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My 7th grader is really irritating me. He's always been rather nonplussed about grades, but his recent grades are horrid. He brought home 1 A, 3 D's and 2 F's. The only class he's passing is PE. All his teachers note the same thing, "He'd be passing if he JUST TURNED IN HIS WORK." I'm so mad I grounded him for the rest of the semester. No phone, no Wii, no computer time, no movies, etc.

I warned him that he has till the end of the semester to pull himself up to C's or better or I'm taking time off work to SIT his classes with him for a week.

Anyone else dealing with this attitude? Any advice? Can anyone tell me it gets better??

I worry about him so much because he IS smart and talented, but he keeps sabotaging himself!

Answer Question

Asked by geminilove at 1:16 PM on Sep. 29, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 23 (17,006 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I'm not dealing with that but I just want to say I think you are a great mom for caring so much. I have a friend who has completely stopped caring about her kids grades. She refuses to make sure they do homework, doesn't care if they are late every day etc. Her 11 yr old has to go to court because he got a truancy ticket.

    I wish the best for your son.

    Answer by Orionsgirl at 1:23 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Could it be he is so under-challenged he is completely bored with school? I agree with taking things away but you also need to find a way to give him incentive to get things back. Personally I would be contacting all his teachers and tell them you would like updates at the end of each week. If he fails the semester he won't be going to the 8th grade in the fall.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 1:24 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • My kids aren't there yet... But I WAS that kid... I never did my homework and when my mother forced me to do it I just didn't turn it in... I screwed around through all my classes and had a GPA of like 0.6... It had nothing to do with my IQ but I simply didn't care. And the more my mother and teachers tried the less I was willing to do... The only thing I can say is it will pass, if that means he has to fall back a year, that may be what it means. But even sitting in class (like my mother did) you can't force him to learn or care... Chances are there is something else going on, but I wouldn't know what to tell you that could be. For me, it was depression (I'm BPD2)... But I don't know what to tell you besides keep at it and try to find out what's going on inside... If he feels you're "putting him down" he'll do less, be as supportive as you can be but make him understand that he's going to be the one hurt by this.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:27 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • I agree with Sabrina...there is something more going on than simply not wanting to do the work or hand it in. Could be any number of things, depression, lack of interest (not challenged enough), learning disabilities or wanting attention. I suggest trying to figure out the root cause of the issue, like Sabrina said you can take away things all you want but if its a deeper rooted problem none of that is going to help him. Good luck.

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 1:31 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Grandma, his school lets me check his grades online and it's updated weekly. He knows I have the ID/password and that if he can show me he's consistenly turning in his work, I'll start giving back privileges. He already knows he's in danger of repeating. He just doesn't seem to care.

    As for the being bored, it's possible. He's GATE identified (Gifted And Talented Education) and they put him in the GATE classes. He's disorganized, has NO interest in his classes, has no interest in grades, and he tends to blow off my concerns. He doesn't even seem to care that he lost privileges!

    The ONLY thing that's worried him so far is the idea that I WILL come to his school and sit next to him in all his classes for a week.

    Comment by geminilove (original poster) at 1:31 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Do you check his HW everynight? Do you make sure he does every single question right? If you check it and any are wrong make him redo them untill they are all right. This is one way to make sure his work is done. Then its up to him to turn it in.

    Make sure you stick with your punishment. If you give in he will know you dont mean what you say.

    Answer by tiger_tatted1 at 1:33 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • I've had him tested for learning disabilities. He's not ADHD, ADD or dyslexic. His state test scores are also OFF the scale high. If someone sits with him and redirects him back to tasks, he aces everything they put in front of him. I check his homework and it's always complete. He just.... never gets around to turning it in.

    It could be depression, but he's had this attitude since pretty much.... 3rd grade. I brought depression up to his ped and he said he didn't think that was it. This year, it's just WORSE than it's ever been.

    He's 12 but has the reading level of a 2nd or 3rd year college student. I can't get him into any higher academic programs because he won't do the work. It's like this nasty vicious cycle that I can't snap him from.

    I've tried asking him what's going on at school, but he shuts me out. I've tried riding him 24/7. I've tried NOT riding him. I've tried every bit of advice I could from my mom...

    Comment by geminilove (original poster) at 1:38 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Tiger_Tatted, I do check his work every night. I even make sure he puts it in his binder under the subject so he can find it. But most of the time, he claims he "lost" it before he could turn it in (when I find it in the SAME spot it was when he left for school) or he "forgot" or some other excuse that even he doesn't believe cause he can't even look me in the eye when he makes them.

    Comment by geminilove (original poster) at 1:43 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • He'll learn after he's forced to accept the consequences. You've given him some good consequences and if he fails, he'll deal with some more - don't shield him from the consequences. It really is his choice. He's the one who's going to have to learn to step up to the plate and do what's right.

    Answer by ihatetocook at 4:30 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Talk to each teacher and set up a system with them that they will sign that he handed in his homework. Set up a page in each of his notebooks where you write that he did the homework and date it. Have his teachers agree that they will sign the page when he hands in the homework. It takes two seconds. I did something similar to this with my son when he was in school and it cured evrything. And follow through if you say you will sit in on his classes. Good luck!!

    Answer by elizabr at 7:43 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

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