How do I help my 12 year old son?

Therese - posted on 01/10/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I had my son when I was 16 years old. I was lucky to have help from my family, but lets face it they weren't very responsible themselves. We are all very caring and have great qualities, but when it came to reading and doing well in school I think it was believed that was up to the school system.. As I have grown I have realized how important it is to read with your children, especially since that lesson came with watching my own son struggle.. I did not always focus on what was best for him, I guess because I was still growing up myself.
He is 12 years old and now struggles in school, and has fallen behind mostly in reading and his ability to pay attention, along with making lasting friendships. Plus he doubts himself..
I find myself constantly repeating myself when it come to him being responsible sometimes even lashing out at him and making him feel bad. I blame myself that I didn't do more for him as he was growing up. I know there isn't anything I can do about the past, but its very important to me that he knows I am here for him and want the best for his future.
Behaviour wise he is a great kid and with the many changes( even moving away from family, which has become especially hard because although I did not agree with how he was learning, we are very close) I have seen a positive change in him. I am just having a hard time thinking that he is hurting because of my mistakes.. How do I help him to believe in himself? How to I help him advance in school? How do I support him and let him know that even though things were not that great when he was much younger, I want to make them better now? I feel like I am losing it, and like I am all alone... Trying to take responsibility..

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Nicole - posted on 01/10/2014

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Does he participate in any after school activities? Participating and excelling at whatever it is that he loves can help him build confidence and make friendships with kids with similar interests. My daughters (my oldest is 12) and I have taken up jogging, and just finished our 3rd 5k! it has been such a bonding experience, and they have gained confidence in achieving their goals.( ie: lets try to run the next 5k in under 30 mins!) Stop worrying over your past mistakes, you cant change them and it does'nt help him. Make sure that you are not putting too much of the burden of your own regrets on your son. Instead, focus on your future goals for him, seek help where he needs it, if he is behind in reading then ask for help from his school. Ask teachers about learning websites he can access. Be actively involved with his teachers. Also help him find books that are interesting to him....does he like comic books, or video games? There are books dedicated to specific video games. Whatever the topic, any reading helps! Put limits on gaming/electronics, give him a specific time to read, even if only for 15 min a day, use incentives if he can do it for, say, a whole week. Join in with him, put down your phone/computer, and read for those 15 min. too! Be positive, make the focus on what you want to see happen now. You are not alone! But you need to be social and proactive to reach out to those around you who can support you...teachers, friends, coaches, co workers.

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