Making Excuses and Being Too Confident

I saw this video on Pensieve’s blog today and thought I’d pass it along. It’s a classic.

I love how Theo tries to convince Dr. Huxtable that it’s okay to be “regular folks.” That we can’t all be as successful as him, all in order to get out of working to his full potential in school.

Pfft. That spiel sounds so familiar I could have written this script myself. GD has given me that speech before and that’s exactly what it was – an excuse to be lazy and not even try. GD is the sort of boy that if he thinks it’s too hard, he either won’t try very hard or he’ll give up before giving himself a chance to try. That irritates me to death because when it comes to achieving a high score or a special rank on one of his video games, he NEVER gives up until he reaches that goal.

Hello?! *knockknock* Real life is more important! How do you teach a teenage boy that lesson?

I also love Theo’s cocky confidence. Again, this sounds familiar. MK is almost arrogant in his confidence. Case in point:

His grades have been dropping in English, Social Studies and Algebra. Social Studies is because he wasn’t being thorough enough on his answers. He’s been working on over killing every assignment and test he’s been turning in. English is tough because he can’t stand his teacher. LOATHES her. He had her in sixth grade and, well, I’ve met the woman, she really isn’t very … personable. So, I understand where he’s coming from on that front. However, life is full of people you don’t like and will have to put up with so, deal with it.

Algebra though … MK is just like his dad – math comes easily to him. And he’s never really had any trouble in math. And he’s not really having trouble now – at least, according to MK. But his grades? Hhmm, they’re telling me a different story.

Last night, right before he went to bed, I asked him if he had allowed his father to look over his Algebra homework – just to make sure he was on the right track.

He ASSURED me it wasn’t necessary. In fact, he snarled and said something about it was only subtracting negatives, or something like that.

But I insisted. What could it hurt? I asked him. This way, we’ll all know he’s doing the problems right.

So he showed him.

And he had gotten nearly every single one of them wrong.

Oops. His confidence sagged. And when the husband went over his homework with him, it became apparent that MK? Didn’t know as much as he thought he did. His confidence downright deflated.

He was pretty depressed after that episode. I didn’t really lecture him, but I did talk to him about even though confidence was important, it was also possible to be TOO confident, even cocky, when it came to learning. His arrogance was in fact, preventing him from making sure he was doing his work correctly.

Which he was not.

I know MK. And that boy will pout for a few days due to the blow to his ego, and then he will snap out of it and work harder on making sure his work is correct.

I suppose it’s my fault. I’ve always told the boys they were smart and could do anything they wanted to do, if they were determined, and patient, enough to see it through. But I suppose I might have gone a bit too far with MK because his confidence actually ended up getting in his way.

Those humility pills? Can be hard to swallow sometimes, don’t you think?