Your kid needs to talk…

Question: My son and I have always had a very close relationship and I have been so proud of his honesty…until he hit high school.  He has gone from an A-B student to C’s and D’s, swears he is not on drugs, and treating his step-father (been with him since toddler years) with great disrespect.  On top of that, he has been lying about his homework saying he did it and he didn’t or he did all but two and there are 10 not done on a worksheet.  I’m personally sick of talking to him about this and I know he has got to be sick of hearing it.  He is a smart kid and capable of A’s and B’s in all subjects.  The punishment for lying has always been “double punishment” but I’m at a loss for what to do as nothing seems to be working.  We have taken privileges away, no friends over, no video games, offered to help him and have helped him with the homework.  He’s never had to open a book before this year and gotten A-B grades and this year he doesn’t even want to do his homework.  HELP!
Answer: Kay,
I would imagine something is going on in his life that you may not be aware of. I would suggest you go and speak with teachers and see if they can pinpoint what they see the problem being. I would say he still needs to have consequences for his behavior, but I would think something else is going on if there had been such a huge change for him. If he is willing to see a counselor I would encourage it. Maybe talking to someone other than you would be helpful to him.

One thought on “Your kid needs to talk…

  1. I agree, he is trying to reach out, wether he knows it or not. Something is going on. It may have someting to do with a recent event or something troubling him from a long time ago. He might not even know what it is. I would ask questions and sometimes it may help to bring up subjects we tend to avoid. Sometimes, children know they are upset but are not sure why. It is our job to help them figure out what they may be battling.

    My son shows some of these same signs off and on after losing his father. My cousin never really knew his dad and shows these same signs. His dad is alive but sometimes it seems like the anger creeps up and then he loses focus and care. It may not be about your son’s dad, he may need more attention, without realizing it of course. Teens do not want us around much, or so they say, so we have to make it fun for them when we are around. It could be about friends, work, girls, bullies, family, or his self-esteem. If you work together, discussing things and laughing about old memories, he should start to talk and maybe learn something new about himself he was unaware of. When they start realizing they are solving their own problems with only a little help from us, their self-esteem rises and hopefully will care more for their choices they make.

    Your question was obviously posted a while back and I hope things are going better with your son. Sometimes, things happen that we will forever battle, we just have to stay strong and keep encouraging.

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