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Stuck On A Roundabout With No Exits?

F Grade

Middle school has been a nightmare for my family and me with my son consistently failing to complete school assignments resulting in consistent F grades in two subjects, social studies and language arts.

My son is almost 13 years old and needs to take responsibility for his actions. He refuses all help from us and his teachers, so we assume that he is able to do the work. However, we look at his grades and 80% of his assignments are late, he just started a new semester and he has two F grades two weeks in.

My wife has been somewhat soft allowing him to play video games with his little sister, incidentally, he is not interested in playing with her unless it’s video games, anyway, I allowed him to play video games with his sister for a week to see if it would improve his school performance. It did not, his grades have not improved whatsoever, so he is back on bread and water punishment. No video games, no television, and no overnight stays at his grandmother’s house until he can change those F grades into C or better grades.

He claims we put too much pressure on him, which we do not, we expect C grades, not straight A grades. He changes his story from one minute to the next, if we are not buying his current excuse, he changes tack, which just compounds the original lie. It’s always someone else’s fault, not his, he refuses to accept responsibility for his actions. He will not get a free ride from me, I expect him to fulfill his obligations, not just to us, but to himself as well, he promises he will do better, but it’s nothing more than lip-service.

This has been the situation for two school years and it feels like we are traveling on a roundabout where all exits are closed. Right now, he is in his room crying because I informed him that there would be no games, television or overnight stays with his grandmother. I tell him to change his behavior, video games, television, and visits to his grandmother’s house are privileges, not a right, he has to earn those privileges.

In addition to not pulling his weight in school, he is in trouble at home for going on the laptop despite not being allowed Internet access due to his poor grades. He has been downloading wholly inappropriate game stream audio onto his mp3 player, 93 files in total. And according to the file creation date and time, they were all when he was home alone while we bought groceries or took his sister to gymnastics class.

He didn’t realize that his mother was home last Thursday while I was out at gymnastics and he got caught red handed. This resulted in me taking his mp3 player and I immediately heard a whole bunch of inappropriate language in these downloaded game streams. The net result is that he now has to come with me whenever I leave the house, that privilege of being able to stay home alone has been rescinded.

Thankfully, his seven-year-old sister has much better behaved, she has been on the honor roll every semester since she started school and although her general behavior has not been perfect, it’s infinitely better than my son and she is just seven years old, my son is almost 13, he knows better than that.

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