Picking a Child up from school beacuse they are bored, Right or Wrong? - FamilyEducation
Picking a Child up from school beacuse they are bored, Right or Wrong?
06/08/2007 at 08:41 AM

My 17 year old son is ADHD and always calls and asks to come home. He is a junior in high school and has really bad grades. He says that he is bored and 1/2 of his day consists of study hall and resource where he gets help with homework and quizzes. He says he gets bored and because of his ADHD he is a dictraction to other kids. He repeatedly calls and wants to come home so I will call the school and tell him it is alright for him to come home, usually I have to tell them he has an appointment. Should I be picking him up from school or just letting him stay in school and learn like every other kid?

Is homeschool an option for him? What about work release time? I don't really know what would be best for him, but I would talk with him about his options and see if you can come up with a solution together. Good luck


Hey Dancer,


Welcome to the boards.  I would encourage him to stay at school especially since his grades are so bad, he really can't afford to miss school if he is not doing well.  I would tell him that if his grades improve then he might be able to leave early somedays. 






I have got to say that it sounds to me like you are taking the easy way out, but it will have dire consequences for your son later. Raising children is tough, especially if they have ADHD. They are usually very bright and it sounds like he has you wrapped around his finger. That means you have to try harder.  You will be met with a lot of resistance, but don't cave.

I would ask yourself what fundamental concepts about responsibility do you want to teach your child. Do you let him know what your expectations are clearly? What are the consequence for poor performance in school? Do you think your son will be able to handle adulthood and jobs if he thinks that if he is bored he should bail? If that's what you are teaching him, I hope you are wealthy enough to support him his whole life.

One of my sons is ADHD and HATED school (except for art, music and sometimes science). Every Friday I emailed his teachers to make sure he was doing his part of the responsibility, turning in all homework, studying for tests, behaving well. If I got a report from any of them saying he was not doing his part, he was grounded for the weekend. I let him know that in life, we aren't always happy with our situation, but we do the best we can and take advantage of the next good opportunity. Being bored is also something you can change somewhat by changing your attitude. Start each class by thinking: "Maybe there will be something interesting mentioned today."  I let him know that if he was fundamentally a good worker that respected others, he could do well in his chosen career. I also let him know that college is a little different because you can focus mostly on what you enjoy doing. Luckily, it worked.  He only needed to actually be grounded a few times to figure it out. 

Now, he attends a local college and is majoring in graphic design. He has received all As and one B. I have run into two of his professors who have told me what a wonderful student he is!  What a turnaround. So, because I taught him not to give up and to do his part of the bargain, he learned good work ethics. He may not have learned much of anything else in school, but at least he learned to try.  He also dates a wonderful young lady who was valedictorian and is going to college to study medicine on a scholarship.

I learned this not just from my training as a teacher, but also from the child psychiatrist that I sent him to just a few times when he first started doing poorly and acting out in innapropriate ways. She knew what she was talking about. Obviously, he was not the first ADHD adolescent she had to help. Don't be afraid to ask for professional help. She also told me to make sure that the few things that did interest him intensely, music and art should never be taken away as a consequence. He is also a very accomplished musician which has led to some wonderful opportunities to him. He also loves to mountain bike. So, try to help him find and pursue his interests. Thanks to her, and to us, he made it through adolescence without getting into trouble. That is amazing for an ADHD child. 

School is a lot tougher for kids with ADHD, I know that also from having them in my classroom, but that doesn't mean you should allow him to continue bailing out. Good grief, what would happen to us if we thought we should just not go to work today because we were bored yesterday? What happened if I showed for work every day telling myself that I was going to be bored and hate my day. What if instead I said, what can I do to improve my job today? I don't want to be bored, but its up to me to make that happen. 

Have you been teaching your son to work hard? Yes you. Its not up to his school alone, you have much more influence than the school. Besides how can they teach him to be successful and self-sufficient if you are teaching him to the opposite? How can you expect them to keep trying to help him if you have given up yourself?

It took a lot more effort to raise him than the non ADHD son. But, your children are your greatest treasure. Don't give up on them, no matter how difficult your job is.

It's funny because both my sister and I did the same thing to my mom and she totally caved- I regret that now- simply because the work wasnt the problem it was my level of commitment. I have so many things going on in my head at once that dealing with a normal class was dreadful, my art and music classes were great because I could tune all of it out. When my mother did that to both my sister and I- being we ganged up on her mostly because my sister is bipolar and I have adhd- she never finished school. Dealing with a child who is ADHD and allowing them to call you and have you run to their aide especially at that age, I don't recommend! I'm a photographer now getting my degree in Graphic and Advertising Design. Encourage your kids to be independent and take on challenges, because thats what the 'boring' classes are to kids who can't focus like myself. He doesn't have long before he graduates, leave him in school so that he is sure to get every bit of credit he needs to move on.Im sure he isn't the only ADHD kid that is having to deal with dreadful classes and bad grades :)  best of luck!!  


Learn to say no, teach him some resilience and persistence, how is he ever going to stick at something if he is leaving whenever he is fed up, school is not there to keep him entertained. Talk to his teachers about how he feels. It sounds like he is taking advantage of your sympathy for him,its time to show some tough love.



I have to say that all children are very different but as you are a teacher thank you for your wise words. I am sure your strategies worked very well for your child. Congratulations.