Having taught middle school for a number of years, and now as a Parent Educator, I am well aware of how frustrating this situation can be. However, you can't make your child excel at anything. It has to come from him. It's a hard one to swallow, I know. With that in mind, here are some questions to ask, to help you help him.
Is HE frustrated about his grades? Why or why not?
Does HE want to do anything about it?
Is he struggling in certain classes, but having success in others? What is the difference?
Rather than nag him, ask him how he feels you can best help him? (You can brainstorm this together.)
Punishing a kid for not doing well in school is one of the surest ways to teach him to dislike learning. While it might serve to raise his grades temporarily, that message does more harm than good in the long run.
If I can be of any further help, feel free to contact me.
G. Brown, M.A.
Child Development Specialist & Parent Educator