The teenage boy of my girlfriend is starting his first year of senior high school next September.
As a gifted teenager, he does not do a lot but still gets good grades -- very good grades actually.
Yet, this year, school has given assignments that he completed, but in a very strained manner (lack of time, tears, stress that he gave his mum and me as well).
Because of that, recent weeks have been fraught with stress.
Current year is almost over so everyone is happy.
Part of me can see the same pattern happening next year. But next year will be different, because of change of pace. Yet TB is careless about it (normal for a 15-year-old) and not taking the right steps to plan/care about his workload. TB is like a lot of teens, a procrastinator.
What can I do to nudge TB to be more proactive with his school work and amend his procrastinating pattern? (update: after many talks with all of you, the word apathy is closer to the truth)
This is what I've done to ensure TB is doing his homework
No yelling from me, except when arriving at breaking point. A tiny bit of biting irony always help to nudge TB
Try to give him my perspective as an adult to instill some empathy
Give him a deal, e.g. he can help me with the manual work of the house like door fixing, once he's done with his studies
( 3 months ago )
Sounds like a common problem for gifted children: they finally reach a level where sitting back and coasting isn't enough, and having to actually put in some effort comes as a serious shock. Often the more gifted the child the worse this is, because greater talents merely put off the evil day and the resulting flameout is all the worse. At least this is happening at school and not when he is away at college.
It might help to explain this to TB. Understanding a situation often makes it easier to cope with. It might also help to understand that "this is what its been like for your classmates all along".
Apart from that, I'd say you are on the right track. Firm about what needs to be done, understanding about the challenge, and rewards and approval for success.