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Not so good parent-teacher conference, how can I get my son to want to do better in school?

As much as I hate to say it (and feel totally guilty FOR saying it), I dreaded meeting with our son's teacher. He teacher told us that our son HAS NO DESIRE TO DO ANY of his in class work and DOESN'T EVEN WANT TO TRY. Our son disrupts his class (at times), puts his head down on his desk and gets argumentative and defiant with his teacher as ways of avoiding having to do any class work and he does the same thing at home. And his failing grades are proof of his behavior and lack of effort. His teacher said that THIS HAPPENS just about EVERY DAY and is at a loss as to what to do and so are we. It's an exhausting issue that makes me feel like giving up sometimes and even though I never would, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO because it seems like we've tried everything from rewards and consequences, one on one help with homework, breaks in between and nothing seems to be working. I'm asking for help so please, no judging or bashing.

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Asked by LovingParent08 at 2:51 PM on Nov. 19, 2008 in General Parenting

Level 7 (166 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Make it worth his while. I have 5 kids and yep been there to these sorts of conferences to. Try this. He gets rewarded for good grades and trying. You can make a chart and use ticker or whatever to keep track of his progress. After so many stickers he gets a reward (money,toy etc).
    Also try this. Ask the teacher to allow the planner to be signed when he leaves school then signed by you after homework is completed. That way you know hes bringing home the work and its being done. And the teacher will know your monitoring it. I did this with mine and it worked so well.

    Answer by gemgem at 2:54 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • We do sign his planner every night. We've even tried a "homework chart" that lists what he needs to do everyday and night to earn rewards as well as what we (my DH and I) will and can do to help and STILL NOTHING and I'm sorry if my response seems cold because I'm not trying to sound that way.


    Answer by LovingParent08 at 3:12 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • Kids can often use anger, distraction, and refusal to cover up what is really going on. When a child can't or thinks they can't accomplish work or do not understand the material then negative behavior is an option. As in I will not answer the question and turn over my desk and chair to distract from that I can't answer it. So the attention is on the behavior and not on what the real issue is. It is better, from a child's perspective, to be seen as tough rather than be called stupid. This may not be the case, it is hard to tell from a blurb, but he may have learning difficulties. This doesn't mean that he is not smart. This means that his ability to obtain and show he knows the material does not match his intelligence capabillity. In these children you often see that

    Answer by frogdawg at 4:28 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • cont..they have defiant behaviors whenever they are required to do "work." The more they are pushed the more they will push back. These children often are anxious, depressed, frustrated, and low self esteem. Anxiety and depression in children is often manifested as forgetfulness, whines, anger, yelling, physically mean, may have more complaints of not feeling well. Most likely he is not doing all this on purpose. I often asked parents, would you continue with the same behaviors if you got yelled at all the time, had fun things taken away from you, and are constantly in trouble? It doesn't make sense. And children are not dumb. They don't do things for the hec of it. So there is a reason for his behavior.

    Answer by frogdawg at 4:33 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • cont..Like I said, it is so hard to tell from a post what is going on. It could be anywhere from ADHD, learning disabilities, to being bullied. My suggestion is write down ALL your concerns in a list. Make a laundry list. Include concerns you have that are not even related to school work. Ask his teacher, before you meet with her, to do the same. As well as all of his teachers (gym, art, music, computers, ect..). Then ask close family members and babysitters to do the same. This isn't a time to vent - just listing true concerns. Also have a separate list of the things he does do well, his strengths. Gather them and make one list. Then present to your son's doctor. I would also suggest the family seeing a therapist who works with children. This isn't just a child issue, this is also a family issue. It impacts your family life as well.

    Answer by frogdawg at 4:39 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • Awwww.....Hang in there loving. I know you have been and you are doin such a good job! Don't forget that. It really sounds from this question and others of yours i've read that there is something else going on. He's got such a great support from you guys and he's still not wanting to try. You already know I don't have any advice, lol. My 2 yr old gets me goin someties. I just wanted to lend you some support and I'll pray for you guys in church Sunday!! Lots of love and hugs mama.

    Answer by proudmamma9706 at 9:06 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • Thank you, all of you who have given me some great advice and suggestions. Thank you more for your support and encouragement. I know there's an answer somewhere, I just have to find it but no matter what, I'm going to keep looking until I find it and find out what works for my son. I'm going to leave this question open because I'm looking for as many people and as much advice as I can get from as many people as I can because like I said, I'm going to find the answer because I love my son and want the best for him. thank youThank you all again!


    Answer by LovingParent08 at 10:05 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • I was like you my son refused to do his work and I always had teachers complaining of him talking to much. MY son is now in 7th grade and still talks alot but wants me to be proud of him and trys to get good grades.

    I did have him talk to a counselor. Sometimes talking to someone who is not directly involved in everyday life helps.

    With my brother we got a tutor. He could learn but it helped him feel more confident.

    Hope this helps and hope you get the answers you need.


    Answer by ediedawn at 1:52 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

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