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Avoid the teenager’s “yes, sure”

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
I can always tell when Greg and I have preached too long at his 16-year-old son, Derek. Derek gets a glazed look in his eyes and starts to fade out on us.
He’s a junior in high school, readying for the all-important ACT tests and other senior-year projects. In other words, we’ve seen the glazed-over look a lot lately.
Last Sunday, all three of us were in the car when Greg and I started in on the importance of the ACT. Again.
Greg agreed.
Derek just stared at us.
We continued, having a discussion on what we thought Derek should concentrate on, what areas we knew he would ace, what score he would need to get a good chance to land a scholarship. This was what Greg and I talked about.
Derek heard something akin to what Charlie Brown’s teacher sounded like when she addressed the class.
Greg asked his son if he was listening.
Greg and I continued our conversation. Derek didn’t join in.
I think he fell asleep, or at least pretended to in order to escape the discussion.
I guess that reaction is typical of a teenager. And our conversation was typical, too. Greg and I both knew Derek wasn’t listening to us, but we felt compelled to say all these things anyway. I remember my parents saying the same thing to me, too.
Looking back, of course, my parents seem much smarter now than they did then. They were looking out for my best interests and wanted me to do well. Those are the same reasons we have these talks with Derek.
We want him to have all the advantages we didn’t have and to make the most of his future.
But maybe one day he will look back and realize we weren’t so nerdy after all. Maybe he will be the one driving the car and telling his teenager why they need to do well in school, only to be met with a blank stare, a shrug of the shoulders and a “yes, sure.”
I can’t wait until that day.

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