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Do you have a son who is unmotivated and not achieving to his potential? You are not alone. There is a growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men.

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

I checked with Mike Serida, Manager of Human Resources, Thames Valley District School Board. Here are the numbers. Elementary Female Teachers 2,574, Male 596. Do the math and we have a nine to one staffing for women. 147 women principles vs 74 males.

Secondary staffing has 1,028 female teachers vs 825 males. A nice split of 40 male administrators vs 37 female.

Lori Gribbon, Manager of Admissions and Laison Services sent along the numbers for the University Of Western Ontario. Full time equivalent enrolment for 2009/10 Check out the stats: 11,288 females vs 9,236 males attending. We have a pretty even split for Business, Law, Science and Social Sciences.

The Education faculty student numbers showed that we had 499 females vs only 227 males. Sadly, too few of our young men are attending Althouse College of Education in London.

We have fewer males going into teacher training every year, proportionally and in raw numbers for both panels. The problem of attracting qualified men to the teaching field is not unique to the Thames Valley School Board.

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

Letís look at some of the reasons why. Boys are different then their sisters and often canít sit still for hours on end in a classroom setting. They are wired to move.
The stats show that one-in-three young boys from affluent homes are designated ADHD . In my many years of counseling for the TVDSB I recommended two young men for medication.

Your son is in need of a curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and taught by teachers who know how to teach male students. Boys need to have interaction with other males. Positive role models (fathers) are needed to interact with their sons. Boy scouts, YMCA, athletic 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 boring/stupid he more likely to ignore his studies. Girls on the whole seem to get better grade grades in every subject.

Many male teens have become fixated on computer games/television playing X box for six hours a day. If they are not motivated 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 time spent in front of a computer playing video games.

There are solutions to your sonís video game ďaddiction.Ē 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 be monitored with appropriate time limits.

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 parentís home in Canada is now 27.

Semester one Secondary School Mid Term Report Cards were given out November 22 . Did your children do well?

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com