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3 Years On… We Are Still Having Issues With School Behaviors

School Consequences

As my 13 year old son approaches the end of his middle school years, we are still having issues with getting him motivated to do his school work, he often doesn’t do it, sometimes does it, but shoves it in his agenda and doesn’t hand it in, which has consistently caused his grades to drop in the D’s and F’s.

The rule at home is a single D or F means no video games until he gets back into a C and above grade in all subjects. This week, he turned a single D into two D’s and an F, despite me telling him what he needed to do to get his grades to where they needed to be. Instead of pulling his work from Google Classroom and doing it, he elected to lounge about watching TV, so his TV privileges got revoked too.

My son is more than capable of getting A’s and B’s across the board when he puts in the effort. I have noticed that in his intervention classes, he does well, he currently has two A’s, which I put down to being in a smaller class, where he is unable to slack off so easily. He has an A and a B in the classes he likes, but the larger classes in subjects he dislikes, these are the problem classes, where grades are sub-par.

His teachers tell me he is capable, despite this, my son likes to claim he is stupid, which is far from true, he makes stupid decisions, that’s for sure, but, he is highly intelligent and despite his diagnosis of autism with ADHD, that does not stop him from getting good grades, he is just not interested in those subjects.

He’s smart enough to know that, for example, he had to get all C’s or above to get a new video game at the end of the last semester, so he delivered all C’s, by the seat of his pants, mind you, he was one point away from getting a D. So this semester, we have upped the ante to three B’s and no D’s or F’s.

Clearly, we are very concerned, with him going to high school in a little over four months, that we are unable to break him of these behaviors, especially regarding handing in work late, or not at all until we check his grades online and get on his case about it. My son talks about going to Full Sail University in Florida, the way he is going, he won’t even get into local community college with these grades.

On to the event that inspired this write up, yesterday, Friday, 4/20, I received an Email from his language arts teacher describing his highly disrespectful actions. First, he accused his teacher of “failing to grade his work”, which he had handed in three days after it was due. My son was sent to the back of the room for his actions, where he grabbed some assignment sheets and wrote his name on them, before going back to the teacher, waving them in her face, demanding she grade them immediately, disrupting the class.

Later, in the same class, my son asked the teacher if he could sit in the comfy seats, which seems to be a reward type of seat, from what I can gather. His teacher said, “no, no-one is sitting there in class today”, to which my son responded, “you’re a liar”. Clearly, this is not acceptable behavior, and we certainly have not raised him this way, we teach personal responsibility to both our kids, not to shift the blame.

I understand that he is angry that he has lost his video game and TV privileges, but he has no-one else to blame, but himself. Even now, when he has no TV to watch or video games to play, he chooses to sleep instead of taking proactive steps to resolve the situation. His missing schoolwork is available to him on Google Classroom, but he chooses to be inactive and talking to him is like talking to a brick wall.

We have signed him up to after-school tutoring to help him get the work done, and in all honesty, has done nothing to improve his grades. I don’t know what he is using this extra time for, clearly, it is not for catching up with school work. My son constantly refuses help offered to him by teachers and us, as parents, he says he can do it. How do you help someone that doesn’t want to help themselves?

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