Need some recommendations for creative a consequense for my 16 year old son.

Stephanie - posted on 06/10/2013 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hi Ladies! New member and first time poster here. I would appreciate any advice y'all can give.

This past school year my son failed both the first and second semester of chemistry. I was in weekly, and sometimes daily contact with his teacher, and she worked with him after school to help him finish classwork. When my husband and I talked with him about the class all he would say about it was that it was hard, which we totally understood. My son is extremely bright, and up until this class, never really had to study or put a lot of effort into his classes. He tends to forget due dates and puts things off until the last minute, so we are constantly working on finding an organization system that will work for him. All year I thought that the main problem was a lack of study skills, since he hadn't really needed to utilize them in other classes. So, long story short- he failed the class and is having to take summer school. His dad and I were disappointed that he wasn't able to pull the grade up, but we figured that some lessons, like the need to study some things on a daily basis, had to be learned the hard way. In our state, many classes are given a standardized end of course exam that the student must pass in order to go on to the next class. I had my fingers crossed all day when he took the test. His test results came in yesterday and he not only passed the chemistry end of course exam, he scored in the advanced area, missing only 5 questions on the entire test. When we showed him, he just laughed about it. His dad and I didn't think it was funny. Today when I went with him to register for the summer course I was shocked that there was a $300 fee for the class.

Here is where I need help from y'all. I think he should have some sort of consequence for this. It seems to me that a little more effort on his part would have allowed him to avoid failing the class and having to take summer school. (and I could have avoided an unexpected expense for the class) He doesn't have a job, and has always had pretty low key chores- take out the trash, mow the lawn, ect. I don't want him watching TV and sleeping his days away when he gets home from his summer class. So what should I do?

Thanks!!!

6 Comments

View replies by

Sarah - posted on 06/13/2013

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This is probably a way out there suggestion but how about getting him to tutor a younger kid in chemistry. Does he have a younger sibling or cousin he could help? He has to do it for free though. The same number of hours that would pay off the debt if he were getting the standard tutor rate. He would have to know chemistry to tutor the kid and he might get a taste of his own medicine.

Ramona - posted on 06/12/2013

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Have him pay you back by doing some bigger project, prepare a new flower bed, paint a bathroom, wash windows, re arrange the garage.... Much bigger than his regular chores, and let him pay you back in sweat equity!! My ds managed to get C's in his problem class, Honors Geometry. He did well in all the other H classes, though. Like your ds, he never had issues in any class, and he had to learn to study for the first time. We have nearly $350 for our fees.

[deleted account]

Just went through the same situation with my son, exactly. Bright kid, school has always been easy, aced the final, failed the class (Algebra) because he was so unorganized, late, etc. He is also retaking it this summer and there was a fee ($200). And like your son, he has typical chores around the house (that I normally don't compensate him for doing.) I won't let him get a job as long as he is in summer school. I really feel like he needs to focus only on this class. He needs an "A" or he is retaking it again. In the program he is in, they average the two grades so he needs an "A" to average for a "C".

He is whittling away at the fee by doing jobs we would normally pay someone to do. For example, we had some extensive landscaping (digging up six shrubs, replanting them and mulching). We compensated him for that job. Yesterday, he went through all of his video games and I took him to resell them - he got $75, which he handed over to me. (Also, he was so excited because he found a $20 bill in his Tony Dungy devotional book last week -oh, the irony! But his excitement went away when he gave it to me toward his debt.)

[deleted account]

Homework comes first. Nothing else at all until it's done. You have to earn the right to do your homework when you want to. If he can't finish in time, he needs to finish it as early as possible - Right when he gets it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/11/2013

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Actually, the thing that worked best for me in the same situation (math, not chemistry...LOL...he loved the chemistry) was to have him pony up the fee for the summer class himself.

Now, my kid had "income" of sorts in that he was working our market booth in the summers, and he didn't get paid the summer that he had to take the class. In addition, he had to do extra work at home to cover for the extra cost.

(and he had no idea that the school district reimbursed me the fee, as the students here have one class each term covered by the district...)

He didn't fail any more classes...but he did learn that he prefers college level teachers to the HS ones

Lakota - posted on 06/11/2013

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Hi, Stephanie. I think that he should get a job for the summer and pay you back. Also, it will keep him busy.

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