Podcast: Ellen Braaten: Bright Kids Who Couldn’t Care Less

“He’s so smart, but he’s no longer interested in school—or any ‘offline’ activities.” “She used to love sports, but now she just mopes around.” “My kid has turned into such a slacker!” If this sounds like your child, you need to listen to this episode! This week, my friend @Dr. Ellen Braaten shares insights from her new book, Bright Kids Who Couldn’t Care Less: How to Rekindle Your Child’s Motivation. Kids who have lost the will to do anything (other than play video games) need more than simple encouragement or the “right” school, teacher, or coach to get back on track. Instead, Dr. Braaten helps parents understand the myriad biological, emotional, cognitive, and social factors that affect motivation—and build a plan to boost their child’s confidence, incentive to learn, and engagement in life. Dr. Braaten’s approach is to explore the issue of kids who couldn’t care less from many different vantage points, starting with identifying the problem—why is it that so many kids don’t seem to care about anything?

TRANSCRIPT

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

And that’s what I really talk about a lot in my book. It’s not necessarily a how to manual to get your child motivated. But it’s a lot of discussion questions on what to think about to get your child more motivated. And so opening the discussion talking about what kinds of things give you pleasure, what sort of goals do you have, looking at your child realistically at their aptitudes? What are they good at doing? What do they spend time doing? These are the important things that we need to consider. And most kids and most parents aren’t even aware of what those things are.

Sheila Akbar: 

Hi, folks, welcome back to don’t force it, where we talk about how to get into college without losing yourself. Today, I’m excited to have my friend Dr. Ellen Bratton. Join us to talk about her new book bright kids who couldn’t care less. And that title is so evocative. I’m sure you’ve all met a kid like that, who just has all the smarts and potential in the world, but can’t seem to find motivation and is just really disengaged. This is something that Dr. Bratton has been studying for years. And certainly it accelerated during COVID, like many other things, but she saw this even before COVID. And then all of our attention was drawn to it during COVID, along with all the other mental health challenges that students are facing these days. So she’s got some really great advice to share. Her book is fantastic. And I just love talking to her. She is a wealth of knowledge on this topic and a lot of other things. So hope you enjoy it, and hope you get something out of it. Ellen, thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Thanks for having me. I’m really eager to talk about this topic.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, this book, I’m so excited that I’m halfway through it. I haven’t finished it yet. But it’s certainly a topic that resonates with me as an overscheduled. Teenager, myself, you know, 20 years ago. I remember that. And it’s something that I see with Signet students now and parents that I’m talking to, why don’t we start there. Tell us a little bit about the book. Tell us the title of the book for those listeners who don’t know, yeah,

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

So the title of the book is Bright Kids Who Couldn’t Care Less. And the book is just exactly what you might think it is based on the title. It’s really about kids who just don’t seem to care much anymore. And it’s interesting, because I started thinking about writing this book back in like 2018/2019, I was trying to figure out a good topic for my next book. And I had been seeing a lot in my clinical practice. A lot of kids who seemed unmotivated, didn’t really care much. I was even having a lot of kids come into my practice. So I’m a clinical neuropsychologist. So I, I test kids for learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder, and those sorts of things. But I was having an increased number of kids coming to my office. And the referral question was, he just doesn’t seem to care. And there was nothing really diagnoseable other than an unmotivated child. And I thought that maybe some of this might have had something to do with the fact that I wrote a book a few years ago called bright kids who can’t keep up. So it was about kids who struggle with processing speed, sort of keeping up with the fast paced of our life. And so I thought, well, maybe it does have sort of a skewed clinical practice, where these are the kids who can’t keep up now growing up, and they don’t seem to care. But actually, as I started to look at my clients, it wasn’t just kids who couldn’t keep up, it was lots of different kids, you know, kids with learning disabilities, and those without learning disabilities, kids with anxiety, kids without anxiety. And so I thought, well, I’m on to a really good topic here. And our working title for the book was actually bright kids who don’t give up and you can fill in the blank there. And we decided not to use that. But you know, we all kind of know what those kids are like. And then the pandemic happened. And what I thought was sort of a small sample of kids became almost a topic that applies to all of us. And kind of that’s where we’re at now.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, amazing that you were thinking about this, even before the pandemic, certainly, we saw a little bit of that. And I love that both of your books have that framework in their title, bright kids who, because they are so bright, whether they have a learning difference, or an executive function challenge, or an attentional challenge or a mental health challenge. These are smart kids who, for whatever reason, or a whole host of reasons can’t perform the way society seems to want them to. So I wonder if you could talk a little bit about those social pressures that might be affecting some of these phenomenon that you’re talking about?

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Yeah, I think there are a lot of social pressures on kids these days. And one of the ways that they show us that it’s too much is by not doing the work. So I think there are two different groups of kids One are the high achieving anxious, almost to a fault, but not quite kinds of kids who want to achieve want to really, you know, achieve at the highest level that they possibly can. And then there are kids. And this is a growing number of kids who feel like they can’t achieve at that level, and give it a shot or even decided at a very young age, this is not the track I want to be on. And when I mean, this track, I pretty much mean, the track of the child who’s in the honors classes, who is taking the right amount of extracurriculars, a superstar on the sports field, a college bound kid at the very best colleges. And those are really only a handful of kids who can meet all of those things. And, you know, that comes with a downside to when you’re an overachiever. But I really feel like one of the things I talked about in the book is this quest for college. And this quest for success, that is really leading to D motivating kids. So I had somebody, a reporter talking to me, she got the title of the book, she’s like, Oh, no, here’s another book about how we need to push our kids. And then she started reading, and she’s like, Oh, no, this is the opposite, that it’s as if kids aren’t caring more, because we’re putting too much pressure on them. And so I feel like sometimes when I’ve got a high school, sophomore, junior in my, my office, and they’re not motivated, one of the things I asked myself is, well, what are they trying to tell us, and oftentimes, what they’re trying to tell us is, I don’t want college right now, or I’m not ready, or the kind of college experience you have prepared for me, or made me feel like I had to do isn’t the one I want. So that’s starting even earlier than high school, I think I think fifth graders and sixth graders are looking ahead at their older siblings or other kids in the neighborhood even, or just feeling the pressure internally and saying, I don’t want this kind of life. And I don’t know how to discuss it, the adults in my life aren’t interested in talking about it. And so I’m going to show them the best way I can by not doing the work. And by seeming like I’m just unmotivated and don’t care.

Sheila Akbar: 

I have so many questions. This is such a great topic, I see kids who are doing exactly what you’re describing, their parents are very anxious, I would say, you know, little a anxious about their college prospects. And they have to go to a quote and quote, top 20 school in whatever field. And maybe some of that desire came from the student at least around what they want to study or some portion of that comes from the student. But really, the vast majority of it is coming from the parents. And a lot of it comes from a great place of care, they want their student to grow into a, you know, stable young adult with a, you know, good set of job prospects and skills and a network and the kind of opportunities that going to a brand name college can afford them. And some of that I think comes from real fear and a belief that only those top 20 colleges or maybe it’s top 100 colleges, whatever the number happens to be, only those colleges will set their kids up for success. It’s kind of this thing that, I know I used to hear a lot growing up in the 80s, if you mess up in the second grade, your future is ruined. All of it is this one long domino chain, and you have to do everything right, so that you can do the next thing that is going to demand so much of you.

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

That’s absolutely right. And second graders are picking up on that they’ve been picking up on that for a long time, you bring up some great points here. Because first of all, it’s a fallacy. We don’t even know really anymore if a college education affords you that much in the job market that it used to provide. So we rely on very outdated data to say that a college graduate will make X number of dollars more than a non college graduate. Well, that’s true if we’re looking at people who graduated from high school and college in the 1960s, 70s, even 80s. It’s not the same world anymore. So also the other thing that we don’t often talk about is somebody gets saddled with a lot of debt. So if we’re talking about anybody who has to pay for college outright. The downside of exiting college with a huge amount of debt, offset some of those positive experiences. So we have to stop using this idea that college is a moneymaker. And that idea that yes, there is something to be said for those top colleges in terms of money made after college, but a lot of it is the major itself. It really relies a lot on things like engineering and different sorts of careers that that particular college does a good job of training kids for. So let’s let go of that to begin with. What we do, and what leads to a lot of problems is that we don’t often talk to kids about what they want. So you mentioned the fact that in the majority of the cases, it’s the parent who wants to go to particular school. Kids at 14 don’t generally say, I want to go to Yale, they just don’t, unless they’ve had some kind of experience going to alumni weekend or something. They just don’t, they just want to be happy, they want to be with their friends, they want to be challenged to a certain point. But it’s us adults who put that added pressure on them. And again, the way they show us that I don’t want this pressure is by sitting in the basement playing video games all day not doing the homework meeting the executive function coach because they can’t do the work on their own. And so I find that tutors often are the ones doing some of the therapy with the child trying to figure out what it is that the child wants or needs, which oftentimes is more than just a set of, you know, a toolbox. It’s a lot of emotional sort of stuff that I think probably deal with.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one of the questions I have on my list, and might as well just go right to it is – it feels like we’ve lost connection with purpose.

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Absolutely. We’ve lost our connection with purpose and also desire. So, some of the things I talk about in the book is finding what makes your child happy. And I find that the number one thing that parents want their child to be when they grow up is happy. It’s one of the questions that I have, on my intake form is what are you what are your hopes and dreams for your child, and almost universally parents put, I want my child to be happy. And then they’ll say and productive if they add something to that. And we never talked, first of all about what makes a child happy. I’ve even had parents say to me, my child is never happy about anything. I’ll say, well, either he’s depressed. And if that’s the case, we need to treat the depression. But if he’s not depressed, have you ever asked him what makes him happy? And I’ve had parents say, I don’t even want to ask him that. Like, that’s just too loaded of a question for me. What if he says nothing? Or what if he says that something makes him happy that I don’t want him to do? Like, what if it’s woodworking? What if it’s not engineering at MIT, but electric, you know, work, they want to apprentice or something? So I’ve had lots of parents say, they’re just not even eager to get into that discussion. Because I think we have sort of a bit of a fear as parents and even for ourselves, we don’t ask ourselves very often. Well, what makes me happy?

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, there’s too much riding on that question. In this late capitalistic society that we live in there is way too much riding on that question. And I think that that is a big part of it. I know you know, this, one of the things that we do at Signet is start with, well, what does the student actually want? When we’re doing our executive function coaching with them, we want to know what they want, what they would like to change about their lives. And what would bring them greater we use the term satisfaction, what would bring them greater satisfaction in various areas of their life, and their teenagers, their little surly sometimes, sometimes it takes a while to get it out of them and help them understand this is for them. We want them to be able to articulate what would make them happier, and then we can work towards it. And I’m curious if in your work with students, students are forthcoming with you that there’s all this pressure on me my parents want me to be on this track, and I don’t want to be there. So I’m just disengaging. Is it a conscious decision? Or do you think that this is happening at a at a subconscious level?

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

I think for the most part, it happens at a subconscious level, I don’t have a lot of kids coming in and saying, Oh, my parents want me to be this. And I don’t want to be that there are usually so many layers to that, that they’re not even aware of how they feel. They just feel like a failure. And so they might be keyed into that. But often, it’s my job to sort of peel away some of those layers of frustration, feeling guilty. You know, kids feel bad about themselves, because they’re not living up to their parents expectations, and sometimes not even to their own expectations. So oftentimes, it’s asking these questions. And that’s what I really talk about a lot in my book, it’s not necessarily a how to manual to get your child motivated. But it’s a lot of discussion questions on what to think about to get your child more motivated. And so opening the discussion talking about what kinds of things give you pleasure, what sort of goals do you have, looking at your child realistically at their aptitudes? What are they good at doing? What do they spend time doing? These are the important things that we need to consider? And most kids and most parents aren’t even aware of what those things are?

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, and I really, you know, some inner child in me really resonated with when you were talking about the parent who doesn’t want to ask what makes their kid happy because what if it’s something that they don’t want for their child or their they don’t approve of and I think that’s where that fear again comes in, you know, when I was growing up, and it was different situations. You know, a long time ago, but I’m a child of immigrants. I know that the sort of immigrant subculture in the United States is education, education, education, more, more and more, so that you can achieve some level of, I think, for my parents some level of social status that would, in their minds, hopefully negate whatever negative repercussions there may be from me not being part of the dominant culture. And one of the thing that resonated with me was, you know, I really loved art. As a child, I was making art all the time. And I remember specific instances where I wanted to do art, or I wanted to buy a new paint set. And my parents said, No, but you can buy this book over here. Or you could do something a little more academic. And, you know, I do also love school. So they figured out some magic formula, or maybe it’s just my temperament. But in my young adulthood, I did feel quite lost about what I what I wanted to do with my life, I had never allowed myself to ask myself that question. Forget my parents asking me that question. I didn’t know how to ask myself that question. What we really want the students who work with us to do is start asking themselves what what kind of life you want to build for yourself. And when I did start asking that question, I realized, well, my life is missing all creativity, I have no creativity in my life. And as I’ve started to build in creativity, and it is a work in progress, I am not very talented artists, I have not practiced at it. And I feel very self conscious about it. But as I’ve done more and more creative things, I have found a sense of joy in my life that I did not have for the first 43 years. So I really, really feel like you’re onto something here. And I’m sure you’ve seen it with your patients and their families as well. But it almost feels like you need some family therapy here, right to negotiate the feelings that the student is having, or the child is having with the pressures that the parents may not even realize they’re putting on their kid. What do you think about that?

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Yeah, you bring up so many good points. And the example of wanting to be an artist, or at least wanting to learn more about that part of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you were destined to be an artist. But to nurture that part of yourself. Other kids in your situation might not have responded the way you did. So when you talk about temperament, that’s an important point to consider is that what works for one child doesn’t work for another, and not having the opportunity to do the sorts of things, you know, you were able to sort of compartmentalize better, because you had some other strengths that you could access, but not every child does. And that would be a recipe for disaster for some kids. So that’s a great example of what might not work for one particular child, but be okay, for another one. One of the first things I’ll tell parents and I do talk about this in the book is we have to know ourselves and know our child. So before we do anything, before we change any behaviors, we have to figure out who is our child. And we have to be able to model some of these things for our child. So if we are a frustrated artist, we’ve got acknowledged that in ourselves, because sometimes what happens is, you’ve got a parent who said, Well, I didn’t have that opportunity, it worked out, okay for me. So you’re not going to have that. On the other hand, you also have some parents who are like, I wasn’t able to be the artist. So now I’m going to put that pressure on you. And I think even use an example like this in the book of a family where the dad became an architect. And it really wanted to be an artist, artist. And so the child was okay in art, but the father is like, you can do anything in art, I’ll bankroll you to be an artist, which is like so much pressure on a child, the child’s like, Yeah, I’m just not interested in that. So it depends, we’ve got to look at who this child is ask those questions of ourselves, and look realistically, at the child we have. I feel like we need to love the child who’s in front of us, not the child we wish we had in front of us. And it’s just natural for parents to sort of project our own failures, our own things we wish we had onto our child. And we’ve got to be really aware of that, because that is a big demotivating factor for lots of kids.

Sheila Akbar: 

Absolutely. You know, I did a resilience workshop recently. And the instructors, wonderful woman said something, I think that it’s just so profound. She was saying, resilience can be learned, but it cannot be taught. And I think that framework applies to so many things like motivation, it can be learned, but it cannot be taught, right? If you bring me a kid who is not motivated about anything, I am not going to be able to get them excited about anything. But they could see me or somebody else in their life very motivated about this or that and learn for themselves. You know, figure out the thing that does really get them in that way and learn how to pursue it. So when you work with families who are facing these challenges. It sounds like, you know, they gotta start with that inner work and know themselves and what are they projecting? And who is who is the child? But what are some of the other things that you recommend? You talked about some of these discussion questions and things to consider? Can you share some of those with us?

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Yeah, I think one of the things is to look realistically at what’s happening and define some of these terms that we’ve been talking about, like motivation, what does it mean for your child to be unmotivated? What does that mean to you? What are the behaviors that you see? And really getting a good handle on what that is doesn’t mean, he’s in the basement playing video games all time, doesn’t mean she doesn’t turn in her homework. It you know, what does that mean? And then to sort of take a realistic view of what your child is good at, look at the sorts of things they spend their time doing, look at the sorts of things that make them happy. And a lot of times parents will say, well, nothing makes my child happy. In that case, you need to start to think about excavating their past, what are the things that have made them happy in the past? What are the things that other people say make them happy. And then I also want to just say, too, that sometimes big changes need to happen. So we want to start some of these things, so that we can make some goals, for example. So we can have some goals and so that we can make realistic goals. And that’s the purpose of sort of really looking realistically at what’s going on. But then also, we need to look at our expectations. And sometimes there are certain situations that result in a loss of interest. So a child’s had stressors at school, social issues, depression or anxiety that can be treated. I sometimes see kids demotivated because they’ve had an injury, and they can’t participate in sports. So all of these things we also need to look at, because there isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to motivating kids. And then we’ve got to look then at at setting appropriate kinds of goals. And that really comes from looking, what do we want? Where do we want to be next? Where do we want to be 10 years from now? Almost no one asks a 14 year old, what do you want to do 10 years from now? What would a perfect day look like when you’re 24 years old? They just no one talks to them like that. And we need to start talking to kids just like that.

Sheila Akbar: 

That’s such a good point. You know, so many people will ask kids, what do you want to be when you grow up? Not? What do you want your life to look like when you get older? I think that is such a valuable question. So let’s talk about how college admissions intersects with all of this. One of the things I end up talking to a lot of kids about, and I struggle sometimes to have a really transparent conversation with parents about is, you know, your kid doesn’t want to burn the midnight oil is not interested in putting themselves out there doesn’t want to take on leadership roles, doesn’t want to take on the hardest classes. It’s just not who they are, or doesn’t fit in with their larger goals. So why do you as the parent want them to apply to all of these colleges where they will have to do all of those things in order to succeed? If that’s not naturally who they are in high school? Well, that’s not naturally who they’re going to be in college, either. And what kind of change do you think is going to happen here? I’m sure you see some of that affecting these kids who are just deciding to unplug. Talk to me about that?

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Yeah, most definitely. This is one of the biggest issues I think we have right now is that parents can’t let go of the idea that their kids aren’t going to go to college. We have drilled this into everyone. And you know, it doesn’t matter where you are, you’ve talked about being a first generation American or, or if you’re, you know, it doesn’t matter. Everyone wants their child to go to college period. And they feel their child is a failure if they don’t. And so I’ve had parents say to me, Well, what would I do it high school graduation, if my child’s not going to college? Like I can’t, you know, they literally said, I can’t go into the high school and walk the halls, like what will people think of me now, they’re not talking about their child, they’re talking about themselves. And so it’s really, we’ve got to normalize this, that it’s okay if not everybody goes to college. The problem though, is that parents are anxious and rightfully so. We want our kids to be happy. We want to know that they can care for themselves and be successful, not just care for themselves minimally but be successful. And there are a lot of paths to success. And so we’ve got to start having conversations about what are other paths to adulthood and make it okay not, you know, make it this stigma if your child doesn’t go to school, to college after high school. And so that’s the I think having these sorts of discussions is okay, so what Are the other sorts of ways of getting into adulthood. And I think it’s fine for parents to share their anxiety and say, I don’t even know like, for many of us who are college graduates, we don’t even know other paths to adulthood, we’ve stayed in this world of other college graduates. And it’s kind of elitist in a way for us to think that that’s the way of being when most people are not going to be college grads, you know, it’s still not over 50% of the population. But yet, almost 100% of the population thinks that this is the path. So more vocational kinds of programs, more ability to let a child work after high school. I’m a big believer in having jobs during high school. So you mentioned the kind of student who doesn’t want leadership activities. Sometimes those kids love working at a Dunkin Donuts, the ice cream store in the neighborhood, the hardware store, the gap, they love doing that, that’s kind of their sweet spot. And we don’t think about work as being a wonderful extracurricular activity, where they learn all those executive function skills that were like being on time, you know, learning where to prioritize things, you learn that pretty quickly when you’re working in a retail shop, for example. So we’ve got to start getting away from this, what I kind of feel like is an elitist idea that every child has to look the same, and do the same sorts of activities and go to the same sorts of colleges.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, and beyond that being sort of a recipe for the exacerbating the mental health crises that are already happening. It also is a recipe for making college more of a competitive soul crushing process than it already is. Right? If everybody ends up looking the same, and all of these kids are doing 20 extracurricular activities and studying day and night for the SATs, well, we’ve got a more and more talented pool of applicants at those colleges that everyone seems to worship, and then they only become harder to get into. So it’s a bit of a vicious cycle here, I want to end with something practical for parents to think about how they can maybe interrogate their own beliefs around this and assumptions around this and see how that may be affecting their family dynamic. It was talking to a family just last week, you know, most college decisions came out by the 31st of March. And their student has some great acceptances that they are quite excited about. But also some wait lists at some even more selective schools that they felt confused about. And, you know, also a little bit hopeful about and you know, hopefully, maybe we’ll get off the waitlist. And I talked to them all together, the student was there. And we kind of talked through what they can do and how to get excited about the schools that they actually are accepted to. And then I asked to talk to the parents alone. And I said, I don’t know if this is happening here. But I encourage you to be really careful that your disappointment in your students weightless decision doesn’t turn into their disappointment, because I promise you, they’re worried about disappointing you, they are happy with this acceptance that they got, and they want to go there. I feel like they only want to go through this whole waitlist appeal process and stay on the waitlist to please you in some way. So think about it that’s happening and try to stop yourself, if it is how often do you see parents having to struggle to kind of check themselves in their own impact in this?

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Oh, I see that happening a lot. And it’s funny, it’s sometimes we bring our own disappointments, we didn’t get into that college, or we didn’t have the opportunity, or we put that pressure on our on the next generation. And so we have to check that at the door. And I see this happening a lot.

Sheila Akbar: 

So what can we do to uncover those assumptions and projections, so that we can check them at the door, as you said.

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

So, I think actually thinking about your own story with motivation is an important thing to do. Thinking about I talked about three things in the book aptitude, practice and pleasure, meaning, what are we good at our aptitude? What brings us pleasure, and what do we practice? Or what do we spend time doing, and we want to make sure that we’re not spending time doing most of the time doing things that don’t give us pleasure, or that we don’t have aptitudes for. So think about that. And then think about that as it relates to you and then to also your child. And I also feel like it’s good for parents to think more about the positive aspects of parenting a child. We think that this is the positive aspects. We think that when our child has arrived and gotten that acceptance letter, but it’s really more about being keyed into things like gratitude and what makes us happy having more discussions about out what are the sorts of things that are pleasurable and fun valuing that instead of valuing the product or the trophy, or the number of activities, but really talking and valuing the pleasure that we get in life, the fun that we have in life? And that’s where I think all of this goes awry. is it’s all about, did you do the right things? Did you do the right things? And now you’re on the waitlist? So you know, we’ve worked so hard towards this, but we’ve forgotten about all of this other stuff. That is the reason for this, which is we want to be happy.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, yeah, let’s not lose sight of our kids or, you know, our goals. And in this whole process of Well, I feel like, there’s so much more I can ask you, but I don’t want to take up all of your time.

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Well, I mean, I could give a few things that parents might want to just think about that they could change quickly. And one of the things that we forget all the time is sleep. And we talk constantly about social media, and is this causing the issues with our kids. And I just want to put in a little plug for how important it is that kids get sleep and a lot of the things that we’re talking about, interfere with not only motivation, but also sleep. And when we don’t get enough sleep, we’re unmotivated. So make sure that your child is getting enough sleep. That’s just the rates of depression and anxiety have paralleled completely along with the fact that kids are getting fewer and fewer hours of sleep. So just something to think about.

Sheila Akbar: 

That’s a really great one. I mean, I have a young child. And so those are the questions. I’m asking myself all the time. Is he hungry? Is he sleepy? Why is he acting this way? And you know, those children are still our children, even when they’re 15/16. So yeah, those basic needs are really important.

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Yeah, and as they get older, we don’t we don’t ask that. Is he tired? Is he hungry? We say, why isn’t he doing this? Why isn’t he doing that? Why didn’t the homework get turned into your right? We need to we need to keep thinking about those things as parents.

Sheila Akbar: 

Yeah, absolutely. Well, Ellen, thank you so much for your time and your wisdom here. I can’t wait to finish the book. And I encourage everybody to check it out. If people want to learn more about you and what you do, how can they find you?

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

So a great place to go is ellenbraatenphd.com there will be information there about my book and some other information about this topic. And so feel free to to check it out.

Sheila Akbar: 

Awesome, wonderful. And I’ll make sure to link that in the show notes with this episode. All right. Thank you so much.

Dr. Ellen Braaten: 

Thanks so much.

Sheila Akbar: 

Again, Dr. Braaten’s book is called Bright Kids Who Couldn’t Care Less and I hope you pick up a copy. Before we go. I want to make sure you’re following me on LinkedIn and that you’ve subscribed to our weekly newsletters that are segmented by grade level. And we like to think of it as your just in time guide to high school. Got a 9th grader? Well, week by week will tell you what you should be thinking about and what kind of choices are coming up on the horizon and how you can navigate them. So check the show notes for the link to sign up for that free newsletter and I hope to see you next time. Thanks

 

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