Need some advice, please..(kinda long)

  1. I really need some advice. My 12 y o son, who is in the 6th grade, used to be a staight A student. However, this whole school year has been a MAJOR battle. He doesn't bring any work home...says he gets it all done at school. Then I get calls and/or emails from teachers that he isn't turning in the assigned work. He has had at least 2 E's on every report card this year. We have talked to him, yelled at him(yes, I lost it ), grounded him, explained that he is going to be in this grade next year while his friends move on. Nothing seems to work. I am at my wits end. Have absolutely no idea where to go from here. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get through to him the importance of education?
    I would really appreciate any advice that any of you may have.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   RNonsense
    I don't know what to suggest here other than meet him at the school (he'll hate that....) to ensure he brings all his homework home...A friend of mine started that last October and it only lasted for a couple of days before the kid was soooooo embarrassed and BEGGED his mom not to show up anymore....

    Is he OK with everything else? Or is it a general personality shift here too?
  4. by   Reabock
    Is he OK with everything else? Or is it a general personality shift here too?

    That was my first thought too, what else is he having to cope with, new school, neighborhood, etc. could there be any drugs involved, unfortunately this and younger is the age they get started at? I do like the idea of meeting him at school and making sure work comes home, also a chance to see what is the general enviornment he is having to cope with. A lot of changes going on in these next few years, don't know how any of us got thru the teens!
  5. by   CountrifiedRN
    I have been through this, and unfortunately I still battle with my son who is now 16.

    One of the things that worked well was to get together with him and his teacher and have the teacher give you a list of assignments that are due daily or weekly, like journals or spelling lists. Then check to be sure that he brings them home every day/week. I also made a calendar that my son had to filll out every day with his assignments and have it checked off by the teacher before he left. If he did not have his work he would be grounded from tv, phone, friends, computer, and anything else I could think of. It took a few days of him being grounded and bored out of his mind but it finally worked.

    I have also gone to school with him and sat through every class, very embarrassing for him, but it helped him "remember" to write his assignments down so mom wouldn't have to go with him.

    Now he is in High School and it is much harder to keep track because he has so many different teachers, and many of them are indifferent. They feel the kids should take responsibility on their own, which I do agree with, but some are more difficult than others.

    I wish you the best of luck with your son, I know how hard it can be. It is like a part time job to keep up on them sometimes.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    Belinda:

    Welcome to middle school! I've seen four kids through this transition, and every single one of 'em went through a phase just like what your son is experiencing. Even my youngest, who is as smart as they come and was an excellent student all through elementary school, is struggling this year (he too is in 6th grade). He tells me he did his homework at school, then has missing assignments noted on his report card. I get phone calls from teachers wondering why he didn't turn in his big project, and of course he never tells me about these things until 8 PM the night before it's due and then flies into a panic because we don't have the stuff he needs for it. AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGH!!!!!!

    Still, the only one of my kids who never fully recovered their "drive" was my 14 YO son, and even he does well in the subjects he's interested in. I'm no expert, but I think a lot of the difficulties kids have at the 6th grade level come from their immaturity......they're just too young to be in a junior-high environment, and it tends to overwhelm them. Back in the dark ages when I was in junior high, it started at the 7th grade level, which made more sense, and I think it's just nuts to put little kids in with fast-growing, sexually maturing 7th and 8th graders.

    Anyway, you need to talk with your son---not AT him, but with him. Find out, if you don't know already, who he hangs out with at school; maybe he's running with a different crowd, or having difficulty even finding friends. Ask him what subjects he's having trouble with, whether he likes his teachers, and what goes on in class, as well as in PE and at breaks. If you don't like the answers, find out who, what, when, where, and why!

    Above all, don't threaten him. He's already going through the roughest part of adolescence, and everything he thinks he knows about himself is changing. Be firm in insisting that his schoolwork be a priority, and of course, you'll want to talk with his teachers on a regular basis; but try not to be punitive........believe me, there'll be battles aplenty during the next 5 years or so, and you don't want to feel he HAS to defy you in order to gain his independence. (This is how kids end up making horrible decisions about sex, drugs, and other matters of importance.) And whatever you do, DON'T threaten him with anything that you aren't willing to follow through with, or anything you have no actual control over, such as being held back. These days, almost nobody is held back; last year, my 14-year-old failed all his classes except PE and art, and they still promoted him!!

    The other thing is, you need to assess whether he may be depressed. It's surprisingly common at this age and tends to be situational, but it should be addressed anyway if you even suspect it.

    Good luck to you. I hope this helps.
  7. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    Thank you all for your advice!! I agree that 6 th grade is still too young to be considered Jr. High, and that is what they are considered here. His personality is the same as it has always been, he has always been a happy child who gets along well with others. He has had the same group of friends since preschool, whose parents I know(I grew up with most of them). I had considered the drug issue, but knowing my son and his friends, I honestly don't think that is the problem. (No, I'm not naive. I know that it could be possible. Please no one slam me.) Thanks again for the input, it's GREAT knowing I'm not alone in this!
  8. by   renerian
    I have five kids and had this problem with two of them. We tried everything. We met with teachers and they tried their best too. What it boiled down to us finally doing is letting them take the hit at grade time. Once they saw their grades and Fs one started to rally and had no problem after that. The other graduated with a 0.67 GPA. Now he has to retake all those courses he got below a C in high school, in college. He is flunking out the second time from that. If they don't want to do it basically there is nothing you can do. If you have ruled out learning disorders and things like dyslexia it is hard.

    I understand,

    renerian
  9. by   babynurselsa
    We have resorted to daily homework logs that must be signed by me every day. Groundig from everthing but breathing. Sitting right over my now 13 year old. I hae had to do this with her since 2nd grade. My daughter is a wonderful bright kid, if it is a subject she likes she will know it inside out and upside down, but if it is English, or Math....... seems only the threat of physical abuse will make her put forth the required effort.
  10. by   Mkue
    All good posts above me, can't think of anything else other than Jr. High can sometimes be more of a "social" time for kids rather than "study" time. Hopefully it's just a phase Jr. Highitis
  11. by   mother/babyRN
    Are you in school too? Or can you relate this change to a change in his life either with family or friends? I almost missed something when similar things started happening with my son while in his first year of school. Not only did he not want to disappoint me by telling me what was bothering him in the school, but not long before that an acquaintence of his had died and affected him deeply. Around the same time he had a new sister and a step dad with a heart attack...Has something changed in his immediate family or friend circle? I might check there first...Good luck..Yelling and grounding won't do anything as I recall....A visit to a young person oriented psychologist, as we had to do, was helpful in our case because our son felt he could talk with him and then, with us...He felt as though it were a buffer zone of sorts.

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