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Here’s a video response to an email I received:
Hey Seth, I’ve been thinking about next semester. My son did ok ( I.e. no D’s/F’s). But there were several classes that he should have had better grades in (actually most of them!). These are classes where he started off strong. His M.O. typically is as you describe, although he seems to be able to “Hail Mary” it at the end (stressful for both of us!).
Out tutor does a great job working with him; the problem is the follow-through. (finishing, remembering to finish, handing in everything) of course he rejects the planner and so often forgets key elements of assignments). He usually volunteers what he needs to do, then doesn’t do it.
He is already fluent in your systems and has rejected some / made some his own. He’s sort of in need of the next step I.e. using the tools you’ve provided to make himself responsible as well as being accountable to someone he trusts like you.
I was wondering if you had thoughts on offering something for kids like him who are beyond the basics but still need a push to succeed, to change their mindset (a term loathed by my son btw!).
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Everybody I hope you’re doing great. I have a really great email. I’m going to go over for you and the gist of what I’m going to get to on this email. Is that a mom is asking how do I help my child get to the next stop the child sort of has a decent foundation and what he’s supposed to do. How do we get them to do it? So here’s how the email ghost and one at what I’m going to do by the ways, I’m going to give you five ways to help in a situation like that. So here’s how it goes. I’ve been thinking about next semester which happens to be the upcoming spring semester my child did okay, meaning that there are no D zaroff’s but there were several classes that he should have done had better grades. And actually most of them! These are classes where he started off strong his demo typically as you describe it is as you described although he seems to be able to hail Mary it at the end which is stressful for both of us. So a lot of times this child goes Through the depths their grades fall apart and then they’re swimming Upstream for the rest of the semester. And in this case. He Hail Marys that mean in the last month of school. There’s a ton of stress and he’s trying to do all this project and papers and everything and he’s able to pull it off. Ok. Meanwhile as you get further in school and high school and such it gets harder and harder to successfully Hail Mary it. Anyhow, our tutor does a great job of working with our child. The problem though is the follow-through finishing remembering to finish handing in everything. Of course, he rejects the planner and so often forget the key elements of assignments usually volunteers what he needs to do and then doesn’t do it and he’s already fluent in your systems and he has rejected some which I’m totally okay with it says he’s made some of his own which is really good. He doesn’t have to do everything the way I teach but getting the some system in place is key and the refining it for that person. That’s come Frank and study by the way if you haven’t been following For a while, he sort of in need of a next step is using the tools you provided to make himself more responsible as well as being accountable to someone he trusts like you as wondering if you had thoughts on offering something for kids like this who are beyond the basics, but still need to push to change their mindset, which is a term loathed by my child by the way so mines that mindset the huge huge part of this and what I’m going to talk to you about right now in terms of how to help with this has a lot to do with mine said, so first of all, I want you to understand parents that if your child is in this type of the situation need them to get them next level. They have the foundation. They’re just not doing it enough to get the results of the need then it’s not one thing. There is no one answer. Will you have to do parents as we have to in the child has to do several small things to make a change OK, it’s Kai. Like working out like if you want to get healthy and you start going in the gym and all you do is bicep curls and you don’t get it. You don’t want to hear any aerobic activity. You don’t work out your legs don’t work out your back at all. You do is bicep curls had his not going to achieve your goals. Okay. So when you’re working with kids like this, you have to have the have to take many different approaches and apply lots of little things that are going to make the change. So what I want to talk about in terms of mindset and I’m going to tell you ways to apply this mindset is what I called the 5% rule how to talk a lot about micro successes. Basically the 5% rule is this I tell students all the time that the reality is is that in order for them to do significantly better it often only takes a little bit more effort than they’re already putting in if they can just put in 5% more effort. They often will get way better ease. So let’s say your child is getting a bunch of bees and they put in 5% more effort. Chances are they can bring themselves up to be he’s relatively easily now just because they’re not actually doing 5% It’s more a mindset and that mindset is to say hey, I can do 5% more I can do one more homework problem. When I hit a wall I can write one more sentence when I know I’m the type of writer who my teacher always says, there’s not enough detail. I can do one more sentence. I can do one more word. I can spend five more minutes on studying. I can study one more day this week on this test. So it’s how do we get it? It’s is really a mindset because it’s how do we get the student to take more action in the reason they don’t is because it’s overwhelming the reasons of Ronnie’s cuz it’s abstract and they think it’s this big and if we can make them feel like it’s this big like it’s manageable then it’ll do more than 5% But if we can just make it feel like 5% That didn’t have that kind of mindset then. I’m I’m not trying to motivate them. I’m trying to get them to do what they don’t want to do an imprint. They look can you just do one more problem? You just do this for five more minutes. Can you do it for one more minute? Can you write one more sentence on this paragraph? Can you do just that much more? And when there’s that the one that overwhelm is not there that helps lot. Now. I’m going to give you I’m going to give you five things that are going to help sort of with implementing this 5% philosophy one way to get 5% more to get a little bit more is accountability and meaning having your child Implement system that are going to help them be more accountable. So for example, I will often now as a coach you may or may not work as a parent because kids are not as receptive. But as a coach I will often email or text or call my students as they hated to do this. Did you do that and just or I’ll say what reminders do you want? Me this week and I’ll text you that reminder. So that little bit of accountability can go a long way if it helps them get one more thing in that they get credit on that can be a difference between a c and b for example Etc. Another thing that has two of the 5% rule is office hours are going to see their teacher. I really pushed my students to advocate for themselves and see their teachers if they go into office hours and see their teacher at the beginning of semester or couple times during semester and say hey, what’s up, just wanted to check in with you. How are you doing? Hey, Jenny success tips for me. So I will often recommend that is student go in to see their teacher and ask for a success. What can I do to be more successful in your class that shows interest in the class off of the teacher will give them a great tip in the teacher knows that they’re interested in the teacher will naturally help encourage them throughout the rest of the semester. Hey, thanks for coming in a don’t forget to do that. Don’t forget to do that. So that goes a long way and it’s a tiny little 5% That goes a long way next thing is study groups in middle schoolers don’t often do this, but it’s great to get him started Middle School by high schoolers and especially college student starting study groups. We have one or two or three friends and you meet on certain days or for certain projects are certain tests or whatever and they all studied together. It’s fun. It’s more interesting and makes studying more more more exciting and you learn so much that way by studying with other people and they build them more accountability because they have to be there they started to study group and that definitely give them at 5% more studying than they would have otherwise done. Another one is advocacy emails which is similar to office hours. But it which is having my student say hey, what’s up, I want to do great in your class this semester. What ideas do you have for me? Can you give me some feedback on what I could do differently or something like that? So that’s a very easy thing a short little email to teachers to say. Hey, I’m interested in doing well. What it what do you got for me? And then the last thing is is routine. So the more routine cuz a lot of times these kids are not very routine kids. So having them let’s say that their study time now is from 7 to 8:30 or something. It doesn’t really matter what it is by putting in play study routine so that there’s no ambiguity around at no saying how else that he when I feel like it tonight taking that choice away. Now, they don’t have to study at exactly the same time every night but having a printed posted routine that takes the thinking out of it so that they know this is my study time makes it a lot easier than having to decide a when do I feel like it because they’re often not going to feel like it until there’s a lot of pressure arguments or what have you so I want to make a really clear that this is not about motivation. I’m not trying to motivate students. Okay. I’m trying to make them feel emotionally safe enough to take one next micro step that 5% that 1% were whatever you want to call it. I’m trying to make them emotionally. Feel safe. I want to get that real clear. I want them to emotionally feel not overwhelmed and safe to take a small micro action that is going to move them forward and often times. Once they do get started. We’ll get a little bit of momentum and I’ll do way more than they did before. It may not be perfect may but not be completed may not be the highest quality, but it’s growth and that is what is going to get your child to change is growth growth growth growth growth, not Perfection, but how do we get them to take a little more action all the time and and that’s what that’s what works and how I hope this helps you and I hope you have a fantastic new year. Take care.