Dear Mrs. C:

Our son, ‘Waldo’, knows that Progress Report grades (quarter grades) are coming out on Friday, Oct. 11. He tends to be a procrastinator (get’s that from his Dad).

What would you suggest as far as helping Waldo stay caught up with turning in work?


Hopeful Parents

Dear HP’s:

I like you two already. Good sense of humor.

I think your Waldo must be related to our wonderful son, Reid. Greatest kid ever! But could he get his homework from his backpack to the teacher on time? Often times not. Sad face from Mom and Dad.

Motivation. Waldo needs motivation. Does he enjoy his phone? Driving or thinking about getting his permit? Hanging out with friends? Gone gone gone until he does what he can do, and gets the work turned in.

“Waldo, son-o-ours – hey hey hey – wow! Progress reports comin’ up right quick. Mom and Dad can’t wait to see if you can bring up your anemic C’s and D’s to more robust B’s and C’s. You can do it? King of Procrastination!

Let’s see an end-of-quarter burst of energy on your part. Why why why? Because we 1) love you and 2) would be soooooo sad if your cell phone had to be taken into protective custody by your PU’s (parental units) until such time as your grades rose to see the sunshine. Right now, dark clouds loom over those C’s and D’s.”

“Are your Dad and I only punitive (punishing) in our outlook towards you and your grades? Certainly not! Deal: the semester ends right before Christmas, and if you receive any A’s or B’s, Santa has asked for a wish list from you which he could immediately activate upon confirmation of said grades. How cool is that? Mom, Dad, and Santa – all on your side, and rooting for you!”

On the positive side, reading between the lines, it sounds like your Waldo is basically a decent kid. And I would guess that he is around age 15 and a half or so. Not sure what, but something about ‘life span development’ issues that mess with kids’ brains at that point, often causing a paralysis of the hand getting physical papers turned in to teachers, or even fingers being unable to press the ‘submit button’ on their Chromebooks. Mysteries of the adolescent mind. But …. usually temporary, and tends to self-regulate and fix itself as students mature. Perhaps the thought of not graduating on time, or of being a super-senior (i.e., a 5th year high school student), propels them into action. Who knows.

Anyway, thanks for your great question, and I’m sure your Waldo will be a proud, on-time graduate within a couple of years.

Hope this helps!

-Mrs. C

ELAINE CARLSON is a Buena High School counselor. Questions can be sent to her at

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