New here. Mom of 15 y/o boy. Help with school

My ADHD son refuses to study or do homework. He is in honors classes that require 20 minutes per night of reading notes/watching videos. But he doesn't do that.

First quarter grades just posted and he failed his Sign Language class but eked out C's and B's (and one A!) in the others. Spends lots of time playing games on phone. Refuses to go in for extra help (two weeks in a row, claimed to be sick and stayed home from school just to avoid the extra help session). We've tried the route of taking the phone and electronics; that did not help.

Is now home from school, in bed. I have decided to not get angry, since that is not helpful anyway. Appreciate any advice. Thanks!

2 Replies

  • Hi,

    I have been down this road and what is worth considering is this: Sometimes the best way for kids to learn is "the hard way". As hard as it is for us parents to step back and let "natural consequences" happen, it's so important because in order for him to want to change what he is doing, he needs to see that the way he's doing things is not giving him the results he wants. The motivation to change has to come from inside of himself.

    In terms of learning the hard way, there are probably a lot of "natural consequences" that will happen if he continues down this road and each will be hard for you to watch, but it's so important that you do, so he can learn the lessons he needs to learn as an adult. For example, maybe if he keeps doing what he's doing (or not doing what he should be), he will get kicked out of honors classes, or get in trouble for missing school (truancy), or maybe he'll have to go to summer school. Or maybe he won't be able to get his drivers license because his grade point average is not good enough to get an insurance discount, or maybe you decide that you will only pay for his phone if he has a certain grade point average, or maybe he won't haven enough credits to be able to graduate with his peers, or maybe he can't go on vacation with the family because he has already missed too many days at school. Etc. etc. None of these are things we parents want to see happen, in my experience with my son and with the kids of my coaching clients, sometimes that is the only way he is going to learn and grow and be prepared for the time when you are not around.

    I believe he will eventually get there (my son did)--but on his own time and in his own way. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is take care of yourself emotionally, and do what you can to keep your relationship with him strong. (You don't have to like his decisions, but it's really important that he feels like you still like him.)

    Hope this helps!

    Joyce Mabe, parenting coach, website:

  • Is he on any medication? My grandson's psychiatrist says the teen years are the worst - growth spurts, hormones.

    His grades are actually quite good from my viewpoint. My grandson is also in an honors program in middle school and you just hate to see them mess up their future.

    MY grandson's mother had a lot of trouble with depression and would just not get out of bed. Luckily we worked a lot with the school counselor and teachers and would somehow pull it together before grading periods. Now I see him doing the same thing. We just switched meds because he did not seem to care about anything but lots of anger, too.

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