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ADHD Parents Together
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Feel like teachers are against our son

We have a 12 year old son in 7th grade. He plays football and does it very well. School is his very last priority, he doesn't think he needs it even though he dreams of playing college ball. If his grades fall below 70% he can not practice or play. This is causing a reverse effect. He wants to give up everything. Other kids overheard his coach telling him that because he wasn't playing they list the game. He is on meds and we do have an appointment with a child psychiatrist, but I feel the school hates him and gives him no encouragement.

2 Replies

This is pretty typical: who wouldn't rather play football than do school work, right?! But, if he dreams of college ball, then he will need to go to college, which means he will need to graduate from high school, which means he needs to learn how to do well in school...which means that even though "school is his last priority", he needs to see/understand/accept that while he might not like it, it's a means to an end. We all have unpleasant things that we must do in order to reach our goals. It's great that he can learn this now rather than when he's an adult and the stakes are so much higher.

It sounds like maybe he needs some additional help when it comes to schoolwork, like maybe a 504 or even an IEP. A good start would be to meet with the school counselor and see if you can figure out exactly what the areas are he needs help with and come up with some ideas (which he's involved in) to help him reach the goal of a 70% average so he can play. Maybe this will mean using an assignment tracker. Or getting a peer tutor. Or any number of other supports. But whatever you decide, it'll be good practice for him to see that when you hit a roadblock, you dig in and find solutions rather than give up--good lessons for football as well as for life.

All the best,

Joyce Mabe, Parenting Coach, parentcoachjoyce.com


Do you have a local college with a football team? If so call them and see if any of the players would be willing to talk to him about what is required to play college ball. Also, if he has a favorite professional player, write them about your son and see if they would be willing to give him some advice. Kids are sometimes more willing to listen to people other than their parents.


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