06-03-2014 02:32 PM - edited 06-03-2014 02:34 PM
I'm sure this is a topic that's been addressed many times by this forum, but I need help with my son. He will be 13 in less than two weeks, and for the last three years his grades in school have been plummeting. They were so bad this year that he's required to attend summer school to address the deficiency. His mother and I divorced when he was 7, and he lives with us both equally. She lives in the same city as I, so there is no great disruption to his routine at this point. I just wanted to give a little background.
The boy, as most do, loves video games, and I've tried taking them away to no avail. I will admit that I have a hard time being consistent with his punishement, though. He whines, mopes, and gripes his head off until he gets what he wants, and I or his mother almost always relent. To be fair, he is a good kid. He's respectful and he is very kind hearted. But he's also incredibly strong willed and loves to debate everything. (the latter being a trait he comes by honestly) He doesn't care about school.
I gave up thinking punishment or chores will work. They don't. They're impotent punishments if they don't result in him actually caring about and valuing education. I barely graduated from high school, and his mother dropped out. For me, it was a matter of lacking a work ethic, and not intelligence. He is the same. He does incredibly well on standardized tests, because he is very bright, but he's also very lazy. Video games are all he cares about. I have to stay on top of him to get him to do the smallest things. If I'm not putting my metaphorical foot in his posterior, he has ZERO motivation.
I can only assume there are some parents here who are or have been in my boat. Were you able to right the ship, such as it were, and help turn your child around? I'd appreciate any advice. Thank you in advance.
06-03-2014 02:40 PM
I wish I had some great advice for you. My oldest son is almost 11. There are many parts of your post where I feel like you are talking about him! He's very smart, big into sports, likes video games but would pick sports over that but when it comes to school work is lazy! He does great on standardized tests yet homework is a constant battle. We have yet to find a solution. He is also a very respectful, well mannered sweet child. It's just this lack of worth ethic in his schoolwork that we struggle with. As I said, I wish I had some advice for you but I do look forward to the replies of others.
06-03-2014 02:45 PM
Well...it's nice to know I'm not alone on that boat. I love my son so much, but the last thing I want to do is watch from the sidelines as he makes the same mistakes I made at his age.
06-03-2014 02:47 PM
06-09-2014 09:14 AM
I dread when my kids get older and we have to deal with this as I was NOT a good student and was a bit of a rebellious child. I sincerely hope my children take after their father in that respect....crossing my fingers!
I know where I live there are lots of parents who take the route of "alternative" school for kids that don't seem to be thriving in a normal school setting. There are a few actual academy's you can get your kid into, home school, or the new craze- online or virtual school. Perhaps something like that would suit your son better?
And the video games.....ugh, aren't they they worst? My newphew is 11 and was ALWAYS on his NintendoDS from a pretty early age. And now he has his own phone, (SMH) I am pretty sure they put him on some sort or reward/chore system where he has to do X items, complete his homework, and read for 30 minutes every day before he can play any video games or have his phone. I am sure they have days where they struggle and he may not do any chores or get his games, but he has graduated from elementary school and will go to middle school next year. I know at one point they were worried he would be held back, so that's something to celebrate right?
06-10-2014 05:04 PM - edited 06-10-2014 05:06 PM
ModChristine is right. Oftentimes when we see this in children - especiall those who are particularly bright - it has to do with underlying difficulties with organization and planning skills, especially when it comes to managing and following through with less structured school assignments. In my own work, I see many children who have even tested as gifted, yet are experiencing these difficulties. After I worked with them on helping get these "executive functions" on track, they were then able to realize their full potential academically.