How do you make a 13yr. old boy do his homework and stop lying about it?


Carla - posted on 11/19/2011




Oh, boy! Have I been there & done that! 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade.

Since 3rd grade, my son had teachers who REFUSED to assist with the homework book (even though the school provided them to all students at the beginning of the year & the expectation was that the students would use them). Each teacher, every year - it was the same story, "He is old enough to make sure his homework is written in."

I was so tired of hearing about my son not turning in homework, but then not getting support from the school.

It became so frustrating. I punished, I took things away, I rewarded, I even sent him to live with his father. He would write things in his HW book, but then would erase 'the evidence' & tell me his homework was done.

I had him tested for learning disabilities and processing issues - I thought maybe he was 'fighting it all' because it was hard, although I didn't think that was the issue.. I changed his diet. I had him go to bed earlier each night.

When he was in 8th grade, I had received the emails and heard at conferences from the teachers - 9 missing assignments in Spanish, 7 missing assignments in Science, 8 missing assignments in Algebra (this was an 9th grade honors class & the teacher wanted me to move him to the lower level class - even though my son tests off the charts in math).

I had to get NASTY with the school and with the teachers (
"Get off your @ss & teach my son!"-nasty.

They agreed to give me weekly reports, assigned a monitor who would get the reports, consolidate them & send them.

We met with my son & built a plan of action.

With a group of teachers who were now willing to work with us, I called the pediatrician and asked to have him medicated for ADHD. (the earliest evaluation appointment at the hospital was over 6 months away - so we went straight to medication & followed up with the eval).

Within 1 hour of taking his first pill (Vyvance) - I noticed a HUGE difference in him at home. More control of his behaviors, able to focus, etc.

In school, each of the teachers said the same thing - REMARKABLE TRANSFORMATION. My son went from not doing any homework & getting Ds to turning in homework ontime & he finished the year with mostly As.

This was in January. In June, the evaluation gave him the official diagnosis - ADHD. Smart kid - with impulse control issues. The ADD is still an issue, but with the school having a 504 plan in hand, my son sits in the front of the classroom and the teachers have direct contact with me to keep me in the loop. He is a freshman in the high school this year. Although we still have some issues from time to time, the daily fight is no longer.

So - with that - It can get better. Try to change some things - earlier bedtime, no XBox during the school week, scheduled homework time (1-1 1/2 hours each day - whether he has homework or not - there is always a test coming up that can be reviewed for), change the diet - no processed foods or dyes (during all this, my son was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance & has now been GF for 3 years. When he has gluten - it impacts his ability to focus for up to 2 days, depending on how much he consumes- in addition to the physical-gastric issues).

Its been a long battle, but along with our battle scars, my son & I have a great relationship now & I rarely raise my voice over homework issues.

Good luck & remember - you aren't alone.

Stephanie - posted on 04/12/2011




Just got some good advice on this issue. Make a "study table". Every school night, no matter what for 1.5 hours they are going to sit at the dining room table working on homework, if they choose not to bring homework home, they will be ready a book of your choice for that 1.5 hours. You will also be sitting at the table, possibly working on bills, grocery lists, etc. Available if they need you, but just sitting there doing your own thing. After a few weeks of this or less, they understand the importance of their homework and feel they have accomplished something w/ less worrying now about not having homework complete. You have to put the responsibility back on them. They really want responsibility.

Paula - posted on 11/07/2011




Sounds to me (from a teaching perspective) that your son is not understanding maths - so rather than punish him let him know that we can only try and be our best - he his probably being compared all to often to other members in his family! dont forget he his an individual, if he is enjoying the private tutoring he his receiving then let that continue and reward positive behavior but let him also know that there will be negative consequences if he does not have a valid reason for not completing assignments - he may not like the teacher or understand the teachers style - we are all individuals and learn in our own ways - its down to the teacher to understand all their learners needs not the other way around. If he is being a typical 13 year old and trying it on then tough love it, if he his honestly struggling then talk to him, let him know that he wont be compared to the other members in his family, you normally find that your child will have a preference for certain subjects but they wont be top of the class for everything, my concern is that he is giving up because everyone in his family has achieved so much, dont let him believe he cant make it - support him you know him better than anyone on here.

Shawnn - posted on 04/07/2011




Well, I've tried MANY methods! But, so far, the one that's worked the best for me is that our school district has a website that we can look at our kid's real time grades, and all of their assignments. This is coupled with direct email links to the teacher of each course.

What I did was take a day to go in to the school and introduce myself to the teachers (most of whom already knew me, but...) Then, I explained the problem "my kid is playing both of us as far as his homework". Usually, at that point, the teacher either had a plan already in place, or we made the plan right then. Most of the time the plan was that the teacher would email me what was assigned/due dates. I had ammo, now...LOL...I just kept up with each assignment, and kept nagging...

It's not a perfect system, by any means, but it did help get my kids into a "study" frame of mind. It's basically one step further than the homework diary

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Sarah - posted on 11/16/2011




Well you can tell him to do his homework send him up to his room and in about an hour go up their and check on him sneak up on him and see if he is playing around tell him " if you do not get your homework you are grounded.... Then repeat. Make sure to check his homework each and every night!.. stay firm I would even call his teachers and ask them if he did it but then does not turn it in.

Hope this helps

tell me how my advice was;)

Have a good day!:)

Wendi - posted on 11/16/2011




Making them sit down at the table even if they say they forgot the homework no games no nothing and read their school books and stuff like that. I have heard of one mother who had the teacher fax her copies of the homework assignments so if her child "forgot them" in the locker or classroom she was able to say... Not a problem I happen to have an extra copy right here... get to work.

America3437 - posted on 11/16/2011




He would sit at the kitchen table all night every night with a book and read or get out the dictionary and write the definations for lying,failure,slacker,etc... until the grades come up!!! My own children will tell you it works!!!!

Traci - posted on 11/16/2011




Kerry, I feel your pain. This one is tough beyond words. We don't want to see our children fail and yet, there is a loss when your hands feel tied. We tried everything possible aside from sitting in class, though it was important I didn't want to destroy self esteem and make matters worse. After many failed attempts we went to life lessons. He did jobs that required no education even if just mock ups at home. Long days, with little to show for it. We made a list of what he would get paid and what he had to pay out. Basically, a reality check. This year he was behind so we found N.M has a cyber academy, he goes to school two days a week and works from home the rest. This is good because we can monitor constantly. Some kids are not able to be natural students and that is something schools do not look at. Some children require different learning styles which can make them unsuccessful in a traditional setting. My son can now get up and more or take a break if needed at his leisure. It has made all the difference in the world, I now see him not only work during the week but, on the weekends as well. Identifying the issues your son is having might be tough but, considering alternatives to his learning that is within your capabilities might help eliminate your problems. I know not everyone can stay at home with a child but, maybe his own struggles can be solved by finding a why. I know easier said then done since they don't just offer up the why.

Kimberly - posted on 11/15/2011




That one is sort of easy now days....Threaten to take away their computer, DS, PS2, ect...Ha ha. Now you have the total upper hand control, as if to say "OMG what the heck Ma?" This is what they love, the air they breathe. They would do anything for this favorite past time, believe me they DO NOT want to loose it.
I don't have to do anything to my son, (spank-he's going on 14 in Dec., He's going on 14 in Dec. Spank? Really?! So I turn to taking away the thing he loves the most. Works. Try it, good luck.

Tammy - posted on 11/10/2011




You make the time to sit there and be sure it's all done. If you have to call the school and have them write out the daily assignments, then do so. Working with the teacher to be sure your child is keeping up will be a great benefit for you all. Suggest a day book for you to chat and give each other a heads up as to how the day went, and what is upcoming. Where's there's a will, there's a way!! Best of luck to you!! Ciao, T

Janeen - posted on 11/08/2011




Pray plenty! lol. What I did was show my son what the benefits are with studying and doing homework seeing that he wants to achieve so much but show him that he has to work for it. He has an uncle that he looks up to him that is very ambitious and wants to walk in his shoes. I just show him that is where he can be if he works hard. Other than that... plenty restrictions, grounding and the rod of correction. They aint too old for that.

Lisa - posted on 11/07/2011




Spank him. Harsh punishment is a must. Do not let him out of the house until you see all homework is completed and perfect. Weekends and night time are for studying and completion of assignments. There is no time for anything else, until he masters his subjects. I would suggest a tutor as well, and formal summer schools.

Jennie - posted on 04/13/2011




I have a 14 year old who is in 9th grade this year. He as missed homework assignments and has failed at least, 1 quarter of the marking period for a class. I don't know how your school district does it but we have summer school for grades 6 through 12. I told my son that their would be no talk about the fact that if he fails a class, HE WILL BE GOING TO SUMMER SCHOOL. It worked for me, and not sure if it will work for you. At the age our boys are at, they need to learn responsibility and we as their parents, need to let them figure it out on their own, when they don't do what is expected of them, the consequences. Good Luck! I have 4 kids ages 16, 14, 9 and 7 and just when I think I have the answer, one of the other ones throw me for a loop :o)

Kerry - posted on 04/12/2011




Thanks for all the ideas, but we've either tried all of these or we are currently doing these... Justin goes to a private Catholic school and has a daily planner with all his homework and missed assignments written in. We have constant email back and phone calls with the teacher and school counselor. We've taken away the tv, computer, phone, & X-box. He served 2 detentions last week and has 3 he is serving this week. We talk to him to try to find out what the deal is. He just doesn't want to do his school work and its mostly the math. His big brother's girlfriend has even offered to tutor him a few times a week and he likes that. His mother is a professor at a college and has her degrees in Engineering/math so he has plenty of options for help with homework if he needs it. He doesn't like his math teacher and has had the same one for two years in a row. Our other son, Andrew, didn't like the math teacher either but he graduated with a 3.8 from a private Catholic high school while Justin is failing math. We've talked to the teachers, principal, and counselor's but they don't seem to be getting the fact that he just doesn't want to do the work. He is quite capable of doing it. Its a behavioral problem, not that he doesn't know how to do the work...

Annette - posted on 04/09/2011




13... 7th or 8th grade.. its kinda easy.. talk to the teacher have a folder that you and the teacher have to sighn... and if he doesnt provide finished homework to you and turned in homework to the teacher then no cell phone for the day, no video game for the day and a bunch of chores... or sitting in the bedroom with no tv and such..

Louise - posted on 04/07/2011




Most high schools in the uk have a homework diary if the school does not offer this then make him one. Buy a small pad and get him to write in the homework that he has received that day. Then ask the teachers to help by signing the book for receiveing the homework. This way you know what has been done and what has not. This book is also communication from home to the teachers and vise versa.

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