My 13 year old son is doing terrible in school.:{

Angie - posted on 12/22/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I have done everything I can . I have taken away his phone, Ipod and playstation. I am tired of yelling. He just doesn't seem to be very motivated or goal oriented at all. Its so frustrating. Any suggestions?

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Jodi - posted on 12/23/2011

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I'm getting the feeling that lack of motivation is a pretty typical 13-14 year old boy thing :P I have one.

I got sick of yelling and constantly removing privileges on this one, because it simply doesn't work. Instead, I got more involved in what he is doing, and helped to coach him. I swear sometimes he mustn't be in the classrom when his teacher is teaching them, because he can be as vague as HECK when it comes to doing his homework. So as a result, I have educated myself a bit more and am trying to help motivate him.

Since I have been doing this, he has been coming home with excellent results on his assignments. In the first semester of this past year, he was getting Ds. By the end of the year he was bringing home Bs and Cs. And I am hoping to improve on that next year.

I am not doing the work FOR him. I am keeping tabs on what his unit outlines are, and helping him to focus on them, making sure he is on top of things BEFORE he gets behind on them. Sure, it's an extra thing I have to juggle, but because we are seeing results, it is proving to be worth it.

Beth - posted on 03/09/2012

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I can totally understand your frustration because it's hard to understand what the problem is. Not saying that this is the problem but you should definitely look into this. Executive Function (EF) refers to brain functions that activate, organize, integrate and manage other functions. It enables individuals to account for short and long term consequences of their actions and to plan for those results. It also allows individuals to make evaluations of their actions, and make necessary adjustments if those actions are not achieving the desired result.



Executive functioning problems effect the following areas:

_Organizing, prioritizing and activating for tasks

_Focusing, sustaining and shifting attention to task

_Regulating alertness, sustaining effort and processing speed

_Managing frustration and modulating emotions

_Utilizing working memory and accessing recall

_Monitoring and self-regulating action



Executive function impairments have an adverse effect on an individual's ability to begin, work on and complete tasks. It is also commonly thought that deficits in executive functions are highly interrelated to symptoms associated with ADHD.



It's very frustrating when you feel like your child doesn't care about school or they used to be straight a students and now they are un motivated, disorganized, etc.



If you feel this sounds like executive functioning might be the problem there are executive functioning tutors who can help your child organize, motivate to feel successful.



Try looking at this the way you would look at your child requiring glasses or braces. Try getting your child help and make it not about being punitive. Not at all judging you because I've been down the "i'm taking away your phone, t.v. computer, etc.



Let me know how it works out and good luck!

Kim - posted on 03/09/2012

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I went through this with my now 21 yo son. He never liked school and middle school and high school were no different, and they kept moving him to the next grade.In his junior year had to transfer him to the continuation school to make up for the lack of credits. We were also taking away extras. Finally one day the light switch came on and he buckled down... And he graduated! Tough love was a part of it... He was kicked out of the house after he was 18 for not going to school following house rules etc he was back a week later ....hardest thing I have ever done but now he is living on his own working fulltime....best of luck to you all...it's a tough road....but the mothers day he sent me an email thanking me for everything we did for him and telling me he finally realized all the things that we were always telling home were true......made it all worth while.

TIA - posted on 03/08/2012

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going thru the same thing with my 13yro son. He just seems to not care this yr @school after being a honor roll student last yr..I have taken away all "extras" but doesnt want to listen or work in school....

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Tracey - posted on 03/10/2012

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Try getting tested for learning problems or disabilities. My son has learning difficulties/problems. Your son may need some more one on one learning, my son has aids who come into class and help. They read the work to him and explain it so he can understand it better then he tells them the answer and they write it down (not everything some he has to write himself). He is doing much better now and is 16

Lucy - posted on 03/09/2012

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Get him a full Educational Psychological Assessment done. Maybe he has a learning disability. Get his cognitive skills assessed, maybe his processing speed is very low or his logic and reasoning? All of the above will be slowing him down at school but I bet he is avery intelligent young man, who may be struggling at school through no fault of his own. :) Good luck x

Meredith - posted on 03/06/2012

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We are going through the EXACT same thing and I am sensing a theme! We took away the "extras" such as phone, X-box and non-school related computer access. I did not pull him out of sports or music because these are things he truly excels at and I feel he needs that confidence boost or he will completely give up.



My son's problem seems to be organization. I can sit there, watch him complete his work and see it go IN to the backpack. Why it doesn't go from the backpack into the homework basket at school, I don't know! So frustrating!! Especially when he is getting A's on tests so we know he knows the material. I wish I had an answer for this, I'd patten it and be a millionaire!

Angela - posted on 03/05/2012

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I AM IN YOUR SHOES TO. I HAVE TAKEN EVERYTHING AWAY. EVEN PLAYING SPORTS. TO THE POINT THAT I AM READY TO GIVE UP.BUT HOW DO I GIVE UP ON MY SON. I HAVE GONE TO SCHOOL SAT IN CLASS. EMAIL TEACHERS. SPOKEN WITH THE DEANS DONT GET MUCH ANSWER FROM THEM.PLEASE ANY ONE HELP

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My soon to be 17 year old son suffers from ADHD. Medicine has helped him focus, not be impulsive including saying things inappropriate or timing wise, helps him focus on school work - getting it home and getting it done. He is not interested in much so when he does we encourage him to try things. He was a 38 week old baby born during traumatic delivery. He gets overly stimulated and then wants to retreat to his room to play with Legos to relax. Really is a sweet kid but needs his parents to encourage and direct him. Boys mature slower than girls and need constant encouragement.

Luvmia - posted on 12/23/2011

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I understand. My 12 year old will not complete all of his assignments and has been a behavioral problem at school.

He has asked me for help but refuses to take notes and I refuse to give him the answers. I remember him telling me that it is "too much work" and "it is boring". I have tried giving him pep talks and even asked him if he would like being the only one stuck in 7th grade. Unfortunately it did not work.

He is in danger of failing and I pretty much washed my hands of the situation. I told one of his teachers to feel free in giving him a zero if he does not want to do his work.

At this point, Angie, it is nothing you can do. Your son, like mine, has to want to succeed - we cannot want it for them.

Kathaleen - posted on 12/22/2011

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have you had him tested? possibility he has a learning dissability? Or he is just being a normall teenage boy 13 is a pretty complicated age they are changing emotionaly and dont know how to handle it all the time. Poss he might be getting teased or bullied in shcool that will make a kids grades drop real fast. Just some thoughts.. i wouldnt take it to seriulsey though i remember when my two oldest were 13 and 14 they did not do there best in school but they grew out of it.

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