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My 13 yr. old son lies to me that he never has HW but I just found out he is failing almost all his classes! All he cares about is playing football and his friends. How can I make him care more about his schoolwork?

He is very bright according to his teachers and he has potential but he is very lazy and gets easily distracted. Right now his only concerns are his looks and his popularity... I am at a point where im extremely frustrated. Im a single mom and I think he takes advantage of that. Please HELP!

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Asked by anita424 at 3:43 AM on Oct. 18, 2012 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • This is not unusual but if he wants to play ball he has to keep his grades up. If he wants to see his friends, have a cell phone to talk to them, play exbox etc, the grades come first.

    Looks are all very nice but not as important as a good education.
    Maybe he needs to be taught good study skills.

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:10 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Check in with his teachers regularly to make sure he is getting his HW done. My school has PowerSchool, so I can go online and check grades anytime I want. If the HW isn't done, there's no football.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:14 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Meet with his teachers and see if they can help. I know at my kids middle and high school most if not all assignments are listed online - maybe you could start there finding out his assignments and asking to see them. If he acts like a child, then treat him like one. No going out with friends until he gets his grades up. I would take everything away including football, but I'm a mean mom! :)

    Answer by missanc at 6:18 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • I'm with Dardenella. If he wants football and friends, he should earn them.

    As missanc stated, most school post assignments on line. See if this is done. If not, talk to the teachers to see what they can come up with in order that you know what he is not doing.

    Keep in mind, he will most likely give you attitude, but you need to be the mother and stand for what he needs to do and not what he wants to do.

    Answer by layh41407 at 6:23 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • If your school has power school, get a daily update sent to your email. Also, if he doesn't have a school issued agenda book, get one and have him get each teacher to sign it daily to verify assignments. Let him know his social and sporting life is on hold until things improve. If he complains about the agenda book let him know that until he becomes a reliable source of information, you will have to rely on teachers directly.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 6:30 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Take his football and friends away.

    Answer by louise2 at 7:20 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • We kept our son on track by having him write in each of his notebooks what the homework was OR the words 'no homework' everyday. We spoke to his teachers and asked them to initial what he wrote. Then we knew each day what was expected and coud see that it got done. He hated it at first but he soon got used to quickly stopping at the teacher's desk for their signature. It solved a host of problems and even brought him closer to a couple of teachers who took a little more interest in him. GL

    Answer by silverthreads at 8:28 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • This is a tough age & if you don't get a handle on it now, it will only get worse. Like the other moms have pointed out, there are ways to keep track of his assignments, either online or in an assignment book. He has to earn privileges like sports, hanging w/ his friends, etc. I'd restrict his activities until his grades show improvement. He may be nasty & say hurtful things, but will thank you for it later. Stay strong mama! GL


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 8:34 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • Our school had a weekly form that son had to pick up in the office each friday and take to each of his classes. The teachers each marked if any homework assignments were missing, and could make other notes if they wanted, and each signed it.

    If he forgot to get the form, was missing any assignments, or was missing any teacher signatures he was grounded until the next Friday when he brought home a new form.

    My husband and I always say that his high school guidance counselor and I should have gotten a percentage of the graduation gifts, we worked harder than he did.

    Answer by ohwrite at 9:49 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

  • i would hav his teachers email you exactly what the homework is every day, tell him you will go to school with him and walk around all day to make sure he is getting his work done (this will mortify him, lol) If he fails he won't be allowed to play football. I might also suggest counseling and an evaluation of him,, good luck!

    Answer by kimigogo at 10:13 AM on Oct. 18, 2012

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