I'm affraid my 12 yr old son is going to fail 7th grade!

Stefanie - posted on 03/25/2010 ( 66 moms have responded )

5

34

0

PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!! My son is going to be 13 in June. He does not care about his grades or school. He is very smart, reads at a 10th grade level, so some things come easy for him. He thinks because of that he doesn't need to study or take his time with homework. He is currently getting an F in Math, D- in Science and Social Studies. I'm affraid he isn't going to be passed on to 8th grade. Does anyone have suggestions on how to get him to understand how important grades and school? (He is currently grounded from friends and everything that plugs into the wall, it still doesn't seem to sink in) I am a single mom, his dad is in prison for the next 3 yrs.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

JoLyn - posted on 03/26/2010

21

2

0

I understand. My dear son is almost 19 years old and struggled through school....Dad was in and out of his life (not prison but a dead beat). I work in the school system working with strong willed "at-risk" kids and I have been teaching parenting classes for a very long time. I have worked with LOTS of families so believe me when I tell you this WILL work!
Telling him his education is important is going to go in one ear and out the other. He already knows that. Sit down with him and TOGETHER make a plan for his future. What does HE want to do as an adult and what does HE need to do to get there. What does HE need to do to be successful in his classes now? These are questions HE needs to answer for himself. Not in 20 question format, more of a conversation. Then you need to tell him the expectations you have for him. ie. no missing assignments, C's or better.. D's or better.. whatever it is. And then the consequence for not meeting these expectations needs to be Take Everything Away for a Short Period of Time. (TEASPOT) This is different than the way we were raised with eternal grounding. When you do this tell him.. When I get what I want, you will get what you want... You want completed homework, he wants TV time... No arguing. The longer he can keep you engaged in discussion, the longer he thinks he can change your mind. And then you wait..... NO NAGGING....! (the hardest part) As soon as he does what you expect.. give him his stuff. As soon as he stops, take it away again.. Consistency is the name of this game.. Sometimes smart kids feel like "7th grade is dumb and a waste of time" but when he can see it is just a small step toward HIS adult goals, it is better...
Parent Project has a GREAT class/curriculum for parents of strong willed teens. Check them out on line www.parentproject.com maybe there is a class in your area. ... No I do not work for them but I do teach their classes and this strategy saved the relationship between my son and me. He is now headed for USMC bootcamp!!
Good luck!

Dont forget LOTS of praying helps too :)

Alexis - posted on 05/01/2013

1

0

0

im turning 13 in june also im 12 and just seen your post im failing to i thought i could click this cuz i thought it would help me not fail but it just another 12 year old that is failing mabye me and him can talk some time on email about how an y we are failing :) email me at : alexisbowers39@ymail.com thanks

Tina - posted on 06/07/2014

4

0

1

my daughter is in the 7th she failed two portions of the staar..will she still pass to the 8th grade...her regular grades are on honor roll

Kay - posted on 10/10/2013

118

0

4

Hector
How are you doing in school? I would like your advice on why my child is failing? and what I can do to help him.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

66 Comments

View replies by

Tina - posted on 06/07/2014

4

0

1

pray and keep praying...punish him by making him read the bible and read other material with you...make him do things he hate the most like watch tv with u help u go to grocery store and everywhere u go take him if u can..show him that kids who do not take responsibility for their actions must stay on mommy side until he figure it out

Blessyrego - posted on 03/26/2014

1

0

0

o we can understant by this story parents should be take care on thier studys

Jami - posted on 12/22/2013

0

0

0

My 12 year old was always good and school and slipped this year. We recognized it as depression. There are A LOT of hormones going crazy in your body around this time. It might not be feasible for you but we pulled her out of public school and put her in a small private school. (There are also small charter schools that may be free.) She is now in an environment where being smart is "cool" and she isn't teased for it. The depression has gotten much better and her grades have improved tremendously in only a month and a half. I would never have dreamed of paying for private school but it's worth a bit of debt right now to see that she is now back on the path we wanted for her. The school environment makes a huge difference.

Doc - posted on 12/21/2013

6

0

1

Alexis
I would love to hear from you as to why you are failing? Maybe we could help others succeed. Some questions I would like to ask you are this:
Do you just not care?
do you have a lot of stress in your life?
do you feel you just can't do it all?
are your parents supportive?
What have they done to try to help you?
What do you want?

let's talk!!!

Doc - posted on 11/08/2013

6

0

1

My grandson is also 13, and has had the same problem. Our son, the wise parent, I might add has been consistent with consequents. Recently he pulled his grades up to c and b. He forgot to turn in a report and lost privileges. He seems to be getting it. One bit of advice, don't reward with I phones or electronics or material things. He needs to earn his grades for himself.
This is his job in life. If this were his job, he would not get paid.

Also, maybe something is distressing him so he can't think. Maybe a tutor for a while would be good. Someone that is not his parent that oversees his studies and meets with his teachers. He would have to like that person. Find an encourager.

Kay - posted on 10/10/2013

118

0

4

Alexis
Can you tell me why you are failing? Do you not care, are you lazy? What could help you to pass?

I would like your advice.

Kay - posted on 01/29/2013

118

0

4

Taylor, Whoppins are not the answer. May God help you girl. I would not want you to be my mom. I would not choose you. Unfortunately, we don't get to choose our moms. So, you say beat him? Is that what happened to you? Is that what you know? Are you a mother, I surely hope not.

Taylor - posted on 01/29/2013

1

0

0

girl? you need ta buckle down as a parent and MAKE him do his homework!!! and a good ASS WHOPPIN' ain outta the question either!! your child obviously dont respect nobody, thats fo damn sure!! he is a ungrateful little prick, far as im concerned! set up a conference with all his teachers and see what exactly he has been doin wrong! and when you get home? girl, take off yo belt, and beat his ASS!! thats probably what he deserves! thinkin he smarter thatn everybody! juss so he know, i dont like onoins on my big mac!

Cheryl - posted on 12/20/2012

78

82

3

With him being grounded etc, he just wont let you see that its upsetting him. These punishments are all getting to him, but the thinks that if he doesnt show any concern, you'll let him have his freedom again. Continue in this vein!!!! Can you get his teacher to give him extra work to do at home and mark it daily at school while he stays in? or explain more about what is going on in his subjects? Science and Maths are very important to get a job later in life.
Stand your ground and don't give in, even if you think its not doing anything..... or phone his teachers and speak to them about his grades. Does he pay attention to the teachers? Is he rude/disrespectful? Try and find out as much as you can. Maybe even an assessment can be arranged for him. ??? I do wish you good luck, but be as disciplined with him as you can and dont allow him to rule you. Good Luck xx

Annie Love - posted on 12/20/2012

1

0

0

Clam down he will be ok they don't fail many people in 7th grade or 8th. He is most likly upset about his or he might be getting bulled. Dont worry most kids have there own way of doing things and just think he might be upset about failing to.

Kay - posted on 12/13/2012

118

0

4

WOW
We are going through the same thing. I really don't know what to do Life has been hard form my 12 year old. I hope someone can read this and offer valid suggestions.
Stefanie, I will pray for you and with you.

Jenna - posted on 11/28/2012

2

0

0

You should sit down with your child and talk about grades. He is probably having a hard time with the losing of his father. You also need to talk about that, that could be the whole reason for everything. Another thing you should do is have a talk with his teacher. The last and finale thing you should do is use a praising technique for when he does get good grades. Hope this helps

CACA - posted on 10/20/2012

2

0

0

DUDE COME DOWN I DONT NO HOW TO SPELL OR READ MY SON IS HELPING WRITE HES 6 YEARS OLD SO SHUT UP ITS LIKE YOU CANT HANDLE BUTTHOLES

Hector - posted on 10/01/2012

2

0

0

Okay calm down and take some advice from a 16 year old I've been there what your son has been throw okay first of all grounding him isn't going to change his grades in school and let him have freedom in 7th grade you think your king that no one can tell you what to do that your untouched but if you let him be free his going to start thinking " wow my mom is cool she let me go out when ever I want" so he will think even more and think I should pay her back with good grades 7th grade for me what the best school year ever for me he probably got a girl friend so don't be on him to much about that also be care full cuz in middel school that when 85% of teen try drugs mostly marijuana and they can't fail your son in 7 or 8 grade so don't worry I failed both years and still made it to high school but in high school make sure his ass is in gear or else his done thier is no second chance but middel school is great I wish I could go back to the middel school years

And moms WHAT EVER YOU DO DON'T DO NOT EMBARRASS YOUR SON OR GIRL you don't want your son or girl to be a loser in middel school that will follow them for ever so remember what I said don't be on your sons ass so much I wish my mom wasent on my ass the whole middel school year

Jennie Marcy - posted on 09/24/2012

2

0

0

I also need help my daughter is in 6th grade she is in the honors class an f has a in social studies. I am scared she might get kicked out what do i do?









Plz HELP ME!

Jennie Marcy - posted on 09/23/2012

2

0

0

I also need help my daughter has one f in Social Studies PLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ tell me what to do she is also in the honors class i dont want her to fail and go to the regular 6th grade it has to be a 70 and up im so scared she is studying for tests buf FAILS them WHAT DO I DO PLZ TELL ME IM SO FRUSTRATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mariopalomo - posted on 09/22/2012

3

0

0

kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Katherine - posted on 08/15/2011

1

3

0

I have had the same problem with my son. He has actually failed several classes in High School and had to retake them, now he is in his senior year in high school and if he fails even one class he will not graduate. Believe me when I say, he wants to graduate on time. He does not want to have to stay in school. Sometimes I wonder if the online schooling would have been better for him. He has had to take the Connections class to make up classes. This is an online program,and the student has to get 80% correct on work before it allows them to continue. You may want to look into this. Our school has this, so he does this in the school setting. You also may want to talk to his teacher and see if they post homework assignments online, or have an agenda book for students to write their assignments in. WE have an agenda book for my daughter, and she has to fill it out and have the teachers sign it. This way YOU konw what the assignments are and can check to be sure they are done. If he is inot games or texting, or a favorite afterschool activity, only allow him that activity after his work is done, and he has shown it to you. We evan have a organ folder for our daughter to put her homework in, so it is not "misplaced" and each pocket is for a different subject.

Deborah - posted on 08/15/2011

4

12

0

I home schooled my 2 boys, then 11 and 9 yrs old, 2 years ago through Oregon Connections Academy. They both were suffering at public school due to bullies, harassment, unfair punishment when they did nothing physical back to the bullies, but got punished for fighting even though they had been attacked and didn't fight back, ( It was on school video I saw myself! So I refused to let them suspend him, after watching the video, and I pulled them out of school that morning and started home schooling them the next year. They both placed higher than 2 grades above their grade levels on the placement tests and were put into gifted and talented classes for the next year, learning 2 grades higher material, and both got straight A's and honor roll every term for the next 2 years! When my son turned 13, he wanted to go back to public school, so I let them both go back this last year...My 11 yr old did great, and got high marks, but not as high as before, and he was dealing with the same bully issues and teachers neglecting to handle the situations, so he started to get down on himself, and his grades suffered along with him. My 13 yr old had the sames issues, plus decided he didn't want to do his work or homework and lied to me for 2 months before a teacher called to say he hadn't been doing his work and he was failing in all classes, except P.E.! I have since enrolled them both back in ORCA, and they both, once again, have placed into the higher gifted and talented classes. Some children need more space and time one on one to really achieve their potential. And the bonding you have with your children while being their coach is invaluable at this age. ORCA is a registered school that works under the same school district for your area, so they are certified, it is free, they send you a computer and printer, if you need one, plus all the books and most materials they will need, all for free, plus they give you a check every 3 months to help with the internet cost! The website is www.connectionsacademy.com, if you'd like more info. May God be with you and your son, and make His face shine upon you as you seek the wisdom in your situation.

Cheryl - posted on 04/12/2010

78

82

3

Hi Stefanie,
When did his grades begin to drop? Was it when his dad went to jail? In which case, that is probably the connection. I would go to the school and ask for a Guidance teacher to speak to him and get his confidence in order for him to confide in him/her about whatever is troubling him. In the meantime, I would keep plugs out of walls and he must learn to earn some of those treats, by getting better marks at various subjects.
Good Luck and I hope that things come right. It is a difficult time (puberty) for these youngsters, and they don't know if they're men or boys, so they are very mixed up anyway. : )

Bonnie - posted on 04/07/2010

1

13

0

Wow Stefanie! With a few changes in circumstance, this could be ME writing this post. I too, did the grounding from all things that plug in.....AND took away TV till his grades came back up. I don't know if that was more punishment for ME or him! My son was tested at a 13 year old level when he was 7. He is very smart too. I sometimes wonder if he is just BORED? We buckled down, and traded an hour and a half of studying for an hour and a hlaf of TV or games per night. The studying is taken off the table for the week-ends. His grades improved this last marking period.....not greatly, but for him it was an improvement....only one "D". Perhaps you want to try that? Hang in there girl!

Stacy - posted on 04/06/2010

8

29

0

i'm going thru a divorce. my 13 yrs son is failing his classes too. laziness is the problem and talking back.he doesn't care what you take from him.he was sooo good now omg it's a 180 .i know how u feel help

Latricia - posted on 04/06/2010

7

25

0

I am a single parent with a smart lazy/blessed child. There are some differences in our situation but, I can share this. When my daughter was 13 we talked about the BIG BROTHER BIG SISTER program. I was beginning to see a small change that I feared. In my attempt to be proactive she agreed to join the program and it was a great experience for us. The program allowed her to pick who she wanted from the race to the profession and we got just the person we wanted. Also, at my daughter’s school that have a program called Communities in Schools for underprivileged children to help with homework needs ect. and it also provides a mentor that comes to the school and checks on her and speak with her about her life and encouragement. My daughter takes well to all the help. No I do not have a perfect daughter but, I set up things in her life to lessen the troubles that life can cause. Where we are from they have a mentor program for children whose parents are incarcerated. Though we may think that being a single parent we can do it all we can’t and it effects our children even though they are not able to relate it to us.

Celena - posted on 04/05/2010

2

4

0

I'm a single mom of an only child who has no relationship with his dad whatsoever. It's the age, nothing you're doing wrong. I don't listen to nonsense about my son acting out just because he doesn't have his dad; there are kids whose fathers are home and they get into just as much trouble. My son is just now coming out of that couldn't-care-less-about-school-and-grades stage at 15 1/2 years old. He was tested for everything from ADD, ADHD, OCD; turns out he's dyslexic but getting help for that didn't make him work. The few times he did work, he didn't turn the work in. I was stressed and angry all the time because I knew he could do the work, but the only one who seemed concerned about it was me. Not his teachers, the administrators or the 3 different psychologists I took him to over the years were getting as excitable over it as I was. They all said he would outgrow the phase, but I was determined he was going to get his act together or else. I'd done the same as you with stripping his room bare, not letting him go outside or to any activities, no tv, having to spend weekends in his room, only giving him 1 or 2 cheap gifts for his birthday and Christmas, but none of it worked. I'd also taken him to a scared straight program at a juvenile detention center; that only made his shape up for about a week. I let him fail the eighth grade even though the principal fought me on it because it would "damage his self-esteem". I'd put him into a Tae Kwon Do class after many other parents suggested an activity would make him care; didn't do a darn thing to change his attitude so there went $600.

He is now in the ninth grade and after failing the first half of the school year, he is now making straight A's in every subject. I asked him what made him start working and he said he just felt like it. I think it has a lot to do with a promise I made that he could have a paintball birthday party only if he passed all of his classes; D's or F's do not count. That apparently sunk in because he has been missing out on many invites from his friends so now he wants to be fun party giver for once. I hate that I had to bribe him to do what he should, but it's working and my house is peaceful for the first time in years.

Like the other moms said watch whom your son hangs out with closely because your son could be easily influenced into trouble-making just to be accepted.

Jane - posted on 03/30/2010

3

16

0

I always tell my son that life's everyday problems does not excuse him from his job in life and that is to do his best in school. I tell him I will come home everyday and check his back pack and check online with his teachers if his grades slip. Since your son seems to not care, sometimes they just need to know that you do, as I am sure you do or you would not have written for advise. Sit at the table and be miserable with him, let him know that this is the daily routine until he get's his act together, help him to get back on track. Let him know he is making both of your lives miserable until he get's it under control but that you are in it with him. After about a week or two of hovering over him in a caring way and being miserable together he will realize you are committed! He will realize the only way out it to clime out of it with your help. There is nothing a teenager hates more than a parent that cares enough to give up their friends and tv any what ever else to spend quality time doing homework. Just that extra time might be just what he needs from you right now since his dad is away. It may be good for the both of you in the long run. If he is smart there is no since in wasting it. My son is an honor roll student and just the treat of calling his teacher or looking through his back pack put's him in check. After implementing a very hands on approach it does become this easy.

Karen - posted on 03/29/2010

2

9

0

Stefanie i have a son that is going to be 22 next month. My husband and I struggled all through his school years with him. He refused to do his homework and some of his schoolwork too! Very frustrating. He has ADD and he did have ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). We took him to counselors for years. He too is a very smart man and he was always using his intelligence to get away with things instead of accomplishing things. He would ace tests all the time and in parent teacher conferences the teachers would say your son is smart but we cant just grade on tests he has to do the whole thing. uggg we would go away so frustrated...Please try and find some type of tutors to help him, i like the idea of taking him to talk to his dads parole officer and maybe some other people who can help him to see how important school is...Love him love him love him thats the most important thing! Let him know that you are there for him always....he may feel like he is losing people in his life......My son was going along pretty aimlessly after he was out of school but I am happy to say that he is now in the Navy and he is excelling at it . What a joy and relief for me as a mom to know that it does get better hand in there honey I hope you can find some answers

Marlaina - posted on 03/29/2010

11

27

0

He wont be failed...school cant afford that. However if his greades are down, reading level low you need to consider the possibilities:
1) Welcome to teenagerhood..........find out what his big collateral is. Money, video game time, computer access, free time w/friends i.e. time for a $$$ reward for grades.
Its may sound like too much but hey we get paid to show up to work and do well ....this is gearing him for that. Hard work + good pay = driven kid.....who cares of $$ is his motivation....the point is he is motivated.
2) How is the learning environment...public schools? Is he being "left behind"? Private schools, how do the teachers speak/teach to him in class, does he feel supported?
3) Home environment effecting him??? Im a divorced mother of 2 and I know that when I was fighting or silently mad at their father the negative energy effected him and he acted out in class.....though he didnt know why at the time. He may be struggling with the fact that his dad is incarcerated.......does he have someone he can open up to?
A friend who is a positive male role model? Therapist?
4) He just needs one on one help? Get him a tutor. Maybe a young male tutor that may have a "peer" influence on him and he will want to work with, strive for better grades and college kids are inexpensive.
5) Do yourself a favor and let go a little.Sometimes our boys wont step up on their own if mom/dad is hounding them about what they are supposed to do. They want to do the exact opposite even if it is to their detriment. Its something about their beginning to break away from us and be independent.

I hope this is helpful. Im sorry you are struggling on your own with this. Parenting is hard enough with two parents but having one in jail makes it even harder. Be good to yourself too, you deserve it.

Jenn - posted on 03/29/2010

1

19

0

I agree with Mrs. Strandberg. You have to stay on your kids and not allow them to play the teacher against the parent. If your son is quite smart, he could just be bored in class. My daughter (13) was failing 2 of her best subjects and we found out that she wasn't being challenged and therefore she didn't want to do stuff "she already knew". She blamed her teachers, tried excuses, etc. Finally, she realized that the teachers and I talk A LOT and she couldn't get away with it anymore. I have it where if she doesn't turn in even 1 assignment, they phone or email me. Her science teacher told me she did the work, she just never turned in what she did - so he was giving her partial credit. I told him to stop giving her partial credit because if she isn't being responsible enough to turn it in, she shouldn't get any special treatment just because he saw her doing her work. She is also in counseling and everything short of putting her on meds. I think what was the eye opener for her was what she gets to look forward to in high school. Because of her aptitude for school (when she cares) and her test scores, she has gotten in to a program where she works for her associates degree while in H.S. - she begins going to college and highschool her freshman year (next year). Find something your kid can look forward to and work toward and he is likely to bring his grades up on his own - if he's not being challenged enough in school, talk with the teachers and counselor to see if there's a program he can get into to get the challenge he needs. Good luck and keep on your kiddo, keep showing him how much you love him and be there to support him when he does put forth effort as well as show him the better paths he can take when he isn't reaching his potential.

Christine - posted on 03/28/2010

33

36

3

Wow...what a toughie. My thoughts go out to you. I have two sons who are exactly the same way and constantly push the envelope. So, I know this pattern of behavior didn't start overnight. I like to call it "they like learning the hard way." HA HA HA. My husband calls it stubborn. However, when it comes to a battle of the wills, I always outlast them. I guess that would be where they get that stubborness from...actually, I am just very disciplined. I grew up in a strict home and while my parents methods were, by todays standards-abuse, their thoughts behind it were right on. My sons know, while they don't have to be good at everything, they must get the grades with the brain that God or whatever...gifted them. IE: "A" brains get "A" grades. My sons get 3 chances and I never back down and it never changes. If they lie about it, they get twice the punishment. Punishment for doing the deed and punishment for lyin about it. They have worked their way down to just having a bed in their rooms, at one time, and having family, friends, neighbors, teachers, bus drivers, etc. watch them like a hawk, until they realized it wasn't worth it. It took forever and I often thought they would hate me for it. They don't and they love me a bunch. They are now old enough to just know by my look or tone of voice when they are treading on thin ice and I "sit in the weeds" about some things to give them a chance to do the right thing before they get nailed. It sounds rather difficult but it is just cause and effect. You do this well, you get that....if you do this badly, you get this punishment. It helps that they know this ahead of time, because they know what will happen if they make the wrong choices and they soon realize it is their choice. Whether the father is around or not has no bearing on the "rules" and being open doesn't mean being a doormat. When they play the smart card, I research something and then quiz them in one way or another. For example, once when my son was in trouble, for this elborate lie he had come up for not doing some homework, we discussed his punishment and I agreed to what he thought. He thought it was great but then I took his TV away. He shockingly asked WTH I doing because I had said I had agreed to the punishment he came up with. I turned around and said, "Oh well I lied, sucks when you have a good reason and someone doesn't care how you feel." I then told him "it was tough as tidly winks" and he thought I was crazy. Of course, I said "really, your dumb mom knows something you don't." He was pissed about getting caught, in me setting him up to loose his TV but to this day he still remembers the tidly winks because he didn't know what I was saying...Mr. Know Everything. After all, they get their smarts from somewhere...ah...you:) There is no right answer ever and its all a crap shoot but if you spend the time arguing, spend the time being smarter and make him learn something in the process. Good, fair discpline is based on teaching and them learning something. Stay strong and respectful and they'll come around...it won't be easy and some bad things could come out of it. You must hold them accountable for their actions. Another big thing is stayin in contact with the teachers....my sons, used to like to play the teachers against the parents, until I started talkin to them and parent-teacher conferences are great, too. We always make are kids go with us. They sit in front of us and their teachers, so no crap can get pulled. My husband works odd hours and the teachers have always been very accommodating with scheduling, even during the school day and the kids were pulled out of class. There is also email, phoning and our school has an on-line acccess to the school, some teachers even text us. I don't want to sound like a downer, because my kids are great but it is rough, sometimes and there is no book. Best of luck and hang in there.

Kimberly - posted on 03/28/2010

1

20

0

my son is 13, and very smart. he just stopped handing in hw. his school has a after school hw club that he stays for twice a wk. i also took everything away. it has helped! he has not missed any work. i can check his work online also, and i keep in contact w/ his teachers. see if they have any clubs after school for helping the kids finish their hw. goodluck.

Heather - posted on 03/28/2010

12

27

0

Hi Stefanie, have you tried talking to the school about possibly putting him into classes that are harder for him. Sometimes kids need something more challenging if they are getting bored in school.
Also, if his dad has been gone for a while, or if this happend recently that he left, that could have a major impact on him. Letting him know that you love him no matter what is a major key. How does his dad feel about being away, or him in general. Can he visit with him, maybe talk with him about why he is there and what types of choices that your son should make to keep on the staright and narrow.
Boys need a male figure in their life, no matter how good or awesome the kid might be, it is do important that they have someone there. It can be anyone you respect and are ok with your son looking up to as a mentor. Maybe you could talk to the school about having him talk with a teacher he trusts. If you are a member of a church, is there anyone there that e looks up to, or anyone in your family, or friends that he could connect with that could help him out?
Again, I think have someone you trust is key to mentor him is best.

[deleted account]

I have a question for you: Some middle schools are 6,7 & 8, while others are only 7 & 8. Which is the case in your situation? If it's your child's first year in middle school, the new surroundings may factor into the situation. Attempting to be in a certain "click" of kids in school can also factor into the "I don't care" attitude.

The father going to prison definitely affects the child. When I broke up with my daughter's father and he went to prison, she was only in 3rd grade. Her grades plummeted. It took a long time in working with her, but by the time she finished middle school, she had made honor roll 7 out of the last 8 quarters (the transition year, 6th grade, was rough for her). One of those quarters in 8th grade was straight A's... :)

Now she's a freshman in High School, and her grades have plummeted again. It's a transition year. They put her in Honors classes (in subjects that are not her strong suits). She struggled through the first semester, but managed to pass with D's or better. This quarter, she brought me home 3 F's. Looking online at her class information through a district access program, I have discovered that she hasn't been turning in a lot of things - vocabulary in 3 classes, current event reports in social studies, and practice journals in orchestra. Just the lack of a journal brought her grade in orchestra down to a C from an A.

In middle school, they had a block schedule, each class only meeting 3 times a week, and she usually had 2 days to complete assignments. Now her classes meet every day, and there is something due in each class daily. In middle school, they gave the students planners to help keep them organized. They have no such thing in High School, so I have bought her one from the store. I have provided the tools to help her to succeed. The rest is up to her.

Back in Elementary School, when I divorced her father, I set up a rewards system for her grades. Every A is worth $5.00. B's are worth $2.00. C's & D's are worth nothing. For each F, SHE must pay ME $5.00. When she brought home the straight A's, I was so thrilled to hand her $35.00! My family knows about the system, and decided to reward those straight A's as well. My folks sent her $35.00, my brother gave her $35.00, and her father did too... She made out with a total of $140.00 for that report card! Talk about an incentive !!

This quarter, she owes me $13.00 (she got a B in French - while failing English)! She is grounded to the house, with no friends, and I took away the power strip that controls her TV, cable, DVD, VCR, PS2 & GameCube. She still has her stereo, her MP3 player, 1 hour of free computer time every day, and her cell phone. But when she's doing homework, the phone is in my posession. I have never done anything like this to her before, and it is definately making an impression. Her Social Studies teacher was blown away this week that she had a current event... and was further blown away to discover there was not just one, but TWO. She is working off what she owes me for her grades, as she has no other way to make money at this time. And we're talking. The I don't care attitude is lessening, and her lack of desire for simple physical contact seems to be turning around too. I almost cried the other night when she gave me a hug & kiss on the cheek before heading upstairs to go to bed. She hasn't reached out like that in about a year...

Her father was released from prison this week. While he was in, he studied for & finally got his GED. I'm sure that when he comes for a supervised visit, he will try to rattle her cage over it all. I just hope his input doesn't undo the progress we've made so far... Good luck.

Adrienne - posted on 03/28/2010

10

11

0

I have a 13 year old who will be 14 in June he might fail the 8th grade. I think that 12 to 16 is a very hard time for teenage boys (I have a 17 year old also) With his dad being in prison, that is definitely a traumatic change. My husband and I just had a baby and now since he isnt the baby any more, his entire attitude has changed towards everything. He is very intelligent and went from being a straight A student to barely making D's. We started taking him to counseling so that he could get some things off of his chest with someone other than us. There are a lot of mentoring programs that you might be able to look into to get him someone to talk to,

Geraldine - posted on 03/28/2010

23

20

2

Ok I am a mother of a 17 yrear old who is in his last year of school. He has no interest either. As im sure your very concerned as am i the more i get at him over it the more he rebels. Ive decided to let him learn from his mistakes himself. It worked. His school work has improved. Also i spoke to him as an equal not as a child and that really worked well. Its just a suggestion. Talk calmly like you would your mom r dad and see how it works. good luckxxx ger from waterford city ireland

Margo - posted on 03/27/2010

42

12

2

I am the mother of a son who failed 7th grade, and we held him back. He is still failing. But, in his junior year he finally gets it. Grades are important. You have to let him fail, but still enforce how important that they get their work done. My son has fought Job Corps, but finally relented, when he found out they pay him to attend school, give him individualized learning and train him in areas he is interested in. He can also join the military. Kids with ADD/ADhD are extremely tactile.

Here is my point. Don't let him fail entirely, just stress that he has to have a plan for his future, and it may not be happening now, but it will happen. Does he want to be unemployed and homeless. I stressed my son will not be allowed to live off of us. We love him, but our job as parents is to see that he becomes a productive adult. That and pretty girls don't like school drop-outs, at least not the ones you want to be with. Thankfully our son was dating a model, and the reasoning sunk in, no job, no future, no hottie girlfriend.

Kari - posted on 03/27/2010

3

4

1

Mine was close to also! I made him go in and visit with the vice principle. He had a strong talk with my son. I put him in summer school for the summer for the two classes he failed. The next year, he sure changed his tune. He knew that if he did not get his work done during the year, his summer was going to be ruined again and he would be repeating 8th grade. The summer school really helped him. He needed a big consequence. I also took away his priveledges of the computer and XBox until he was caught up.
If he is really smart, his poor grades may be because he is gifted and talented and needs more of a challenge. You may want to see if there is a charter school around or something that will give him more of a challenge.

But, you are not alone. There are a lot of boys in this age group that could care less about school. It is hard raising your kids alone when they are struggling in school. It is hard because you want them to be motivated from within. It will come. It is part of growing up.

I wish you the best. It has to be hard with his dad in prison. I hope you have good supportive friends for you. Please remember to take time to take care of yourself. It is not being selfish. I had to learn that. As a single mom, you still need to take care of yourself.

Best wishes.

Tanith - posted on 03/27/2010

5

20

0

thanks to 'no child left behind', it has been my experience that the school will do EVERYTHING including making up a unique grading system to prevent your child from failing...that can be very frustrating when you are trying to teach them about consequences. In life, everything we do has a consequence...good or bad. So...brainstorm and implement a consistent consequence that will help your child realize that it is better to do well in school than not. For example...when my daughter was bringing home Cs - I explained that school prepares young people to do a job and support themselves in the future. So, if she wan't going to get prepared by doing her work then I would need to step in and prepare her for another type of job that would not require a history of good grades...janitorial work. As long as her grades were not B or better, she was grounded Sunday through Thursdays (totally fair for her and something I could consistently apply and except for Church of course). I explained that with no tv, radio, phone, friends or computer, she could prioritize work. Everynight, she had to spend an hour or two doing homework or chores...her choice (and I really let it be her choice). The key is not getting emotionally engaged. This is her life and she is old enough to make her own decisions about what she will do with her time. The rest of the time was hers as long as she didn't do those things she was restricted from. It tool 3 semesters for her to finally decide to prioritize her work again. We have had no problems in high school. The hardest part was sticking to it and not falling for her sob stories or her attitudes or her excuses. I told her that if one of her teachers was willing to write me a letter stating that she was unable to get a better grade I would back up but until then the rules stood. Not one would write that letter and eventually I wore her down.

Leslie - posted on 03/27/2010

85

6

0

I am a 7th grade teacher.....I've seen this several times and am currently dealing with a child who has a 9th grade reading level and doesn't seem to care about his grades. As a teacher, I have told the young man that I'm dealing with that I see through his "I don't care" attitude and I expect him to succeed. For this young man, his problem is that it's not cool to be smart and it frustrates me to see him with this attitude.



I think a combination of things could work for your son. First, try to find a program that mentors young men. A positive male role model (who's not necessarily family) can help. Second, be an advocate for him at school. Keep check on his progress and be in touch with teachers every day. Please don't tell your teachers that you don't know what else to do. Work with them. At my school, we have to tutor students after school. Make him stay (sit with him if you have to). Go to school with him and sit through some of his classes. (I know that as a working mom this may not be always possible) If it's not possible, get your dad or another family member who your son respects to do so. Keep in constant contact with his teachers. Let them know that you want to know what his homework is etc. Let them know this and then follow through by calling or emailing. Don't just do this for a week or two....do it always. Third, (as another poster recommended) let your son work with someone who does "hard" work. We live on a farm and my 14 yr old son knows that he doesn't want to farm his entire life, b/c it's hard work. Next, let your son go to the prison or talk to some officers or some ex-convicts. Let them give your son the straight of it. On the flip side of all of this, take your son to some colleges or universities for events (my son's into band and baseball- he's been to band concerts and baseball camps at some local colleges) This gives him a glimpse at what college life is like and might encourage him to want to get there. Figure out what your sons interests are and supplement school instruction by taking your own "field trips". You can often find in-expensive trips like aquariums and museums (history or science). I also understand that it might not always be "cool" to go with mom. Find a couple of his friends and take the group. Finally, always remind your son that you do love him and encourage him. Middle school is tough. Peer pressure from all directions and trying to figure out who you really are. Hormones are new to the mix and that's not easy either. Getting a counselor for your son may give him someone he can talk to besides yourself. Try not to talk bad about your son's father, b/c no matter what he's done with his life, he still is his dad and your son (on some level) probably wishes that they could have a good relationship.



I've rambled enough, hope this helps.

Karen - posted on 03/27/2010

1

6

0

I have 3 intelligent children. All 3 have had different issues with school. My oldest pretty much gave up in junior high. She did manage to keep herself on track enough to get through. My youngest, my son, has issues getting his homework done and turned in even though he is smart enough to do the work. It could be the teachers are not keeping him interested, we have had that problem, or most likely he is bored. Talk to his counselor and his teachers to find out what needs to be done to get him through this year and into next. Things will improve. But you MUST get the school involved. Call his counselor, talk to his teachers, see if they have an after school tutoring session if necessary. And if all that fails, have him visit his dad and ask him if that is where he wants to end up, because without a high school education even working at a fast food restaraunt will be difficult.

Karen - posted on 03/27/2010

15

20

0

My oldest is academically gifted also and didn't turn in homework or study until about 9th grade. He just decided on his own that it was important to him. In the meantime, would it be helpful to set up a positive incentives plan for your son to work towards the goal of better grades? I agree with making him accountable for his performance, but only putting punishment in place without balancing out with positive reinforcement might create more struggles.
Is there anyone who can help you make sure he is doing his homework when you are not available? My fiance has been tremendously helpful in this area as I once struggled with my 12-yr old in this area as well. (I am usually not home until bedtime most evenings.) Also, once my son realized that he got ample praise for starting his homework independently, he began to take pleasure in my reaction when he did so.
My 12-yr old requires special ed services in school and also has a mentor. His dad is not allowed to see him without supervision and refuses to cooperate,so we deal with a lot of emotional stuff on that end too.

Luanne - posted on 03/27/2010

5

18

0

My ex is an alcoholic and rarely involved in the kids lives, only when it looks good for him like at Christmas. He is also a deadbeat financially and we have had lots of struggles. We did lots of counseling, many of the counselors simply took my money, others actually were helpful, be careful what you spend your money on and expect results. Some of his problem is the age, very rough age for all teens and other teens can be so hard on each other. Hang in there and remember to take care of yourself too. He needs to mature before some things will even start to fall into place and boys take much longer to mature.

Luanne - posted on 03/27/2010

5

18

0

Both of my boys became more difficult at age 13, it seems to be the magic age for problems. Now they are 17 and 18 and some problems have resolved while others became worse. Boys mature so much more slowly than girls, my daughter is 14 and ahead of the boys. Pick your battles wisely, try not to nag and keep reminding him of the importance of school. He may act like he is not listening but years from now he will repeat back your words verbatum and you will realize he has listened.

Michelle - posted on 03/27/2010

4

6

0

I am so sorry for what you are going through!!! I understand the frustration and constant battle more than you know. My son is an honors student who never had to study a day in his life until middle school. He is now a sophmore in high school and pulling LONG days to get his life back on track.

I have found only one thing that has seemed to help him and that is getting down on my hands and knees and praying everyday for him and yes in front of him- He needs to know that you are suffering for him and praying for his EVERY need. They were answered in the form of his peer group at school.

I am sure that you have looked into the counseling opportunities in your area but your school may also have peer groups run by a qualified child psychologist trained in the teen years. These programs are free and they really help on a level that nothing else does. My son is part of a group that was hand picked by his school psychologist based on their situations. These children really do feed strength from one another and gain knowledge and support that is hard to find. Any emotional upset that makes a teenage boy feel worthless can take it's toll on them. We have a stable 2 parent home and it is happening to us. What caused it- the birth of his brother they are 11 years apart and my son actually told me "Why was I not enough for you and Dad" he really feels this in his heart it was not as some would believe a "spoiled" attitude. So no matter what it is- a situation with a parent (in this case his father) or a change in home life it seems to effect boys in a much different way than girls. I am sure that the situation with his dad makes him sometimes wonder if he really is smart and maybe just maybe he feels like it would be impossible to do better than his Dad so why not just give up. It is a more common feeling in boys- girls tend to try harder to get away from a situation by working harder but with boys it seems to be the opposite they succumb to the situation at hand and actually take an "I don't care" attitude even though they care very much. This is all coming from his Peer Leader and she is wonderful with these children. My son now is only failing 1 class which he is working hard in credit lab to make up and working until 6pm everyday but friday to erase the bad grade. He is really feeling like he matters and that his accomplishments matter to people. He also has realized that compared to the grand scheme of things his "problems" are very surmountable.

I will be praying for your situation and one last thing- Maybe showing him some of the TRUE realities of the world through the eyes of people who have shirked off education can help with the reality of how hard his life would really be if he does not take things a little more seriously.

Kay- OMG that is my son to a "T" I am so glad to know that someone else has a child who does this- it makes NOOOOOOO sense to me to do the work and not turn it in!!!!

To the OP: this is my one last struggle- getting him to turn in the work he does and does well I might add!!! I hope this jumble of imformation helps!!!

ETA: I also do the weekly reports and it helps because his teachers have agreed to let him turn in the assignments with points taken but at least it is not a zero and we find out about it in time for him to be able to factor the postive grade in. Also email the teachers and his guidance counselor on a weekly basis they may have information for you that he "forgets" to tell you. Will be praying for you!!!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms