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Doomed to fail?

I am at a complete loss. My 9 yo has not been doing well in school. No matter what I have tried, he is still doing badly. His grades on his papers that come home are sporadic, an A here, an E there, lots of C and D's, with few B's. His progress report was two B's, two C's a D and an E. It seems like he is not trying. Like he doesn't care. No matter WHAT we say to him, he continues to do badly. We have tried everything I can think of. Punishment - took away all video game systems. Incentive - He will get his video games back when his grades improve, and also, I told him for every A on his report card, I would give him 5 dollars, and his grandpa said that he would match that! So for every A, he has a chance to get 10$!! I have tried sitting down and talking to him about it reasonably, I have yelled at him out of frustration (I know that doesn't do ANYTHING...)
I need suggestions! And please no jumping to ADDADHD.


Asked by mistical_me at 11:49 AM on Nov. 14, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 16 (2,341 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • No, absolutely NOT jumping to ADHD assumptions. You can't want it for him, he has to want it. I think that's where you were coming from when you decided to offer "incentives". I don't pay for grades - good performance (one's best performance) is expected. Do you have a homework schedule? By that, I mean a specific time in a specific location where he is required to sit and complete his work - during a time when an adult can oversee (from afar, not from over his shoulder) that this is happening and be on hand to answer questions? And I'd be limiting ALL of his recreation activities until his grades improve - TV, telephone, playing outside, being with friends, etc. etc. etc. If his previously "best" subject is now an E, that is a CHOICE. If it had merely slipped a bit and out of the category of "best", it would be time to look into a tutor. That's not the case here.

    Answer by caseyandkids at 12:57 PM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • Have you tried getting him a tutor? Sometimes there are even high schoolers who will do it for free or at a reasonable rate.

    Maybe he is embarrassed to admit he doesn't know how to do the coursework, but he is getting to the age that it isn't "cool" to act like he cares.

    Good luck!

    And even if you DO get the tutor... STILL use the incentives to make him want to improve and work harder! :)

    Answer by Memigen at 11:52 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • If you have the money I would def look into getting him a tutor.

    Answer by bhoward87 at 11:59 AM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • I can relate. My son is extremely smart but just doesn't care about how he does in school. I'm also looking for some incentive, but nothing seems to work. I'm thinking maybe the report cards are so few and far between that he can't stay focues on trying for so long with out any rewards. What about some type of daily or weekly reward. Could you talk with the teacher and come up with some kind of chart or something that he could be praised for on a daily basis??


    Answer by skittles1108 at 12:05 PM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • I agree with getting him help. Sounds like you should look further into it, if he is having real problems offering incentives or punishment is not going to help. Is there any pattern to the grades? Are the better grades all in one subject or does each subject vary? What is his teacher's opinion on his efforts?

    Answer by Jessica157 at 12:11 PM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • Math may be his best subject, but he may be on a new type of math that he doesn't understand and because everyone knows this to be his best subject it makes it even harder to admit he doesn't know what he's doing.

    I say this as a kid who was in advanced classes and failed a math class (my second best subject) because I felt that way when I didn't know what was going on.

    Answer by Memigen at 7:14 PM on Nov. 14, 2010

  • The E he got was in Math, HIS BEST SUBJECT!!! I am just at a total loss.

    Comment by mistical_me (original poster) at 12:19 PM on Nov. 14, 2010