I don’t know about you but while some are celebrating the end of the school year I am cringing to think about my sons grades at the end of his freshman year in high school. As they transition to high school, I have been told by many “professionals”, that poor grades during the freshman year are typical. But personally when I see my son failing classes it has me concerned, even if it is typical. What do you do? About 6 weeks ago I tried to prevent this from happening and I hired a tutor for math, well I think he is still going to fail math. I also limited the number of days per week he would be able to go to the skate park after school thinking he would do homework instead. The consequences were there I think we are still in the same boat and he is in control.
I just read this article Consequences for bad grades shouldn’t be a crushing burden to carry . Though written for a younger age group, I think it still holds true for those in high school. In the article, the author reminds parents consequences should have an immediate, short term impact. Thinking back I might have made the consequence of the skatepark to meet a specific goal, such as turning in homework (which seems to be where he falls apart) instead of the looming impossibility he feels of raising his grades.
He will attend summer school for any class that he fails, which I am hoping is not many. I have communicated if he has any grades below a C he will not get his driver’s permit until they are raised. Should I change that consequence? My thinking is a C grade would at least show that he is putting forth the minimum amount of effort. I also think the drivers permit holds a lot of weight for him. If he continues on this slide next year the computer goes out of his room.
When all is said and done the truth of the matter, he is in total control of how well he does in school. Right now I know he finds school boring, has very little purpose to his immediate life and he is unmotivated. If he is struggling and wants to succeed he can get help and I would be glad to help him do that. I need to learn to stand back, try and impress on him the value of school and let him stumble; but when I do I feel I have failed him. I also feel that his education up to high school is somewhat my responsibility.