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I am struggling w/ my 12 yr old son. He used to be an honors student...now he could care less about homework. His attitude is " a C is good enough"...well it is if you bust your arse getting a C...but he isn't. Things used to come very easily for him and now that he is challenged instead of working harder, he has just quit. I know he is in the midst of puberty atm (hair under the arms, hair on upper lip)...and usually I can handle the attitude but the not caring about school work is not acceptable. I've tried taking away stuff...nothing works. I have resorted to having him do dishes (you mean I have to do EVERYONE'S AND NOT JUST MINE?!...Why can't we use disposable then?!
) ....This kid has me
...We recently lost a niece to a very rapid growing brain tumor and this situation has made it worse but the problem was there BEFORE it all began. He says he is trying his hardest but when I see five 0's in a workbook...darn right I am mad! He said it was due to our vacation we took but the message on the book from the teacher was "incomplete one month after due". So, even if we were gone, he still had a chance to do them. He didn't even TOUCH them! Can someone tell me if this is normal behavior for a boy going thru puberty? This..."I dont care about anyone right now but me" attitude?
 

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Well I don't have any kids but I do have a younger brother. He is 18 now but I remember his going though the same thing. Unfortuatly he is still going through it. It has gotten a little better. What my mom would do is tell him unless he got good grades he couldn't snow board. My little brother lives for snow boarding, so that worked during the fall and winter but not in the spring.

Sorry, I couldn't be more help.
 

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Yes I have one and I am glad I am over that stage. She is now 36 and doing great. But as a parent you never stop worrying. She went through a stage between 15 and 19 years old, tho I never had to worry about school but something else. No, not drugs. What's left ? SEX, thank goodness for birth control.
 

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Originally posted by Triste@Dec 10 2004, 12:07 PM
I am struggling w/ my 12 yr old son. He used to be an honors student...now he could care less about homework. His attitude is " a C is good enough"...well it is if you bust your arse getting a C...but he isn't. Things used to come very easily for him and now that he is challenged instead of working harder, he has just quit. I know he is in the midst of puberty atm (hair under the arms, hair on upper lip)...and usually I can handle the attitude but the not caring about school work is not acceptable.  I've tried taking away stuff...nothing works. I have resorted to having him do dishes (you mean I have to do EVERYONE'S AND NOT JUST MINE?!...Why can't we use disposable then?! 
) ....This kid has me 
...We recently lost a niece to a very rapid growing brain tumor and this situation has made it worse but the problem was there BEFORE it all began. He says he is trying his hardest but when I see five 0's in a workbook...darn right I am mad! He said it was due to our vacation we took but the message on the book from the teacher was "incomplete one month after due". So, even if we were gone, he still had a chance to do them. He didn't even TOUCH them! Can someone tell me if this is normal behavior for a boy going thru puberty? This..."I dont care about anyone right now but me" attitude?
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Sounds like MANY of my students!!! Seventh grade???????
Yes...alhtough my skin kids are 7 and 4...I have the pleasure of spending 8 hours of my day with 12 and 13 year old 7th graders going though puberty. Many of the parents are at their wits end like yourself. It is really hard to find what works for each child when they fall into one of these stages. They have their minds on anything and everything EXCEPT school work. School is great to socialize and all, but WORK?! What?!

I get SO aggravated when they have NO intrinsic motivation! It makes my job 1000 times harder than it already is! I say talk to the teachers and see if there are school consequences that might work. I make mine miss break when they miss their assignments....some teachers paddle after so many times...some kids are having to carry around assignment books and get each teacher to sign off on homework...some it is working for/others it is not. BUT-the good thing is that you care and you are on his butt about it!!! That is 1/2 the battle right there!!! It is really hard on the teachers when there is no support/back-up at home.
I say stick to your guns and find out what is important to him and start using that as punishment. It sounds like he ONCE had a good head on his shoulders...he should start to come back around again...
Good luck!
 

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I say take his allowance and don't let him leave the house esp. on the weekends until you start seeing A's and B's. I think if he's capable, then C isn't good enough!

Actually, I don't really know. That's what I would do. Talking to the teachers sounds like a good step. Setting aside a time for him to do his HW when you're home and able to watch sounds good too.

This is the time when I'm glad I'm too young (in my mind, mostly) to have kids. (Tlunn--don't get me all emotional again!)

Does he give you excuses why he cant besides that vacation?
 

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It's my son's 18th birthday TODAY!!! I can't believe my baby is now a legal adult (and that I am the mother of a legal adult!!!).

My son is a great kid who has always been exceptionally easy to parent.

However, the years between 11-13 were the most difficult ones, with 12 being the most difficult of all.

12 is a really, really hard age for growing adolescents. He's growing, he is moving from being a kid to being an adolescent, chemicals and hormones are raging through his system, and he is probably subject to a lot of both peer and social pressures. The middle school years are the WORST--far harder than high school, even.

I am sure that the loss of your niece has affected your son even if he doesn't know it or show it. Death and its immediacy, particularly of a family member or close friend, has a tremendous impact on young people. It brings them face to face with their own mortality just a little too soon, and can make things like homework seem so very unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

I have never been a big fan of punishment as a parenting method. I much prefer motivators--giving him something in exchange for performing well in school rather than punishing him for not performing well.

First, I would spend extra time just talking and listening, if he will. Take him to a movie, a restaurant, or to do something fun without any strings attached. This is just to remind him that you love him dearly just as he is and understand that 12 is a difficult time. Talk about what's important to him (not you, don't bring up the grades yet). This strengthens your bond and sets the stage for trust.

Then, maybe sometime a little later, at bedtime perhaps, bring up school, and ask him what you do to help him succeed, and what type of incentive might make him want to work just a little harder (tickets to a concert or a game, a family camping trip, $5 for every A, $3 for a B, etc...,). Believe me, this method works. My son brought mostly As and Bs with an occasional C up to straight As and graduated with all As his senior year using incentives :) Nothing like that $10 per A (matched by a family friend) to make him push just a little harder.

Sorry this is so long. I just remember how hard that period (12 years old) was on me as a mom and my son as a 12 year old...and we made it through using these strategies. Good Luck!
 

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tlunn...he's a 6th grader..darn close you are
!!! My son doesn't get an allowance for his chores b/c I can't seem to get him to do them w/out either 1) starting to do them myself or 2) having to tell his arse 10 times to do it! I am not paying for that kind of work! In any case, there is ALWAYS an excuse for something that happens....it's NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEVER HIS FAULT. *gasp* are you kidding?!
 

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We did try incentives...told him that if he got back to first honors(which is no C's...and no grade below a 90) we would buy him the coveted paintball gun for him...his answer? That's too hard! :eek: He ALWAYS got first honors up until the very end of last year..he can do it, he just doesn't want to the lazy bum!







Originally posted by SylphidesMom@Dec 10 2004, 01:59 PM
It's my son's 18th birthday TODAY!!! I can't believe my baby is now a legal adult (and that I am the mother of a legal adult!!!).

My son is a great kid who has always been exceptionally easy to parent. 

However, the years between 11-13 were the most difficult ones, with 12 being the most difficult of all.

12 is a really, really hard age for growing adolescents.  He's growing, he is moving from being a kid to being an adolescent, chemicals and hormones are raging through his system, and he is probably subject to a lot of both peer and social pressures.  The middle school years are the WORST--far harder than high school, even.

I am sure that the loss of your niece has affected your son even if he doesn't know it or show it.  Death and its immediacy, particularly of a family member or close friend, has a tremendous impact on young people.  It brings them face to face with their own mortality just a little too soon, and can make things like homework seem so very unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

I have never been a big fan of punishment as a parenting method.  I much prefer motivators--giving him something in exchange for performing well in school rather than punishing him for not performing well. 

First, I would spend extra time just talking and listening, if he will.  Take him to a movie, a restaurant, or to do something fun without any strings attached.  This is just to remind him that you love him dearly just as he is and understand that 12 is a difficult time.  Talk about what's important to him (not you, don't bring up the grades yet).  This strengthens your bond and sets the stage for trust.

Then, maybe sometime a little later, at bedtime perhaps, bring up school, and ask him what you do to help him succeed, and what type of incentive might make him want to work just a little harder (tickets to a concert or a game, a family camping trip, $5 for every A, $3 for a B, etc...,).  Believe me, this method works.  My son brought mostly As and Bs with an occasional C up to straight As and graduated with all As his senior year using incentives :) Nothing like that $10 per A (matched by a family friend) to make him push just a little harder.

Sorry this is so long.  I just remember how hard that period (12 years old) was on me as a mom and my son as a 12 year old...and we made it through using these strategies.  Good Luck!
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Hmmm. That's a challenge. How about mini-increments? Something small to get to Bs, a little more to get to B+, the big prize for As? Over a reasonable time frame, of course...

By the way, where are you from? British?
 

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Nope, not British...I am just a tad north of you! I am in Indiana...halfway between Cincinnati and Indianapolis
 

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Ah, it's a small world. I ask because I was born in England, and some of the vocabulary you use is very common among the British...and the description of the program your son is in sounds like some of the British programs.
 

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I have gone through what you are going through 4 times and 1 is still in that stage.
My oldest is now 28. He droped out of high school 3 months prior to grauation with good grades. Doesn't say a word, goes to his friends until school close and comes home. Finally he told me at the end of the year. He went for his GED a few years later, graduated college and has a wonderful job, a home and has done very well for himself.

I believe if you teach a child to do the right things in life they will eventually do it, during the rebelious years life can be difficult. This is however part of growing. To rebel and find your place in the world. I always remind my children that it is their life and they are the only one who will live with their decisions. They are not hurting me they are hurting themselves. I never mention that it hurts me too, sometimes even more because I realize at my age just how hard they are making their lives.

With time things turn out, children mature and realize that we are not the enemy. Thenn we are a loving family once again. I have been through this 1 time with my own child and 4 times with my step children, who I raised. It is a very hard time in a teens life. It becomes a very hard time for the parent. Always know that they love you and that they will out grow this stage! It helps to keep your sanity!
 

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Oh, I feel for you.....I feel your pain! I have two daughters and was a single parent and it was the most painful time for me when they went through puberty. I never knew if what I was doing was right or if I was causing the problems, etc. I never believed, and still don't, that cash incentives should be given to improve performance. You earn your right to live in this world and no one owes you a living. Children have the security of knowing their parents are going to love them, house, clothe, educate and feed them but taking on more privileges means taking on more responsibility. If they are not doing their part to develop themselves for independence then the privileges don't accrue either. The use of Video games, computers, bicycles, toys, free time, etc. are not RIGHTS. They are privileges given by their parents at their parents whim. That is the leverage I always used to get improved "performance", ie attitude, responsibility, etc.

I made a number of mistakes, which I see now and regret because they suffered as a result. But I always loved them dearly and made them take responsibility for their actions. When one wrecked my car, her paychecks came to me until the deductible on the repairs and the rental car charges were paid in full. Where I fell down on the job was with their schoolwork and that is what I regret most. Like it or not learning reading, writing, arithmetic, science, etc. is the basis for everything you're going to do in this world, even if you don't plan to be a rocket scientist. Knowledge gives you more options in choosing which opportunities you can take advantage of. It's difficult to get this across to teenagers when their total self-centeredness blinds them to the reality of the future.

In the past 3 years scientists have discovered that the human brain is not completely "wired" in infancy. At puberty, the area of the brain that deals with judgment and impulse control is still developing. There was another article in our newspaper last week about this. It explains a lot about the attitude and behaviour of teenagers. Raging hormones AND erratic impulse control and judgment!

My daughters now each have a 13 year old daughter. Woo-woo! The joy of seeing them go through the same things with their daughters as I did with them!
One of them actually formally apologized to me last year for everything she had ever done to cause me pain and anguish when she was a teenager.

The advice about taking time to have some "good time" with your son is an excellent one. Let him pick the movie, place to eat, whatever and take that opportunity to get a glimpse of his world though his choices. It helps give you points of reference and subjects to discuss together. Withhold any lectures on art (at themovie) or nutrition (at dinner) and just enjoy time together. My granddaughter played on of her favorite songs for me over the long distance phone the other night and when it was finished told me the group was called "Bowling for Soup". At first I thought what a stupid name, then I rememberd "Three Dog Night", "Grateful Dead", etc. and told her about the wierd names of the bands I listened to in my youth. It turned into a very communicative session with her, which have been fewer and far between since she hit puberty.

I know I'm rambling but raising children is not a science, it is an art and you really learn as you go. It sounds as though you may be a single parent because you didn't mention your spouse in this. I believe a woman raising a son is even more difficult because you cannot be the complete role model he needs. My bottom line advice is set parameters and expectations, be firm and be consistent. Much much easier said than done.
 

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Originally posted by SylphidesMom@Dec 10 2004, 02:59 PM
It's my son's 18th birthday TODAY!!! I can't believe my baby is now a legal adult (and that I am the mother of a legal adult!!!).

My son is a great kid who has always been exceptionally easy to parent. 

However, the years between 11-13 were the most difficult ones, with 12 being the most difficult of all.

12 is a really, really hard age for growing adolescents.  He's growing, he is moving from being a kid to being an adolescent, chemicals and hormones are raging through his system, and he is probably subject to a lot of both peer and social pressures.  The middle school years are the WORST--far harder than high school, even.

I am sure that the loss of your niece has affected your son even if he doesn't know it or show it.  Death and its immediacy, particularly of a family member or close friend, has a tremendous impact on young people.  It brings them face to face with their own mortality just a little too soon, and can make things like homework seem so very unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

I have never been a big fan of punishment as a parenting method.  I much prefer motivators--giving him something in exchange for performing well in school rather than punishing him for not performing well. 

First, I would spend extra time just talking and listening, if he will.  Take him to a movie, a restaurant, or to do something fun without any strings attached.  This is just to remind him that you love him dearly just as he is and understand that 12 is a difficult time.  Talk about what's important to him (not you, don't bring up the grades yet).  This strengthens your bond and sets the stage for trust.

Then, maybe sometime a little later, at bedtime perhaps, bring up school, and ask him what you do to help him succeed, and what type of incentive might make him want to work just a little harder (tickets to a concert or a game, a family camping trip, $5 for every A, $3 for a B, etc...,).  Believe me, this method works.  My son brought mostly As and Bs with an occasional C up to straight As and graduated with all As his senior year using incentives :) Nothing like that $10 per A (matched by a family friend) to make him push just a little harder.

Sorry this is so long.  I just remember how hard that period (12 years old) was on me as a mom and my son as a 12 year old...and we made it through using these strategies.  Good Luck!
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Don't get me wrong, I am for positive rewards and incentives...but I am not bribing my kids to do what they should be doing anyway. If they do it on their own...I don't mind rewarding the effort-but I don't like to lay the reward out there before hand. That is just my thinking. I don't even like to tell my students that they will get rewarded for doing something that I expect them to do before they do it. (ie: bring your progress report back signed) They are told and expected to do it. Those that DO it, I sometimes give a reward to, like bonus points or candy from the treat box) Then they learn that doing what they are supposed/expected to do CAN have rewards. If the next time I pass out progress reports they ask, "ARe we going to get candy for bringing it back?", I tell them that it is rude to ask for a reward and the answer is "no". I guess I am probably a "hard ***", but-that is just the way I see it.

Everyone is different, but in the end, you have to do what feels right to you and that you can live with. Stick to your guns....but like Sylphide's mom said, these are REALLY hard years-especially if he does have the extra emotional trauma in the back of his mind...I do believe he needs to hear (but not necessarily understand) that you are only looking out for his best interest and doing your job as a parent. He may not "get" that now, but as long as you stick to it-one day he will look back and remember it and thank you.

Not to burst your bubble...but seventh grade is usually worse than 6th.
(At least in my experience)
 

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Originally posted by Triste@Dec 10 2004, 12:07 PM
I am struggling w/ my 12 yr old son. He used to be an honors student...now he could care less about homework. His attitude is " a C is good enough"...well it is if you bust your arse getting a C...but he isn't. Things used to come very easily for him and now that he is challenged instead of working harder, he has just quit. I know he is in the midst of puberty atm (hair under the arms, hair on upper lip)...and usually I can handle the attitude but the not caring about school work is not acceptable.  I've tried taking away stuff...nothing works. I have resorted to having him do dishes (you mean I have to do EVERYONE'S AND NOT JUST MINE?!...Why can't we use disposable then?! 
) ....This kid has me 
...We recently lost a niece to a very rapid growing brain tumor and this situation has made it worse but the problem was there BEFORE it all began. He says he is trying his hardest but when I see five 0's in a workbook...darn right I am mad! He said it was due to our vacation we took but the message on the book from the teacher was "incomplete one month after due". So, even if we were gone, he still had a chance to do them. He didn't even TOUCH them! Can someone tell me if this is normal behavior for a boy going thru puberty? This..."I dont care about anyone right now but me" attitude?
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I have an 11 year old daughter who is also in sixth grade. She is doing very well at school, but her attitude about family involvement is, well very hurtful towards her brother and sister (both younger). As far as school is concerned, can I ask you a few questions? Has he recently changed friends (or groups)? Do his friends have the same attitude toward school? Does he have a mentor or advisor in school? There are so many reasons that kids decide to give up when it comes to school. First, I think you should probably rule out any medical reason like changes in medication (several acne medications should, in my opinion, not be on the market due to their adverse reactions), allergy troubles, learning problems (many don't show up until kids are in their teens), etc. Second, I would try to enlist the help of the school's guidance counselor or social worker. Finally, I would also speak directly to all his teachers and see how he acts with them. Does he show the same attitude toward them? You may also want to consider that your son has learned that school work is something that is completely under his control. He can control whether or not he does his work, gets good grades, and your responses to his lack of work and poor grades. Maybe the answer is to just ignore the behavior (and hope that it's an 11 year old thing) and not pay any attention to his expected tantrums. Maybe he's doing this because he knows he'll get a reaction out of you. I really hope that all works out for you. I don't mean to sound so preachy about this, and please know that there are others of us out there who have similar kid related problems. Good luck to you.
 

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Did you talk to his teacher? Get together and make a plan of action. Children are like dogs--you need rewards and punishments. There's got to be something you can withhold to get his attention!
And remember, it will all be over someday and you will be so proud of him and glad you had him. (Just not now!haha)
Ann (mother of 4, including twin sons--double trouble!)
 

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My son is now 20 but let me tell you between the ages of 13 to 19 I thought I was going to kill him. He was a total ****!! I loved him but there were times I just wished I could have sent him away somewhere. We tried everything...what finally worked was I told him I just couldn't do it anymore. When he was eighteen I told him he was on his own...I know it sounds horrible and it broke my heart. He is finally growing up. He has even apoligized to me for all that he did. I mean he did alot. Police were at my house on several occasions, neighbors gave me dirty looks for what he did, school would send him to court, school even threatened to put me in jail if my son didn't attend. I would take him to school everyday but he would just walk in one door and out another. Was so happy when he turned 18 - school and court couldn't throw me in jail and believe me a judge told me he was going to sentence me to 30 days in jail unless my son went to school. I tried everything. It is very hard and it breaks your heart when your children do what they do. Ray lived in a very beautiful, upscale neighborhood, went to a very good school, his friends when he was younger were great. He got in with the wrong crowd when he hit his teens. He is so intelligent but he didn't even graduate high school. Let me tell you he is very smart, he can do college alegbra in his head! No writing down the problem. He is finally getting his GED and is talking about college. Told him I would help him pay for some of it but first he needs to go to a community college before I will pay for a four year college. Just don't trust yet that he will finish...he has a lot of proving to do to us. I think it just depends on the kid. The way Ray acted you would have thought he was from the "bad side of town." I am just thankful that he is finally starting to grow up.

Talk to everyone that you can from teachers to social workers to anyone you can think of. But do remember that someday he will grow up and be a productive adult citizen.

Sorry I couldn't help and you will be in my prayers. I know how hard it can be. We have all kinds of dreams and wishes for our children and when they go their own way, and I mean a way that is not good for them, it just breaks your heart.

Keep on yours and learn which battles to fight. I learned that some of the stuff just wasn't that importanted. For example...Ray's bedroom was a mess. It was his bedroom, not mine. I just closed the door and wouldn't yell at him to clean it up. The battle to clean his room just wasn't worth it. Yelling and nagging him to clean it just wasn't worth it. I know some will say I gave in but in the long run I figured his dirty room just wasn't going to change anything.

Good luck and maybe try learning yoga LOL - stress relieve and if all else fails I have been told there are excellent military schools out there LOL.
 

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Originally posted by Laceys mom@Dec 11 2004, 11:05 AM
Good luck and maybe try learning yoga LOL - stress relieve and if all else fails I have been told there are excellent military schools out there LOL.
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LOL
 
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