I want to share a story about a young man who skated by in high school. He got good grades, played varsity baseball, had lots of friends. He thought he was going to land a division-one scholarship, that it was all smooth sailing ahead.
This kid rarely studied. He cheated on quizzes and tests. He used the answer key to prepare for the SAT. The kid hadn’t read a book through-out high school.
He was obviously smart, but at the same time, he was stupid and lazy. Not getting a division-one scholarship should have been a wake-up call, but his parents still covered the cost of college, so there was no consequence to the disappointing SAT score, or for not practicing baseball fundamentals, or for not spending more time in the gym.
As a freshman at Roger Williams University, all the short-cuts that had worked in high school, failed. Here he couldn’t cheat or talk his way into a better grade. The kid ended up on academic probation. His parents didn’t understand how this had happened.
The family was in denial, but fortunately for the kid, his parents forced him to face the consequences. They pulled their financial support. Made the kid take loans, do work-study, earn his way back into the classroom the hard way–by doing the work.
That kid was me.
I did graduate college. I realized that I wanted to help kids just like me, to ensure that they didn’t fall through the cracks. After getting my Ph.D. in Education and Policy, I spent five years as a high school history teacher and varsity baseball coach. I then went into academic and career consulting. I started the Lifing Group in 2017.
No parent wants to see their kid fail, but with the best of intentions, we too often overcompensate, when what’s needed is for the kid to learn good habits and then do them on their own, even if it means stumbling. As a parent now myself, I know how hard that can be, but we mostly grow from our failures, and that means we do a disservice to our kids if we don’t let them stub their toes occasionally.
At LFG we work with teenagers and young adults to help them find their way through life’s inevitable ups and downs. We teach them the skills and traits needed to succeed at school, work, and home, and how to experience the joy of the journey.
I look forward to helping you find your path forward too.
Dr. Joel Singer, Ph.D.