Recently I talked to you about the delusion of the modern American (male) child and their fundamental inability to face pain (Delusions of the Modern American Boy ).

Not wanting to be redundant (hey, I’ve written nearly 350 blog posts over 10 years so it’s hard not to be redundant), but I find myself focusing, once again, on the delusions of the modern boy, as I see so many kids who seem to fit this description.

They have no sense of the law of averages (or reality).

Somehow they have gotten the notion that school should be this Candyland type of experience and when it is not, they are, well,…outraged.

I mean really outraged (with an emphasis on the “raged”).

15 year old Kyle was offering a litany of complaints about the horror of a class that he was failing when I stopped him mid-sentence and said something like the following:

“Wait!   Stop.  I can’t listen anymore.  You’re delusional…when was school ever fun? Since at least the 1600’s school has always been a pain in the rear end (said differently), so why should it be any different now.”

I asked Kyle to translate to see if he understood what I was saying to him.

He says, “School sucks and it always sucked.”

“Brilliant analysis,” I tell him.

Laughing he continues to tell me the horror of his teacher and why the class that he was in was so terrible, trying to convince me that all of his problems were due to the teacher and the way he ran the class.

Again, I stop him mid-sentence.

“Listen, a bunch of years ago I worked in an athletic shoe store in NYC and I started to complain about something to the owner of the store.  The boss listened patiently and then said the following:  ‘I’m going to tell it to you once – stop your complaining.  Here’s how it works. I got the gold – I make the rules.’”

That zipped me up pretty quickly.

I ask Kyle how that applies to him and his complaints about the classroom.

He says, “I’m not in charge.  I’m not the boss.  I should just shut up.”

“Brilliant again!!!!!!!!!!”   I scream with total glee.

From middle school through high school, kids will have about five or six teachers.  The law of averages (and the bell-shaped curve) tells us that one will be very good.  Two will be mediocre.  One will be fair and one will be poor.  It’s just the way it is.

Takeaway Point

There’s a built-in hierarchy to school (and much in life) that needs to be faced.  Helping kids understand the “law of averages” is an important step in the process of getting them over the school hurdles they face.

Copyright, 2018
Questions or topics email Dr. Selznick.  Not in the South Jersey area? For a free 15 Minute Consultation, contact Dr. Selznick: email –

To purchase a signed copy of  “What To Do About Dyslexia: 25 Essential Concepts” & Dr. Selznick’s other books and to receive blog updates go to