Frustrated Mom: My son is 13 & I feel... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Frustrated Mom


My son is 13 & I feel like I’ve failed as a mom. He’s ADHD non medicated. He sees a therapist & has helped tremendously! The problem is homework. Has always been. I don’t know what to do anymore. As he gets older it’s harder to keep track of it. He doesn’t write it down in his planner. I can’t hold his hand every minute of the day. I don’t expect straight A’s but at least C’s. He’s not on any accommodations or plans at school. It’s a fight everyday & it’s always the same response...I know mom or I don’t know 🤷🏽‍♀️ Any suggestions?

11 Replies

Well as he gets older all this is going to get more complicated. Middle school requires him to juggle multiple teachers, classes and deadlines. Some schools put all the assignments and grades online so parents can get more involved. But if that’s not the case and he’s not even earning C’s it seems like you need to get the school involved and work out a plan. Some parents get the teachers to write down all the expected homework in a planner. Maybe it’s time to reconsider medication so he can apply what his counselor works on with him to the school day. Since he stakes only go up in high school it’s a good tune to figure out if you want to be his study skills teacher/enforcer, if you need to hire a tutor, or if medication or some other change is needed now that he’s older.

Thank you for the response. I’m constantly on him about his homework. Last night he was working on missed assignments. This morning I’m dropping him off at school & he tells me he forgot to do his math 🤦🏽‍♀️ It’s a never ending battle. I just feel like no matter what I do nothing works. Tutoring, taking pictures of the board, following online. I’m at my end of my rope. Does this make sense? I will talk to my husband again about medication. Maybe it’s time.

My son is in 7th grade and he has an IEP and accomodations. I keep in constant contact with his teachers.

in reply to dz2006

No he doesn’t. I do talk to them & it’s always the same thing... He could do better, He’s not trying. Etc. It’s so hard at times. I see this little boy growing up & I feel like I’m losing control. Talking back, disrespectful. I’m constantly arguing with him about his behavior & school. I’m ready to pull all my hair out! Maybe I should pick him up from school & go to each of his classes everyday. He would hate me for a little while because I would embarrass him but if that’s the only way he’ll learn?? Idk I’m just a troubled Mom right now.

in reply to Rh2herrera

You are not alone. I got the same responses from my son's teachers - he can do better, he's not trying. Most of them were not special education teachers and just did not get it. My son talks back all the time, is disrespectful and has behavior issues. I have not pulled my hair out, but I have gained a lot of weight from eating to calm myself.

We do go through so much because of our children. It is not easy. We are here to offer you support and encouragement.


Please don't feel like you have failed him.. raising any child is a challenge. Do you know if the school allows for a study period? If he was able to do this the teacher can usually help him. Get a 504 set up so he can have extended time for assignments helps a lot.

If I am not involved daily he falls behind. Out of our students 4 teachers, 1 puts nothing on her website so that I can not help him in this class. The second always post things but will not accept any late assignments. The third teacher is the best she really makes a lot of effort for him to be successful. The hardest part about school is that he does the work, but often doesn't turn it in and therefore he gets an F.

We have talked about it a lot with his counselor which helps a lot because he usually doesn't lie to him.

Good luck

I take pictures of his homework’s and email it to the teacher, with a note , that the hard copy is in his folder, but in case he forgets to turn it in- here we go!

Hello, I know how you feel and am going through the same situation with my 11 y.o. ADHD son. Homework has always been problematic - struggling with work, taking too long to complete work, forgetting to bring home assignments, not writing the assignment down, etc. It took a long while and lots of advice from other parents on how to tackle this.

He is off his ADHD meds. I can truly say that as kids get older, it does get better. What helped me is getting a tutor to work with him 2 hours each night Monday - Thursday. They complete all homework and help with reading and handwriting.

Please schedule a time with your son's school IEP team. It sounds like he needs a structured educational plan - IEP or 504 plan. The IEP will allow accommodations including shortened assignments. You can also request that a teacher write assignments down for him as part of the accommodations. In the meantime, have your son buddy up with another student who can either write the homework down for him or remind him to do so.

Please consider taking these important steps to alleviate the stress at home and lighten your load. You don't want a constant fight about school work.

Wow, can I relate. You are NOT alone. I could have written this. This is my number one problem right now. I read all the replies, looking for an answer. Here's my take away: tutors to hand hold them 4 days a week.

I have a 9th grader who is off medication since May (side effects were negating the benefits). Each of his teacher knows that he has a formal ADHD diagnosis since 3rd grade but he keeps it private from his peers. He refuses to take or try any new meds. Not the healthiest choice, but just started drinking Red Bull before school. It's helping him a little. Obviously not a replacement for medication.

We can't motivate him. He is motivated by electronics. He tells me that after being at school all day, he needs his downtime, otherwise he will lose his you know what. I get it. I read up on anything I can on how it feels to have ADHD so that I can understand where he's coming from. We agreed to an hour of "downtime," which is his phone or computer. I hate riding his tail, but I have to. I hate micromanaging him but he won't do his work unless I take away his electronics. He avoids his homework and studying because it overwhelms him. He's in a high performing school with all the neighbor kids in honors classes. Wish we could move to another less demanding school, but the social impact on him would be devastating. When it's time to do his work, the yelling starts, the backtalk, the excuses, the rants, slamming his door, hitting the walls, the anger. It makes for a very serious and stressful household.

We get into a somewhat decent routine and then he falls off the wagon so to speak and becomes very uncooperative and combative. It's hard to stay nice, and to stay calm. He usually goes to a tutoring center 2x a week, based on his tests or quiz schedule...but like another person posted, only one of his teachers post their schedule. It's highly frustrating. Then my son lies about what he has or forgets because he won't write it down.

I'm thinking of giving him some kind of reward or tie his allowance into making sure he's recording his exams and projects in his planner. I don't have the mental wherewithal anymore to hold his hand, and I don't want to fight with him. Tutors are a small fortune. And it's difficult to schedule with other kids' schedules, etc. But he just doesn't know how to study, he can't wrap his head around it and break it down. He needs someone to help him.

There's so much negativity with this homework issue...hoping someone here has advice on a routine they follow with their teen, how to reward for good behavior (or encourage it). Having hard time focusing on the good, their strengths, and this isn't good for the child or the family.

in reply to Birdie7

Are we sure our 2 are not related? Even down to the electronics! My son does great on tests but in class & homework that’s what is killing him. We tried the buddy system in 6th grade. Worked for awhile then the “buddy” stopped helping him. He doesn’t want extra help like a plan or accommodations. I think once the Christmas break is over I’m going to meet with his counselor...again. Maybe it’s time for the extra help. Best of luck with your son ♥️

If he's not on medication, high school is most likely going to be worse. Please try and educate your husband about ADHD - this is true neurological disorder that will never go away and at your son's age, medication is the best option for schoolwork. There will be some side effects, but they are minimal when compared to the advantages they give. And high school will also present a lot more challenges, like driving, substance abuse, and a wider variety of temptations. Medication also helps control the poor impulse control which can lead to serious problems. If your son does not have an IEP or 504 Plan, I would start that process immediately and ask for either reduced homework or no homework. After-school tutoring or a resource room can be used for homework so you can simply check his backpack.

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