What should I do to a 17 year old who is flunking the 10th grade for the 3rd time?
3rd time's the charm? It doesn't look that way. How do you get a 17 year old to focus on school and stop flunking out?
When my son was messing around and not turning in homework or filing out his planner (ended up with a C in homeroom -WTH! It's homeroom! - I looked him in the eye and said you have a week to make this an A and then I'm coming in with you to EVERY class. You feel like an idiot filling out your planner? How cool are you gonna be when I'm walking with you to every class? Don't make me embarrass you 'cause I will. He did much better after that. Is he not turning in homework, not studying? You're the mom, so BRING IT! There's no fun, there's no games, there's no job, there's no friends, there's no phone, there's no ipod. PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN, FOLLOW THROUGH, AND BE THE BIG MEAN BIO-TCH! You're not his friend, you're his parent. If he's not responsible enough to do schoolwork or study, he's certainly not responsible to be in charge of anything. You can't even join the military without a GED or diploma.
Let me share my experience. My son was an honor student until he got in high school. In 10th grade he started cutting class. He hardly pass that year. In 11th, the situation was out of control during the first semester. For the first time he had all F's and didn't care. When I spoke with the teachers, they show me that not only him but his whole group of friends (around 5 kids) where in the same situation. " Sorry Mom, but he is hanging with the wrong croud and that is practically impossible to break". Well Mrs. you haven't an idea with who you're talking about. In Jan of that academic year I took him out of school. He was 16 on that time, so I put him in the Job Corps program. The way the program is desing gave him the reallity check he needed. This program consist in adquiring the high school diploma and a proffesion. If the kid is interested they help him to get into college. Actually, I can proudly say that my 17 y/o son ended his high school, will get next jan his license as electrician assistant, and this aug will start his college degree of electrical engineering. Check this alternative in your area. Don't loose hope on your kid.
If you know in your heart that you have done all you can and he's still not getting it, then let him learn from his mistakes on his own. Sometimes we as Mothers can get in the way of our children learning from their hard choices by always making it easy for them or constantly doing things for them. Or, we dont let them experience long enough the consequences of their bad choices;we run in and offer help immediately at the slighest hint of change when they have not proven themselves long enough to gain that trust and assistance. Speaking from experience, you must let the child know what the rules and consequences are be they good or bad. Like I told mines you do what's right or you dont turn a key in this door - they made their choice. We cannot make our children do anything when they become a certain age we can only influence. But , when it comes to clear right and wrong I will not compromise. Your child will respect you in the long run, its called 'tough love". I pray this helps. God bless you.
Ridiculous . . .make him take the GED (high school equivalencey test) and be done. He is obviously NOT an academic, so what's the point? I have four children - two are over achieving, staright A, honors and AP class kids- two are under achievers who are bright but have mitigating circumstances that caused them to NOT be able to do high school in a traditional setting. Both took alternate routes, both are high functioning, well rounded adults who SUPPORT THEMSELVES!!!! Traditional school is not right for everyone. Find something that works for your kid and stick to it. It might be home school, independent study through an offsite campus - or the GED and the military. He is a 17year old sophomore . . .that cannot be a good place to be emotionally. And if he can't do it for himself, he just might have to learn the hard way and figure out that life as an uneducated adult is very difficult! TIme for talking and planning is over . . .it's go time or this kid is done.
that child would not have any access to a single electronic device that wasn't directly related to school, and I do mean everything!!!!!! No extras, no dates, no fun, no sports, not a single friend until all grades are passing, then only one thing gets earned back a week as long as grades are maintained. That also includes no leaving the house without a parent except for work... You have a year left. Then what? Stop giving in!!!! Next year when he leaves the house, you are responsible for what you have taught him. How do you want to look back at this year?
I would put him in a trade school program that exposes him or her to a variety of skills. Eg., carpentry, welding etc. Or he may wish to pursue cooking. Of course if he drops out of school before he gets into another program, he can go to full time work to fill his time. Questions: drugs, alcohol, bullying, illness? See your doctor. I did not follow my own advice and I see my daughter once a year if that. She didn't flunk out, but there were many factors in our situation that I might have thought more deeply about. Do your best and what you feel is right. Good luck.
My son had the exact same problem and the school's teachers and administrators had also given up on him and several others. I had a long heart-to-heart with my son and through our discussion found out that in traditional high school with all his friends around, he felt embarrassed to ask questions so he didn't always understand the assignments. Since all the teachers gave up on him, he gave up on himself, even though he knew I believed in him. I was a minority in this case. He stated that going through the same grade a third time would be too embarrassing for him and he wouldn't make it. We ended up withdrawing him from the school and he got his GED. He now holds a very good paying job at 18 and will be starting tech school soon. You need to have a long conversation with him and really LISTEN to what he has to say. No yelling or accusations! Just a long heart-to-heart talk and let him know you are behind him 100% no matter what happens. That really boosted his self-confidence and he is doing great!
Can he read? Is he bored in school? does he feel stupid with younger kids?
1.Can you have him taught on line? Will he do the work on line ?
2. Can you home school him ? Will he work for you ?
3. Can he go to a Charter school that has his interests?
These are all choices to consider. The thing left out of your question is why he is flunking. My son almost flunked out because he is smart and was bored and did not like to do homework. He felt like it was worth less and being repetative. His IQ is 132.
I agree with Betsee. School is a non-negotiable. It is school and then everything else is extra. We start out small with limiting the extras if schoolwork suffers. In your case, this is the third time. He needs some major parental involvement and I would follow him to class. I would wear the most hideous outfits to maximize his shame. It is shameful for you to say your son has failed this year again. Let him experience some of that shame. He has to be close to 18 if this is his third time as a sophomore. He's grown. Certainly old enough to keep track of his schoolwork.
When my step son was failing 9th grade, and not caring to do his work at all, his mom put him on a plane and sent him to us to "fix" him. I enrolled him in (very expensive) tutoring four times a week, and put him in school here. He was getting nowhere, even though I e-mailed the teachers, set up meetings, and made him do every assignment I knew about. The problem was, I didn't know about a lot of assignments, so he was barely passing most classes, and could never pass all of them at the same time.
So, I pulled him out of public school and homeschooled him. He took online classes, one at a time, so it was easier to focus on just one class, not six. I had seven kids in my home preschool, a two year old, a six-week old, and I pulled him out of school two days after my best friend's funeral. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!!!
He finished 9-12 grades in a year and a half, and graduated at 16 years old. I had to really make sure he was doing his work, checked all assignments, helped with projects, got him a tutor for math class, and made him pay the $10 fee to re-take tests he failed. It wasn't easy, but it was the only way he would have ever finished high school.
I agree with the PP's about taking away ALL privilieges, friends, electronics, no driver's license, job or anything until he has all passing grades. I set a timer for six hours a day for schoolwork, and it stopped for bathroom and lunch breaks. I said I would be the MEANEST teacher he'd ever had, because I had only one student, and he wasn't going to get away with ANYTHING! I didn't want the extra work, but when the threat didn't work, I had to follow through.
Is he the parent or are you? What do you do? You strip him of everything distracting him. You contact his teachers, ask them to email you if he's not turning in homework (we have an awesome thing at our schools where we can watch grades in real time online - check into that option at your school). If things start showing up missing, he loses the things he likes. That car he's driving? GONE. License? Gone. Dances/parties/whatever? GONE.
Maybe he needs to go to an alternative school so he can catch up, or go to school online. Might want to check into those options as well. 17 and in 10th grade? Wow... that has to be a hit to his self esteem in and of itself.
Does this child have learning disabilities or are they acting out. If acting out I would consider Military school or boarding school. (boarding schools in PA)
Time to fish or cut bait. Help him get a GED and a job. You and I know that he'll have the best chances of success if he graduates, but if he's not going to do the work, there's nothing much you can do about it. If he has second thoughts later, he can sign back into school if he's still a minor, or take classes at the local community college.
any hope of getting him into a trade school instead? Take him for a tour and ask him if there is anything that looks interesting. Not everyone needs a college degree to be successful, but some sort of training would be better than none. The ultimate motivation may be money that he can earn right away.
Good luck. My oldest dropped out after I tried every method of persuasion known to man. It put a lot of strain and anger between us that didn't do a bit of good to get him motivated in school. If I had it to do again, I would have just let him go.
he spent a lot of time trying one job and then another, always being told he couldn't get promoted without a GED, but he still refused to get one. He's finally found a job that he's good at, pays well and doesn't care about his education. It killed me to watch him struggle, but parents can't make decisionns for our kids - even if we know best!
You've done your best to teach him everything you know, now you have to sit back and let him make his decisions for himself.
I suggest make a quick pause and ask your child what does he wants in life. If he knows, maybe it is not related to academics, but it is worth pursuing, as he will have more motivation to follow what he really wants.
If he does not know, put a few scenarios on his head. Do you want to have a job? What do you enjoy doing? And try to guide him into what he really likes. Not everybody is an academic, but to pursue what's in your heart can be a motivation. (painting, sports, fixing cars, art & crafts, pet services...there are so many ways to make a living and enjoy life...just need to dig within himself what rocks his world).
Be alert of not-so-good friends at school or peer pressure to do the wrong thing. If academics is the obstacle, have you tried tutoring, or even better go to http://www.khanacademy.org/ for self-pace math, science, etc. lessons. If the maturity level is not there maybe just get the GPE and move on to something else.
Has the 17yr old been assessed ? Is there more to it then meets the eye ? No child wants to feel stupid, or feel like other peers are passing and their fluncking . If this is the third time it does not mean it is the charm.. Sounds like the child has given up to a great extent. I can't imagine this child is happy with this reality about themselves, I wouldn't be. I think it is time to try something new this typical education is obiously not working. Dr phil, If it's not working you need to fix it !
Our oldest chose to do no school work, skip classes, lie, etc., etc., etc. By his senior year, he was so short on credits that there was no way for him to be able to graduate even if he stayed in until his 21st birthday! Even after years and years of fighting to get him into an IEP(Special Ed.) program, working with him at home, taking away privelages - nothing worked. Ultimately, it was all his choice whether or not he chose to pick up the ball and run with it. We were forced to move to a new home a couple of months before the end of his senior year & his 18th birthday, which also meant a new school. My husband and I made the decision then to be total and complete hard-a*%es. We gave him three options. 1.) Make a concerted effort to get his high school diploma. 2.) Drop out and go into Job Corps. 3.) Out the door on his birthday - regardless of whether he had a job, a place to go, or anything. For once, he made the smart decision and got into Job Corps. Unfortunately, he's been out for almost 2 years now and has not made a concerted effort to find employment. After being home for over a year, I told him he had to go. He stays with a friend now. He still has no job.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts as parents, the kid in question will fail. This is not the only child we have, but he is the only one to behave this way. Do we feel like there must have been something else we could have done? Absolutely! Do we have a clue what that would have been? No. Now, we have to focus on the remaining children in our home and so far, they're great. They are responsible, caring individuals.
So, back to the question of how to get your 17 year old to focus on high school. Do whatever you can - but come up with some alternate options. Finishing traditional high school may not be the right thing for your son. Check into online options. I live in Washington State and here there are alternative high schools as well as a free online high school program. I wish you the best of luck. I know how hard this is for you!
I believe it is very important to help find a way to turn around the down-hill experience. Like everyone kids have different types of personalities and they have variations on what motivates them and what interests them.
Help your child find something good that they can become absorbed in and succeed in.
Life's greatest enjoyment may come from growth and learning new things!
Check to see if there are alternative school in your community. My high school offered a college track, and a non-college track for those who wished to start working right after graduating. The students in this program can actually get certified in areas such as nursing assisting, contracting, dental assisting, and cooking before graduating high school to help them find jobs. What I don't understand about school are the "traditional" curriculum that is developed for students. They are all "preparing" students for college. I think the curriculum should be very liberal once the student reach a certain level because not everyone is going to college.
Do the best thing for you child and offer him alternatives.
Let him join the service!!!! Take the GED!!!!
Have testing done in the Counselor's Office... there may be some emotional issues that are being missed, that are truly affecting your child for life -
We pass through childhood but once -
Don't do anything *to* him- do something *for* him. It will take some time and evaluating- and possibly some resistance from him- but it will be the most loving way to work with him.
There's not enough information in the question. Have you assessed what the problem is? Is it learning disabilities? Is it bad influential friends? A boy/girl friend who's sucking up all the time? No learning and discipline habits? Some kids, sadly, have never been taught to be good students and aren't disciplined or have the ability to focus and work. Also in the equation is what are the expectations and his goals? What does he want to be when he grows up? Believe it or not, statistics have shown that one common denominator for kids who don't do well in school is the fact that no one ever asked them what they want to be when they grow up. The point is that no one took an interest in them and got them to dream about their future. The other common denominator on the success of a child is the involvement of the parent. Are you involved in his education or do you expect his school and teachers to do it all? Is there anything you can do yourself that you haven't done to help him? That doesn't mean telling him to study, or finding him tutors. That means you actually SPEND TIME with your child, show an interest, and help him. If he's repeating 10th grade, his classes are not going to be highly challenging, so you shouldn't have a problem helping and getting involved. The worst thing you can do is give up because he obviously already has. Figure out what the problems are, be aggressive, involved and involved. That alone is half the battle.
Not knowing the whole story, is it safe to say that he or she just doesn't like school? Flunking out of 10th grade a 3rd time seems more like a symptom of a larger problem rather than the problem itself. Is the student just not cut out for traditional school? Are there alternative schools in the area/school district? Maybe she's more into art or music or something else. I think it's wrong to peg only kids who do well in core subjects as the "good" students. Additionally, this will likely just become a continuing spiral unless something big changes.
Our school district has an alternative high school that caters to "at risk" students - those at risk of dropping out. It's small, with a high teacher to student ratio and offers alternative tracks in vocational fields and fine arts. I've heard good things about it, and the results are impressive. Maybe you just need to try a different path.
First of all, I'd try to see what type of friends he is hanging with. Take their phone and go through their friend list. I'd have them get on their facebook account and have them show you who their friends are and read their posts, etc. You are the parent, you need to investigate. Second, pull him out of that school and get him the help he needs. Obviously there is a problem that needs to be addressed. If it's friends, school, environment, etc. . Hate to say it, but do a drug test. That way you will know if it's drugs/friends/etc. If so, have a family intervention and send them to treatment. If not, get some counseling. This person has issues that need to be worked through.
Get them in another school if possible. If not, be a parent and be part of the solution because there is failure in every part of this. The 17 year old, the school, and parents. Is there a way that you can home school them? If so, I'd try that too.
Have you tried a different school? Sometimes the environment is a big factor in the learning process. I'm not going to assume that you haven't tried bribery or punishment already, but maybe he needs to have a change to get him to learn the materials. Different school, teachers, different teaching methods all exist because not everyone learns the same way. Another thing you might want to look into would be how he learns, is more by hearing, seeing or by doing. That helps a lot of the kids i tutor, if they learn what works best for them.
Also there are programs that have kids who struggle in high school and middle school have a peer tutor from the local colleges (at the college i work at, its a work study program) and sometimes that really helps too. Sometimes hearing about what's best sinks in better when it's not from a parent, at least it did for me at that age.
I also found that doing homework for my college classes at the table while my child did his homework really helped to solidify the fact that learning is important for all of us. I really hope your family finds something that works.
I agree with Betsee. Put your foot down, tell him if you can't do good in school then all the luxuries get taken away. TV, games, hanging out with friends. Tell him if he wants to succeed in life he needs to finish school. Did you and hubby graduate? Did you both have good grades? Let him know its important to get a good education. Its something you want to instill in him so he will someday be able to instill in his own kids.
I think I would state that school is a privilege that not everyone gets to have. If he cannot be respectful of that privilege, and there is not some physical barrier, i.e. a medical problem or social/psychological problem that is preventing his success, perhaps you should direct him to a trade that interests him and help him gain the training and experience he will need to succeed in that arena instead. Some kids are just not cut out for school. Maybe he is one of them. Have you considered home schooling him? He is almost an adult. You are running out of time to make his success a priority, and then his failure will be your burden.
Maybe you can find a trade school in the area. regular school doesn't seem to be working. Probably bored. Knows that everyone around him knows of his not so good grade downfalls. find out his interests. Trade schools will maybe keep him interested in a future in his life to come.
I strongly agree with you. You are his parent not his friend. 3 times is just a little to much. I would tell my kids straigten it up or i will be going to every class with them and sitting there to make sure he or she is doing there work and i would walk it up to the teacher with him to turn it in. I know my kids for sure would never want me to embarress them to that extent so i know they would turn there work in and pass on to the next grade.
Failing like this will cause your son a great deal of pain. School is not the be all and end all. As a woman who left school in grade 10 I have had no trouble in life, and I now run my own magazine and homeschool my kids, because school just isn't meant for everyone!
What is he interested in? Perhaps he is better pursuing his own interests than those the government deems acceptable! It's ok if he likes computer games, or music, there are jobs in both industries! People tend to discourage their kids from pursuing music based on the fact that not all kids can be a member of the Rolling Stones, but it's called the Music Industry, not the Rock Star industry because there are LOTS of jobs in music, and the same goes for video games.
I understand that you want your son to attend school and do well because you love him, but maybe it's time to consider other alternatives, because doing grade 10 three times will be more damaging than worthwhile! What would HE like to do? Is he happy attempting this same school year again?
Love to you. Parenting through the teenage years is a bit of a quagmire. I think the most important thing to remember is that as long as you remain connected to your child, you can help them.
First of all I am glad that you care and have not given up on hope. I have a strong willed son 16, with a capacity to love and make others laugh, but as he has gotten older two things have gotten worse. First his mouth has become increasingly disrespectful, vindictive, manipulative, and down right irritating. The second is his grades started sliding in the 3 quarter of 9th grade and received every letter on the grade scale. Then fourth quarter he worked on both 3rd and 4 th quarter and I made sure he got things done. I became buddy and first name basis with all principles, vice principals and all of his teachers. We had every mode of communication being used to not let him fall through the cracks. The staff appreciated that I cared and worked with me. Next, I took him to a psychiatrist to evaluate his behavior. Turns out he was off the chart with oppositional defiance and almost off the chart with ADD/ADHD. She stated that because of the ADHD his mouth ran more and his intellegence was just bored. Put him on Folclin XR 5 mg and he is sweeter, loving, not fighting with his sister - they went to a carnival together - shocking and awesome!!! I am praying when school is back in session his grades go up to A's and B's like before - shoot probably could pull of Honors Classes! A friends daughter who was out of control went on it and it was amazing the change in her behavior and school! Do not give up get him evaluated. Also, to encourage him let him take the paid version of Mapps.com it is about $40. But well worth a directional tool for skills, talents, and careers based on his intellect and talents. You may both be surprised! Prayers of encouragement and strength to not give up! :)
Look into the option of continuation schools. They are designed to help the teen graduate when a traditional setting doesnt work. At this point your teen is not going to try and finish. Their class hasvgraduated, they are way older than kids now, unmotivating. GED is good but limits options. Actually community adult school may be another option. Classes for these types of school are usually only once or twice a week.
Also, have your teen sit down and set some realistic goals. Make a plan with the intent to help, not just discipline. Discipline is very necessary but try positive reinforcement as well. You personally walk onto campus and speak to the guidance counselor about options. Definitely get the student out of that school.
I don't have any advice of that.......sorry. We've been there w/ our oldest. He was 17 & still in 9th grade for the 3rd time and ended up dropping out. He knew the work he just didn't want to do it. Please, I would love kno that answer myself.
Learning disabilities could be one option - or could be just the way he learns. My daughter ended 9th grade with 3 credits. You need 44 to graduate. We switched her to another school that our district offers called an Alternative School. There is more teacher to student contact and kids work at their own pace on a points system to earn credits. She will now graduate with her class this year and is still attending the school. They focus on real life situations also.
My nephew failed 10th grade and he even spent the year with his aunt in CA to repeat 10th grade there. He lives in VA. No matter where he lived, he had problems with all the homework etc. He eventually got his GED and went to trade school- automotive. He wanted to join the military but you cannot with a GED or diploma from a trade school. He now has a full time job at a car dealership and has turned his life around. It has taken a lot of time.
I shadowed my kid in school too...I threatened to do it if he missed one more assignment and of course he missed one more assignment so I went to school with him all day in 8th grade. Yes, he improved somewhat but mainly the teachers knew I was seriously trying to help them help him and that made a difference.
I can't believe some of the answers on here, absolutely ridiculous. This young man is SEVENTEEN, not SEVEN. I am 17 too, 18 in June and my parents would never 'punish' me by taking my phone/ipod/GROUNDING me. That stopped quite a few years ago when it became no longer appropriate. Don't get me wrong, as a child I did have this level of discipline but at pushing 20 it just is not right. I work and I've actually bought my laptop, ipod, and phones with my own money and pay for my phone contracts (I have a blackberry and an iPhone) and if one of my parents 'took them off me' I would ring the police on account of robbery. Maybe things are different in America but here in England a person is classed as a young adult upon turning 16, is legal to move out and live alone, leave school and work full time, have sex and have their OWN children, drink certain alcoholic beverages in certain places, etc. So if my parents locked all the doors and told me I can't go out, once again that would be against the law as they are holding me against my will, and again I would call the police. 17 is not a child and I just cannot believe there are actually people my age who put up with this smothering from their parents. I actually had a friend who's parents were like this and guess what happened to her? She waited til she turned 16 and eloped 20 miles away to live with a 29 year old and his 10 year old son from a previous relationship. If any of you were my parents I'd be long gone. The truth of it is this - You can throw an adult child OUT of your house, but you cannot keep them IN your house. So if you're not getting on, you can demand they leave as the legal house owner. But they can also DECIDE to leave too. I bet this boy is like, a few months off turning 18 anyway. Why treat him as a child for the sake of a few MONTHS when he becomes legally a full adult in anytime less than a year? It's just absolutely absurd.
Does your child's school have an Alternative Education class or campus? A lot of schools do and the classes are small, and the work is done usually on a nearby smaller campus or in smaller portable classrooms. Here in my town in texas, the class is a 4 hr daily course on computer and focuses on just the important classes. No electives, so socializing, no lunch breaks. Nothing to distract them. It was designed to catch up the students who are in jeopardy of not completing highschool and receiving a diploma. It is an option and here it was offered at no charge. It's worth looking in to.
I agree with many of these posts, why would be first. That is to see if you can help him, not allow him to use the why as an excuse. If he doesn't have a reason that you can help with, i.e. learning disability, depression, boredom (you can try online classes as an alternative or a self-paced alternative high school) etc. and it is just laziness or rebellion, embarass the heck out of him. I don't agree with learn from your own mistakes until you are 18, because when you are young, you do not see the impact of your current actions on your future.