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I have a 17 year old son, how do I keep him motivated in school?

He hates school and only loves rock music and his friends. He is very passionate about playing his music, he plays guitar and sings. He got A's, B's and C's on his last report card with one D. He needs to ROP and online classes this summer to have enough points and to pull up his g.p.a. to graduate (he got an F in one subject last semester). He has ADD and takes Adderall medication for this, he just recently started talking to his real Dad after almost 2 years of not talking to him because his Dad didn't call him. He is wonderful with children and is very loving most of the times, except when he is in a bad mood. His stepDad and I love him very much and are very involved in his life, we listen to him and we try to guide him the best that we can. Yet, he tells me that he doesn't respect me and doesn't want to live with me when he gets mad. He gets upset when I have a different opinion then he has.

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Asked by mermaidztail7 at 9:08 PM on Apr. 9, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE, is the Answer to your problem
    ask yourself this question with all honesty, IS EVERY CHILD IN MY CHILD SCHOOL RECEIVING GOOD GRADES IN MUSIC CLASS?
    Use what he loves and TURN IT AROUND FOR HIS BENEFITT, if your son loves music, here a few things you can do,,
    consider talking to music teacher so YOUR SON can assist other students (tutoring) for the kids that do not do as well as he does in music
    encourage your son to invite friends over to put together some songs to play at family gatherings
    find a student that is doing very well in the subject that your son needs more assistance and offer tutoring for music or guitar lessons in exchange
    praise your child for what he loves is a God given talent,,, NOT EVERY HUMAN BEING WAS BORN TO GO TO A UNIVERSITY
    My son Adores horses and has two of them but was a poor students I used horses for his benefit by enrolling my son in Jokey classes,

    Answer by colomami44 at 9:54 PM on Apr. 9, 2009

  • Much of the rock music of today fosters rebellion. Coupled with the hostility that he already feels because of upheaval in his earlier life, it's not hard to see how he would not feel inspired to study. Seventeen is getting pretty far down the road to install that foundation. Probably the best thing you could do for him would be to ask him to go with you for a little drive around down. Take him to the section where the homeless live on the street. Or take him to a shelter and let him see for himself where lack of motivation leads. Sometimes, seeing the reality of the consequences of one's choices is of far more benefit that the simply warning of such.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:42 AM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • It could be that he is feeling different with his dad being back in his life. His meds could not be working and he can't concentrate. Tell him that if he doesn't pull up his grades and graduate, he will be kicked out on his 18th birthday or he will get a fulltime job and pay rent, utilities, food, etc. He will do his own cooking (or charge him per meal, like a resturant) and cleaning, including his laundry. The rent needs to be enough to hurt the pocketbook, find out the average cost for a 1 bedroom apartment in your area. He will soon learn how hard it is to get a job that pays enough to live on without having an education.

    to nannyb- rock music doesn't cause rebellion, kids that have parents that set no limits or consequences for poor choices cause rebellion. I know plenty of people that listen to all kinds of music and they are fine.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:58 AM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • The problem with motivation is that it is actually internal. We can praise and offer rewards, but it isn't actually motivation. They are just "scooby snacks". If he is so musical, steer him towards a degree in music. Get him in the band at school. Let his interest be his motivation. He sounds like he isn't doing too badly. Help him manage the school with the love of music. Music actually takes and enormous amount of discipline to stick with it and practice. My son is also ADD and musical. He would rather play his instruments than a video game. We encourage that and help him learn to balance the school work with the motivation to play. He will be in the marching band next year. It is a huge commitment which we welcome.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 11:21 AM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • Thank you all for your answers.. it's hard to choose a "best answer" because they all have their own merrit. I really like the positive reinforcement of his music and we have suggested that he get involved with band.. and he does like various other types of music: ie. classical, instrumental, reggae, swing etc. He isn't the marching band type.. he had long hair and that wasn't "cool" for him.. I wish it was!! He recently cut his hair all off.. and is regrowing it (he had a little experiment with dreds.. which I am sooo glad was short lived). I have wanted to take my kids to "skid row" or to a "mission" or a "convalescent home" because I know the exposure to these environments and talking to those that are less fortunate really helped "broaden" my view of life and my selfishness as a teen. I have to find some groups that will take teens to broaden their horizons.. My husband and I have consequences and praise for our teens

    Answer by mermaidztail7 at 12:07 AM on Apr. 20, 2009

  • My son has had alot of bad experiences in his life.. and I would never "kick" him out.. He was "kicked out" at his Dad's house.

    We have the agreement with all our children:

    Option A
    1) they can live with us through college & we will help them pay for it, with a few rules:
    a) all house rules and chores are the same (except curfew is revised, but I still need to know
    that they are okay and what they are up to)
    b) they have to GO to college and show us their grades and give us receipts
    c)) they can work part time, as long as it doesn't affect their college work/grades


    Option B
    1) they can move out.. move in with a friend/roommate
    2) get a full time job
    3) and basically have a "walk-about" and SEE how really HARD things are out there

    **Should Option B not work out.. the "Door is ALWAYS open" to come back home should they
    choose Option A (Which I hope

    Answer by mermaidztail7 at 12:17 AM on Apr. 20, 2009

  • I think Christian.. will go on a walkabout.. and then come back and go to college.. When we are teens we think we know everything.. LOL I have was the same way.. and yes, I have apologized to my mother for being mean! :)

    Answer by mermaidztail7 at 12:23 AM on Apr. 20, 2009

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