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Do you have a son who is unmotivated and not achieving to his potential? Then, you have to get a copy of the book, “Boys adrift” written by Leonard Sax, M.D, PhD.

There is a growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men. We have three year old children attending pre-kindergarten. By the time they are in full day kindergarten they are supposed to be able to pay attention and start to read and write along with daily homework assignments.

The schools have become female orientated; sometimes the only male figure is the school custodian. For single young boys being raised by mom it is sure hard to have a positive male role model.

Our teachers have to have a university education plus teachers college to enter the profession. Check out the stats and you will discover less then half of our university students are male. Our male students are less likely to attend post secondary education, less likely to do well and less likely to graduate.

Many of our young men are adrift, merely floating wherever the currents in the sea of life take them.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why. Boys are different then their sisters and often can’t sit still for hours on end in a classroom setting. They are wired to move. Every one of my teenage clients still remembers their first day in elementary school. For some it was a pleasant experience but for others who had negative memories they seem to stick for much of their education.

The female kindergarten teacher in charge of your five year old finds that your son has trouble sitting still. He is distracting to the other youngsters and she recommends that he be tested. Off you go to the family doctor and she/he wants to treat the symptoms. School teachers complaign and parents want closure and the doc writes up a prescription for Attention-Deficit Disorder. The stats show that one-in-three young boys from affluent homes are designated ADHD . Your young boy who is now medicated is a whole lot more manageable in school.

After a while he loses interest in playing sports and being involved with his family. He is less motivated and the parents describe him as simply lazy.

Your son is in need of a curriculum that is developmentally appropriate, taught by teachers who know how to teach boys. Boys need to have interaction with other males. Positive role models (fathers) are needed to interact with their sons. Boy scouts/YMCA/hockey/soccer programs allow your son to be competitive and interact with other males.

Girls will do their homework to please their teacher If a boy thinks that school is stupid he more likely to ignore his studies. Girls on the whole get better grade grades in every subject - not because they try harder.

Many male teens become fixated on computer games/television playing XBox for six hours a day. If they are not motivated, okay lazy, then sitting in front of screen can take up most of their day. The more time that your son spends on video games the less likely he will do well in school whether he is in elementary, secondary or university.

Social interaction with friends and family suffers in direct proportion to the amount of screen time. In my private practice teenage girls that I counsel are not into computer games. Talking on the phone, playing sports with like minded teenaged girls is cool because it is interactive involving their friends.

There are solutions to your son’s video game addiction The computer should be in the family room and accessible to all. Parents have the right to check on what the children are accessing on the internet. Time spent in front of the computer screen has to monitored with a one hour a day limit. Teenagers need to take on household duties such as shoveling the snow, cutting the grass, washing/waxing the car, dusting/ vacuuming and washing the dishes by hand are some of the tasks that every teen can help with.

Make sure that your son knows where his priorities should be. Family comes first; school work comes second, friends come third and video games are last.

Parents need to try and encourage the growth of healthy, happy, independent motivated children who are able to stand on their own. Scary thought: the average age of a young man who leaves his parent’s home in Canada is now 27.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com