And that was because I didn't work at Uni. Too many other, more interesting things to do!
I've always said that it feels awful deep down when you get a mark or grade and know that you could have done a lot better if you'd tried.
Talkin. I also have one driven child and one more easily distracted. My son is driven, my daughter is not, but is very sociable. Which way round are yours.
My ds has asd and an amazingly wonderful spoken academic profile.
So I get "I only got x amount on that test" which I reply - well then with hard work you can only improve and
"I'm doing different work in x subject because I can already do what the teacher is teaching" to which I reply - well that's an exam you can get top grades in if you put in the work which will help you get into college.
I try and find a balance. In ds first secondary he went to they put everyone's current score and target score on the whiteboard in order of achievement. Ds was always bottom in English but a quite a way. When being positive that with support and hard work he could catch up to his peers and achieve what they are ds noted straightaway that many of them were already achieving above his target and than if they make progress too he'll always be bottom. So I've had to adjust the wording to showing him he make the same rate of progress rather on focussing on bridging the gap.
I have one driven, one distracted...boy is driven, girl is distracted but it hasn't always been like this - they switched around in Year 8.
No, I honestly don't put any pressure on him to push Bs to As or As to A*. But, he has huge issues around anxiety and perfectionism which we've been battling since primary school and we're finally starting to get the message across that all we expect of him is that he does well enough to be able to access the next stage of his education AND that he enjoys learning for learning's sake. For example, last night he spent some time researching the Spanish civil war because he was interested in it, not because it's on his GCSE syllabus (exams in four weeks). That's the kind of child and student I want.
Join the discussion
Please login first.