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I'm ready to give up. (LONG)

Our son, he's 14, in the eighth grade, is not doing well in school, and has no interest to do so. Since the 6th grade he seems to think school is for goofing off, and being lazy. He just made it through the 6th and 7 th grade with mostly C's, and D's in his core classes, and the same applies to the 8th grade. It's getting close to the end of the year, and he just doesn't seem to give a crap. He helps out at home, has a decent attitude, doesn't get to do anything , or go anywhere because of his grades. He doesn't do anything overly bad at school, mostly just not listening, or his mind wanders, or he's talking too much. So he's not hurting anyone, or being a bully, or talking bad to the teachers... That's why I don't get it, the all say he's such a nice kid, he just can't apply himself, and is lazy. No surprise really.. I don't know what to do. We have had the same home life, nothing weird, no moving around, it's a stable home. Has everything he needs, etc. He's not spoiled, doesn't get what he wants all the time, no cell phone, etc. We believe in earning fun things to do, like riding his dirtbike, playing with his traxxas etc... I'm at a loss. I plan to go up and sit in his science class, he doesn't know I'm going to, in hopes it will kick him in the arse, and maybe he will realize I'm not joking when I say he needs to get his crap together. I did it before and it helped for a little while... So who knows, it may not do anything. Anyone have any ideas? I would really appreciate any Moms that have gone through this. Thanks!


Asked by Anonymous at 3:41 PM on Apr. 26, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I agree with the other ladies that maybe there is an explanation like ADD, or a learning disorder which can exist even in highly intelligent people, or depression. I say do not give up, instead try to find some answers. If there is a source of the problem then you can try to treat it in a more specific way and I am sure then you will feel like at least you are able to do something about the problem. It's also great that your son is good in other areas, like he isn't fighting and aggressive and it doesn't sound like you suspect drugs or anything. Some people are not cut out for school and go on to become very successful mechanics or laborers and have happy, productive lives. So don't give up hope. He may be different than other kids his age but that doesn't mean he is bad. He needs your support more than anything, not that you tell him it's ok to get D's, but you tell him you stand behind him and that he can be his best self.

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:23 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Have you had him evaluated for ADD/ADHD?

    Answer by SleepyCupcake at 3:43 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Could possibly be ADHD. My kids have it and its similar to what you describe. Have him screened for it.

    Answer by Kari727 at 3:45 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I would see if its the school. Your son may be really smart and have a little bit of ADD or something and just be bored. I had a hard time in school because of this, but I always made sure my grades were up. He just may not see the point. Have him tested not just for ADD/ADHD but also see if you could have his IQ tested. Also, ask him why he doesn't apply himself. See if he's having problems or if its just disinterest, and try to figure out a way to avoid this. Maybe homeschool or just a different school. Good-luck!!

    Answer by ramita at 3:51 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Of our three children, we had one who never really liked school, but he made good grades and worked really hard. Today, he is a professional musician and he makes very good money doing that. I don't know how to help you except to maybe try to find out if there is something he is really interested in that causes him to be bored with just regular school. Then talk to him about the secret to succeeding is in learning to apply yourself even to things you may not especially like just for the training of doing what you do enjoy. My son still has to practice long hours and learn new music all the time, so maybe find out how to apply the work ethic training model. If that doesn't work, maybe you should take him around to visit some of the places where people who don't learn to apply themselves end up. Maybe seeing that will inspire him to get to work.

    Answer by NannyB. at 3:46 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Sure have! My two older boys did the same thing. One of them is Bipolar and I ended up homeschooling him due to his disorder. My other son is high functioning Autistic, but is a Junior in HS now and does all his homework on his own, gets good grades and etc etc. During middle school though I felt the way you did. He turned it around on his own in 9th grade when he figured out that he would fail and not graduate with his classmates. He had to do summer school programs to catch up. By middle of 9th he knew he would have to and it sucked for him. Now like I said, great grades, he holds a steady job, and is set to go to college once he graduates. Just keep doing what your doing and make him feel the consequences of his actions.

    Answer by gemgem at 3:48 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • It sounds like more is going on with your son than just being " Lazy " Part of it probably is a Stage he is going through but, it is Unusual for a kid to be Lazy in school, not pay attention, make bad grades & have no interest without some kind of Acting Out too- Has he ever been tested to see if he is ADDor a Learning Disability? if not, you might want to look into that b/c that's what it sounds like- when a child is having a Hard Time comprehending what is going on in class & they see everyone else catching on; it can be So Intimidating...... & may seem they are just Lazy or Not paying Attention but, the Truth is they feel Lost & feel like the teacher is talking in another Language- so, they Shut Down- i hope things get better for you & especially your son- Wishing you lots of luck!


    Answer by daisyb at 3:56 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Wow, thank you ladies... Your answers have really opened my eyes. I will start with his therapist, see if she can test for the ADD thing. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but it sure does help to know that there might be a cause for all of this. He see's a therapist for personal things with his bio-dad, but it's only been a couple times. I was hoping it might lead to some answers with school as well. I will always stand behind him no matter what, it's just hard to watch it go on and not know what to do... I cry a lot at night because I feel so lost for him, and I want him to do well in life... He's very smart, when he does apply himself he does very well, so I know he has potential... I will keep reading responses, this has helped so much already...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:15 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • If I could have I would have selected all of you for best answer... Thank you so much for all of the words of advice.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:59 PM on Apr. 26, 2011