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what do you do to encourage a kid to do good in school when the kid don't want to be encouraged?

my 11yr. old son now in 6th grade has been really struggling these last few yrs. and I've been told over and over by the teachers he needs encouragment so he'll do better well what am I supposed to do when my kid doesn't want to be encouraged to do well? I've tried a reward system,punishment everything I can think of including one on one attention so he knows he's important to this family and he is smart enough to do his school work effectivly and on his own without tons of help...I've recently figured out he just wants somebody to give him the answers so he don't have to figure them out I know he's just lazy it's not even about encouraging him but I don't know what else to do.

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chica679

Asked by chica679 at 3:30 PM on Oct. 10, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 16 (2,792 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I wouldn't call it lazy on his half. Have you asked him how he feels about school and such? Maybe he just doesn't enjoy it. It is hard for anyone to do anything let alone do it well when they don't enjoy it.

    I would talk with him and ask him how he feels and just listen. Maybe you can both come to an agreement or an answer together.
    keyaziz

    Answer by keyaziz at 3:37 PM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • He's just lazy. That's pretty negative. It sounds like he doesn't care. Why sould he care? What does 6th grade matter?

    He is old enough that as long as he is getting Cs I would let school be his responsibility. I would encourage him to get involved in other activities. Does the school have a band? Studies all show kids in band do better in all areas of school. Try to get him involved in sports. I think you have to be 12 for Boy Scouts. As soon as he is 12 get him to join up.
    Gailll

    Answer by Gailll at 3:38 PM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • He needs motivation. It's seems maybe he's bored with the work? Is it not challenging enough for him? Sometimes when kids grades start slipping and we think "laziness" and really it's quite the opposite. He could just be gifted and the work he's being given doesn't prove worth his time as he sees it. Talk to his teacher(s) and see if maybe moving him into the "higher" class or "gifted" class (whatever they call it at your school) might work for him. Being bored in the class will translate to being bored with the work at home too and he will just want the easiest way out (EX: someone giving him the answers so he doesn't have to do this petty work) Hope you figure it all out. GL~
    mom2BOYZnDad

    Answer by mom2BOYZnDad at 3:43 PM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • This will sound nuts but...is the work challenging enough for him? Kids get bored when the work is below their level, a friends daughter started failing because she was bored with the work it was all repeat stuff for her and she was way ahead of her class, once the school moved her to advanced classes her grades came up.

    My son is in all advanced classes and he knows to tell me if something isnt challenging him enough and we talk to the teacher about it. last year he was bored in math but kept his grades up he knew we wouldnt tolerate low grades, there was nothing we could do he was at the highest level they offered, this year he is in middle school and he is very challenged in math lol and keeps saying man i miss last years math lol.
    3_ring_circus_

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 3:44 PM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • If he doesn't care then perhaps the motivation to care isn't strong enough. I have a girl so it maybe different for boys, but she was involved in extracurricular activities, when her grades fell below a b average those activities stopped.
    teamquinn

    Answer by teamquinn at 3:44 PM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • My son was pretty much the same way. He WAS in band, since 4th grade, he was in Cub Scouts, Little League, I tried to keep his interest in ANYthing. Finally, in 8th grade I asked for a PPT, and some educational testing. It turned out he is partially deaf. HE didn't know because he had always been that way. I didn't know, because he was an EXPERT lip reader and I just figured "Oh, kids don't listen to their own mothers" and when we went back to talk to the pediatrician after SCHOOL tested him, the doctor's notes read "equivocal" or "distracted" as they did hearing tests on him as he grew. I was really angry at the doctors office, because he was 60% deaf in one ear and 40% in the other, and that should have been picked up WWWAAAYYY before then.

    So, my advice? Ask school to test him, to find out how to help him.
    kjrn79

    Answer by kjrn79 at 4:41 PM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • Tell him what I teil my kids "failure is not an option, so get to it!!!" My children got there progress reports and the lowest grade was a b-. I told her to pull it up to a b+ or A- and she can I know she can and she knows she can!!!
    blue_glass_mama

    Answer by blue_glass_mama at 1:18 AM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • It sounds like you have tried everything I would suggest....Is he failing or just not excelling? Does he seem able to do the work or is it a genuine struggle for him? I would handle it differently based on those things. My son is the same age and school work does not come naturally for him. He has to work very hard but he still doesn't "excell". It is hard to motivate a kid like that to keep on trying because the reward is harder to see. They have to see the other kids getting A's and honor rolls and awards and that is not an ecouraging environment for a kid who has to struggle. Ideally adults need to focus on encouraging effort rather than simply rewarding outcome. That is harder to do....even for adults, but that is what creates an encouraging environment rather than a discouraging one. Have you talked to the teachers?
    BJoan

    Answer by BJoan at 10:24 AM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • First, you need to find out if something is going on at school that is causing him to not like school. Does he have good friends? Is he being bullied? Is the work challenging enough to keep him interested? Is his eye sight good so he can see the board and read his work? Second, I don't think there is any way to motivate someone that doesn't want to be motivated. Is there something that he really wants? If so, tell him that you will get it for him when he improves his grades to a certain GPA. My son wants a laptop and he has to get a solid B average or better before he gets one. Third, he just may not be a good student and may never be on honor roll and that is ok. If you know he is capable of getting B's, then encourage him to do his best and be happy with that. When he gets good grades, pile on the praise.
    tyfry7496

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:41 AM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • It may be that he's wondering what the POINT to all of this school work is. They have people telling them all the time that school work is important & they need to do well in school to get a good job, yada, yada, yada. But they really can't see the connection. They've spent most of their childhood jumping through hoops only to find more hoops on the other side. They look ahead & see nothing but a long line of hoops stretching on into highschool & beyond. It's hard to get motivated to do THAT day in & day out! I'd suggest looking at what he does with his spare time. Look at how he *chooses* to spend his day when he doesn't have school. What's he into? Video games? Music? Drawing? Whatever it is, start looking for the connection between the things he loves & learning. Support whatever he's passionate about & help him see the math in WoW, the science in drawing, etc. Encourage ANY form of learning, not just school work.
    jessradtke

    Answer by jessradtke at 1:07 PM on Oct. 11, 2009

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