6th grader - schoolwork and behavior problems - FamilyEducation
6th grader - schoolwork and behavior problems
03/03/2011 at 12:19 PM


My stepson is 11, almost twelve and is in his first year of middle school. He's always been a bright kid, often testing ahead of his grade level for reading math, however of the past 2 years (and especially since the start of middle school) we have had some MAJOR struggles with him. He rushes through all of his work, shows no pride in what he does (just wants to get it done, doesn't care if it's complete, right or neat), and often just doesn't do, or turn in, his homework. He is in split households and is with us Friday night through Tuesday night. So he is at this father's house Wednesday through Friday for school. He has had continuious late/missing assignments, lies to us about having homework or having it done and even when we check it and work on it with him, he sometimes "loses" it or just doesn't turn it in. To top if off he is now getting detentions on a regular basis and has twice told a teacher, to her face, that he isn't going to show up for the detentions they have assigned to him. He is a good kid, if you met him, you would NEVER guess that he is doing these things. But we CANNOT get through to him. We have taken away TV, Video games, computer...grounded him to the house and he doesn't seem to care. He is bored, but doesn't seem to understand the connection between his actions and the consequences. We have tried the reverse and rewarded him for positive schoolwork or behavior, only to get slapped in the face with more bad behavior.

I know that part of this can be chalked up to puberty, changing schools and likely a lack of follow through from his father when he is there...but any suggestions on what we can do to help turn him around? We have talked with his teachers and guidance couseler aleady and they are trying to help but nothing seems to change his actions. He lied to us about having his homework done Tuesday night so that he could go to a basketball game with a friend, only to get an email from his teacher the next day saying two assignments were not turned in. Got another email today that he only had his assignment from yesterday half done today. I don't know what else to do...