I am surprised by the continued success of Motivate Your Son. This is neither false modesty nor subtle bragging. The book was published in 2012. It continues to sell beyond expectation despite zero marketing in the last few years. Reader e-mails tell me the reason: I was correct in my view that we have an epidemic of unmotivated teen boys.
I noticed the issue in the early 2000s when I was starting to build The Learning Consultants. I found it odd that some of my SAT classes had a 2-1 girl to boy ratio and that a disproportional number of parents with daughters would say their girl was interested in taking a test prep class – along with a disproportional number of parents with sons saying they had to bribe their boy to take an SAT class.
I also noticed that parents with daughters in need of tutoring would say things like: “My daughter needs help in Algebra II.” But would follow with: “She’s a good student otherwise. She is just having trouble in math.” Parents with sons would often lead with: “My son needs help in Algebra II but really needs help across the board.” They would follow with: “he just isn’t that motivated about school.”
Due to readers of the book throughout the country, my days include Skype calls with students in many different states. If you are a parent of an unmotivated son in Connecticut, I’m sure that commiseration will not provide much solace and knowledge of a country wide epidemic won’t help your teen boy.
But do know two things (1) you are not alone and (2) we can help.