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I am at wit's end with son. He will turn 15 in just a month. He is a freshman in high school.

I feel like I need to reiterate over and over and over again what is expected of him. For example, forgetting to take out the trash one a day a week, neglecting his school work. I found out he is in danger of failing history. He doesn't put the time in his school work. I have taken away his privileges but he continues to "forget" what he should do. Like today, he was walking out of school with just a shirt on and it was pouring rain when I told him to wear his hoodie etc. What can I do? I have raised 3 other children, all grown and I don't remember having battles on a daily basis with them like this. Please give me some advice. I need it.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:10 PM on Oct. 16, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (8)
  • My son is 15 and he forgets things ALL THE TIME lately..... But, he is involved in a ton of activities and I really think that his brain can just not handle it all. We have been talking about getting him a day-planner so that he can write more things down.
    Also though, he needs to learn from his mistakes. I don't make a fuss about if he has a coat or not anymore, he is big enough to decide for himself, and if he doesn't want one, it doesn't matter much to me. If he doesn't get his homework done, he will be spending all weekend making it up.
    I try not to "rescue" him too. If he forgets something, I'm not gonna hop back in the car to go and get is his responsibility to REMEMBER or deal with the consequences!

    Answer by christyg at 2:18 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • I have a 17 y o and 2 in their twenties. One son, two daughters. My youngest is my toughest too. Some say its' because they've put up with older siblings for so long. I've just learned to hope talk repeat kinda like shampoo rinse repeat. I hope memory comes without prodding I talk to remind and I repeat. It's just our kids personalities. Ive removed physically from our house specific things of addiction and attitude is better since then, try that instead of just withholding things.

    Without computer, ipod my teen now, after a couple of months without, is emotionally happier and more active. You've got a least to absolutely hide things or keep upping the ante of what's removed. Good luck, it's normal teen hormones for that teen.

    Answer by lfl at 2:34 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • Calmly sit down with him, and ask him what his goals and aspirations are. Ask him how he plans to get there. He just may not be making the connection between academic success and life success.

    Answer by rkoloms at 2:58 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • How long has this been going on? My son is 13 and he has had these type of issues for several years. He was diagnosed with inattentive ADD about 8 months ago. Not saying your son is ADD, but it sound so similiar to my son.

    Answer by Dyndudes at 4:55 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • You are not alone I went thru the same thing with now 16 son, he did not care. I decided to choose my battles and let him learn from his mistakes. If he fails history, that is his problem and he will have to take it again to graduate. if he gets wet in the rain that is his problem. If he doesn't do his chores as expected, he has to suffer the consequences. I was at my wits end and decided I was no longer going to nag, he knows what is expected and if he did not do it then they were his problems, not mine. I just stepped back and let him do it. Ya he made mistakes but that is part of life. He is doing much better now because of some of the mistakes he made. You are a good mom and taught him what needs to be done so give your self a break.

    Answer by dillonsma at 4:58 PM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • I am going through pretty much the same thing with my 15 yr old son. I have been told that it is typical teen behavior. He is rebelling, and last year got bad grades and in lots of trouble at school. This year he is in "blended school" , he goes 3 hours to school and does schooling on the computer and is giving course load for the semester that he is expected to complete by the end of the semester but at his own pace. He said last year it was hard because they piled so much work on him and he had a hard time completed it by time expected. He seems to like blended alot more and has even been called in for a job interview at Mcdonald's next week. He had no ambition or interests outside of school. Fingers crossed that things work better for him. Maybe a blended situation would work for your son. At times I put myself down and think I am a bad mom, but I remind myself I am a good mom. ~litninbug~

    Answer by litninbug at 8:04 AM on Oct. 17, 2009

  • I am a huge fan of allowing a child to deal with the consequences of their own actions. Children need to understand cause and effect and responsibility. You can't hold his hand forever.

    If my son doesn't take out the trash, it goes into his bedroom, until he decides to take it out. (this is easy for us because we live in a development with a dumpster so we are only talking about one bag). If he goes out without a coat, then he gets cold. At almost 15, most people will know that its his choice. If they forget their homework, permission slip, sporting equipment, don't deliver it to school. When my sister was a kid she wouldn't bring her dishes to the kitchen, so one day mom made her hand wash all of those disgusting milk glasses etc, and she started bringing them to the kitchen.

    Answer by Lesli at 12:54 PM on Oct. 17, 2009

  • I too have the same problems. I think it is just hormones. This is a tough age. I have found that alone time with my son, talking about whatever seems to keep him better focused.

    Answer by annthomas at 3:26 PM on Oct. 17, 2009

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