DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m worried about my son’s discipline as he starts off this school year. For the first time, he did not have extracurricular activities this summer. He was supposed to have a job, but he couldn’t find one. He mostly hung out with friends or slept around the house. By the time I figured out how unstructured his summer was, it was too late for me to set him up with activities.
Now that school is starting, my son seems sluggish getting up and being pumped for what will surely be a rigorous academic year. How can I get him motivated? I feel responsible for not keeping him on point during the summer. He is in high school, and these are the important years before he heads off to college. What can I do? -- Get Him Motivated
DEAR GET HIM MOTIVATED: It may take your son a few weeks or a pop quiz or test to wake him up to the rigor of school once more. You can support him by helping to make sure that he is up and out of the house on time. Remind him that his responsibility now is to be a good student and to think about where he wants to go to college and what he wants to do with his life. He had a leisurely summer of fun, and now that’s over.
Don’t begrudge him what is in the past. Instead, help him to focus on what is before him. Though he won’t like it, continue to remind him of his goals. Encourage him to keep them front and center. Hopefully, when he starts getting his grades, he will be able to see what is needed to stay the course.