M.B. asks from North Judson, IN on February 26, 2007
Seeking Advice About My 12 Year Old son...temper, Excuses, Lying Abd Bad Grades.
I recently gave up my part time job to be at home with my kids.. it wasnt that many hours a week and i had weekends off, but i had to be there at 5 am... which made me miss getting my kids ready for school and tired at night to spent real time with them.. I am concerned with my 12 year old son, who brings home bad grades.. he gets mad over anything and everything, and fights with his little brother and sister constantly!!..
I dont know if its an hormonal thing or what.. hes on a bowling league and gets so mad when he dont do good.. (hits the table, throws his bowling towl.. ect..) I got him help in the subjects he was doing bad in and he still lies about doing his homework and makes excuses about it.. He has friends, we do family time, and one on one time, but nothing seems to help, it always ends in a fight and him getting in trouble.. My husband says im not hard enough on him.. but somtimes i feel like i am too hard on him.. just looking for a little heads up advice..
So What Happened?™
thank u all for ur support and comments.. i had an early meeting thismorning with some of my sons teachers and him.. they assure me that he is a good kid, gets decint grades on his test and patisapates in class.. has friends and dont hang around trouble makers.. his biggest problem is not turning his homework in done.. it all came down to, him scared of missing the bus.. the class'es he dont turn his homwork in are the morning class'es, and hes scared if he gos back to his locker after last period hes going to miss the bus.. maybe an excuse, maybe not??.. i signed him up for an after school work shop 3 days a week..to help him with his homework.. and told him missing the bus was not a big deal, i would pick him up after school and not be mad..
it was also pointed out to me that hes going to be 13 and his body is going through "changes" and that might be scarey to him, which is why he might be bitey and cranky.. and he just wants to be left alone sometimes and have his space and he feels like he cant do that with his little brother and sister around.. so we sat together last night and made out a daily planner.. i told him what i exspected of him and what his rewards would be if he followed them, and what the non rewards will be if he didn't.. he seemed pleased with the planner.. now for bowling and the attitude.. a few weeks ago he reached his high game of 189.. and was the center of attention, got king of the week and won movie gift cards for comming in 3rd at the tourniment.. and we all told him how proud we were of him.. since then he has stunk.. after talking to him about this.. he was scared that i wouldnt be happy or proud of him unless he kept getting high scores.. and i do get mad.. but not at his scores, i get mad at his attitude which affects his scores.. and i tried to tell him if he only got a 80 the whole game i wouldnt be mad at him if he kept a good attitude.. that seemed to make him feel better.. so since he told me that he felt like everyone was gaining up on him all the time.. i would work with him about it if he worked with me..
so i guess we will take it from there?... thanks again for all ur support and thoughts ..
H.C. answers from Chicago on February 27, 2007
I would check to see if he is having difficulties learning. A lot of kids now days are having problems in the basics, like reading and math. If a child cannot read correctly, it's almost impossible for them to excel at any subject. Plus education as a whole should build on itself. So if he struggled years ago with a concept, it may still show up now. I'm saying this b/c there would be a lot of frustration on his part if this is the case. That would shed light on the lying, not doing homework, bad grades, etc. If he feels that he's "failing" in school, it may be spilling over to his extra-curricular activities as well.
I would take him to an education specialist that focuses on the traditional, classical education approach. Let them assess him to see if there are any issues that should be addressed.
I will admit that I am not objective when it comes to schooling and education. I've read too much about all of these new educational approaches the school systems are employing. From what I've read and given the constantly dropping of US test scores, these approaches do not work. That's why I'm suggesting his behavior is due to learning. Every child can learn. It's just up to us as parents to figure out if our kids need some intervention to their current curricula.
Y. answers from Chicago on February 27, 2007
I have an 11 yr old son who has mood swings like this but not quite as bad. He has a habit of not telling me when things are happening at school but he will blow up at the slightest thing that any of us say at home. When we finally get him to talk to us and not yell at us he says he had a bad day because of this kid or that kid, etc... Once we can get him to talk he calms down. Also my son is on a bowling team where the other boys on his team have higher averages whereas last years team he was the high average. He has trouble when everyone else is getting spares and strikes and he can't get a mark. I complete;y understand where you are at and it is very frustrating!!! The only thing we can do is keep trying. Make sure you give yourself some "me" time. It is not selfish!!! It is better for everyone when mom is happy. Like they say," If mom isn't happy,no one's happy".
If you feel the need to talk to someone going through something similar please feel free to call me. Or if you are close to Sandwich maybe we can get together. I have 3 boys, ages 11,8,and 4.
C.B. answers from Chicago on February 27, 2007
Wow! Can I relate to your posting! My son is also 12 years old and we have had problems with very similar behaviors. We moved from Minnesota to Maryland when he was in 1st grade, adopted a baby girl when he was in 2nd grade and my husband was gone a lot on business trips. We have had him into counseling and that has been the best thing we could have done for him. Our insurance did cover it because his temper got so extreme he would hurt himself and damage household property. We still have challenges with his behavior, but it's much better than it was.
Please feel free to email me if you have further questions!
L. answers from Chicago on February 27, 2007
I am Mom of two teenagers- 15 and 18. It sounds to me like you are doing the right things- family time, one on one time, getting tutoring help etc. Did the move to a new area kick this off or has it been going on for a long time? It is important to be firm and have consequences for lying- (never acceptable under any circumstances) and for not doing your homework ( with the obvious results of poor grades). The anger may be about something deeper. Does your school have a social worker that he/you, your husband and he can talk with? The homework issue might be masking some other deeper problem- I'd take it seriously and check into it.
B.F. answers from Chicago on February 27, 2007
You said you just moved? He could be acting out from that. My niece is 16 and she lives with me. Oh there are moments :) You never know what mood they will be in. Take it one day at a time. You could try talking to his school, see if they can help.
T.R. answers from Chicago on March 01, 2007
I have a 13 daughter She was doing the same thing attitude , behavior was out of control well in the end everything worked out. We went to family thereapy it worked for the most part. all in all it was a hormonanl thing . but it was also a friend that was supose to be a friend but she wasn't . just hang in there it will all work out.