21 answers

Mom Seeking Advice - Chicago,IL

Good Day,

I am frustrasted. I have two sons, 10 and 12 years old. They are now stealing food from the freezer. I have explained to them that they are stealing from themselves and this makes no sense and they will stop this. Whenever I am not at home(due to working late or running errands) they both run over my mother. My Mother is in her 70s. Any suggestions will greatly be appreciated. Also, my 10 year old was an all A and B grade student; now that he is in 5th grade and it is somewhat challenging- he is bringing home all F's. I have met with the teacher and principal of the school- the bottom line is that he does not do the work. He doesn't even tell the teacher or myself if he needs help. I review the work that he does bring home and go over it with him. I asked for a syllabus from the teacher-she does not have one. I call her every week to get what is expected of him weekly and to ask her to make sure he puts all the books he needs to complete assignments in his backpack. Again, any and all suggestions will greatly be appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank all of you wonderful MOMS for your comments and suggestions. I will definitely put in force the assignment notebook.
Also, by stealing food, I meant ice cream-I buy it by the tubs. We all love it. I also use as a disipline and it is here when the stealing begans, but I will stop buying altogether. I have found a sitter for both sons, so they will no longer be at home with my mother. I have and continue to instill in sons respect to all especially elders and discipline when not practiced. I have taken everything away from them-tv, game time, electronic games, silly time. Now it is strickly homework, study and reading(including weekends) until a change in behavior and grades. I have also told son that it is his responsibility and I and his teacher are working together. If he doesn't then it is truly on him and he will have to accept and deal with the consequences.

Featured Answers

My 9 year old son refuses to eat his dinner because he's "full" (which means he just doesn't like it,) and then sneaks into the kitchen in the middle of the night for pop tarts. Are they hungry or what do they do with food?

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My mother had the same problem with my brother. Out of the blue he started failing. He wasn't doing his work or turning in anything that my mother made him do. This is also I system I saw used in a school I worked for once.

You get him an assignment notebook. Go to the school and show the teacher what you have and explain what you would like her to do to help you with your son.

He will be resonsible for writing all assignments in his notebook. At the end of each lesson, he will have his teacher sign the assignment book and make comments that need to be made. He has to take the book to her and have her sign it. She should not be required to remember it since she has a whole classroom of children to attend to.

When he gets home, you will check his assignment book. You will help him with assignments, studying for tests, creating projects and so forth. You can address discipline problems that very day. You will then sign for that evening and make any comments you need to make.

If your son does not bring home the assignment notebook, you will need to punish him by taking away a privelage and then also follow-up by going to his school the next day or calling the teacher that night. It is important that he knows this is required of him and that you are both trying to help him succeed. If you don't check it every night and follow through on consequences, the system won't work.

Make sure that you and the teacher know what he is supposed to do and what each of you is going to do so everyone is on the same page.

My mother also sat in on my brother's classes a few times which he found very embarrassing. She explained that he was not be responsible for himself so she needed to treat him like a small child. He went through this phase in sixth grade.

It didn't take long before he started to turn in his assignments, write everything down, and do well again.

Remember he's only a child and he won't take responsibility if he thinks he doesn't have to. It will be a pain to be so diligent, but it is necessary to help him succeed.

1 mom found this helpful

Give them a section in the pantry/fridge for snacks, post a menu. if they eat the ingredients for a meal they miss that meal. But make sure the snacks and meals are enough for a growing boy. I liked the idea of hiring a college student. You could even exchange room an board for her/his watching your sons.

Is there a school social worker you could talk to for suggestions? Perhaps your son needs a tutor. It sounds like you're running yourself ragged and you need help.

I don't know what you mean by the sons are stealing food from the freezer. If they are hungry and they make themselves something, what's the problem? As for running over your mom, I guess that means they are not listening to her or are taking advantage of her.

Maybe you need to hire a college student for after school care. This person could help your sons with their homework, prepare a snack, and make sure the boys do their chores.

Good luck!

It sounds like your children are not mature enough to be home unsupervised. You may need to make other arrangements for them.

My son started having difficulty with school when he was in 6th grade. Until then he was a good student. We discovered he had ADHD and during Jr. High it is harder for kids with ADHD to keep up with all their body changes at the same time. We put my son on medication and his grades went back up to A's and B's. I'm not saying that's the problem but it took us over a year to figure out what was wrong...after fighting with him every day and constantly talking to the teacher about his homework. If he has an assignment notebook see if the teacher will check it over each day to see all his homework is written down and sign her initials and you can initial it each night after you see it also. About how he is treating your mother. You could let him know how much you depend on him to be obedient to his grandmother and be her helper when you aren't there. Let him know that he is an important part of the family and teach him how to respect his grandmother. I would try to get him into the school counselor to see if she can help find out why he isn't doing any homework.

First I'll address the food issue. I know you are a single Mom so I will assume the budget is tight and you have little money to go get more when the food supply runs out. Are the kids still really hungry or is there a bigger issue of depression, drugs, learning disabilities, psychiatric break tied with puberty, puberty. I know I was amazed at what my God son put away while I was staying with them. He came home from school and made some chili(I would say enough for a family of four) and ate it with 1/4 box of crackers, then asked his Mom when dinner would be ready. An hour later he downed 2 hearty helpings of dinner and later asked his Mom for chips and salsa. Before bed he came in and ate a banana, apple and some carrot sticks. She said it is like this every night. If no one is obese or getting there, check all else and if they need more food and you need help with getting more food there are many resources for help. While this will be hard for you to do with homework don't accept responsibility for his work. He must, he is the one who needs to make the choice, but have him understand the consequences for bad/poor choices. I went to a parenting seminar last week and got alot of good information celebratecalm.com is the name and my house has gotten a little better in just one week. I no longer scream.

I wen thru this. The majority of teachers are not willing to do more for 1 child than for her others; including writing down assignments or speaking to you 1 or 2 times a week about the assignments. You MUST make him responsible for his own work. Has something changed in his life? Divorce, seperation, death of a loved one? These things trigger the problems in kids. Get him outside help now! In Elk Grov there is help in youth counseling thru the park district...educational help. Counselors that actually help teach the problem children. Check into it mom and good luck.

My 9 year old son refuses to eat his dinner because he's "full" (which means he just doesn't like it,) and then sneaks into the kitchen in the middle of the night for pop tarts. Are they hungry or what do they do with food?

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