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Our son will be 16 next month. He is in grade 10. His grades are not good. He was always an honor roll student until he started HS last year. This marking period he is failing science. His other grades are 3 Cs, and 2 Bs. Over the summer we discovered he was smoking pot. We took him to a therapist, and he still sees him, along with giving him random drug tests which have been negative thank God. However he still lacks motivation. We are upset that he continues to not care about school, study or even join an extra curricular activity. I try to find out what his interests are and motivate him. We warned him if he failed science he would be grounded including weekends. He didn't care. What else can we do???? It's frustrating and hard on us. We want what is best for him.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:12 PM on Nov. 15, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (9)
  • At his age, kids just don't care for the most part! I LOVED school in high school, hated the actual high school experience but loved the school work (yeah I was an odd one). But my brother, who will be 16 next summer is the same way you are saying about your son. He just doesn't care! Though he plays football/basketball/baseball so he HAS to keep his grades up. You can't make him do anything he doesn't want, I don't believe in parents forcing kids his age to do extra-curriculars. Just encourage him as much as you can. See if they have a tutoring program through the school and if he is willing to go.

    Answer by ILoveCade at 11:20 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • All I can say is keep trying,, Sounds like your doing your part . I have teens also the same thing here , once they got to HS they seemed to stop caring.. just be there, thats really all you can do. good for him too staying off drugs, Good luck to you and your family.


    Answer by kileighsmommie at 11:22 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • I had a son who was similar and I allowed him to homeschool himself in his last year of highschool. of course I didnt have much choice he would have dropped out thats how much he hated school. He did well homeschooling and got his hs diploma, he now is an independent contractor wall coverings etc. and I couldnt be prouder:-) I say find out the real reason he is not doing well and see what type of education (perhaps a different school) may fit him best. I cannot stand education that tries to lump our children into a mold, they all learn differently.

    Answer by protectivemompa at 11:23 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • I went thru this with my now 17 year old DD. I tried everything even going to school and trying to get them to help me. I'm sad to say nothing worked because she just didn't care and had given up. I couldn't get her to see how the decisions she was making was going to affect her life she eventually dropped out of school. Then a few months ago she moved out with a guy cause she didnt want to go by my rules, get a GED, or get a job, drink, and do drugs. Things are bad for her right now but I pray for her. That's all I can do til she decides she's ready to take back control of her life and do something about it. I'll pray for your family but please don't beat youorself up cause at the end of the day he's going to do what he wants regardless.

    Answer by suelo74 at 11:24 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • I had a tough time deciding whether to answer. I have a 17 year old daughter that graduated 8th grade as valedictorian, then went on to high school and had difficulties with her grades. Part of the issue was going to a new school. Part of the issue is hormones and peer pressure. High school is always one of those areas in life that are like a teeter totter. Stress/hardship in life can have an effect too. Her Sophmore year we lost our house due to layoffs and had to move to a different county to find work. Once we got things stabilized again, things did get better.
    One thing you need to remember is that your son is learning to be an adult now. If he fails one class, it's not the best thing, but it's not the end of the world. The important thing here is that your son IS doing better...he's not smoking pot anymore, and that is a VERY positive thing.
    Celebrate his accomplishments & don't over-emphasize his failure.

    Answer by 22w569 at 11:52 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • Since he is almost 16, does he have a driving permit? If he does, that would be a good thing to take away. Or the cellphone until his grades come up. I suspended service on my son's cellphone the other day to make a point. That he would have to earn it back. If it's something he uses all the time then he'll be more likely to want it back. I wish you luck.

    Answer by amessageofhope at 12:20 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • I completely agree with 22w569. Celebrate the small things, it may be small, but it's something. Find something he loves and find a way to incorporate it into the family. My DS is 15, we went through a really rough patch & he almost had to repeat his entire freshman year. This year he is realizing that NOT doing his work last year is only making more work for him this year (he has to do his algebra online by the end of the year to get credit, on top of the rest of his classes). Make the school work for/with you! I regularly go into the counselors office & check on his grades & see if we need to make any schedule changes. The counselors know the teachers and have the power to put him in the classes he will be successful in. One more tip - do not let your son make his own schedule - they often choose what they think are "easy A's" and get lazy, then frustrated when they find out it's not so \easy.
    Good Luck.

    Answer by shareleann at 12:32 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • Hang in there!

    If you threatened to ground him, be sure you follow through. He NEEDS you to be consistent, and dependable.

    If the therapist he's seeing isn't helping, try another one. Always keep talking, and more important, KEEP LISTENING. You may need to change schools, if it's possible in your area. Loss of interest isn't uncommon, but it isn't necessarily just a part of growing up. Keep trying to get to the root of the problem.

    My son had a small hiccup in his interest -- this turned out to be a conflict with the popular clique at his small private school. We moved him (against the advice of the principal there) to the public school, and he was fine.

    Be sure you talk WITH him every day. At this time, give him 100% of your attention. Let there be long pauses, where he can elaborate on comments made. Remind him that you know how bright he is, that you love him, and that your aim is to help.

    Good Luck. :-)

    Answer by ss_mom at 2:21 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • He's unmotivated? So cancel the cable in the family room, and cut off the wi-fi. He'll soon be bored to tears and either pick up a book to read (yeah!) or go outside and do something. He's old enough to earn his own spending money, so quit giving him handouts...

    Answer by GoodyBrook at 6:28 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

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