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How do I get my 16 year old son to care about his grades? going down hill FAST

He doesn't care what grades he gets, doesn't care if he fails. Doesn't want to go to college. He's intelligent and from a family where college is a given.

He says he doesn't feel like trying. Its all boring. Doesn't care what anyone thinks about him getting bad grades. Had him ADD tested- he came back as being mild- not enough to effect school work.

We already took everything away from him. He doesn't go anywhere to ground him from. No punishments left!

He says- you can do whatever you want to me- take away whatever you like- Nothing will change! To which I replied- Your right- nothing will change until you decide to change. We are just trying to make you hurry up and make that decision!

He replied- you'll be waiting for a while.
He doesn't care about what he'll do for work in the future. His new idea is to join the Air Force- but his CDDDF grades wont get him accepted. He gets counseling.

We are out of ideas!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:18 AM on Feb. 9, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (14)
  • Have you asked him why he no longer cares? It may be a girl or friends who are influencing his behavior? IDK maybe getting him into some sort of program that makes him have to answer for his choices in life. I wish you lots of luck in this.

    Answer by BooBear666 at 12:34 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • I have a 13-year old son who feels exactly the same way! I had taken a class a while ago called "Love and Logic" that was pretty helpful, and now I see that the authors have "Love and Logic for Teens" It helps turn things around where the problem becomes your child's problem to solve. I haven't read the teen version of the book yet, but if you would like to send me your address (you can e-mail me at ) I will send you a copy of the book. The only suggestions that come to my mind immediately are 1) He has to find something that interests him. Even if it is playing video games.  Then he can look up jobs that he can get in the video game industry,even if it means only getting a job at GameStop. I'm out of characters, e-mail me!


    Answer by NewbieMom821 at 1:16 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • my 14 year old is failing biology. he says it doesn't matter. He doesn't need the class for what he plans to do in life. What ever that is, he won't tell me. I told him in college he is going to have to take classes he has no interest in, or he won't get a degree. As usual he replyed with a snotty come back. It's very frustrating.

    Answer by musicmaker at 1:44 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • My son hated school, he graduated but barely. He has no desire to go to college, I have no answers it was hell getting him thru school.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:22 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • it's me- the question asker:
    my email is

    He has no girlfriend...doesn't want one- prefers to flirt with many. He's very popular.
    He's never had a serious girlfriend yet...

    I feel like I'm failing to be a good parent somehow.

    Answer by GirlTropix at 6:31 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • It sounds like he is angry with you and he has found a way to punish you for whatever he's mad about. This behavior is only a symptom of something that goes deeper than the grades. I have no idea what the cause might be, but if you can think back to when his attitude began to change and connect it with something that happened along about that time, you will have your answer. It might be that you need to apologize to him and ask for his forgiveness. Whatever happened, it made a huge impact on your son.

    Answer by NannyB. at 11:03 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • I agree with asking him what he *IS* interested in. Then like a baby flame, feed that interest. You will be suprised what comes of having something you like appreciated. For example, his only interest may be calligraphy (example..not real...LOL) but if you have him read everything on it, research pens, practice the art, learn about the history...he is learning whether he wants to or not.
    I homeschool my kids. The biggest thing a child has to be taught is MATH. Everything else after they learn to read is gravy. It comes with having acurious nature. School squashes that. Maybe pull him from school and do K12 online with him?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:16 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • what type of counseling doe he get Career Counselling?

    maybe this Air Force thing will get him motivated when he realizes he needs better grades to get into the A.F.
    You can't make him choose to do well in school. He has to want it and you can't push him to want it. He needs to make those choices.
    Ask him what he likes. If you know the kinds of things he likes, say radios, find some radio club in the area and ask him he he'd like to join it. Or a photography club-- find a fun thing in his area oof interest.

    Ask him if he'd like to do a charter school or a Online School (like K-12).

    Also let him know that he won't be living at your house after high school unless he is either in college or working to pay 'rent'. not in a mean, threatening way, just a Matter Of Fact way.

    Answer by Kiter at 3:54 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • Could he be depressed? Depression will cause that "I don't care" attitude and not being interested in things. Just a thought.

    Answer by Littlebit722 at 7:51 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • Wow! spend more time with him if possible. See ifyou can pick his brain. Be his counselor and his mom. Jeeze mines 13 and does give me additude but I have taken his stuff away for very short periods and built up to longer time periods. There was a study done on punishing unruly college students: Making them stay after class for 10 min was just as affective as 1 hour. its the inconvenience. Point is they followed through and were consistent. You are in my prayers. Boys are high maintenance! my 18 year old daughter is less.

    Answer by pepperannrocks at 9:33 PM on Feb. 10, 2009

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