Setting the Standards High

In my blog on “Self Limiting Beliefs” I share the challenges for our 6th grade son and for us brought by his transition into middle school. We were feeling beat-up and disturbed with declining school performance combined with an “everything’s going to be okay” lackadaisical attitude.

Setting and keeping high expectations proved to be the key solution for the Weber home. We covered the bases to make sure Ian had the tools and skills to be successful. We got busy analyzing low test scores to discover: 1) getting dinged for not knowing past materials; 2) test-taking anxiety; 3) the need for study tools like flash cards; and 4) remedies for sloppy work generating lower scores. After all the activity ultimately we communicated our expectations to Ian.

But the sloppiness, the casualness, the lack of attention, though improved, didn’t fully go away. It only takes one zero for not turning in an assignment to ruin the progress made in raising a grade in a class.

So with three D’s we resorted to Dr. Ray Guerendi’s black out: no screen time (computers, laptop, TV), no friends over, no activities with friends, nothing fun, just school and home. Ian probed to see if we were for real. He asked to have a friend over, and I reminded he was in black out. He wanted to go to Barnes and Nobles and I reminded him he was in black out. He asked to go with a friend to a basketball game and I reminded he was in black out.

Ian started his shift. Greater care to see everything was in the backpack as it should be before heading to school, initiative in studying for tests, and greater attention to completing his assignments well caught my eye.

And I realized that Ian finally got our message loud and clear: we’re unwilling to be accomplices in his self-limiting beliefs so it’s time to transcend them.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Keep the standard high in all of your relationships.