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COFA: Christian Outdoor Fellowship of America - Live the Experience! • View topic - Teenagers!

Teenagers!

We can work together to make sure we're the husbands and wives, moms and dads that we should be. Share your thoughts, experiences, and learn from others.

Moderators: Mike Brooks, GeneralHavok, pastorgreg

Teenagers!

Postby Bubba » Sat May 17, 2008 9:16 am

How about a discussion on how to deal with your teenager?
My oldest is 14 and is smart as a whip, but he doesn't turn in homework so he is failing three classes (again). He was a straight A student in Elementary school but has gotten very lazy since entering Middle school. I've tried taking away priveledges, including hunting, with no success.
What do you all do to keep the kids motivated in school? I'm at my wits end with this kid.
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Postby slingshot » Sun May 18, 2008 9:17 pm

Hey Bubba,

I have a 14 year old son also. I have another boy that is 7. My 14 year old is not interested in school either. He is an A/B student, but could make straight A's if he didn't forget to turn in assignments.

In my opinion, the biggest part of the problem is with the schools. It sounds to me like your son is bored out of his skull! Just like mine! I'm not sure about schools where you live, but here they have almost eliminated P.E. and recess entirely.

Boys need activity! Boys as a general rule learn better in a hands-on environment. Our public education system is becoming more about endoctrination than education, and it is sad to say, but they don't even recognize the difference beteween a boy and a girl!

The bottom line is that there is no easy answer. How do you motivate a child to learn in a broken system? You want him to get good grades. That will be important if he is going to college, and college does open some doors.

To me what is more important however is that he learns. Good grades on the report card and real learning are not always synonymous. The ideal situation is to have both real learning and good grades.

I seriously considered homeschooling my kids awhile back, but for a multitude of reasons decided it wasn't the right thing for our family. If you can make it work for you, it could solve a lot of problems. I think my boys actually "learn" more at home than in school.

I am pretty strict when it comes to grades vs. play time. If the grades aren't what I think they could be and/or the homework and reading haven't been done for the day, he isn't going anywhere unitl it is done.

I also sometimes reward him for when he does perform well in school. I think this is important, but I often forget to do it. More positive reinforcement for good performance is something we should probably all try to do a little more often.

Be sure to recognize good performance with a pat on the back, a bear hug, "I'm proud of you, son" sort of thing. Then take him hunting or out to do something special as a reward.

Just my two cents worth.
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Re: Teenagers!

Postby GeneralHavok » Mon May 19, 2008 11:59 pm

.

We're all looking forward to the future...but none of us more than the giant, evil robots.

.
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Postby Amy Fales » Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:39 am

I have a 13 yo son. My aunt was a schoolteacher for 35+ years. She said that from the ages of 13 or 14 until almost 16 are the years that children naturally switch from learning all about the world and how it works....to all about how they fit in that world. Grades naturally drop as the students begin to focus on society.....whether the big picture, or their own social networks.

At the same time, classrooms bulge to the point where teachers do their best to keep chaos at bay, AND parents are struggling to make the bills. The children often feel like they're being "managed, or shuffled", and may begin to wonder at their importance. How do they stand out from others? And most importantly, will they be accepted?
(intro to peer pressure)

My parents were extremely strict. Anything less than an "A" got me grounded. I actually spent my whole year of 8th grade grounded! So, I worked hard at my schoolwork just so I'd be able to get out of the house. At the time though, smart kids were picked on. I was praised by my English teacher, only to have spit-balls launched into my hair, and "birds flipped" toward me as I walked through the halls.

Looking back I can say that if I was really close to my parents, and they shared the why's with me instead of the "Because I said so."....it would have made all the difference in the world. I would have loved to have felt comfortable enough with them to share the conflict I was having between being a good student and being accepted.

But, my parents were so busy with running a business, and raising my toddler brother, that their loving attention to me was usually a reprimand. I had gotten so used to that, that any time they tried to have a heart to heart.....My heart was hardened and I was suspicious.

I've also read that the surge of hormones, combined with drastic brain growth during those early teen years creates a state of mind that is best described as "insanity". It is just enough for them to make it through a day! It is exhausting, and many doctors suggest teens need 10-12 hours of sleep instead of the standard suggested 8 hours.

Understanding this has helped many parents I know, including myself. Developing a close, and true, relationship prior to the teen years is important....so they're more likely (although not guaranteed) to lean on you.
If you're already in those years, without a close relationship....consistant efforts at building a relationship will definately help. Discussing the why's of the world helps too. This is the very stuff they're trying to understand. Sometimes it helps to discuss the why's of things that are removed from them first....so they don't feel like you're suddenly trying to be helpful for manipulative reasons.
Politics, business, sports....whatever they seem to gravitate toward is somewhere you may begin.

I hope this helps someone....we're all so different with such a variety of backgrounds....different things will work for different families.

I really do believe a consistant show of love, and respect is the best place to begin though.
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established
Proverbs 4:26
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Postby Bubba » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:47 pm

We have always had a close relationship and we do talk about grades, college, the future quite a bit. He just doesn't care about school.
He is now 16 and is still failing the classes that are boring to him. English, History, and Spanish being the top three at this time. I told him that he's now on the five year plan and he didn't like that idea at all but right now it's his reality. He has lofty goals and sees himself driving a flashy car, living in a big house, and having everything he wants as an adult. I've told him several times that a 1.6 GPA isn't going to get him there. The other night he actually mentioned dropping out for the first time, then said he knows he can't. We had a long talk about that but I'm worried that that is the direction he is taking.
I'm lost, I can't motivate him, don't know what to do next.
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