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flunking high school/once gifted

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Old 04-27-2006, 10:59 AM   #1
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lgrot HB User
flunking high school/once gifted

Anyone else have the experience of having a son who you just cannot motivate towards doing homework? He is a senior and may not graduate.
He was identified as gifted academically but always put in minimal effort towards schoolwork. He would always get 100% on tests and then get D's and F's because he would turn in no homework.
I never see him doing homework. He lies to us and tells us it is all done, or he does it and then "forgets" to turn it in.
We have ruled out ADD and all that other stuff. I do have him seeing a counselor, but have just started. She said he will do fine once he "decides" academics is valuable to him. His room is a mess, backpack disorganized, but he has lots of energy when he wants to play on the computer.
I have alot of anger.....I thought at this point of his senior year, we would be seeing all the mail coming in for college acceptance letters....instead its' school warnings of possible not graduating. I know, I'm making this about me, not him.
Do these kids all of a sudden grow up and care about their futures? He doesn't do drugs or drink, has great friends......
thanks, just needed to vent

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Old 04-27-2006, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: flunking high school/once gifted

I wonder if you can find real good psychologist who can talk to him. I had 2 which were beyond any critisism. May be you have friend or relative who he respects talk to him about his future and how important grades are.
I wonder if you can offer him nice vacation or other gift if he graduates with good grades.

Old 04-27-2006, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: flunking high school/once gifted

I agree...for kids who feel no need or desire to do homework, try sweetening the pot a little. Promise him something he wants in return for good grades.

Of course, if he is this unenthused about homework now, then he might not get sparkling grades in college either. Granted, there isn't as much homework in college, but that's why homework is extremely important. A zero on an assignment can sometimes toss a student onto the lousy grade bandwagon.

I second Galinaqt's idea about seeing if a trusted friend or relative could give him a good talking to. If nothing else will work, then you may just need to allow your son to screw up to learn from his mistakes. Sometimes, that's the only way a kid will learn.

Old 04-27-2006, 01:22 PM   #4
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lgrot HB User
Re: flunking high school/once gifted

Thank you for your replies.
I know a fellow who is a admissions advisor at one of our local community colleges, and he has offered to talk to him, even function as a mentor.
Hopefully, he can have more influence than I seem to have at this point.

My son's main goal in life at this point seems to be getting high score in xbox and computer games. Try turning that into a career.
Another friend who is quite successful now said he used to be like my son, and what helped him was joining the military for a couple of years. Not an
option I'm thrilled about!
Dark Stranger, I think you hit something when you said he may have to learn from his mistakes. Very hard to watch them coming!

Old 04-27-2006, 04:46 PM   #5
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Re: flunking high school/once gifted

Wow... reading your post brought back flashbacks!! I was that child. I had been in the gifted program since kindergarten and skipped the 4th grade. But when highschool rolled around, it was a different story. College... whew! I lost an 4 year scolarship because I had a 1.6 GPA my first semmester!

There were two reasons (I wasn't aware of at the time but I have since come to realize) for my underacheivment.

1. I had NO idea how to study. I breezed through elementary school without having to crack a book. By the time I got to high school and had to study for subjects that challenged me, well, I just had no idea how to study or the discipline to do so. In grade school my teachers never challenged me because everything came so easily. When something didn't, I had no idea how to deal with it. Which leads me to point #2.

2. I developed a huge fear of failure. Because everything always came so easy, I was CRUSHED when I got my first B in 7th grade. I gave up after that because I was so devastated about not being perfect, I realized I'd rather either give up ("Well, I just hate so and so so I don't want to be good at it") or half*** it (since that way I could say "Yeah, haha, I totally bombed that class because I didn't do homeword but 5 times all year") than put my effort into it and not get it perfect. This has haunted me ever since, with many things I've attempted.

Don't have any advice, but I just wanted to give you some possible insight into your son while it was still early before he ended up like I did. I changed majors 3 times in college and finally dropped out because I was so overwhelmed with the above challenges.

Hope things get better, and hope I've helped a bit! If you find a way to help him, please let me know!
Married 09/28/2002
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005

Last edited by siren1024; 04-27-2006 at 04:47 PM.

Old 04-27-2006, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: flunking high school/once gifted

Wow! I think your son and mine are exactly alike! This is my first time on this board (on others often). Same exact issue with my 10th grade son. A's, B's and occasional C's on work that is done, but zeros on homework = failing grades. Every night I ask "Any homework?" The answer is always no. It's frustrating to know they can do the work, but choose not to. My son also has messy room, backpack, etc. We have taken away almost all privileges (TV, phone, no drivers license, etc.), but it doesn't seem to help. Offers of rewards haven't helped either. I think it's not immediate enough. Anyway, sorry I can't offer any advice, but I know exactly what you're going through!

Old 04-28-2006, 08:33 AM   #7
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galinaqt HB User
Re: flunking high school/once gifted

Sometimes mistakes are unrecoverable or hurt one all life, so I am not for person learning from his mistakes but trying to fight. I met lot of people who really regret that they did not go to college and stick all life with low paid job. They mad on there parents who did not insist or insist hard enouph. I did some unrecoverable mistakes myself. May be she should try a child psychologist as a last resort, just make sure it is a good one.

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