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Middle School Blues… My Son And His Failing Grades

Ever since our son, Conner moved upto middle school after the summer break, we have been having issues with his grades being less than desirable with him often being placed in the D and F group.

We had our first round of conferences back in December and we found out his poor grades were related to not handing in his assignments for the most part. He was doing the assignments at home, but rarely handed them in. I’m baffled as to why he would not hand it in; Conner’s stock response for pretty much everything is “Oh, I forgot”, which we do not buy for one second, he never forgets his video game time.

Ten weeks pass and we are still getting notices most weeks that Conner is still in the D and F group. We question him about why his grades are so bad and he said he doesn’t like his F subjects, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. Conner claims that he is not very good at those subjects, but we come to find from his teachers in his second school conference that it’s more like he does not want to put in the effort.

For example, his science teacher explained that instead of doing his science lab, he failed to collect his assignment sheet and just played with the lab equipment instead of doing the lab, then when questioned about it, acted like he doesn’t care. We heard a similar story in social studies, instead of doing his assignment on the Chromebook, he was messing with non-assignment related stuff on the Internet.

Like everything in life, actions have consequences and the consequence for Conner is no video games at all and no television or radio in his room. He feels that we shouldn’t punish him for not getting good grades, but tough, he knew the consequences of his actions beforehand and now it’s a reality.

If Conner was having difficulty with those three subjects and not just being defiant and lazy, we would get him the help he needs, but that is not the case, his teachers, my wife and I all think he is capable of doing the work, he’s a smart kid, but he chooses to not to put in the effort; his general attitude proves that fact!

His attitude is “I just have to get a C grade to get my gadgets back”, before reverting, his grades drop and we go on another cycle. We’re at a loss about how to get him to stick with it instead of doing the minimum before reverting back to the same lazy apathetic work ethic. Instead of knuckling down, the water works start, which is his classic mechanism for getting out of stuff he doesn’t want to do, but in middle school crying doesn’t cut it, he’s going to be 12 years old this August, he’s took old for this!

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