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From: Valerie (
Subject:         Re: discouraged teen
Date: October 12, 2008 at 5:18 pm PST

In Reply to: discouraged teen posted by Amanda in AR on September 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm:

It is an absolutely wonderful thing that your son loves something as passionately as he loves karate! If you help him develop goals incorporating karate I bet you will see a drastic change. He has to see that God made him just right, not with defects that keep him from being the best he can be. God makes us all fully equipped to do exactly what He calls us to do!

So, talk to him about the types of career fields that use martial arts. He can look at a business major, and think about eventually starting his own Martial Arts School. He can think about getting involved in law enforcement or military special forces. These both require an intensive school, but they are focused on his own interests and skill sets. Doing well in general academics is not a prerequisite for an incredibly successful person!

Many famous people in history did not successfully complete an early liberal arts education. Patrick Henry was an utter failure as a student and called lazy by many, until he discovered law ! Ben Franklin was such a "bum" that his father was at his wits end and sent him, as a last resort, to apprentice to his older brother in Philadelphia. Albert Einstein was a HS drop-out. Thomas Edison had so many problems in school that his mom finally let him stay home and he taught himself whatever he wanted to learn (an early unschooler).

I think your son has incredible focus to be able to spend so much effort on something he likes. I think you just needed someone outside of yourself to tell you that. Many young men his age are having issues with computer games, girls, alcohol, etc. Your son has focus!!! You just need to help him direct it into something that has value long term. Once he has some idea of which way he'd like to go, help him to achieve it. Figure out what type of courses he needs to prepare him for that type of career. Don't worry about his 'college prep' courses. My son got a presidential scholarship(half-ride) to the college of his choice and he did not have all the courses they 'like to see'. They were impressed with what he did have, as prerequisite to the degree he was pursuing, and how well he had done in those courses. For him it was science, and he didn't have much English, and almost no foreign language. They said they didn't care as much about that as they did about his own desire and willingness to do what it takes to reach his goals.

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