Seth Godin posted this very insightful post on the difference between hunters and farmers. Coming from a family of both I totally see it. Mr. Godin is a marketer and approaches it from that perspective, but the underlying observation remains valid, are we expecting "hunters" to behave like "farmers" and visa versa? Are we doing that to our kids? Below is an excerpt but if you want to check out the full post you can find it here.
10,000 years ago, civilization forked. Farming was invented and the way many people spent their time was changed forever.
Clearly, farming is a very different activity from hunting. Farmers spend time sweating the details, worrying about the weather, making smart choices about seeds and breeding and working hard to avoid a bad crop. Hunters, on the other hand, have long periods of distracted noticing interrupted by brief moments of frenzied panic.
It's not crazy to imagine that some people are better at one activity than another. There might even be a gulf between people who are good at each of the two skills. Thom Hartmann has written extensively on this. He points out that medicating kids who might be better at hunting so that they can sit quietly in a school designed to teach farming doesn't make a lot of sense.
A kid who has innate hunting skills is easily distracted, because noticing small movements in the brush is exactly what you'd need to do if you were hunting. Scan and scan and pounce. That same kid is able to drop everything and focus like a laser--for a while--if it's urgent. The farming kid, on the other hand, is particularly good at tilling the fields of endless homework problems, each a bit like the other. Just don't ask him to change gears instantly.
So what are you?