Self-motivation…. a youth’s perspective vs. mine

Posted Friday, April 24th, 2015. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

My son received his interim report card for semester two. Three of his four classes he did excellent and had a great mark. For one of his courses, Geography, his mark was high 70s and his behavioural marks, good and satisfactory while the others were “excellent” – organized, self-motivated, etc.

When I asked him why he did so well in the other courses he said that he was motivated by the teacher and liked the course. For Geography he tunes out the teacher and doesn’t listen as much and that he is not engaged as much in this class.

He is satisfied with that mark and if I push him he will lower his mark on purpose.

I looked at him and told him, “oh ya…. do you want to lose you phone for the summer?” Of course this is not the way to motivate or engage anyone.

I walked away and then approached my son again. I explained that in life sometimes you do not like your teacher or boss and that you have to motivate yourself. Take the reins by the horn so to speak. He looked at me and said quit frankly if he is not motivated or engaged he will not do so. And then when we talked about if he were to be employed by someone what will he do if he doesn’t like his job. He said he won’t work for someone who doesn’t engage him. He’d leave.

Out of the mouths of babes. What does this mean for our future workforce. Part of me knows that the way we do business in the future will change because the youth will drive the change. Other parts of me knows that hard work, determination and sometimes doing the mundane and things we don’t like – ‘paper work’ (even online) – has to be done and isn’t always the most exciting. This will become even more true for the younger ones that run their own businesses. When hiring, you will need to find the parts that are engaging while knowing that part will be unexciting but necessary.

So I leave my son to do his work. He ultimately has to be responsible and accountable for his choices. I can only guide him.

It is a constant reminder that an engaged and motivated person whether for personal or work, will rise to the occasion and showcase their best with results to show.

As parents we need to remind our children that life is not all fun and games. That being an adult means making decisions that sometimes are not fun, we do not like, etc.

This weekend take time to find the opportunities to talk to your children about this. I am not currently a fan of our education system. We do not allow for failure and learning (rather than reward this – we punish it often it), going outside the box or ruberic and definitely listen to our children to find out what is the best way to educate and engage them.

It takes a special teacher and principal to support this that allows for this kind of learning. There are exceptional teachers out there that do impact our children’s lives.

I want to wish all of you a great weekend.

All my love,



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