advice please 14YO son

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2010
advice please 14YO son
Sun, 03-13-2011 - 10:57pm

Please, any advice is appreciated.

I have a 14YO son who right now has 4 Fs. He is extremely bright and a gifted athlete. He is getting As, then an F. It's all about effort - the Fs are for missing assignments & papers that count as major test grades. I can't understand why he is not living up to his potential - he has so much brain power. He's reserved and I can't pull any answers from him. I know that drugs aren't the problem He's more content to sit on XBox all day rathern than excel in school. When I ask him, why he would do such a thing, he has no answers. I think he doesn't even know himself.

His father and I

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Sun, 03-13-2011 - 11:28pm

I'm not sure how I would handle this type of problem as we never had this type of problem to face.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 12:56am

Start by giving your son the benefit of doubting that he ENJOYS losing <<>>.

Give him the benefit of doubting: that he loves failing school, that he is terminally lazy, or that you raised him poorly.

Just for a moment believe that your son would NOT WANT TO LIVE LIKE THIS,

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 10:40am

I think you did the right thing by taking away his Xbox - it can be a huge addiction for some kids. Before you pull the baseball I'd contact all his teachers and have them agree to either email you his assignments or sign off on his homework assignments each night for him to bring home. And then have him show you the work when he's done each night. Not so much to go over it in detail but just to prove he's done it. In other words 'micro manage' for awhile since he isn't managing his time well. I, too, have one that lacks motivation. Unfortunately he'll be 21 on Friday and still isn't exactly a ball of fire so I may not be the best person to give advice! Hang in there and keep us posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 6:38pm

Is he on the school baseball team?

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 03-15-2011 - 6:12pm

Sabr is spot on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 03-15-2011 - 6:44pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-16-2011 - 7:51am

<<<I have a 14YO son who right now has 4 Fs>>

Right now? Are these mid-session grades that are temporarily down because of missed assignments that will be up to a B or so by May?

Some kids know the system. They count on doing well on tests, getting full points for those tests, and figure out exactly what assignments they have to do(and can not do)in order to get a passing grade.

My older two boys were like this. Both tested as gifted in school with #2 coming in with a 160 IQ.

Meanwhile, my third has severe learning disabilities related to memory. He learns easily, does the work and then goes to bed at night and it all falls out his ear. We have seen experts, tried meds, etc but it is what it is. He coped by DOING the assignments and the extra credit because he knew darn well he'd struggle with the tests. We were thrilled if he got a D on an exam, especially a final.

Not only did #3 make it through high school, his GPA was higher than my #2 who played the system.