Our 15 year old g/son stays at our house because his Mom and Step-Dad's blended family home is small and would require him to share a BR with 3 boys under age 9.
T is a great kid and has never been a problem. Mom has trusted us to make rules and expected him to follow them, which he has. A few weeks ago we discovered T is failing 2 major classes at school. He claims never to have homework. He never studies at home for tests. I have talked until I'm blue about the importance of working hard to bring these grades up, how his grades count toward getting into a good college, etc., but nothing lights a fire under him. This is the only issue that makes him defensive and causes friction between us. I finally restricted him from going to friends' houses after school until his grades come up and have postponed getting his driver's permit until I see improvement. But Mom doesn't back me up and lets him hang out with friends after school (when she picks him up).
I talked to his Mom, who said she would talk to his teachers, but that hasn't happened. As g/mother, I don't have the authority to do that and it is unlikely I could get Guardianship. Mom doesn't seem to take this seriously either.
I can see where this is headed but what can I do? I want to throttle Mom and restrict T from everything but breathing until he gets the message that school is important and he needs to take responsibility. I've suggested tutoring but that seems to insult him!
Everything I read says g/parents should sit back and let the parents handle things but out of 6 kids, T is the one that gets the least parental guidance.
I feel that if he's staying with us, he should go by our rules. No matter what I do, I'm going to make an enemy and I'm prepared for that, if necessary. I just want to do the right thing for T. Should I give him until the 9 weeks to bring the grades up to passing "on his own," then if he doesn't, get tougher on him (and battle with Mom) NEXT 9 weeks? This could be a lesson in accountability but it would also lose valuable time in fixing the problem. Should I make him move back home? (He would hate that.) Help!