Sunday, September 9, 2012

Parenting my Teen

Dear Kay,

Hi and thank you for being a part of this site. You really caught my interest about teens and toddlers. I have 4 boys that are 14, 3, 2, and 7 months. My question is about my teen. He is going into 10th grade. He failed 3 of the 4 major courses in 9th and then failed 1 of the 2 courses in summer school. He has made new friends and I am happy about his choices.

My issues are his grades, his talking back and his lack of responsibility for anything. I do not think he drinks or smokes or has sex. Recently he has been hanging out more and wanting more freedom. I don't know what rules and responsibilities are reasonable at this age.

My husband thinks I am hard on him but I don't agree. He doesn't have any chores and is failing school. I decided he is no longer allowed to sleep out b/c I am almost positive the one boy does not have a curfew and is not monitored at all. With the new school year coming I want us to come up with a balanced family plan to help him succeed.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Dear KC:

Yes, his pulling away from his family is a normal response of teens. However, have you asked him what is up with his grades? How does he respond? Remember to really listen sometimes you have to read between the lines.
Sometimes learning challenges do not show up until later in junior high and early in high school. Maybe have him screened for a learning challenge. If there is nothing wrong then he needs more motivation for doing well than not doing well. Find out what motivates him and plug incentives into his activities.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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