13 Year Old, 7th Grade Boy – Composite Profile:
- Engrossed in screens – Video games, YouTube, Instagram, iPad, etc., etc.
- Poor time management..
- Low level study skills and organizational skills.
- Variability of academic performance/under-functioning.
- “Socializing” on internet or through video games.
- Not “steering his boat” (at least in any direction that anyone is happy with).
- Reading is an ancient process that is agonizingly boring.
- Wants to go to “college,” but has no idea what that means.
- Annoyed that mom is over-controlling him, but happy to let her have an anxiety attack over his missing assignments, many of which she is “helping” him complete.
Mom of 13 year Old, 7th Grade Boy – Composite Profile
- Constant anxiety over under-functioning 13 year old boy.
- Checking the school’s internet site (e.g., PowerSchool) for missing assignments and updated grades. Checks three times a day on average.
- Losing lots of sleep.
- Feels like she is about 80% in too much on 15 year old boy’s academics.
- Wants to wring 15 year old boy’s neck a lot, but refrains from doing it for fear of being brought up on charges or being called on child abuse.
- Feels like she is constantly badgering over homework.
- Can’t get husband off of internet.
Ah, the daily dance that we do, played out in so many households across America. The 13 year old boy is sucking up to too many screens and not meeting academic realities, while his mom is driven up a wall.
I know people think these kids need “strategies” to learn to be better students. But, here’s the deal, unless there is sufficient “buy in” from the kid, strategy teaching is a waste of time and money.
Look for places to reduce the dance. For example, check in on PowerSchool (or whatever yours is called) once in a while, not daily. One of my favorite solutions is for parents to strive to be 10% involved.
Put the problem where it belongs – on the kid. Messages delivered matter-of-factly such as, “You’re a big boy. It’s your problem to manage. If you need some assistance, let us know,” go a long way to reduce the tension points and the resulting anger (on both sides). The dance gets diminished.
Try and look at the over-functioning/under-functioning dance of the household. Where you can, lower your emotional involvement in the homework