Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Poor Grades

My 13 year old son has started receiving D's & F's on his report care. Teachers consitently say he neglects his homework. Up until now his grades were always excellent and he feared getting into trouble so he always did his homework. Now it's as if he doesn't care. It doesn't matter if I talk to him, ground him, or take privleges away. I've told him about my hardships never having finished college. His teachers say he is very inteligent and not living up to his potential. I don't know what to do to get him to care. His father feels helpless.

Answer Question

Asked by businmessmom at 1:36 AM on May. 10, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • maybe he doesn't relize he needs skills to get a job and make money. or maybe he has depression and has lost interest. whatever you do, don't medicate. that's the worst thing you can do. natural healing is the only thing that really works. lemon balm is an herb you can get in capsule form at a health food store that works for depression and anxiety. diet change is needed when someone has depression or anxiety. i have been on meds, zoloft and prozac (not at the same time of course) they only made me worse. the lemon balm and diet change stopped my 4 times a week panic attacks and put me in a great mood. i don't even need the lemon balm everyday now. it pretty much cured me. good luck in finding a solution

    Answer by mandielynn23 at 1:43 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • That's the middle school years he's in now. it's really not that untypical. My kid was the exact same way - then middle school came and kids from different elementary schools all came into one middle school. set expectations for your son with rules of leisure time limited and what to do in it. tell him he can do chores or homework at x time. if he won't do either voluntarily then he'll do both before a small leisure time. these middle school years hit even if at thirteen he's not yet in a school that's not actually techinically a middle school. He's still young enough where he can join good community service clubs - direct him into 4H or Boy Scouts. Say it's good for him no matter what type of job he gets ever. Could he feel pressured by relatives to be a certain job or profession? Maybe he's just tired of aiming for and achieving such high grades. I'd back off a bit on his grades and make sure he knows C's B's good.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:10 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • My son is extremely intelligent too, second responder here husband has multiple college degrees himself. But we never pushed him to get excellent grades we pushed him to get grades that he's capable of that show how smart he is. There's nothing wrong with being highly intelligent and getting average grades. I understand your son is Ds and Fs now. But just remove expectations of the teachers of the highest grades and tell them to lighten up and get him involved in community organizations to relieve his stress of only top grades that he feels he just can't give right now. We kept our son out of gifted classes to not pressure him. We knew and still do that he works well but didn't then want to study.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:15 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • I'd try to have a talk with him to see what he thinks. Does he want to get good grades? Does her realize the importance? Is something bothering him? Is there something that wil motivate him? Does he have any kind of objective relative to his grades?

    I face the same pb over and over again. And above all, I have found you can't really force kids to succeed - it comes from within. As they are now a bit older (13 and 15) we try to back off and let them succeed or fail. We only punish for extremely bad reports, and we will give them special rewards if they have extremely good results. All I know is that my kids do seem to know the importance. They give a good talk about wanting to succeed, but do little to work to their potential. What seems to happen more is they have a few friends who are working harder getting good grades, and their remarks seem to have far more impact than what I say.

    Answer by PhillyinFrance at 4:01 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • Also, I wanted to add that my youngest (13) was highly influenced in her first year of jr high by kids that thought it wasn't cool to be 'intellectual'. The kids with the highest grades were chastized. This is why I say talk to him to see what is demotivating him.

    I ultimately moved my DD to another school (for other reasons), but as I said, she has a few friends that started off not wanting to be too intellectual, but who came around, are now doing well, and I can see my DD is feeling left out of the 'successful' crowd. I have seen her turn grey when a friend told her she made honor roll - a look I have never seen no matter what I have said to her.

    In any case, I'd dig a big... see what he thinks, and perhaps foster relationships with other kids who are good students and yes, see if he wants to get involved in community activities, etc. to keep him busy, feeling good, meeting others.

    Answer by PhillyinFrance at 4:05 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • A suggestion: Find a good tutor to sit with your son until the homework is complete and continue until he has a system going. Provided there is no learning problem The tutor should be someone he can look up to (an "A" student in highschool, for example) and can relate to him. My son was struggling in Math and we found a male highschool teacher to help. My son's grades have turned around. Not because the man is brilliant with math (although he is), but because he is a motivator. He can talk the talk and it is refreshing for my son to be taught by a male - all of his teachers for math have been women (no offense, but very uptight women). This tutor handles it with a cool laid back approach and my son wants to do well for him. Don't get me wrong, my son wants to do well for us too, but parents are often tuned out and considred "nags"...:-)

    Answer by itsmylife111 at 9:06 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • Have you taken your son to the doctor and talked about the situation? Maybe he has ADD, this is the age that if untreated it can become a bigger problem. I went thru this with my son just this year and found out he has ADHD, his grades are A's and B's since the medicine.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:03 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • Lol, he is a teenage boy, and there is no cure for this haha

    Let him get left back. He will learn

    And explain to him that thet betterhe does, the less time he will spend in school.

    Answer by MammaBella at 4:11 PM on May. 10, 2009

  • He could be bored. Otherwise, let him learn the natural consequences of getting bad grades. I did that with my son for one quarter of school and his grades are now A's and B's again. He didn't like getting lunch detention and missing incentive days because of bad grades and not turning in his work. Talk to your son about what is going on in his life, there may be something wrong that he isn't talking about. You cannot help him, he needs to take responsibility for his own actions.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:26 PM on May. 10, 2009

  • Maybe hes not being challenged enough? Or maybe hes just lazy...

    Answer by hug4akiss at 10:56 PM on May. 10, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.