My stepson is coming to stay with his dad and I for a month and I need help...

Sonia - posted on 07/22/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My 12yo stepson and I get along great. He listens to me for the most part, is very polite, and we generally have a great time together. He lives with his mother full-time (out-of-state) and comes to visit us for a weekend or a week at most throughout the year. This is the first time he will be staying with us for an extended period of time. And this is where my dilemma lies...

He just completed 6th grade. When he was in 5th grade, he began struggling in school, not doing or turning in his assignments. He barely passed 5th grade. So, when he entered 6th grade, I became concerned about how his school year would progress. I badgered my husband to ask for progress reports from his ex, so that we could stay informed on how he's doing (my husband's ex does not acknowledge my existence to me - she does not and will not speak to me.) We weren't told of his final grades until nearly a month after school let out. Suffice it to say that he once again barely passed with D's and C's.

As polite and well mannered as he is, he is also a typical 12yo boy who likes to do nothing except play video games all day and night. I KNOW that the amount of time he spends playing video games on school-nights and weekends is directly related to his poor schoolwork. But there is no time limitation given at his house. If I had it my way during his visit, he would get an hour or two of game time MAX everyday, and the rest of the time would be spent reading, preparing for the upcoming school year, and getting in as much father & son time as possible.

BUT, (1) I'm not sure if it's even within my "boundary" to do anything. He doesn't even live with us part-time. No matter what my husband says, ultimately his ex has the final say in how his academic decline is dealt with and handled (and let's just say we don't see eye-to-eye on the matter), (2) I want my stepson to have an enjoyable visit with us and I don't want to ruin it with "yucky school-work."

What should I do? Thoughts?

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Michelle - posted on 07/22/2012

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I would sit the boy down and talk to him about his future this way you can explain to him how important his grades are and how they play a big role in what he can become in life. Where we live we have something called the sylvan learning centre where kids can go and get tutoring for their issues at school, this would be what I would do. Maybe enroll him in a class to help him gain proper study skills. Then leave it at that with the rest of the summer being about fun with dad and you. My son is the same age and we went through the same thing with him the last two years very poor attitude about learning, but now that he is maturing and looking towards his future his grades are improving and so is his attitude.

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