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I am 21 years old and have a 12 year old brother.

What I have noticed is that he is not a nerdy kind of a student and also, he doesn't score well. I understand that not all kids are completely into studies, and I also encourage him to find his passion, but its true that he needs to be at least an average student to progress in his life (the biggest challenge is that the schools won't give him admissions on such low grades).

I know that he is 'just' a kid right now, so a long lecture on life won't help him (showing grown-ups the gruesomeness of life usually works in getting them serious and working). So, I have resorted to becoming his friend and then teaching him lessons midway their occurrence.

What troubles me the most is the possibility of him getting mislead in life. As he also considers me his best friend (the fact was secretly revealed to me through his school essay, which I had read in private), I know that I can guide him better. So, what methods should I use to help him realize his goals in life and more importantly, study better (I have constantly failed in persuading him to start reading books!)?

  • Hi and welcome to Parenting.SE! Are you in a parenting relationship with your brother? The "secretly revealed" fact from the school essay you "read in private" - you were not supposed to read it? – Anne Daunted GoFundMonica Jan 26 at 21:28
  • I mean , as per schedule I was checking his class work and I read his essays. – Pe Dro Jan 27 at 2:29
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How to Support and Nurture your Child's Passions focuses on the Happy Kid Handbook, by Katie Hurley. which may just be something I wish was available when my son was young. But, I really liked the focus point in Deborah Song's, How to Help your Child Find Their Passion. And I agree with her. Constantly looking for what any child should "do" in adulthood can backfire. I don't think children, even teenagers, are ready to decide that they will be "this", or do "that" as an adult. I wasn't. In fact, what I wanted to do at 15 didn't have any significant influence on my adult life. I grew up. I learned more and it changed my decision(s). So my advice is simple.

Expose your brother to as many experiences as you can. Talk with him about (the movie, the skiing trip, the fun you had doing this or that with him). Help him learn to evaluate what he liked, or why he didn't. Give him choices. Teach him how to weigh the pros and cons so he can learn how to evaluate his options. If he doesn't express an interest in reading a book, perhaps a comic book or graphic novel would be more "his speed". It might not be what you want him to read, but it's a place to start. Demonstrate how to live a balanced life by sharing a variety of actitivities with him.

His attitude will change. His grades will improve. He will become more confident. And without much effort at all... you will have taught him how to live a good life.

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    Thank You so much for such a wonderful answer! I have been doing what you suggest, but I still felt worried whether it was the right thing to do. (also, whether it was inadequate) – Pe Dro Jan 29 at 13:05
  • Nothing you do will work overnight. Every day you have, every thing you share, presents different experiences and obstacles. It takes time to work. – elbrant Jan 29 at 15:41
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Find something he enjoys doing that requires the same kind of focus and learning as a "real" job. For example, I have a webcast team that is composed primarily of teens. We bring them in, train them to a professional caliber o over about 5 years, and they get community service recognition. At the end, they have the skills to walk into any newsroom or major sports venue and work in any role from camera tech to director.

  • Till now, he loves playing mobile games like pubg with me – Pe Dro Jan 27 at 2:30
  • 12 can be an awkward age - they're in transition from childhood to adolescence, and things that they always found exciting in the past suddenly seem ... immature. But they haven't yet figure out what they do like yet, either. They're old enough to take on some real responsibility, but young enough alternate between taking pride and chafing at it. – pojo-guy Jan 27 at 5:13
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You say you want him to be more studious. Does he see you reading or studying? It sounds like he admires you and sees you as someone who should be emulated, so one of the most effective ways to guide him is to show him the way.

Perhaps if you took a course of some kind, and "allowed" him to look at the materials, and talked about the stuff you are learning, that would help.

  • Thank You Mr. Paul! You guessed it right! He does observe me doing the literary work (while I am typing this, he has been standing besides me, irritating me but not looking at this...). I am doing what you just said. I try to show him all the Microcontrollers related projects that I am busy with... – Pe Dro Jan 29 at 13:09
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Firstly, I think it's fabulous that you are willing to help your younger brother. We've recently had a breakthrough in reading within our house. Up to now, we found it hard to get the kids actively reading, they'd often do just enough to get a tick in their reading record. We now have reading time, we ALL sit in the lounge from 7 to 8 and just read together. Often we will update the others how someone is getting along in our books but mostly we are just quietly together. The kids love the camaraderie of being all together, and I'll be honest we love the downtime. It's working well. Maybe your brother could find you reading sometime and you can answer him in a "I'm loving my book, don't disturb me" kind of way, and then suggest that he can join you if he gets his book?

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    Thank You for the suggestion! I am going to try this straight away and update it here... – Pe Dro Jan 29 at 13:12

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