#13: Is Your Kid “Pretending To Play” Or “All In”?

How To Move Your Kid From “Pretending To Play” To Being An “All In” Player


Your child is lazy because he or she is used to a GPS Navigation System giving step by step instructions so there is no need for your child to figure things out.  Your child has been “spoon feed” by our school system to wait for instructions on what to do next rather than having to figure it out on his or her own.  While your child is “on course” by going to school and striving for good grades, it looks like your child is heading in the right direction.  Therefore it is easy to mistake your child as being “all in”.  However, the sad reality is most parents don’t find out their child is “pretending to play” and is “going along with the flow” until their GPS Navigation System breaks and they don’t see their child navigating to get back on course.  Staying on course to select a relevant career and afford college is important.  Are you ready to help your child stay on course?


Teenagers Get Lost Without A GPS Navigation System (Guidance Per Situation)


Since your child has been told what to do his or her entire academic life, your child is quietly waiting for detailed instructions.  When your child is expected to do something without detailed instructions, your child quietly “freaks out”.  Your child is embarrassed, scared and doesn’t want to look dumb for asking questions about something he or she is expected to know but knows nothing about.  Your child quietly struggles to complete tasks so it looks like he or she is making progress.  Here are 3 examples of common roadblocks teenagers face about applying to scholarships from their perspective.


1) I do not understand what I read on the application.

I feel dumb because I can read it, but I do not understand most of it.  What is a letter of recommendation and how do I get one?  What do they mean when they say they want an official sealed envelope from the registrar’s office?  What is an official sealed envelope?  How is it different from a regular envelope? What is and where is the registrar’s office? What do they mean when they say “include the following as attachments”?  I understand how to send attachments in an email but this isn’t an email. How do I attach something in paper?  Am I gluing, taping or stapling it the application?  This doesn’t sound right, but technically that’s how you attach something to the application. Why does this have to be so confusing?  The application has small spaces to write.  What if I have large handwriting and my answers don’t fit in the space provided?  Can I abbreviate?  Why do I have to use a blue or black pen?  What if I make a mistake and I can’t erase my answer?


2) I don’t know how to answer this scholarship essay question? Can I B.S. my answer like I do in school?

In English class as long as I write essays about what I think the teacher wants to “hear”, I seem to do well.  Will this approach work for scholarship essays?  I will write about my plans for the future include: going to school, getting good grades, so I can get into a good college with a good reputation, graduate and get a good paying job and change the world.  Is there anything else I should include on my essay?


3) Why is my mom mad at me? I did what she said.

I went to the post office, bought a stamp and placed in on the envelope before I mailed it.  Why did the package come back marked as “insufficient postage”?  What is “insufficient postage”?  What is a “post mark date”?  What is the difference between a scholarship deadline and a “post mark date” deadline?  Why do I need to “overnight” the envelope to meet the deadline?  How do I “overnight’ an envelope?  Why does it cost so much to “overnight” an envelope?


As a parent, it is easy to become irritated that your child doesn’t know how to do something as simple as buy the correct postage amount to mail a large envelop that includes an application with an essay(s), letters of recommendations and an official sealed envelop from the registrar’s office confirming courses taken and grades earned.  Mailing an item with the correct amount of postage is a basic life skill not taught in school.  With the advancement of technology, you probably pay most of your bills online.  Your child probably grew up in a household where you don’t keep stamps on hand and your child never heard you express concerns about… “This envelope is heavy, is this enough postage?  I should probably add more just to be on the safe side.  How much more postage should I add?  Your child is likely unaware that the more an envelope (or package) weights, the more it costs to mail.  The reason being is when your child purchases something online, the cost of shipping is usually associated with shipping options of how quickly an item will arrive at your home.  Your child doesn’t “see” the weight of the package is calculated into the price of shipping.   


Our current school system has conditioned your child to be “spoon feed” and wait for detailed instructions in terms to what to do next.  Therefore when you give your child simple instructions to go to the post office, buy postage and mail an envelope; it is easy for your child to misunderstand because your child does not understand a larger fundamental concept that price of postage varies based on the weight of an envelope (or package).  Therefore it is easy to become irritated and frustrated with your child when you think something is simple and your child is “old enough to know” and your child is quietly “freaking out” and NOT asking clarifying questions.  There is nothing more frustrating then spending time to prepare a scholarship application and potentially missing out on thousands of dollars simply because your child was never taught a few basic life skills.


Your child is used to being told exactly what to do, step by step, rather than having to ask questions to figure things out.  That is why missing a simple step can be devastating.  Your child is not likely in the habit of asking questions to figure out what went wrong, how to correct it, and what he or she needs to do “to get back on course”.  Missing a simple step can prevent your child from receiving results he or she is working towards diligently.  Contrary to popular belief, your child doesn’t “give up” because something is hard.  Your child “gives up” because your child is following instructions and doesn’t understand why he or she is not receiving the desired results.  It is the feelings of disappointment and hopelessness and not knowing what to do differently that leads to giving up.


Your child is quietly waiting for guidance per situation.  Your child has questions about how to fill out a scholarship application, how to write a scholarship essay and how to mail an application.  Your child is afraid to ask clarifying questions when you expect your child to already know how to do “simple tasks” that are apart of every day adulthood.  Your child quietly “freaks out” because he or she is overwhelmed waiting for directions for step by step instructions in the proper timing.  Your child is dependent on a GPS Navigation System and when you and the school system do not provide this navigation your child easily gets off course, becomes lost and scared.  Staying on course to select a relevant career and afford college is important.  Help your child stay on course by gifting your child a new GPS Navigation System in the form of a career and scholarship coach.


Go share this post with your child so he or she understands he or she may feel like a failure because he or she is missing simple, but important life skills not taught in school.

Teenager checking phone while driving
“I don’t understand why my grandparents tell me the cross street names and the restaurant is on the North/East corner. Why don’t they just text me the address?” – Your Daughter


BONUS: Virtual Master Class

To learn more about life skills your child needs to be successful please register for the Virtual Master Class: How To Select A Relevant Career & Afford College (Without Stress And Going Broke).

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