THE SEVENTH DIAMOND

Friday, March 09, 2007

I need some parenting advice....what would you do?




Zachary's dream is to be an architect. He truly is brilliant. I'm not just saying that because he is my son, his past grades and testing results support this. Academics have come easily for him his entire life and he has been able to skate through school getting good grades.
However, there are few schools in Michigan where you can get a degree in the type of architecture that allows you to design buildings. The University of Michigan and Michigan Tech may actually be the only two. If someone has more information, please share. I need it.
Zach's heart is set on attending the University of Michigan. I have seen my friends children with 3.8 gpa's not be accepted. It's a very tough University to get into.
Zach is 14 years old, he is a freshman in high school. He knows that his grades count for college now. He has not been working really hard at school. His grades came yesterday and his cumulative GPA is 3.533. He was devastated. His eyes actually watered up.
So, here is my dilemma. I have a 14 year old boy with a B+ grade average who is on the honor roll. I can't complain about that, especially since it is his first year in high school. However, my sons goals including getting into a very difficult University.
How do I encourage him to step it up a notch and actually put effort into his studies so that he can achieve his personal goals without making him think that having a B+ average and attending Michigan State which is a fine school is failing?
I don't want to be one of those mothers who tells their child a B+ isn't good enough.
I don't want to be one of those mothers who lets their child think she doesn't think he can get a 3.8 and get into U of M.
What would you do?

16 comments:

eggrolls and chopsticks said...

Stand back this semester and watch. I think the personal goals and drive that he has will make him push a little bit more. If he does, it is wonderful and if he doesn't he is still a phenomenal kid but I think he has the drive to suck it up and go for it without anybody saying a word. He knows what he wants.

Elizabeth said...

I would lay it all out before him and let him make his own decision, then support whichever one he chooses.

LIZ said...

I agree with eggrolls and chopsticks...you can tell by his reaction to his own grades that he thought he had done better...this may be enough for him to put a little more effort into next term...he's going to need the drive and discipline when he does get to university...so let him find it for himself now! He still has a few years to pull his grades up if after next term he doesn't do it himself and you then have a talk with him about it.

Lily's Pad said...

I just have to comment as my 18-year-old son was just accepted to the University of Cincinatti architect program. It is very hard to get in to. Although he did well throughout his schooling with grades, I think the fact that he got very high ACT scores really made the difference. Anyway, we are now just keeping our fingers crossed and waiting for his scholarship competition results. By the way, he did not pick this career path, but we always knew it would be something that used his creativity. Your son will figure out what he wants (and then it may change a dozen times), so put on your seatbelt and be ready for a fun journey. Best of luck to you and him. Sounds like a great kid!
Mary

marina said...

No advice, but your kids are so cute, and I love your blog!

Cindy said...

My brother in law got his architecture degree at Roger Williams in Rhode Island. Excellent school if you want to go that far. Good luck. :)

Amy said...

I would look at other schools. I think that grades are important, and we are working with our 13 year old to try just a little bit harder to push the B's to A's because it could make a difference, but...
I think kids need friends, music lessons, youth group activities, sports and and and...
School is important but it should not be everything. If His goal is going to demand school to be everything, maybe there is a different goal that will allow him to continue to have a more balanced life. I would consider other schools that would be possible for him to get into with his B+. Balance makes a person happy...the kids with straight A's may be driven, and not necessarily happy!

Steffie B. said...

You just have to encourage him and tell him that he will get into the college that he is meant to. However, if he does want U of M then he will have to be dilgent with his studies. I think you should look at other schools as well.......good luck Mom! ;)

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Made in China said...

I am responding because my dream was also to become an Architect. My mother has kept drawings that I made from the time I was 5 years old of cross-sections and floor plans. Problem was that I had no guidance and no one to lovingly shove me in the right direction. :o) I never became an Architect, instead I went into Interior Design because I had never applied myself to the science classes. I only spent a few years as a designer - it just wasn't the right fit afterall.
Guide your son, tell him what he needs to do in order to qualify. In the end, if he doesn't make it to U of M maybe he can try another university? Something that would have really helped me was to speak to an actual Architect. Someone who shared the same dream. A mentor.

Best of luck to you and your son.

Panda-Mom said...

Sorry I haven't been around lately! I can't wait to go check out the Scrap site and many more from the Party! Have a great weekend!

Patti said...

The most important thing (at least 4 years ago when my daughter went through this) is the results of the PSAT. He will be taking this test at the end of 10th grade. Start preparing now practice tests, find areas of weakness and strengths, and go from there with preparation (tutoring, or independent work). Wordsmart, Genius Edition was a good tool for the language part. Oh, and Syracuse University has a good program, not so hard to get into.

Undercover Angel said...

As others have said, maybe this will push him to work even harder. Also, check around and see if you can find more schools that have the same offering. Also - find out what sort of things might help with his admissions application to that University - are they big on applicants who have done volunteer work or who have taken University or College level courses - then get him to sign up for a night course or a correspondance course. Maybe that will weigh with his application and get him in despite his grade point average.

Also - in Canada if students don't have the required grade point average, they can take a year off and get admitted as an adult student the next year. Is this an option where you live?

I don't know what else to tell you. I wish I did. He's so young to be going through this - I really feel for him...

redmaryjanes said...

Thank you all so much. I am reading each of your comments and they are all filled with very good information and advice. It does seem crazy that a 14 year old boy even has this on his mind. But that is how things are now. He is involved in sports-hockey, golf and water skiing, youth group and has friends. I find the whole situation overwhelming. I just want him to be happy and for all of his dreams to come true. It gets harder when as a mother you can no longer give them their dreams, they have to get them themselves. I just want him to have the ultimate life for him. I love him so much. I really have to stand back and lift him up to God. He knows what is best and will keep Zach on the right path.

nikki said...

As moms, we are to nurture our children's dreams, whatever they may be.
If he truly wants to be an architect, let him know (as the older,wiser one) what he will need to do to make his dream come true. Help him when he needs your help, give him loving direction, and the rest is up to him.

That is just my humble opinion, I don't claim to know much. I only have one child and she is not even 3 yet...so I am sure I will be coming to you for advice many times!

Jess said...

Do you ever just sit back and be in awe over the responsibility we are given as parents? Prayer and God will give you the guidance and wisdom to guide your son.
Help him to realize you just take life one step at a time and sometimes those steps are backward, but when we focus back on what is in front of us, we begin to move forward again.
Blessings on you and your son. I pray you would have open communication always.