Motivating Older Students

Question: My son did quite well in high school until he lost interest and dropped out. Now he is enrolled in a community college and seems to be struggling. We have offered to help him with his work, but he rejects our help. How can we motivate him to do better in school? - Disappointed

Answer: One reason many students drop out of both high school and college is because they don't believe that school is relevant to their present or future lives. This might be the case with your son. He might not have found a goal that lights his academic fire.

It is doubtful that you can easily motivate your son to do better in school, as college students want to be in charge of their lives. As you have discovered, he is not receptive to your help. Fortunately, there are counselors at his community college who could give him helpful vocational counseling as well as assistance with any academic or personal problems. Encourage your son to see a counselor, as these counselors are very effective in helping young people to stay in school and do well.