My son used to be the ideal son, student, friend and player. But the age 10, he wears his emotions on his sleeve. He is doing poorly in school, he is on the verge of failing 4th grade and I feel like I am talking to Danny Zuko in Grease. He used to soak up school and get his homework done and now its 10 every night! He's gets in trouble for talking in class, the teacher feels like he can do it but doesn't because he does not care. He says he does but these things are still happening. He has lost all his privileges, we've given them back, taken away. The only thing we haven't taken away is his sports. He is extremely good at them and felt is was the last thing he had for self esteem. He can't play in a game or practice if his homework isn't finished.
The problem is his classwork too. He does it and doesn't turn it in or just doesn't do it. When I ask him why he says because he didn't want to. OMG- he says this a lot "because he doesn't want to." I think part of my problem is I don't know boys and I have no idea if this is normal for his age. He will pass 4th grade but barely. Please help enlighten me.
Well, I don't know if it's enlightening but have you looked into whether he's being bullied or not? I ask because my DS went through a really bad period in 3rd grade and it was due to being bullied at school. You really can't count on boys telling you even if you are really close. Many keep it a secret because they are embarrassed or feel they should be able to handle it themselves or don't want to worry their parents. Sometimes boys going through this want to take control where they can and deciding when and where and if he does his school work is one way to gain some control over his life.
I honestly don't know if this is the case with your son but maybe something to check out.... not just with him, ask his teacher and any trusted parents you might know with kids in the class.
I wouldn't pull him from sports. Kids need some place where they feel connected and needed.
I have a son that is almost 10, and we've been hearing that a lot lately. I finally had to sit him down one day and talk to him about all the things that people do every day that they really don't want to do, but do because it's their job. That right now, even though he's a kid, school is his job, and even though he doesn't want to, I expect him to do his schoolwork - both in class and at home. We talked about how DH had to go to work everyday, how I have to do laundry and clean and pay bills - and that it's just part of our jobs. His job right now is to learn.
Our DS responded quite well to this. It wasn't a lecture, it was just a chat. I think at that age, they are starting to exert independence and realizing that they don't *have* to do things if they don't *want* to. They see being a grown up, and even a teenager, as getting to do whatever you want, never doing anything not *fun* when in reality, being a grown up isn't that much fun at all. Reminding him that Mom & Dad do things every day that they really don't want to do to make our family run smoothly went a long way towards helping him realize that everyone has to do things that they don't really want to do.
However, if this hadn't worked, I would have felt that I would have had no choice but to finish his current season's commitment, and not do sports again until his attitude toward school improved. In our house, education comes first. Sports and extra-curriculars come second, and they are not a guarantee, especially if you are not giving your schoolwork your best effort.