Son failing school because of laziness!!

Melinda - posted on 01/22/2010 ( 222 moms have responded )

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I am at the verge of a breakdown and am looking for any suggestions. I feel like I have tried everything. My son is 13 and extremely smart. I know a lot of mothers say their children are smart, but honestly the teachers also tell me they know how incredibly smart my son is but he is failing 7th grade.

He is failing because he is getting 0's for not turning in his homework, lying about his homework, losing it between home and school and getting 0's or if he does do it he hurry's through it so fast just to get it finished. I have taken all of his things away so he has nothing to hurry through it for now. He has received 3 detentions in the last week. One for losing a homework assignment, the second for tardiness but the third one was for erassing his assignment in his planner so he didn't have to do it. He knows if he misses an assignment he will receive a detention and he also knows he is failing and if he ends this semester with any F's he does not go to 8th grade.

I have signed him up for tutoring two nights a week even though I know he doesn't need that, but I'm willing to try anything. The assignments he does decide to do and concentrate on he receives 100% on. I have also signed him up to see a councelor which will hopefully take place in the next couple of weeks.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for me?

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Nicole - posted on 06/27/2013

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I am going through the same thing with my 16 year old. He was asked by the school to do special elective for the gifted kids in the year. He has gone from A's to C's and D's. Not handing in assessments on time but still having to do them and getting 0%. He says he hates school but won't tell me why. I asked him to come and see a councelor but he refuses. I am ripping my hair out, I just can't seem to get him to care about what he is doing to himself. The school won't help and his teachers are over him lying about why his work is not done. His report he brought home was dreadful, the comments were so bad. I just don't know where to go from here :(

Armine - posted on 08/25/2013

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I have a 16 year old son who has a big heart and loves his family. I left him alone and moved out with my parents because we are going through a separation, to only find out that his report card had f's and d's and c's and this was the worst report card he has ever gotten. He was an honors kid and would say full sentences at age 2. He promised me he will do good and that he is disappointed in himself, but doesn't follow through on his home work and feels he can take on problems on his own. He failed chemistry because he didn't understand the curriculum and felt it was his teachers fault. He doesn't rebel he is very respectful to his parents and his elders. He is a sweet boy and says he will do better, but yet he does poorly. He seemed to have gotten discouraged and that makes him lazy and now he is not enthusiastic in doing anything. His father is not there for him on his homework or discipline. He is unorganized and I have no idea how to approach his classes or his teachers. He is refusing me to schedule an appointment with the counselor because last time I did that his counselor thought he was not responsible and mom has to take care of all his problems. He is a very smart boy, but he is not pushing himself enough to succeed. How do you make a child want to do more?. I know he can be a straight A student or close to it.

Alison - posted on 06/05/2013

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UPDATE!!!!! August 19, 2013

My son only failed the one class. He even did better than expected in some others. Failed this class because after the final was taken and graded, the teacher entered two reading tests that were not taken. The teacher never informed us that these were still not done. On June 6th we went to school and demanded a meeting. Saw the Assistant Principal. Told him that they didn't do their jobs! He checked with the teacher. Teacher said that he opens the computers for anyone who wants to take these tests. I said "why didn't you tell him to sit his butt in the chair and take the tests?" Teacher said that isn't my style! What crap. We left the school waiting for decision from administration. Assistant Principal called later that evening.. "Sorry I can't help you." Warned him that a very serious and strongly worded letter was being sent directly to the Superintendent and that I was extremely disappointed in this school as they knew my son was at risk of failing and they did nothing. We hung up. A couple of hours later, received another call from Assistant Principal. "I though about what you said and you were right. We didn't do our jobs!" They allowed my son to take both tests the next morning, last half day of school, but this time he had to write two essays. He was prepared. Passed both tests and passed 8th grade. We have moved back to Illinois, where my son in enrolled at Stevenson High School. They have told us, "don't worry, we are going to do everything we can to help your son be successful!!!!" School is two days away from starting, and we have hope again. Please share your stories with me. I will update this post on a regular basis. I want to hear what has happened to you.

Today is June 5th and school ends at 5:00 pm today. I found out at 7:00 pm last night that my son failed 8th grade because they have this rule that if you get an F in any quarter and an F in the final quarter of the same class you automatically fail the grade. . I haven't stopped crying since. I begged and pleaded with him all year to realize what would happen if he continued to not do his homework! I spent countless amount of money for tutors, psychologists, and psycho educational testing. I took away everything! I helped him with his homework and projects. This has destroyed his relationship with his father! I have been told by the school social worker to let him fail. I reached out to every teacher, but they don't give a damn. I could never get a meeting with anyone including the principal. Now he has to go to summer school but can only do two classes. So now I wait to see if he failed two or more classes. Why don't these kids believe us when we tell them this will happen! I feel like I have failed him! All his friends and cousins are graduating and I can't stand to read Facebook any more with all of their accomplishments! This is wretched!!!

Angie - posted on 01/23/2010

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Don't give more work to the teachers. They don't need to babysit your son, he needs to take responsibility for this. My son hates school and is bright too. When my son decided that he didn't want to go to school anymore, we got him a volunteer job digging ditches for a month. We explained that he did not need to get a college education but we wanted him to see the type of job that he could get without one. Because he is lazy, he found ditch digging to be miserable. He's still making pretty good grades and is taking college classes as a junior in high school. I swear, some physical labor really cured his laziness..... However if you still choose to give the responsibility to his teachers, make sure you give them one heck of a gift at the end of the school year to thank them for going above and beyond with your son.

Julie - posted on 09/20/2013

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Hi Lisa I am in the same boat. mines 13, 7th grade, He is smart but won't bring home or do his homework so he doesn't learn what he is supposed to learn. I wish there were firmer consequences in the classroom if his stuff doesn't get turned in. msp scores from last year were level one which is failing here in Washington state. I did not want him to move on to 7th grade but the district talked me into it. It hasn't changed.I went down to the school to take Daniel to bhr (behavioral health) and sat in the parking lot crying and couldn't go in because of my tears, decided I just wanted to pull him out of school, so I went in and spoke my mind to the vice principal. I said I want to pull him out right then and find alternative schooling. They said that since I said that they legally have 25 days to get it resolved and get him in a place where he can learn. It's been 6 days now.He is still there. I emailed all of his teachers yesterday and one called me back and she knew nothing of what is going on. I was pissed and she seemed mad too. He has been moved to one different class. So we will see how it goes. He has another bhr appt today I am considering depression medicine. any thoughts on that? Julie

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Liz - posted 3 days ago

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I'm going through the same thing... No your son is not lazy, look into executive function weakness. My son, in 9th grade, was diagnosed last year, has a 504, his school has been supportive, however, he is overwhelmed with HW. I feel for him and am reaching out for some solutions to keep him on track in school. I will post info. If I find anything out. I have an evaluation and now what? Very frustrating. EF weakness is not a well known disability most people have never heard of it.

Brenda - posted on 08/13/2014

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Patrick Watson. ...can you please email me everything you wrote on 7/25? It was profound.

Patrick - posted on 07/25/2014

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Im neither a mom or father, and not quite sure how I fell onto this thread lol, but I feel obligated to give my 2¢, even if it only helps a single child. I'm now 21, but I was one of those kids that struggled through school. Either due to laziness or depression, but of course both played a roll in each others existence. My dad was a hardass and my mother a drunk. My dad did the same thing as one of the mothers who posted on this thread. He introduced me to his line of work, landscaping and building retaining walls. I actually didn't mind it at first, because I was an athlete and played quarterback for the hs I went to. So physical exertion was something I was use to, however I quickly learned it wasn't something my body could put up with for 20 years, using my father as a prime example. It still didn't seem to inspire me to keep my grades up though, partly because I had a low self esteem with few friends and even fewer gf's. You better believe that's a huge confidence booster in a young man growing up as Im sure it is in girls at the same age. These things can have an impact on how teens perceive life and if they feel they're not cared about, what reason is there for them to care? It doesnt matter how much their family may love them, they're looking for acceptance elsewhere. They know they already have it at home. So if you think that your kid is struggling to find a purpose, reassure them that things will get better, but only if they apply themselves. If they really wanna feel good about themselves and their accomplishments, they need to make them happen. Nothing in life is given to you as an adult and if you, or the school (passing the child along to the next grade) have held they're hand the entire way, the have no sense of independence. It can work both ways though, if the child/teen has everything taken away from them, then they might feel there's a lack of meaning in attempting to try. Back to being vulnerable though, if you have a male teen and he's not socially prominent, first he's probably not going to tell you, or any sort of professional psychologist. Its embarrassing to them. However social awkwardness is something you have to battle through on your own, its what helps instill confidence. Eventually they will learn to build relationships. It might sound cliché but you just have to make sure they understand they cant let others hold them down. Its something most adults think their children know and thats why its so highly overlooked. How this has anything to do with academics, is through the child believing not only in themselves, but that what they accomplish in school can ACTUALLY make their dreams a reality as long as they stayed focused and persistent. I only speak from my experience failing and proof of friends striving to be more and never allowing barriers to hold them back . I gave up in school and it has made it 10x harder for me accomplish what I want to. It became an overwhelming task and I've had to set small goals just to get back to the point where I can set large ones. I never understood what my father was telling me until it was almost to late to become something in life and unfortunately some don't learn until it is too late and they're begging for change at intersections. I swore to myself that would never be me and if your child is lacking aspiration, maybe they need to see how people live that lost theirs along the way. There's no need to scare them into being a productive member of society. That gives them a false understanding of why they should be. They shouldn't be afraid of failing, not only in school but other aspects of life as well, because they could become homeless.... No, they should be inspired to do good because it will make them feel good as well as others around them, and it can instill confidence if they're lacking it. They should understand that if there is somebody else struggling and they see them doing well, they'll be enticed to do the same. This can bring pleasure and happiness, that is if the child has an understanding they should put others before themselves. Not in the sense they shouldn't thrive to be #1 and successful in their own way, rather they should worry how their actions affect those they care about. A child/teens grades can be a huge byproduct of the fundamentals they were taught, and if they have been taught how to be a good person the parent should never blame themselves for failing their child. They should, however, continue to instill those beliefs because its easy for a young person to fall off the tracks they were on. With so many foreign pressures to conform (get married, have children, go to college, get a good paying job, get a house, retire, die happily) at that age, sometimes its easier to just ignore it completely thinking it will all go away. Theres a lack of opportunity to be creative and think outside the box in our current society. Children, especially teens, need to embrace creative thinking and not all school districts (especially in highly conservative areas [no prejudice intended]) teach this way. That's fine too, as long as the kids feel they're free to express themselves and have learned not to take criticism too seriously. Especially from those who can't be opinionated without rationality supporting their belief. Constructive criticism is key to working well with others but having an opinion is just as important. It might sound like Im thinking too far into poor grades, but it really can play a HUGE part in how a child/teen develops and I'm still young enough to remember the reasons that made me so careless. They'll learn how to do things they don't enjoy and learn life lessons along they way. Positive and negative, but mostly positive because not much bad can come from trying, wether or not they fail is only relevant to their effort given. If its obvious they're being lazy, the root of the problem should be searched for and the child/teens parents need to ask themselves what they think it stemmed from. Then bring up those questions to the child/teen and see what they have to say. Make sure to focus more on the reasons why its good to be tenacious, aspiring, and determined to succeed, even if hiccups occur along the way. You don't want them focused on the bad and them be overwhelmed by it but at the same time they need to have a good understanding of what can happen if they do choose to take the easy way out. If the easy way were the way to go, it would just be called "the way". You can take their xbox, tv, phone, computer, and car keys, but if they don't believe in a purpose to what they're doing, none of that matters. You can scold them, yell at them, threaten them, but then youre just going to turn them against you and it will make it even harder to get across to them. If after all that they still refuse to listen, then those measures need to be taken, but only as a last resort. The child/teen doesn't always need a best friend, they need a parent. The friendship will come with them not just being told you're looking out for their best interest, but believing it. Sometimes at that age seeing is believing. When I got in a fight in 7th grade after a kid insulted my grandmother who had just passed away a few days prior, my dad and grandfather both showed up to the school. My dad gave both the principal and assistant principal an ear full, almost to the point of verbal abuse, though he still managed to carry on as a gentlemen. He not only wanted the head faculty to know that he was sick of my mistreatment at school, but for me to know he had my back. He obviously made sure to let me know fighting isn't the answer for everything but sometimes a bloody lip will keep something like that from ever happening twice. It was then that I knew nobody cared more about me than him. The same type of thing happened to my grandmother with her mother picking her up from school and taking her home. Not till after threatening to sue the school for negligence towards racial discrimination though. She went to a school that was mostly hispanic and was picked on by hispanic girls but because the principal was hispanic as well nothing was ever done discipline them. My grandmothers treatment was almost royal after that. Im sure she didnt care, but I know it made her much happier her mother wasn't going to sit by and watch her child get humiliated and abused. Im not promoting you allow your child to swing at every kid that calls him names but they should know whats worth fighting for. Like a HS diploma, because not every fight is won with fists. If half the energy used for being negligent was used to care, nothing can stop that person. Being resentful and lethargic constantly takes new justification but the right attitude will always feel justified. The child/teen has to want to feel important for things like good grades, activeness, and attitude to change. Maybe a different perception of life in general is what they need for that to happen. I dont live the life these kids have so I cant be certain for the reasons they behave the way they do but I've had a lot of time to think about the reasons why I acted they way I did in the environment I lived in. Which was pretty diverse at times. There were ups and downs in our household and it gave me a descent understanding of why I was the way I was at that age. I also had to discover the path I was on was destructive to not only me, but my loved ones who put so much time and effort into raising me. It led to a life of hard drugs and addiction that disgusts me when thought about, but serves as a good reminder why I never want to go back. That brings me to another point. Hardly any psychologist actually gives a rats ass about what your child is thinking. There are some good ones out there, sure, but after 20 years in the field they think they've seen everything and treat every patient the same as the one with a similar feeling or story. They're almost categorized to make visitation time efficient to their wallets rather than to the patient. Everyones different and a monthly script of xanex or adderall isn't going to fix anything. Its only a bandaid. You don't want your child/teen a zombie because the "DR" thinks they're depressed or an amphetamine derivative because the "DR" thinks they have trouble staying focused. The school wanted to put me on adderall and put me into a remedial program at the age of 8-9 because they thought I had adhd. The year after, I was a straight A student in the highest math, english, and science classes, up until I was 14 and started to slack off. Just because the student spends most of their day at school, does not mean the faculty know them better than their own flesh and blood. The same goes with psychologist, some kids might feel comfortable enough to open up to them, but if they know the meaning of family, they will never tell them their most intimate feelings. Meaning they feel more comfortable telling their own blood whats really on their mind and how they really feel as long as those listening do exactly that and are grateful for being able to do so. Their trusted and the child isn't afraid of judgement from those they're seeking to impress most. Believe it or not, the burden of being successful in the eyes of those you love can be overwhelming, to the point where being so feels unobtainable. It doesn't matter how many times to you tell them you're proud of them, though never gets old, is not the same as actually complimenting them and embracing what they have accomplished. Getting through someones firewall and into their head is the most difficult thing to do because of the amount of trust that has to be instilled in the relationship. Being a parent that attempts to understand and does actually care (thats most parents I'd like to believe) in what is going through the minds of their children is the first step into figuring out how to help them find a solution to their worries. Its not always something that happens right away so patience is critical as well a virtue. If you believe you're trying to help them, so will they. It can't be some half ass attempt at trying to get them to do better in school. Like I said, there's usually a reason that lies beyond just being lazy. Nobody is born lazy, they become that way. Everyone has desires and ambitions but repeated set backs and frustration can halt them just as quickly as they were created. Being taught to work through them is something you learn from experience and belief it can be done. Sorry for the novel ladys, and any men on here, but I felt impelled to share with you why I felt it was unimportant to worry about my academics when I was younger and why I felt that way. I hope this helps because these discoveries of myself have kept me from ever getting back into a rut I can't dig out of. I will always be starting as the low man on the totem poll for my mistakes when I was younger, but I'll never worry about making them again. In fear that I'll build a list of regrets to the ones I already have. As well as an urge to be a somebody I'm proud of when my time is up. In my honest opinion, that's something every son or daughter should want for themselves. With that comes success in all varieties.

Patrick - posted on 07/25/2014

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Im neither a mom or father, and not quite sure how I fell onto this thread lol, but I feel obligated to give my 2¢, even if it only helps a single child. I'm now 21, but I was one of those kids that struggled through school. Either due to laziness or depression, but of course both played a roll in each others existence. My dad was a hardass and my mother a drunk. My dad did the same thing as one of the mothers who posted on this thread. He introduced me to his line of work, landscaping and building retaining walls. I actually didn't mind it at first, because I was an athlete and played quarterback for the hs I went to. So physical exertion was something I was use to, however I quickly learned it wasn't something my body could put up with for 20 years, using my father as a prime example. It still didn't seem to inspire me to keep my grades up though, partly because I had a low self esteem with few friends and even fewer gf's. You better believe that's a huge confidence booster in a young man growing up as Im sure it is in girls at the same age. These things can have an impact on how teens perceive life and if they feel they're not cared about, what reason is there for them to care? It doesnt matter how much their family may love them, they're looking for acceptance elsewhere. They know they already have it at home. So if you think that your kid is struggling to find a purpose, reassure them that things will get better, but only if they apply themselves. If they really wanna feel good about themselves and their accomplishments, they need to make them happen. Nothing in life is given to you as an adult and if you, or the school (passing the child along to the next grade) have held they're hand the entire way, the have no sense of independence. It can work both ways though, if the child/teen has everything taken away from them, then they might feel there's a lack of meaning in attempting to try. Back to being vulnerable though, if you have a male teen and he's not socially prominent, first he's probably not going to tell you, or any sort of professional psychologist. Its embarrassing to them. However social awkwardness is something you have to battle through on your own, its what helps instill confidence. Eventually they will learn to build relationships. It might sound cliché but you just have to make sure they understand they cant let others hold them down. Its something most adults think their children know and thats why its so highly overlooked. How this has anything to do with academics, is through the child believing not only in themselves, but that what they accomplish in school can ACTUALLY make their dreams a reality as long as they stayed focused and persistent. I only speak from my experience failing and proof of friends striving to be more and never allowing barriers to hold them back . I gave up in school and it has made it 10x harder for me accomplish what I want to. It became an overwhelming task and I've had to set small goals just to get back to the point where I can set large ones. I never understood what my father was telling me until it was almost to late to become something in life and unfortunately some don't learn until it is too late and they're begging for change at intersections. I swore to myself that would never be me and if your child is lacking aspiration, maybe they need to see how people live that lost theirs along the way. There's no need to scare them into being a productive member of society. That gives them a false understanding of why they should be. They shouldn't be afraid of failing, not only in school but other aspects of life as well, because they could become homeless.... No, they should be inspired to do good because it will make them feel good as well as others around them, and it can instill confidence if they're lacking it. They should understand that if there is somebody else struggling and they see them doing well, they'll be enticed to do the same. This can bring pleasure and happiness, that is if the child has an understanding they should put others before themselves. Not in the sense they shouldn't thrive to be #1 and successful in their own way, rather they should worry how their actions affect those they care about. A child/teens grades can be a huge byproduct of the fundamentals they were taught, and if they have been taught how to be a good person the parent should never blame themselves for failing their child. They should, however, continue to instill those beliefs because its easy for a young person to fall off the tracks they were on. With so many foreign pressures to conform (get married, have children, go to college, get a good paying job, get a house, retire, die happily) at that age, sometimes its easier to just ignore it completely thinking it will all go away. Theres a lack of opportunity to be creative and think outside the box in our current society. Children, especially teens, need to embrace creative thinking and not all school districts (especially in highly conservative areas [no prejudice intended]) teach this way. That's fine too, as long as the kids feel they're free to express themselves and have learned not to take criticism too seriously. Especially from those who can't be opinionated without rationality supporting their belief. Constructive criticism is key to working well with others but having an opinion is just as important. It might sound like Im thinking too far into bad grades, but it really can play a HUGE part in how a child/teen develops and I'm still young enough to remember the reasons that made me so careless. They'll learn how to do things they don't enjoy and learn life lessons along they way. Positive and negative, but mostly positive because not much bad can come from trying, wether or not they fail is irrelevant to their effort given. If its obvious they're being lazy, the root of the problem should be searched for and the child/teens parents need to ask themselves what they think it stemmed from. Then bring up those questions to the child/teen and see what they have to say. Make sure to focus more on the reasons why its good to be tenacious, aspiring, and determined to succeed, even if hiccups occur along the way. You don't want them focused on the bad and them be overwhelmed by it but at the same time they need to have a good understanding of what can happen if they do choose to take the easy way out. If the easy way were the way to go, it would just be called "the way". You can take their xbox, tv, phone, computer, and car keys, but if they don't believe in a purpose to what they're doing, none of that matters. You can scold them, yell at them, threaten them, but then youre just going to turn them against you and it will make it even harder to get across to them. If after all that they still refuse to listen, then those measures need to be taken, but only as a last resort. The child/teen doesn't always need a best friend, they need a parent. The friendship will come with them not just being told you're looking out for their best interest, but believing it. Sometimes at that age seeing is believing. When I got in a fight in 7th grade after a kid insulted my grandmother who had just passed away a few days prior, my dad and grandfather both showed up to the school. My dad gave both the principal and assistant principal an ear full, almost to the point of verbal abuse, though he still managed to carry on as a gentlemen. He not only wanted the head faculty to know that he was sick of my mistreatment at school, but for me to know he had my back. He obviously made sure to let me know fighting isn't the answer for everything but sometimes a bloody lip will keep something like that from ever happening twice. It was then that I knew nobody cared more about me than him. The same type of thing happened to my grandma with her mother picking her up from school and taking her home. Not till after threatening to sue the school for negligence towards racial discrimination because she went to a school that was mostly hispanics and was picked on by hispanics but because the principal was as well nothing was ever done to them. My grandmothers treatment was almost royal after that. Im sure she didnt care about that, but I know it made her happy her mother wasn't going to sit by and watch her child get humiliated and abused. Im not promoting you allow your child to swing at every kid that calls him names but they should know whats worth fighting for. Like a hs diploma, because not every fight is won with fists. If half the energy used for being negligent was used to care, nothing can stop that person. Being resentful and lethargic constantly takes new justification but the right attitude will always feel justified. The child/teen has to want to feel important for things like good grades, activeness, and attitude to change. Maybe a different perception of life in general is what they need for that to happen. I dont live the life these kids have so I cant be certain for the reasons they behave the way they do but I've had a lot of time to think about the reasons why I acted they way I did in the environment I
lived in. Which was pretty diverse at times. There were ups and downs in our household and it gave me a descent understanding of why I was the way I was. I also had to discover the path I was on was destructive to not only me, but my loved ones who put so much time and effort into raising me. It led to a life of drugs and addiction that disgusts me when thought about, but serves as a good reminder why I never want to go back. That brings me to another point. Hardly any psychologist actually gives a rats ass about what your child is thinking. There are some good ones out there, sure, but after 20 years in the field they think they've seen everything and treat every patient the same as the one with a similar story. Everyones different and a monthly script of xanex or adderall isn't going to fix anything. Its only a bandaid. You don't want your child/teen a zombie because the "DR" thinks they're depressed or an amphetamine derivative because the "DR" thinks they have trouble staying focused. The school wanted to put me on adderall and put me into a remedial program at the age of 8-9 because they thought I had adhd. The year after, I was a straight A student in the highest math, english, and science classes, up until I was 14 and started to slack off. Just because the student spends most of their day at school, does not mean the faculty know them better than their own flesh and blood. The same goes with psychologist, some kids might feel comfortable enough to open up to them, but if they know the meaning of family, they will never tell them their most intimate feelings. Meaning they feel more comfortable telling their own blood whats really on their mind and how they really feel as long as those listening do exactly that and are grateful for being able to do so. Their trusted and the child isn't afraid of judgement from those they're seeking to impress most. Believe it or not, the burden of being successful in the eyes of those you love can be overwhelming, to the point where being so feels unobtainable. It doesn't matter how many times to you tell them you're proud of them, though never gets old, is not the same as actually complimenting them and embracing what they have accomplished. Getting through someones firewall and into their head is the most difficult thing to do because of the amount of trust that has to be instilled in the relationship. Being a parent that attempts to understand and does actually care (thats most parents I'd like to believe) in what is going through the minds of their children is the first step into figuring out how to help them find a solution to their worries. Its not always something that happens right away so patience is critical as well a virtue. If you believe you're trying to help them, so will they. It can't be some half ass attempt at trying to get them to do better in school. Like I said, there's usually a reason that lies beyond just being lazy. Nobody is born lazy, they become that way. Everyone has desires and ambitions but repeated set backs and frustration can halt them just as quickly as they were created. Being taught to work through them is something you learn from experience and belief it can be done. Sorry for the novel ladys, and any men on here, but I felt impelled to share with you why I felt it was unimportant to worry about my academics when I was younger and why I felt that way. I hope this helps because these discoveries of myself have kept me from ever getting back into a rut I can't dig out of. I will always be starting as the low man on the totem poll for my mistakes when I was younger, but I'll never worry about making them again. In fear that I'll build a list of regrets to the ones I already have. As well as an urge to be a somebody I'm proud of when my time is up. In my honest opinion, that's something every son or daughter should want for themselves. With that comes success in all varieties.

Julie - posted on 05/13/2014

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I have a 15 year old who is failing. My background is that thi first year in high school..or even public school for that matter. She IS smart.
We have solved several issues including:
She needed glasses
Some issues with depression/anxiety
Learning how to exist in public school
I know this kid can make the grades but she just doesn't do it. No we don't let her do whatever she wants. She doesn't even have a "social" life like most teens...primarily because she never made the friends that public school kids do.

Here's my gist for all of us parents (and this is important - yet hard to grasp)
***Not all kids are going to do well in school. Some that are very intelligent might just get by with a C or D. That does not mean they can't go to community college and just take the long way around. No child has destroyed their future by being a bad high school student.
I choose to nurture my daughter in the important things in life and help s is herher the best I can with academics...but not make it the sole focus of her life. I know she will be fine because she is smart and is a good person.
I was a "bad" high school student academically myself. Because of that people kept telling me that I wouldnt amount to much without making good grades...which I just never cared about. I was part lazy and part just interested in socializing. So because of what I was told, I just went ahead and gave up. It took me a bit longer to get going but I eventually did and I love my life now...and I'm not a waste. :)

Aida - posted on 04/04/2014

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My son is 16 and is failing high school. He has 3 F's and 3 D's. He has to do summer school to make up 3 classes from last year and will have to do summer school next year to make up credits from this year. He needs a certain amount to graduate high school and at the rate he's going he will have to do night school and summer school. I don't see him trying or wanting to try. He is a good kid, very loving heart doesn't get into trouble. It's just the fact that he doesn't care about school and I don't know what to do anymore. I've had conferences with the teachers, counselors, everything. I need help, I want him to do good so he can have a good future. I'm really depressed about this!

AnotherAnnieTX - posted on 03/04/2014

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FYI - my apology for all of the typos in my lengthy post. I find it impossible to edit with my iPad. I'm sure you get the gist of what I shared though.

AnotherAnnieTX - posted on 03/04/2014

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I do not have a son, but I used to be a 7th grade public school teacher. Here is my 2 cents based on my own experience: first, know that this is not a normal phase, but it is not uncommon. In virtually every case I've seen like this, there were underlying problems that parents were either unaware of or not addressing. For example, my first year teaching, I had a student who was just as you describe - smart, formerly straight A's, suddenly rude, grades slipping, being defiant. The boy was failing all his classes, including gym. He was constantly in ISS (where he just slept all day) and after school,detention. His mom was such a sweet woman. She was punishing him, taking away everything, nothing was working. There were a couple of things at work though. First, she had been single many years, and her son was always man of the house" in their home, but that year mom remarried, and her new husband and her son were butting heads. Secondly, her son was smoking pot and was involved with a gang, which she was unaware of. In the end, she decided that it would be best to send her son to live with her parents. I did not keep in touch, so I don't know if that worked. But he didn't return to our school, so I suspect it did.

In a second case, different district, there was a boy who was getting into trouble, drinking, smoking, cussing, failing grades, he even robbed a convenience store and got caught. That was all in 6th grade! By all accounts he was a well behaved, intelligent child before that. I encountered him making a teacher cry when I walked past a classroom (he was being very rude and disrespectful to her), and I pulled him out of class and chatted with him for five minutes. He acted very disrespectful and badass toward me too. So I visited with the counselor, we called the kid's dad, and I became his mentor. Through that relationship, I found that there were two issues again. First, his parents had split up, but they lived near each other and had the dumbest shared custody arrangement I've ever heard of. Monday & Tuesday with parent 1. Wednesday nigh sleep over at parent 2. Thursday & Friday with parent 1. Saturday & Sunday with parent 2, and also Monday & Tuesday the following wee, Wednesday with parent 1, etc. they kept switching back and forth every few days. The poor boy was living out of his suitcase! He literally NEVER unpacked. Furthermore, he had a lot of big feelings about the situation. His parents were separated, divorce pending. They each wanted full custody of their children and were handling things differently from one another, but both badly in my opinion. The mom remained in the house the boy grew up in, but she was very bitter and constantly criticized dad. She allowed the family cat to take over her son's room, so when he stayed with her, he had to sleep on the couch and had no privacy.this boy sincerely loved his mom, and he felt very bad for her, and he also felt guilty because the truth is that he'd rather live with his dad. But his bad behavior stemmed more from his second issues, which was with his dad. All the boy's life his dad was actively involved in his life, spending time with him, coaching his sports teams, etc. when dad left mom, the boy felt rejected too. He felt unloved and confused. Dad felt guilty for walking out, so when the son was with dad, there were very relaxed rules: stay up late, eat whatever you want, watch anything you like on TV, no chores, etc. dad thought he was giving the kid space, but the son felt very neglected. If son was rude to dad, he ignored it and chalked it up to feeling about the situation, but they never talked about the divorce. At sports practice too, the kid was underperforming, and his dad would yell and shout at him in front of everyone. Dad was careful not to ever disrespect the boy's mother, but he did a lousy job of relating to his son. One day, I told the boy how much his father had gone on and on over the phone with me about how much he lived his son. The boy started to cry, and he didn't believe me. He finally shouted, "If he loves me, why couldn't he ever say that to me? Why do I have to hear it from you?" He felt so alone and unloved - he desperately needed his daddy. In this case, I do know for a fact that the father reached out to the son. They repaired their relationship, father got custody, and the boy did end up doing well. Oh, in his case, he chose to give up league sports for school sports so his dad wasn't his coach anymore too. That helped.

The next case was a boy whose behavior was not as severe as the last, but was trending in that direction. The root of his problem also was that he was missing his father and feeling unloved. Why? His parents were still together and he lived with them. They were nice people with good jobs. What was the problem? Apparently, his also had been very involved in his younger years - coaching athletic teams, scout leader, fishing trips, camping trips, etc. this all made the boy feel very loved and special. Now that the kid was getting older, he stopped scouting. His dad burned out and stopped coaching. The dad was focused more on work and didn't have as much time for fishing and camping. Again, the so felt neglected and was acting out, but he shared this with me one day when I kept him for detention. I called the boy's dad afterward, and he confirmed that he had been very involved in the boy's younger years, but figured since his son was growing up, he wouldn't be needed as much. He was shocked to find out his son felt thus way. He was also confused about why his son shared this with me instead of him. Who knows? Sometimes it's easier to tell a stranger how you feel than a loved one. In this case, I do know that the son continued to have issues in 8th grade, but not as severe. I don't know what happened once he got to high school.

In yet another case, an Asian boy had parents who put a lot of pressure on him. He was a good kid - no behavior issues, but his grades were low. He was more than capable of doing the work, but he was trying to get his mother to lower her expectations a bit. He figured if he defiantly failed for a while, but then came back with a mix of A's, B's, and C's, his mother would be satisfied that he wasn't failing. Before, she expected straight A's. His reason! He didn't feel like working so hard and he needed her to reset his expectations. His plan totally worked, by the way. She got to a point where she was just happy if he didn't fail, and she backed way off out of frustration. He did just fine after that and was content to be a mostly B student, now that he wasn't being severely punished for it.

See, boys can be so complex! My post is already too long. I don't know if your son shares any of the feelings or experiences of these boys, the best thing is to talk to him. Make a special trip for ice cream, or to walk around tHe zoo together. Spend som positive time with him and see if you can get him talking about how he feel am or what's really going on. Talk about your feelings - how you love him, you worry about him, you wish you knew how to help him, etc. maybe he will open up. If not, see if there is a family friend or an aunt he will open up to. Once you can find out the problem, you may be better able to work toward a solution. Best of luck!

TMC - posted on 03/03/2014

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I am a single father and am having a very similar problem with my son (eighth grader). It is a little discouraging that few people have posted that have come out the other side of this nightmare. We have an appointment to see a counselor and we will see if there are any solutions there. The consequences have increased over the course of the year to the point that I don't have much left for leverage. My son has always made A's. I don't understand and am eternally frustrated. This situation has given rise (and also his age surely) to an incredible amount of conflict between us. It's unfortunate that so many people have to deal with this issue, but it is also extremely comforting to know that it is not just me and my son. I wonder if these smart kids are a victim of their early success. For years the most minimal effort has been enough to get good grades. Now it isn't, but it is hard for them to overcome years of routines that lack effort.

Annemarie - posted on 02/24/2014

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My son has been the same and still is ....so scary as he is in final year and should be revising...Hes now 16 and I have tried every thing..Family mediation..a Mentor ...extra help at school..teachers making him stay behind to catch up..infact hes had so much help and it hasn't made a jot of difference. People told me to back off ..I couldnt or wouldnt panicking like a good Mum does! I wonder now if it would have made the difference? My son says back off all the time now . Now hes almost 6ft and a very angry teenager Grounding doesnt work..he just walks out ...Hes incredibly disrespectful and uncaring and unhelpful.I wish I knew the answer and wait with baited breath and a feeling of horror at how he has wasted his school years and not realized his talent or reached his potential! his final school report had me in tears !!

Elly - posted on 02/23/2014

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I am quite amazed that there are so many parents out there with kids in similar situations in different places of the world - I'm in Greece - and yet we all worry that there is something terribly wrong. These are kids, teenagers. School work is alienating to them simply because they have other issues on their mind and would prefer to spend their day hanging out and day dreaming. I agree this is not ideal, and involves potential dangers. But just like I don't believe that you can force a flower to bloom before its time no matter what you do, we have to learn to be patient with our kids - whom, it would seem, verge on being more than a minority - whilst at the same time be supportive and gauge their evolution by also keeping tabs on school and all other things. I think we need to relax, and take a step back to see the big picture. Unless the kids are disfunctional, adopt reclusive behaviour, are aggressive or depressed, I think these otherwise bright kids will find their way.

Anna - posted on 02/10/2014

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Omg i can so relate my son is 12 yrs old and i am a single mom and this yr the samething like you guys lies and doesnt do his homework. I am going to make him write a page on why he thinks its ok to lie and a page on what he can do to not loose his agenda and notebook i will let u guys know how it goes

Deb - posted on 01/29/2014

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PJ
You could be my 17 year old son! He feels exactly like that.He hates the busywork and projects that take a long time to do when he can pass most tests after just sitting in a classroom for and hour. He doesn't t get why doing the same thing( that he already understands)over and over again will help or change anything!
He never got an F until the last term of 9th grade in one class. Then failed all terms except the first as a sophmore. Now as a junior he passes first term and is not failing core subjects.After 10th grade he had to either do summer school or online classes to receive a pass to the next grade but not points toward GPA.He did 2 of the 3 classes online that were suppose to take 3-4 weeks to complete in about an hour each class.So again he knows the material but just hates the tedious assignments.
Here's the problem... He wants college but will never get in because his way of learning doesn't jive with the ' system'
What am I to do?
Deb

Lisa - posted on 01/13/2014

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My son does the same thing he's in 6th grade I need help they diagnosed him ADHD now their saying anxiety and depression we don't see depression at home

PJ - posted on 01/10/2014

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I am a 15 year old guy who has been to 4 private schools,2 public schools, and home-school. Out of all of those schools I have noticed a few things that I have never been able to do. Most schools think 100 questions will help you learn by memorization and practice, and im not saying 10 problems a night is too bad for a math assignment, but when its excessive it becomes boring, and hard to follow, then when you are bored you don't pay attention and you miss a small detail that was added, so when you get to the next assignment that you attempt, you cant do half the problems because you didn't learn the small detail. Homework and teaching is the biggest problem and schools and honestly when I started homeschool I read the curriculum for 2 weeks of work, took all the tests and got A's and B's on them. Then I was expected to go back and do all the little assignments to help me "learn" the information I already knew and proved to know, all because every school I've been to requires a set number of assignments and requirements, because learning simply isn't enough for the standard. If schools truly went case by case instead of one big set idea of teaching, I would guarantee a lot of grades would improve. I'm going to tell you right now that I haven't been diagnosed with adhd and I know people with adhd, and of the people I have met, its different for everyone. ADHD is like dyslexia, rarely is it the same.
I have found that everyone thinks their kids are "lazy and don't care" and in some cases its true, but I know for a fact that a lot of them aren't. We are creatures of curiosity, curiosity is the very thing that gets everyone killed in horror movies, the cause of "opening the closet door" in a sense. So when we learn something, we don't want to sit back and do homework about something we've learned, it just becomes busy-work, something nobody wants to do.
Think of it this way, if your kid gets A's on the assignments he/she does, but fails from homework incompletion, then odds are they are failing from boredom and not wanting to do uninteresting and "useless" work.
I mean for me I'm a sophomore, I test VERY high in every standardized testing and did extremely well on my PSAT and OGT. But yet I'm still struggling to get passing grades.
I'm shy, anti-social, and I would rather sit and play a video game for 12 hours after school than practice something I've already learned.
Honestly if every school was like study island and quizlet, (the options of learning where you have to get an answer right a certain amount of times in a rotation of 50 or so questions until you have learned all the facts/methods) Then I think the majority of the kids failing would have a lot better motivation, knowing once they learn something they don't have to sit on that information for a week rather than learn something new in the remaining time, letting them get ahead in their learning and having free time to play games and sports, not to mention the much needed "Family Time".
Sorry if this comments a bit long, just wanted to get everything I could in one post. Feel free to respond I'll try to maintain activity on here for a bit.
P.S. Stop instantly thinking there must be something wrong with what you are doing or with your son/daughter. Sometimes its just they aren't compatible with the type of work they are put up against, or they learn in other ways or by doing rather than reading.

Chris - posted on 12/14/2013

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I have the same issue. My son 11, is very smart, he tested advanced in all the testing, some of the highest in the school. He is usually very sweet, affectionate, a helper and a people-pleaser. For the last 12 months he has started having outbursts at school, getting mad over trivial things, then escalates to a shutdown. He usually refuses to do his classwork when they are supposed to do it, and has horrible grades because of the zero's for not doing them. It's to the point that he's close to failing the 5th grade, and getting suspended or expelled for this behavior. I've been admittedly bad about punishing him, I have him 50% of the time, mom the other 50%. Can anyone recommend any books or give me any advice?

Sarah - posted on 11/22/2013

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You don't need his approval to meet or speak with his teachers...its your responsibility to advocate for your son and support him in all areas of life. When he sees that you care enough to get involved to find a solution...or 3...he will feel validated and accepted. Divorce is tough on kids-if he is suffering and his father is failing to deal with this in an effective positive manner perhaps he should move out and you should move back in with your son?

Sarah - posted on 11/22/2013

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Hi Melinda: I went through a similar experience with my daughter in grade 8 & 9. Like your son she just wasn't achieving what everyone, including her, knew she was capable of and I didn't know whether to lock her up and sit, take things away, help her with assignments or let her navigate her way through the consequences of her actions with teachers when deadlines were missed or tests reflected a mark that is typical when you don't study.
The first recommendation would be to have a learning assessment done to identify his individual strengths and areas that may need tweaking or development. Executive and cognitive functions could have an effect on his ability ( or interest) to concentrate and retain details etc. The assessment identifies learning style and how he learns..when you can compare that to the school teaching model any discrepancies or support will be clear. Being intelligent in an environment that isn't stimulating can be frustrating...maybe a different school or participating in his interest of choice that allows him to express himself. I think most kids at this age can be deemed lazy...especially when they aren't acting in their own best interest.
You know your son best...if he won't tell you why he is making these choices then I think you have to go to the environment. Before you speak with teachers sit him down and reassure him that his marks do not measure or define him-you love and respect him and have enough confidence in him to make good decisions and choices. You also want him to succeed and when you see the potential for any situation to become worse or past the point of fixing it is your responsibility to make sure he is alright and give him the support he would like from you/teachers etc. Reinforce the importance of him being "his" best for him...not anyone else. His first priority at this age is his education and he is expected to adhere to the rules ie: complete homework, maintain a passing grade and act responsibly and be accountable. He may not know how to manage his time to complete his work or prepare...most adults have trouble so its kind if expected. Most schools don't teach students HOW to study, write an essay, estimate time needed for projects etc. When the basics aren't known the rest won't be smooth. When you're confident he understands what you just talked about - take a deep breath - and let him you believe in him 1000% and although you don't think it will happen - keep breathing - make it clear that you can't control the consequences or sign off on a detention - won't write to or call school with reason for latest, missed classes or assignments. Then let it happen if necessary. I would also meet with his teachers, voice your concerns without ratting him out and ask about the class dynamics to identify any peers causing trouble/bullying him etc. You've probably done all this....don't be afraid to bypass your son and go direct- you don't have to announce "your" discussions or consult him about parenting- keep it between you and faculty. You'll either know which areas to focus more on or leave with the reassurance that they are onside and your son is one of many who are causing their loving parents to worry way more than expected at 15 and there is no need worry! Sorry this is soo long...I wanted to share some things that worked for me but most of all say that you sound like a great mom who wants her son to be happy and content. I sincerely believe that kids who have reasonable boundaries, unconditional love and accepted for who they are and are not develop an authentic & healthy self confidence. Without confidence and self esteem its impossible to make good choices. Nurture his confidence and he will take care of the rest...if for no other reason than him knowing people believe in him...and mom never doubted him.

Good luck!

Moises - posted on 11/22/2013

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I am in the same boat. I am a really concerned dad, and I am at wits end with my boy. I just spent hours helping him with his home work and all he did was complain about how long it was to get the answer. So he randomly puts answers for the sake of finishing his homework. Coincidentally he is also in the 7th grade. I wonder if this is an adjustment to the school and having a sense of responsibility.

Kathy - posted on 11/13/2013

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I am an American mom in Germany (non-military) with 3 children. Two are of middle-school age. We have been in schools in the States and in Germany, so I have a good perspective of what is going on in both worlds. My biggest concerns with school in the United States revolve around 1) fully overloading the children with homework assignments and 2) limites attention to opportunities to encourage maturity and responsability (e.g., way too much/ too long "hand-holding " in school/home in the States). My problems with German schools I will save for another thread if anyone wants to know them. In any case, I consider problem #1 the principle glitch in the clockwork. Perhaps cut the homework assignment (in each subject) of your son/daughter in half. For example, lets say we have a Biology assignment. Yes it would be awesome to know EVERYTHING on the assignment. But use your discretion - what is MORE important to know about Cells, for example? The awesome scientists who worked with the first microscopes and their achievements OR diffusion, osmosis and the organelles. Well, given the situation of most of you in this thread, my common sense tells me, diffusion, osmosis and organelles. SOOO, cut the stuff about the scientists and help your kid focus on the essential. Think about it, when you feel overwhelmed or you dislike the task at hand and it is endlessly long...what would YOU do? You would avoid it, push it off, procrastinate - because it is something you feel you can't wrap your arms around or you don't desire to wrap your arms around it at all...it is insurmountable or unappetizing. Perfectly human response. Shorten the assignement and make a deal with your child in so doing, i.e. any heat from the teacher, you'll cover them. Of course, it is advisable to keep lines of communication open to the teacher. Result: a) your child sees the assignment is something they can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time --ergo, the do it -- and b) they are doing YOU and themselves a favor because the rules of the house include doing homework and other household chores. Remember also, young adults still need to live out their other half -- the kid. They sit countless of hours in school and then they are to come home and sit more and perform undesireable tasks (compared to chillin', running around outside, hobbies etc.). How much time does your child get to control his own life/schedule? Next problem. These little adults would love nothing better than to have more control over themselves and their lives. Most often we adults don't give them enough (parentally guided) space to choose what THEY want to do and WHEN. I remember my son getting homework in the States in Math. The assignment was simply overkill. Half the page would have been fully sufficient to work the material covered in class and achieve the desired effect. This was a recurring problem aslo in other subjects. Knowing your child's weaknesses and abilities is important. I looked at his assignments and reviewed what the topic was. Then, if there were sections covering different elements, I would use my best judgement and limit the amount of excercises to a digestable amount. This allowed for a) a feeling of accomplishment and b) some free time for him to do what HE wanted. Just like the Biology example above.
There is true lack of balance today in the lives of our children. The competitiion in socitey drives us parents to sort-a freak out. Somewhat like: "Well, if David is doing it, MY son better do it too! Otherwise I am not helping my son achieve a better position in life!". I think the hardest job is to find the balance. Maybe it will help your child to do as I mentioned in this thread. Then the CHILD ADULT can choose what HE wants. That feeling of power and the respect you show your child by not demanding unreasonable time and effort on homework will perhaps give some balance into the slanted equation. And by the way, grades are more important as a tool for motivation of a child than anything else! Any human gets frustrated and will tend to give up if the amount of energy expended is not in relation to the results. It is clear, that if I work really hard and make a c-/d, and this is a recurring phenomena, well, I will lose the desire to work so hard. Remember Sysiphus? Even better, why do ANY work ? An "F" isn't even much worse than a c-/d and I can earn THAT by doing NOTHING. --Just fodder for thought. Teachers are wise to consider this. AND, apparently, from reading this thread, bright, troubled teenagers are common. Just as there are different levels of classes in a school: AP, Honors etc. Why couldn't there be two distinctions in the classroom - those who love being there and those who don't. One group not necessarily being better than the other. Why couldn't teachers create tests that coincide with the respective characters ? I can speak excellent Spanish. I remember how my Spanish teacher divided the class into two groups in the classroom. She did this naturally, making no one feel bad or stupid or favored. It was apparent to me though, we who ADORED language and couldn't get enough, needed a different level of practice. Those in class who simply were there because they HAD to be there, weren't put through the same regimen - that would have been gruesome for them. I know our tests were different also. THAT teacher was one of the WISEST/BEST I ever had - and I'll never forget her. I really respect her for helping the other non-enthusiasts gain some knowledge of Spanish without making them go nuts and end up hating language altogether, let alone themselves and/or school.
Again - fodder for thought.
Don't give up on your child! There are so many factors that influence the equation - things like how sensible the questions on a test are? More than anything the child needs the kind but stern support of his parents. AND he needs to regain the feeling that he can do it and its worth doing! He is not dumb - most likely very frustrated though. Certainly don't give him the feeling of being rejected by you.
Good luck to all of with teens! AND try to re-gain balance of work and play!

Jeannette - posted on 11/11/2013

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My thirteen year old son is failing four of his six classes. This is the same situation we found ourselves in almost exactly one year ago. Other than his grades, he is a good kid. He is funny, respectful, curious and he has several interests outside of school. Last year, I made a daily progress report that he had to fill out and get his teachers to sign. It just had check off boxes for the things he had a hard time with: homework and completed classwork. It worked like a charm. He hated having to ask his teachers to sign his progress reports, so when his grades came up, he was allowed to stop-on the condition that his grades stayed up. Now we are back in the same situation again. I would like him to take personal responsibility for his academics, but that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon. It's back to the daily progress reports for us!

Brit - posted on 11/04/2013

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My 11 year old son has not done school work in three years and I am so frustrated at him . I put him in a private school and all he has to do for homework is bring home 10 spelling words a week and he won't even do that . He says he doesn't want to so he's not going t

Sireesha - posted on 09/25/2013

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My daughter is only 6 and half in 2nd grade. she is showing lazy to write her classwork and dairy. Not even writing her exams properly, she is saying that kids are disturbing her, she is very sharp and very active in all, teachers say that she is Methodist in her knowledge but does not show interest to write. i have tried all possible ways, bribed her praised her and even said that i will make her join in her favorite classes like music, swim etc.. if she writes properly.. Please help me how to handle this problem.. i am fed up with her kindly help to treat her..

Armine - posted on 08/25/2013

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Have each teacher sign his planner to make sure he wrote his home work down on his planner and check his planner every day and make sure he has all his work, and he is doing his work. Don't become angry or upset, stay calm and ask him if he was the parent how would he handle this problem and what would be the best solution. Have him try to solve his own problems and make him tell you what his punishment should be?. Make him punish himself every time he doesn't do the work and use the same punishment he feels is appropriate. Make sure you always tell him that you love him and that you will be there for him and that you will try to help him to be successful, but he has to be honest with you and except his punishment if he doesn't meet his expectations.

Joanne - posted on 08/22/2013

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I suggest that you have a heart-to-heart talk with your son. There's something going on in his personal life that has changed his pattern. 13 is a very sensitive age. First ask yourself, when did this all start? Who are your son's friends? Does he have new friends that may not be doing the right thing. He may be following their lead. This is one of the most dangerous times in a young teens' life. Bad influences can give you and your son years of painful occurrences. Find out what changed and get those things handled fast!

Lynn - posted on 08/22/2013

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When my daughter was 13/14 she went through the same school woes. From an honor roll student to a near failing student. She shut-down and would not talk to me, her father or mentor. Luckily, a couple of her teachers kept me informed of her in-school behavior and work assignments. The teachers even recommended her to visit with the school counselor at least once a week. We discovered that she was being bullied and alienated by peers. She would even miss lunch or eat in the bathroom to avoid humiliating moments. She'd lost feeling of self-worth. If possible, I encourage parents to find a teacher that will keep you informed by phone or email.
Pressures of life and acceptance are surmounting during these years. Try counteracting negative with positive ("Love ya", a hug, pat on the back or even a handshake).

If needed, go back to school. My daughter's teacher advised me to shadow her for a day to observe.

Jaunelle - posted on 08/22/2013

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My son is turning 14 in a few weeks. I think his whole personality changed when he turned 12. OMW! 1st term of grade 8 he was al most expelled from school. He does not hand in his assignments, leaves books at home, never does homework because "he never gets homework". Always sits DT. Teachers are always the ones that's wrong. Everything is everyone else's fault and a debate. A person must always fight to have chores done. Rude to teachers "I don't have to do this subject because this will not help me in my future career". Refuses to write Maths test after that. Fails Maths and English - hence failing grade. I really do not know what to do any more. Taking everything away does not help. Boarding School does not help. HELP PLEASE

Catherine - posted on 08/21/2013

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Catherine juma - posted on 08/22/2013

My son performed so poorly in his standard eight KCPE exams which are done in kenya. Despite his poor performance we did manage to get him a school but wasn't easy.He did promise to work hard which he has not. This is his second year in the school. The teachers say he is lazy, he does not want to read.When we check his exam papers we found several questions were left unanswered yet he has all the books he needs with all the materials needed for him to pass. We have tried to talk to him and even asked him how we can help, but he says he is ok but the performance seems to be getting worse. The principal says if he does not perform well he will not be promoted to the next class. I am worried about his age because he is turning 17yrs meaning he will be too old for that class.My son despite of all that he does not seem to care at all. He has refused to be responsible despite him been 17yrs. Nowadays he avoids talking to father because he does not want to be asked anything with regard to his school work. We tried taking him for private tutorials but still it didn't work. Please advice me on the next step to take before i totally give up on my son.

Victoria - posted on 07/13/2013

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My son and my daughter are refusing to do homework. They were both honor roll students in Virginia, but after we moved to Massachusetts in 2011, their grades went down hill. I've been told by other parents that the amount of homework assignments in Mass is "overwhelming" and that the students will not pass unless they do "all" of the homework and hand it in on time. My middle school students pass their tests with A's but refuse to complete all the homework. My son is failing in several classes. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions will be most appreciated...my email address is: victoria.n.him@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Victoria

Ary - posted on 06/25/2013

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OMG i thought MY SON was the only one acting this way. I dont know what to do anymore. He is going to repeat the 5th grade because as well he doesn't care for homework, nor class work. He hates going to school he is constantly lying. But the truth is he is a smart kid but has NO CARE whatsoever. I have him in counceling and also seeing a pyschiatrist.HOPING THEY CAN HELP.

I am working don't know who to leave him with cause im afraid how he will act out with someone else he doesn't care about listening to his elders either HE THINKS HE IS GROWN. So hard when you also have smaller children at home. Its become overwhelming

Diane - posted on 05/07/2013

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ok, wait a minute.... I think I missed where the Teacher is at fault in this situation. My son is adhd and even though I've tried everything I (and friends) can think of doing, my son is getting ALL failing grades in 8th grade. That's right.... ALL.... meaning straight F's. We have tried having the teachers sign his planner daily, consequences (like no tv, video games, friends over, etc) if he doesn't do his best with each assignment and have them all turned in as they need to be. He just says he doesn't want to do the work. I've talked to him, his teachers, grandparents, even his friends have talked to him about it.... we tell him..."this attitude will not fly in high school"...."you will "live" in learning lunch til you get your head out of the sand!"... I'm getting ready to go back to school for my associates degree and I told my son that even twenty plus years later, they are wanting my high school transcripts!...He wants to go to college after high school, but I also told him... you gotta get those grades up!....
So, after MANY tears and just about being bald from pulling all my hair out trying to figure out what to do about this... I realized, I have done my best to give him the skills he needs.... it's up to him to put them to use..... or I have no option but to "leave him to his own demise..... hard as it may seem.... it's his choice to not do his work and he WILL reap the natural consequences of that choice!

Anne - posted on 05/01/2013

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Tina,

I have had problems with teachers with my children also. What that teacher done to your child is abuse. You should go to the school board and report that teacher, and also take a child/parent advocate with you. Both of my boys are scared to go to school because of the teachers and kids bulling them. Now They both suffer severe depression on top of there disabilities. Both of my boys were on honor roll and now the oldest one has "f's" and I completes. He will not be passing this school year. So that means that he and I will have to deal with this school for another year. I also thought my boys were just "being lazy." That was not the case. I am just finding out the truth and I feel that it's to late to help my son pass cause there is only 20 days left of school. I am looking onto homeschool my oldest next school year because how bad his depression is cause of this school year. I feel very sorry for your child having to experience that type of torture from an adult that he is to trust. I hope he loses his job for tortureing a disabled child. What type of person sprays a child in the face with a water bottle anyways? My youngest experices a lot of body pain and he has to walk slow and if a teacher would spray him in the face with a water bottle he would flip out because you can't touch his face. He also has a sensory issue with his face. So, I hope the best for your family.

Nancy - posted on 04/09/2013

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It is encouraging to read some of the more positive posts on this thread. As far as all the people who attack ADD or ADD medications, it is so easy to judge what you don't understand!! I have known people who insist that there is no such thing as ADD, it is just lack of discipline. One thing each of those people have in common is that they are the Type-A, overachieving perfectionists! No wonder they don't understand!!! I am dealing with similar struggles with my 13 year old daughter. She is highly intelligent, very social but so uninterested in schoolwork! I did have her evaluated for ADD and they tried her on Adderall, that didn't work out, so they switched her to Concerta. I am also having her tested for learning disabilities. She attends a private school that she will not be able to continue attending if she does not pull herself together academically! A friend of mine, or, rather, a former friend, had the audacity to say that my daughter is "just like" her nephew who failed in school and, subsequently, in life despite his genius level IQ! She "suggested" that I stop getting my hopes up and accept the inevitable!! Anyway, one of the former posts I read was from a parent whose daughter struggled through middle school and pulled it together in high school - thank you for that!! I know that there are no guarantees but words of hope are what I desperately need!!!
Looking back on my life, I KNOW I struggled with ADD but I was labeled as "lazy" and, if I had a dime for every time I was called lazy - I could afford to actually be lazy!! So, my advice is, be careful with that word, it can do damage! My daughter is very fortunate that she is being educated in a time when we have a great deal of information about ADD, learning differences etc.. Now, to get her to understand that and cooperate!!

Becca - posted on 04/08/2013

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I feel your pain. I have two gifted sons, now adults, who were the same way in school. Here's the problem: They are bright, and school is not. And doing dull assignments is not something a 13 year old has the patience for. Is he, like mine were, a voracious reader and learner OUTSIDE the classroom? For example, my younger one was studying comparative religion on his own at 11. The gifted programs they were in did nothing to address the problem...they actually were expected to do the regular work PLUS the "enriching" stuff. I tried everything I could think of. Finally, they simply dropped out of high school and took the GED. Out of a possible 800 points, they each made around 692. The score needed to get into college is 500 or perhaps 450. By the way, over 40% of high school graduates cannot pass the GED.
What you may try, which I wish I had, was simply showing him frankly where his choices lead to. I finally told my sons when they were in college, that it was simple: Get a degree so you can work for someone else in an interesting, well-paying job, or start your own business. As of now, my 34 year old has a computer repair business and his 25 year old brother is working in a restaurant - but still studying comparative religion, as well as philosophy, and writing wonderful poetry, which he performs at readings.
I would put their actual knowledge up against any college graduate. But they have made their lives harder by not conforming to the rules of school.
You have to look at your son and see who he is. Imagine having to do reams of work below your intelligence level. I wish I had a cure for the dullness of school. It is so very hard for kids to just slog through and churn out the work. What does he do when no one is making him do anything? Capitalize on that interest and show him the path to a career in something related.Show him the path from grade school to high school to college and beyond, and that you simply have to play the game the way it is set up - or start his own thing. Tell him you know sometimes it isn't fun, but it just has to be done.
Good luck to you. Make sure he knows that the choices he makes now will be with him a long time. I finally had to realize that it was his life he was choosing.

Julieann - posted on 04/08/2013

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My friend's daughter had the same story. I'm glad it's helping him. Can I just offer a little advice though, when he gets around 18, they will be looking to take him off it or to change his medication. Just be prepared that there could be some difficulties in this transition. That doesn't mean you have to be scared, just be on top of it. He might do fine on his own, but if he doesn't then get him diagnosed, he might always need medication, for his ADHD or if there is another underlying condition like depression or anything. If you don't guide him through this, he may look for relief/coping drugs on his own. Which is what happened with my friends daughter. It is much worse than being on a doctor prescribed medication. I think the ADHD medicine also gives the brain additional "happy chemicals", so when they stop taking it, it's a big change for their brain.

Lisa - posted on 03/31/2013

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I am in a similar situation, except my son has lived with his dad for five years. He has gotten all D's and flunked English last year. This year he has been in ISS 10 times late every day and skips class! He also has had truancy report and OSS. He is eighteen and has since been kicked out of his dads house. He is disrespectful to me, lies, stays out all hours and never came to visit unless he needed something. I went to school with him sat in classes with him till his grades came up his sophomore year. I keep in touch with the teachers but when he is eighteen not much I can do. He drinks, and I sure other stuff to. When he was living with me I had him on medications he was straight A student and happy. Now he tells me if I put him on medication or take him to a counselor he will leave and not graduate. His dad gave him no rules and let him come and go as he pleased when he was 13 on up to a month ago. Never grounded him. Never bothered to do homework with him or buy him anything. Made him get a job when he was 15 and he has had to pay for everything his school lunches and clothes. He made him work forty hours a week to also pay for his rent at the house. I have no choice but to let him continue to fail in life and hopefully he will wake up. I really can't do anything?

LaNae - posted on 03/19/2013

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I have a 13 year old son, which has been in trouble in the past, let him go live with his dad, which always worked against anything that I ever tried to do for my son, now my son is failing everything except Acuity and P.E. I have been down to the school to talk to his principle, but the principle informed me that I was wasting his time, and that he does not have time to focus on one student. I am getting no where here. Please help. I have also took my son to a psychologist in the past and gotten no where with that as well.

Julieann - posted on 03/18/2013

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I have told my son that the higher his grades at school, the less chores he will have to do around the house. Rightnow, he gets A's and B's. He's always been a pretty good student. But with teens you never know what to expect. This does seem to motivate him though becuase I don't know any teenagers who enjoy working around the house.

Marycatherine - posted on 03/14/2013

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I don't think that will help. I have tried all that. My son basically lives in a prison. I am beginning to wonder if he is lazy or if there is something else. I can say this, taking everything away sure hasn't helped.

Lisa - posted on 03/14/2013

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It's nice to know I am not alone with this!! I am (literally) losing my hair over this!!
My son is 13 years old and failing every class in school! I am at my wits end. As his mom, of course I say he is smart, but I say that because when I review his grades, the work he DID do, he has an A on. Everything else is a F, because it is a "missing assignment". He has progressively gotten worse since 5th grade, and I am certain he will not pass this year. I tried the online schooling, which was a HUGE mistake. Re-enrolled him in public school and it has only gotten worse. I recently had a parent/teacher conference with his teachers (those who bothered to show up, 4 out of 6), they all said the same thing, "he is a good kid, he just does nothing in class and does not do his homework". All of the teachers were willing to let him make up his work, but he is STILL doing nothing and currently has MORE missing assignments since the parent/teacher conference. I have taken away EVERYTHING short of his bed, food and oxygen, but it still doesnt matter. We even have tickets to a huge event next weekend (I've had the tickets for a year) and he was told 2 weeks ago if his grades did not improved, he would not attend. That didnt work either!
I have looked into military schools, but do not have an additional $75k to pay for schooling. I've contacted our local police department and they told me they could only help if he became violent. He is not a violent kid, just very very very lazy. We have had some recent family issues, and Im sure that contributed to this, but not entirely since this has been going on for a few years. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

Brandy - posted on 03/07/2013

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My 13 year old is the same way, she is lazy and when I finally received her progress reports and found out she was failing, I was furious and it is just peer dang laziness. She is really smart and when she tries she does really well. then I get a call and she is failing gym!! Are you serious??? My daughter is athletic and loves to be moving around, but when it comes to school she is so lazy and always talking about boys. She now has to sit and do her homework every night, I have taken it upon myself to highlight all the assignments that she was missing on her progress reports and tell ehr she has a week to bring everything home. I take things away and she gets grounded, but I also offer incentives. I use the reward system, but not just when they want it my children must work for it and keep it up. Keep in constant contact witht the teachers that helps a lot. Exchanging e-mail addresses helps tremendously. More than not teachers are more than willing to help get your child going in the right direction. I hope this helps in some way. GOD bless

Maria - posted on 03/07/2013

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I have a 12 year old son who doesn't focus and seems not to care about anything. He is lazy and constantly forgetting something in school, so he does not have to do homework. I am very concern because he will have to do summer school and may even repeat the 6th grade. He is always giving an attitude talking back and does not care to do anything. My husband and I have sat down and explained that school is important and if he does not understand we will help him. If it means so much as even getting a tutor we will do whatever it takes for him to understand. We have even involve other family members to talk with him and know he always has someone there to help him. My son is still not doing his homework and we are constantly receiving calls and e-mails from his teachers. He is not participating, he is not doing his homework and he does not write all his assignments down. We sit with him while he's doing homework and he does not care to do what he needs to do. No effort!!!! Please help!!!

Glenda - posted on 03/05/2013

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well am new at this I am having the same issue with my 13 year old he is failling school not giving a dam I tried everything, I have tried public school private school I took away everything and nothing has work, he is a great kid very smart everyone loves him very outgoing, But he is not caring about school I want to understand why or sometimes I feel that am doing something wrong, I think everything started since I got separated from his dad 4 years ago little by little he started falling from there now I am just lost. Right now he is leaving with his dad because we wanna see if what he needs is a father figure but I see that he doesnt even care if he lives with him or not what should i do I am so scared that he is going to throw his life away.

Wowz - posted on 03/03/2013

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In my perspective, I'm assuming your child is just being lazy. Utterly, lazy by the description you've given. He's at he's at the age where 'they' start becoming slack.
If he plays game, take them away. If he is on the computer too much, cut the internet, and take his laptop/computer away. Until he receives a good grade (from 90-100%), then you can temporarily let him have his 'fun time'. If he's going out and partying, do not let him out... It does sound like you're not giving him any freedom but look how the children nowadays are. They have basically 'everything' compared to the people in third world countries. Tell him he's lucky to be in a countries that provides a god-dam education, there is a reason for education. There is a reason for school. If he does not obey/listen to you; yell at him, punish him (non-physical). I know this will work, as I'm a student just like your son.

Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2013

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I noticed Melinda's original post was from 2010.... it would be awesome if you are still on Circle of Moms if you could give us all an update since so many of us are where you were. What worked for you? What didn't? Hope things have gotten better...

Tina - posted on 03/02/2013

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I'm wondering is he really lazy or maybe there is more to it than that like maybe hes being bullied at school. Try and look in to that. Ask his close friends or maybe talk to their parents and see if they can squeeze info out of them. My son is 14 he just started 9th grade. He is very smart, he has asperger's. At the beggining of the year he was doing so good and getting good grades. Now in the second marking period he started failing everything. I was thinking he was being lazy also because his teachers also tell me hes very smart and just not doing his work or homework. I found out last week one of the teachers sprayed him in the face with water because he was walking slow in the hall way to class. I also found out kids are making fun of him. It's very heart breaking and I'm still trying to figure out what to do about all of this to make him be happy about going to school, so I understand how you feel!!! I wish you well and hope he will start doing better. Prayers sent your way.

Mary - posted on 02/18/2013

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my son has been having issues with school since grade 7, he is now grade 10, and i am finally seeing an improvement.What we discovered was that the teachers were not paying him attention, and had labeled him as lazy, so that was how he was behaving.Its a vicious circle, but we have finally broken it, with some art therapy,he discovered that if he made a little effort, the teachers responded postively, which made him feel good about himself and want to do better.Its still early days, but i do see a change in his attitude to both school and homework.most kids just need a bit of encouragement,i do not believe anyone is inherrently lazy

Terra - posted on 02/18/2013

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As much as I hate those who label kids with ADHD when they don't have it, I get SO angry when someone who knows nothing about the kids or parents claim misdiagnosis or that the dr's are just out for more money. It's so wrong!! I am an adult who has suffered from ADHD my whole life and has never been on meds. My son however, was just failing at everything and was starting to be depressed most days. He felt like a failure. Couldn't remember to hand in his homework or would forget he even HAD homework some days. He was failing 7th grade and passed by the skin of his teeth. We decided, after many years and tears, to put him on a low dose med. After about 4 months of adjusting his dosage, he is a different kid! Wait, no... that's not correct... he is the SAME energetic and super funny kid he has always been. But now, he can control himself! When testosterone was added to the mix, he was getting SO angry at everyone and himself. He had even physically fought with his brother and sisters.
Now on meds, he is an A and B student, loves life and is recognizing when he misses his dose that we ALL have a bad day. :-) But he especially suffers those days because everything angers him or he can't focus.
That being said, not all kids have ADHD and some with it don't need meds. It's all a personal decision.

I am NOT saying your son has ADHD, I just read some of the posts being angry with those suggesting it. I would just hate for you to discount something that very well be the issue. That being said, I think counseling is a great idea. Growing up is HARD! Sometimes they just need someone to listen and to help them learn skills to cope with the changes.

Punk - posted on 02/08/2013

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Lead them by example. And pray to God regarding this issue. Make him understand that when he is lazy he will have to face the poverty of the world. Try your best to make him understand through LOVE. God bless ..

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