Kathryn - posted on 10/27/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )
My son is in 8th grade and for the most part a pleasant person to be around. He performs well on tests and quizzes and all his teachers tell me he is an intelligent student. He was diagnosed as having ADHD in second grade. He has always had organizational problems and would "forget" to turn in assignments, but with reminders would get things done and turned in. This quarter he is close to failing several classes due to missing/late/incomplete assignments. When asked about homework daily, he claims to be caught up. But when I check with his teachers, I learn that's not true. When I ask him why he hasn't finished something the answer I get is, "I don't know" or "I forgot" every single time.
He played on the football team until he was academically ineligible to compete. He wanted to start wrestling last week, but we told him he couldn't until his work was caught up. We thought that might be an incentive, but it's had very little effect. We've also grounded him (taking away time with friends, TV, video games, computer, etc.).
We had been letting him keep his phone so that we can call him, but he never answers when we call and instead uses it to text his friends constantly. We took away the phone today.
We do martial arts as a family and my husband wants to discontinue paying for our son. He'd still have to go and sit on the sidelines (because we're not quitting!), and would possibly be embarrassed when the instructor and senior belts ask why he's not participating. On the other hand, I'm reluctant to take away something he actually shows interest in and works at improving.
We are extremely frustrated and at the end of our rope with what to do to get his butt in gear. He lies about getting the homework done. He lies about where he is or who he's with. The promise of rewards hasn't worked. And losing privileges hasn't either. What else is there to try? I thought about maybe threatening to change schools (about all he wants to do is hang out with his friends), but I don't want to spend money on private school.
Does anyone have suggestions? We had dinner with my brother and his wife over the weekend and they had similar problems with their son (now an adult). They said nothing they tried worked and that it was ultimately up to him to decide for himself. I'm finding myself agreeing, but it's still very hard to accept and not want to do something that might wake him up to the reality of life.