Help my 17yr.old is failing school - FamilyEducation
Help my 17yr.old is failing school
04/19/2008 at 21:25 PM


I have never done this before so bare with me if it sounds goofy.

My son goes to school but is constantly late to some of his classes. Hence, detentions. But of more concern is his grades.  He either gets A's or F's. He get's the F's because he doesn't hand in his homework.  I am always asking him do you have any home work or did you get it done, his response is don't worry about it. But when I just got his progress report today it was horrible.

I have tried everything  form tough love treatment to possitive incentives.  Nothing seems to work.

He dosen't get along with his stepfather which I know is a huge problem.  Because my husband is so frustrated he deals with it by calling him names. Which I then step in because I don't feel anyone deserves to be called aweful , hurtful names. So then the drama begins.

Anybody have any ideas to help me with this?


This could be the story of my grandson who is almost 17 and a year behind. He has struggled all his school years. My daughter had him when she was just out of highschool and we helped raise him. His father and stepfather have been in his life, the stepfather more so He repeated 3rd grade and had a teacher that really should not have been teaching and he missed the basic phonics. In the early years, she got a couple of tutors for him. The Y had a good program and then one at home program he would not cooperate with. he is sophmore and can make an A in FFA and a decent grade in math but it is the homework, and didn't do a recent term paper. He and his parents got called into the school. Have you had him see the school counselor??? I suggested this to my daughter and she said he would be mad!!!!!!! I said the counselor would not even have to know mom made the call. He is being called in for his grades. We have all helped him get caught up on homeword and it is a constant worry, as I know it is for you. He got a used pick up for his 16th birthday and that has been a leverage. And his father has after all these years taken some responsibility, making him come over and do homework. But this is the same man that used to pull his ears when he was a preschooler. we just found out within the last couple of years. So, he has not ahd the best of life and he and I have a good relationship. He is not a behavior problem at school just thinks he does not have to do his homework. tried to tell him to do his homework for a week and see how good you feel about yourself doing what you are supposed to be doing!!! I think he knows the stuff. He tells me, Grandma, I am just lazy!!! He is kind considerate, just can't deal with school. At his school they have what is called 7th hour where you go and just do your homework, which he is in. He wants to join the army and I think that is his incentive, but also wants a ranch someday and Oklahoma State University has an AG program, but can't see him doing that. He is also immature for his age. So, I do have faith in him and I tell him. Children like that need alot of positive reinforcement, unfortunatley it ends up in a fight with the parents and child. I begged to have him tested and not just at school level, but the parents never did and he has struggled so. He is working- picks up golf balls at a local golf course and that had helped his self esteem. my brother is 58 years old and never did well in school, he got to college level and then decided he beter get busy and is today a successful insurance businessman.My 2 nephews never did well in school and today one is a Government Parole Officer and one is a Fitness trainer and Registered Dietitian. So there is hope for our beloved boys. They must have that positive encouragement-which comes from the women to make up for the belittling that men seem to do so well. Let me know how things are going! I care!!! Sincerely, Kay from Oklahoma

I am a math teacher at a middle school in San Diego County. I have seen this many times. The fact that your child is getting A's or F's shows that he has the ability and the brains to get the work done. Generally when a student is not turing in work it is either because they are being lazy (they could also be goofing off during class time) or because they are looking for some sort of attention. Teenagers tend to let out their frustrations from what is going on at home at school. The best advice that I can give you for his school work is make sure that you are in constant communication with his teachers. Sit in on his classes if needed. He needs to know that you and his teachers are together on this and want him to succeed. Positive incentives work many times, but it always depends on the circumstances. As a teacher, my best advice is communication between school and home and also between you and your child. Good Luck!

1. require him to use a student planner and have him update it daily with homework assignments, due dates, etc. If they say they "have no work" (very common), they should write what they did in class. Make sure you check it all the time...daily if possible. 2. Check to see if his school allows weekly grade checks from teachers 3. Get teacher e-mail or phone # and stay in contact regularly 4. Take away privileges (like driving, TV, cell phone, Internet, etc) until improvement is made 5. Reward improvement 6. Start focusing on post-high school goals. Goal-planning is huge...if he doesn't see an "end goal", it makes the journey MUCH more difficult. 7. Definitely try and see if his father can stop the name-calling...that's only going to hurt his self-esteem and prevent any progress...

maybe he dont like school because of his step father... you should ask him first what bothering him so that you'll know exactly what to do rather than guessing what's on his mind...