14y.o. ds flunking every class!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2003
14y.o. ds flunking every class!
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Wed, 10-22-2003 - 11:54am
I don't even know where to start when typing this message. My 14 y.o. ds is making me insane! He's always been a "spirited" child, but its out of control now. He is very intelligent (I've had him IQ tested several years ago). He's very bossy with the whole family (dd & 2 other ds's). Everything always has to be his way. He's rude to all of us. He does NOTHING to contribute to the household. I can't even get him to put his plate in the sink after eating breakfast, let alone any chores. His response is a simple "no" and he leaves the room. He's a freshman in high school this year. After having some problems last year in 8th grade in the public school with a couple of boys that were bugging him constantly and getting him into all kinds of trouble, I switched him to a local Christian school for the remainder of 8th grade. He now attends a Christian high school, as he refused to go back to the public school with these boys. He seems to like the school, he's made a few friends there. Its a small school - there are less than 50 kids in the freshman class. He is right now failing EVERY class. At first he was just failing Bible and English, now it is all of them. He keeps telling me that he will do better, but it only gets worse. I initiated a mandatory 1-hour study period every night for all the kids. What a joke! He monopolized all of my time so I couldn't pay any attention to the other 2 kids, and whined and complained the whole time about how he didn't understand the work and couldn't do it. He has a study hall period in school, which he completely wastes by doing nothing for that period. He tells me its "home" work so he won't do it in school. Trouble is, he's not doing it at home either. Last night he spent the whole night on the phone with his girlfriend, or chatting on the computer with friends, or sitting in front of his TV. He didn't even touch his school bag. We argue for hours EVERY night about the homework - as we did last night AGAIN, and frankly, I'm worn out!! He just keeps saying "later later later." In 3 months he will be 15 and wants to start driver's ed. right away. I've already told him "NO WAY!" The money that I would have spent on drivers ed. (since he's in private school, they don't offer it and I have to find private classes and pay for them), will be going towards his summer school since he's flunking everything and will no doubt be going there all summer. And I've told him that he will NOT be getting a driver's license because I will NOT pay the extra money for insurance because of his poor grades (you get discounts on insurance for good students). So I would think that this motivation would be enough for him to step back and realize what he's getting himself into here! But apparently its not! He's admitted to being lazy. He's even told me that he wants to marry a rich woman to take care of him while he sits around and watches TV all day. Sheesh! It just seems like he's fighting everything. He's good at drawing - like buildings and stuff. I told him maybe he should be an architect. That's a cool idea he thinks, but won't do anything toward that end. In fact, he won't do anything, period! Please help!! How do I motivate this child? How do I get him to see his potential? Like I said, he is highly intelligent - way above average IQ. How do I get him to do the darned homework? And put in more than 5 minutes doing it? He needs to study, like any other high school kid. And he doesn't. I don't see this getting any better until he gets some sort of eye opening epiphany here. Help me open this child's eyes!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 12:08pm
Hi Shutterbug530! Just my 2 cents worth, but it sounds like your son may have ADD or ADHD. Have you ever had him evaluated? Go over to ADD/ADHD Teens and Adults and copy and paste this same message. I think you will get some good advice over there as well as here. I'm not an expert, but my son has been dx with ADD and this sounds a lot like what he used to do!! Good luck!!

(((HUGS)))

Ann

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 12:13pm
Thanks Ann, I've had him evaluated, and he is not ADD/ADHD. In fact I've had him evaluated several times. Doctors won't give any meds cuz they don't feel that's the problems, and teachers won't say he's ADD cuz he's not. He's LAZY! There's a big difference. How do I motivate him out of this laziness????
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 12:18pm
And he's also got a BAD attitude! He's got this "nobody's gonna tell me what to do" attitude. So when I tell him to do his homework, that attitude kicks in and he won't do it. He tells me all the time, "its MY homework" or "its MY life". In other words, "leave me the f___ alone!" Very frustrating!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 12:41pm
I'm a bit confused as to why he gets chatting and phone privileges if he hasn't done his homework and if his attitude is so bad.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 1:14pm
Well, it's good that you've had him evaluated so that's behind you. Now for the solution?!?! All I can say is to do like Pam said and start taking away privileges one by one until you find the right one. Yes, he will scream and throw a fit, and yes your son will say he hates you, but you have to be strong and get him to realize that if he's going to behave this way, then he will be given nothing except the clothes on his back, the bed to sleep in, and food in his tummy. I know it's hard but you have to stick to your guns and show him that you're finished with putting up with his bull! Good luck, Shutterbug, and keep us posted!!!

(((HUGS)))

Ann

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 3:17pm

I think you need to separate two issues here - first, you have the "normal" teenage behavior/attitude of "nobody can tell me what to do" and other assorted crapola, including the lack of

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 6:24pm
I would agree with you sk1960, mom has to take control. Kids by their very nature don't have good self control until their older, they need somebody in charge, and that is the parents. I have to wonder how many years this boy has been lead to believe he controls the household??

shutterbug,

first of all, I would demand that DS act like he has some respect for you as the parent as well as other members of the household. I feel really strongly about treating family members with respect, and it goes both ways, parents must treat their kids with respect for their feelings and ideas. You don't have to *agree* with those feelings and ideas, but don't belittle the kids for them either. I always find it scary that so many people treat their coworkers, some of whom they don't even like, with more respect and kindness than they treat their family, whom they (supposedly) love.

Next, if he's going to act like he has to do nothing in this "hotel" - that's what he gets, a hotel room. Bed, bathroom, clothes and three squares, everything else is taken away, and he must EARN them back by doing his homework, being respectful, helping out around the house. Be a parent, be a leader, and insist he follow. Kids aren't born knowing this stuff, and as sk1960 says, some of what you're seeing is normal kid stuff, but it sounds like it's really been allowed to get out of hand.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 6:27pm
I wonder if I'll survive these years!! My ds is 14 too, a freshman too. I think FRESHMAN is a perfect name for them. This morning he was screaming at me in the car because his hair didn't look good. Like that's MY fault? No wonder I have acid reflux. Anyway, although he has never failed any classes (though he came pretty darn close last year) his attitude in 8th grade really sucked. This year, he seems to have a better attitude and tells me that he gets A's on tests and quizzes, though I have yet to see anything. So far, he still obeys me and will abide by my discipline. I haven't gotten any reports from his teachers yet, so that is good, but I still think I will email them to see how he is doing because report cards haven't come out yet. I agree with the other posters that this attitude is typical of teens, but I also agree that you and your dh could benefit from some books. A good one is "Get out of my life, but first can you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?" It was recommended to me on this board and it helped me a lot by giving me techniques to deal with my ds. Like, I don't get dragged into debates as much as I used to. Good luck
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 7:27pm
Thank you all for your words. Some of them have hit home to a certain extent. I have now removed his phone, TV, computer and Playstation. I picked him up at school, and told him these things were now gone. He was mad, but I told him that's fine. He tells me I'm a bad parent, I say "that's fine". He tells me to leave him alone. I said I would now. I will no longer hassle him about homework, but he won't get any stuff back til I see him doing it EVERY night. The distractions have been removed. He tries to tell me that now he's going to not do the homework on purpose since I took his stuff. I said, "that's fine, that's just longer before you get anything back." He's backed into a corner now, we'll see how it goes. I also told him if he tries to hog the TV from my other 2 boys (both of whom are straight A students), I will find a storage unit and a U-Haul truck and remove EVERY Tv from this house. I think he knows I'm serious on that one cuz I don't EVER watch TV. Okay, maybe just the news at 10:00 and then I go to sleep, but that's it. He knows darned well I wouldn't miss them. Anyhoo, keep sending hugs and strength our way - and thanks again!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 7:34pm
I would tape the number of U-Haul right on the refridgerator in BIG BOLD LETTERS. Good for you. You got to have brass balls. (that's what I had to develop and that is what my friends on another board dubbed me LOL)

E

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