What Do We Have To Do To Get Our Son To Adjust His Behavior?

School Fail

Is steam coming out of my ears? I ask because my blood pressure has to be sky high due to stress caused by my son’s behavior in and out of school during the past two weeks. I am at my wit’s end; it’s taking all my energy to not strangle the boy (figure of speech, I’m not actually going to murder him… this time ;-) ).

I received a call from my son’s math teacher today telling me that he had been using the Chromebooks to play games instead of completing tasks assigned to him. When challenged, my son told him he doesn’t belong there and his former teacher was better. And when the Chromebook was taken away and worksheet handed to him instead, he just put his head on the desk refusing to complete any work.

When the same teacher looked at past scores on some online school tasks, there were zero attempts to answer questions, it was showing “0 of 0” which indicates that no questions were even attempted. If he had attempted to answer just one question, it of shown as “0 of 1”. My son tried to claim that there was a technical problem and that he had answered the questions, but no-one else had a problem that day.

I confronted my son while still sat in the school parking lot and he claimed that the teacher was lying. So, I called his bluff and went back to the school and spoke with the teacher in question. My son claimed that he wasn’t playing games, it was just a tab open from free-time, however, the teacher said the tab was active when he walked around the classroom, which, based on past behaviors, I believe this to be true.

My son has three assignments with zero scores in social studies, a subject where he has an F grade due to those zero scores. I suspect, again based upon past behaviors, that he simply is not doing the assignments. I’ve Emailed his social studies teacher asking if he has received them… and I’ve just received a reply from the teacher and as expected; my son has lied and not handed the assignments in.

The net result is that my son has lost his TV privileges, now he’s upset, he was fine before he found out that he has lost his TV. He is now claiming he has been feeling suicidal since starting middle school almost 18 months ago. We’ve heard this before, he has been assessed by the school psychiatrist and she believes it’s attention seeking and manipulative behavior. Which tallies up with my experiences at home, he also acts like this when he loses privileges, which he does often due to consistent behavior issues.

I gave him a huge incentive before the resumption of school, I told him I would buy him any games console he wanted for his birthday if he could go the remainder of the school year without another F. It took all of 7 school days for that offer to be void with the aforementioned social studies grade.

In regard to school, it doesn’t matter whether he is allowed to play video games, watch TV, listen to his mp3 player, his grades are poor because he does not want to put in the effort. And it does not bother him in the slightest, he does not get upset until the consequences enter his world, i.e. losing his privileges.

It truly baffles us as he knows the consequences, yet he won’t do what is required to keep those privileges. If he was struggling in school, we’d get him help, but that is not the case, he’s just disinterested. In fact, we have signed him up for after-school tutoring, we are waiting on confirmation.

All this is a continuation of last week’s behavioral issues, click here to read about it.

We have just received confirmation that our son has been accepted into the after school tutoring program and will attend Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from the end of school to 5:30 pm and can get additional help from the special education teachers during lunchtime on Wednesdays, lets see how it goes.

Update [Jan, 26 2017, 23:11]: After taking some time to calm down and collect my thoughts. I sat down with my son and explained why I am so angry and disappointed with his behavior and explained what I need him to do to regain his privileges. I expect him to achieve a minimum C grade in all subjects to get his TV back, then he needs to maintain that C grade until May to get his video game/internet privileges back for the summer break. This is to prove to my wife and I that he can maintain the grade and not work hard for a week or two to get his privileges back, then immediately fall back into the D & F group.

Update [Feb, 3 2017, 21:19]: Here we are; one week later and… my son has turned a single D and single F into two D’s and two F’s. He has been participating in extra study time after normal school hours, over 7.5 hours of extra time and he has done twice as bad as before. I will have to investigate what is happening in these extra study periods, to find out whether anyone is actually helping him or whether he is left to his own devices. If it is the latter, what’s the point of sending him to those extra study periods?

I know if my son is left alone, he’ll not do anything, despite the dangling carrot of being able to have his TV privileges back. I consistently reinforce that if he needs additional help at home, his mother and I can help, but he never asks for help. Ultimately, it is not possible to help some who does not want to help themselves. He has plenty of time at home to study and catch up as he has no TV, Internet or video game privileges due to his poor grades, but nope, he just sits there plugged into his mp3 player and sleeping.

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