I've never been the one with straight A’s during my school years; my parents actually never seemed to be excited about me becoming top of my class or even cared about my grades in most subjects.
My father used to check on my knowledge in Science, Math, and English, but he never cared about the rest of the subjects. He thought they were mostly useless and that I'll learn what I need when/if I need it.
He used to say that I only have to pass the exams and move to the next year, that I need to fall in line and finish school but never trust the system. I learned that all the promises about getting a better job if I earn more grades were nonsense, just as the rest of the promises made by the system maintainers.
He explained that most systems are designed to make people fade into the background. Peoplewho standout are so hard to deal with; it's easier to make people follow a certain path, reach the same destination, end the journey, and vanish.
I haven't fully understood this until I graduated from school and started working. I noticed that most of my colleagues who used to have straight A’s were struggling in real life. The system took them all to the same destination; it's very crowded there and there are very few opportunities. It's also not easy for them to go solo now since they spent all their life following the system's instructions.
Self-motivation is something they never knew; they are still trying to find a marked path on the ground that they can just follow. The system abandoned them and put them all in a very small box, that can be the end of the path for them. It's hard for them to step out of the box and discover the huge world.
I was lucky my father understood that the system doesn't work, but not many of my friends had the same luck. There's one in particular I'm trying to help but it's very hard for her to stay motivated; it's very hard to try and learn new things or explore new passions.
I don't have children of my own yet, but if you do, please make sure you take them out of the system more often and let them discover the much bigger world. Take them for a run outside the main roads, and let them work on side projects that can fail; it's easier to fail when you're young. Most importantly, let them go solo; that's the most important skill they need to learn in today's modern world.