General Question

smile1's avatar

How can I get my brother to study harder, and understand that his grades are important?

Asked by smile1 (493points) December 10th, 2009

My brother, who is a junior in High School, is slacking on his grades, he has low B’s and C’s. He is taking the same courses as I, rather rigorous classes.

I KNOW he is really smart, and the times he puts his mind to it, he can do an AMAZING job. But, the problem is, he doesnt put his heart on mind to something much. My parents have tried various ways to tell him to get his grades up. I have tried my ways. He doesnt listen, and continues to mess around on facebook, social websites, and games.

How do I persuade him to understand the importance they are for his future life? Or, even motivate him?!

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21 Answers

ellemac's avatar

Oh I feel for you and your parent’ they are probably goin insane with worry. The sad fact is young people are not all as mature as yourself about just hw important their grades will be in the years to come. They don’t know just how competitive the job markets are out there. It kind of goes to the “it will never happen to me” theory and your brother probably just think what’s all the fuss about??? I’ll be right when the time comes….................sound about right.
If he likes playing games etc on the computer rather than study then this is normal. Fter all a computer is instant and we see instant results that of which we do not see by studying as we have to put in all the hours of study then panic, stress about what may be in the exams to come even though they give us guidelines on what to study for or around.
What heneeds is some kind of a plan or routine drawn up fr study time only then as a reward he gets to use his computer.
If not then another way would be to scann what he needs to study into the computer so he can read and study off that and makes his study notes as he goes that way it may be more intersting for him.
Another thing is for the School itself to et ex students or current students who are a few years above or in High Schol now to do a talk to the class on grades etc – if he sees it from another students point of view instead of an adults (where they feel we are just nagging about nothing), and you being his sister although sisterly love and all, he sees you in the same light no offence intended, but you can possibly see what I mean by this now.
Hope this all helps in some way – if not there may possibly be other reasons why he’s being like this now???? who knows just a different approach and thinking outside the box sometimes helps.
God Luck x

holden's avatar

Experience is the best teacher. He will come to understand it himself in due time.

rangerr's avatar

His grades are perfect compared to mine have been.

Just remind him that if he fails, he’s going to be stuck either behind a year from the rest of his classmates or he’s not going to get into the college he wants. Which means he won’t be partying with his friends.

It’ll hit him in high school.

marinelife's avatar

What does he want to do when he grows up? IS it something that requires a college degree? You might show him the types of grades required for entrance to good schools.

If, however, your parents compare the two of you and find the comparison unfavorable for him all the time, you should butt out. Your input is likely to be not something he will listen to.

ninjacolin's avatar

i like that idea @Marina. have your parents have a serious discussion with the two of you, not about his grades (too antagonistic) but about what future he would like to have. Find out what he would really like to be and then let him observe the requirements for achieving it.

the idea is to let him clearly see a link between what he wants and what he would have to do now to get there.

as for you and him, in discussion, you should let him know that he really can become anything that he sets his mind to. whether that be a fireman, a crack addict, a doctor, a bum on the street, a musician, a couch potato, a lawyer, a videogame developer.. absolutely whatever he wants! as long as he does the things now that will lead him to that end goal later. ask him what he has been setting his mind to and what it will produce for him later.

smile1's avatar

@ellemac I understand what you mean, and am a little bit comforted by this..
I think the part about having other students talk to him is a terrific idea! The only problem is i may have a hard time finding someone that has graduated.

The scanning idea is good, but our school is based off of computers, and everything is electronic.

@Marina that discussion has come up, but it always ends up being aimed at my brother.

Perhaps, I am making my brother seem like a total slacker… He isnt. really. He is into sports (football) and is in the robotics team with me (hes president). He’s really interested in engineering, just this summer, he got an internship at the state university in an engineering field. The problem is, he thinks that with just the mentioned above, he’ll have a good college set out for him.

hug_of_war's avatar

My brother doesn’t focus on school at now, and everyone has tried talking to him (he’s now 19 and just works part-time) but in the end the person has to find some tthings out on their own. Sometimess it’s better to take time off after high school than to rush into college if you aren’t semi-serious about doing well. Not everyone follows the same path.

SeventhSense's avatar

How about be his sibling and leave this to your parents. It’s not your job.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If he can’t get it together on his own, he won’t be able to cut it. Perhaps this summer will teach him that. Are his SAT/ACT scores decent? Some people don’t have good grades in high school but do really well in college.

Jeruba's avatar

I understand your brotherly or sisterly concern, but I can’t imagine that your taking a parental attitude toward him is going to help much. It isn’t anything you can take responsibility for. He has to figure it out for himself.

seekingwolf's avatar

I would have a sit-down discussion with your brother and your parents. I would also suggest reading or watching case studies about other people who didn’t try as hard and things didn’t end up going well for them. Your brother may be inadvertantly “tuning” you guys out but case studies may be more powerful to him.

Other than that, there’s not much you can do. Only HE can make the effort and the desire to do so must come from within. He’ll learn with time that he needs to work hard to do well. If he’s a smart cookie like you’ll say, he’ll learn in time.

smile1's avatar

@PandoraBoxx he hasnt taken the sat/act’s yet. but, barely anyone in our grade has yet!

@Jeruba yea, i suppose so. its just, i feel like, if i dont try to help him, he wont get anywhere good in life.

@seekingwolf haha. okk. :)

Jeruba's avatar

@smile1, your concern sounds very genuine. But in order for that to be true, you would have to believe (a) that he is not capable of doing it on his own and (b) that you are capable of making him do it. I would have to question both of those assumptions.

Success that he achieves through your pushing or leading him will not be his own success. He will learn more from failing on his own merits than from succeeding on yours.

He may also feel that right now his only way of distinguishing himself in your household is by resistance. So take away the pressure. He needs intrinsic motivation, not extrinsic. And that, by definition, cannot be supplied by someone else.

Are you younger or older, by the way? And are you his sister or his brother? Those factors are part of the dynamic here too.

YARNLADY's avatar

If I was his parent, I know what I would do, but as a sibling, I don’t see where you have much choice, unless you can get your parents to help you. In our house, the children had to earn the privelege of using the computer or video games, or even going out. The work came first, and other things only after it was done.

You could suggest he join a study group, where the students take turns reading and discussing the material.

Darwin's avatar

As a sibling, there isn’t much you can do except praise him when he does good work. Of course, this is something your parents should be doing, too. However, until he decides to buckle down and study for his own reasons, he will continue to putt along with B’s and C’s.

He may not get into the college of his choice, but he can still get a college degree. He may have to start off at a junior college, but he can still learn, and as he matures he may very well realize that to get to his goals in life he needs to work.

People mature at different rates, and this may be part of what is happening between you and him.

smile1's avatar

@Jeruba I am a younger sister. By very little though. and yes, i suppose can kind of see how annoying it would be to have a younger sibling “tell” you what to do… i wouldnt listen to my younger sibling, if i had one either…

@YARNLADY and @Darwin I suppose so

Well, from what you guys are saying, is that I dont interpose upon him, and leave it up to him to learn, and just hope he learns fast…! I think I’ll listen to that, although it may hurt me if he doesnt learn fast enough.

eeveegurl's avatar

Everyone has mentioned the sitdown/discussion – and I’d agree that it’d be good for him, but only to show that he has his family’s support. It could stress him out a lot more when everyone’s trying to tell him about the importance of school when he just doesn’t see it.

I’ve been there myself, have a friend that’s going through it, and even though I regret not studying harder (both in high school and in college), I know that no amount of convincing would’ve made me a better student. Some people just need to understand it for themselves later in life, and if he’s bright, he’ll come to understand it in his own time, and that’s perfectly fine too. In this day and age, there’s always the chance to go back to school on your own terms. It’ll never be too late for him.

In the meantime, perhaps you could get the family to actually support him in his decisions (whatever they may be) and help him find something he’s passionate about. It doesn’t have to be related to school, but helping him find something he’s good it can give him the motivation and the desire to learn.

Xilas's avatar

b’s and c’s are fine…

Mavericksjustdoinganotherflyby's avatar

Sounds to me like he needs to take a trip to a few different construction sites and see what it is like to have to work hard for a living. Not that there’s anything wrong in having to do that as I’m in construction myself, But believe me, there are alot of times when I wished I had finished that Civil Engineering degree.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, I wish my son would get B’s and C’s. He has been getting a few too many F’s for my liking, and we already know he isn’t slated for an office job. If he can learn to drive and keep his license he wants to be a truck driver. Otherwise it looks like road work for him.

Xilas's avatar

@Mavericksjustdoinganotherflyby its never to late to go back.

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