Hoops whoops: Punished for getting a B
DR. WALLACE: I’m an excellent student and an above-average basketball player.
I was a starting player on our basketball team. I really enjoyed being on the team. Because my grade in geometry dipped from an A to a B, my mother made me stop playing basketball so I could spend more time studying geometry.
I have A’s in all my other classes. My coach came over to our house and tried to get my mother to change her mind, but she wouldn’t, so now I’m off the team and spending more time studying geometry.
I’m getting all A’s in the rest of my classes, but not geometry. I’m still getting a B and I’ll probably wind up the semester with that grade.
My mother talked with my geometry teacher and asked what I needed to do to bring my grade up to an A. My teacher told her that it was possible that a B was the highest grade I could attain in geometry, and that made my mother angry and she left without saying goodbye.
I feel cheated that I was forced to quit the basketball team. I know that a lot of parents would be thrilled if their teen had a report card that had five A’s and one B. Since you are a former high school principal, I’d like your opinion of having me quit the basketball team in an attempt to improve my B grade up to an A.
— Nameless, San Jose, Calif.
P.S.: My parents were born in Korea and they like to brag about my excellent grades to others in the Korean community.
NAMELESS: I firmly believe parents make a mistake when they take away an enjoyable educational activity as punishment for their student. In your situation, you did not deserve to be punished for your superior grades. You should have been praised. And forcing you to drop basketball also punished your teammates.
P.S.: My parents were born in Ireland and they liked to brag about my high school athletic abilities to others in the Irish community. They were not aware that their son was going to be a late “academic” bloomer.
DR. WALLACE: My fiance has two younger brothers who are identified as having attention deficit hyperactive disorder. I am concerned that ADHD is an inherited disorder, but my fiance doesn’t think so because he says that other than his brothers, no one in his family ever had the disorder. He thinks it is because his father was a drinking alcoholic when his brothers were born. His dad is now sober.
Would you please enlighten me? As a former high school administrator, you will know about this disorder.
— Nameless. Talladega, Ala.
NAMELESS: According to clinical psychologist and author of “Parenting Children with ADHD,” Vincent Monstra, PhD., ADHD is largely an inherited condition. Most at risk are those children with a parent, grandparent or other close relative with a childhood history of similar problems.
During the past 15 years, research has discovered that victims of ADHD have abnormalities in brain regions responsible for behavioral control, attention and judgment. Research has not determined a connection between alcoholism and ADHD.
Write to Dr. Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org.