I feel like a failure as a mother. I am a single mother with 3 sons. My two youngest sons grades are okay but my oldest son who is 15 had 3 Fs on his report card. Half the school year is already over. This happened once before but he was able to bring the grades back up. What can I do to make sure this doesn't happen again? Failure As a Mother, Connecticut
Dear Failure As A Mother:
You might think you have failed as a mother just because your son has 3 Fs on his report card but what you need to know upfront is that there are several levels of failures for mothers and this is not one of them.
However, if this happened once before, it should not have happened again. You should have known before now that his grades were in trouble. Sometimes you can't give kids too much space and parents need to be parents. This is why it’s important to attend PTA meetings or try to meet or connect with his teachers every few weeks to see what he is up to.
He still has time to get focused and get his mind right but you need to do your part. Back in the day punishments were sending kids to their rooms but today, students want to go to their rooms because they have a TV, video games, phones and other distractions there so his punishment need to be taking these things out of his room -- until his grades improve. Strip the room down to bare essentials. If he is in any sports, this is where he should be removed from sports.
Next you need to check yourself to see if you are providing good nutrition to your child so that he can concentrate on his school work. If he is eating GMO processed foods containing heavy metals, which shuts down the brain, of course, he will not be able to concentrate in school. So look at his diet and especially his sleep habits.
Then you need to see who he is hanging out with and if they too are failing in school because understand that peer pressure is real. If these individuals are pressuring your son to ignore his schoolwork, then you need to try to get him away from them. You might even want to reach out to their parents and discuss what is happening with your son.
Next you should talk one on one with his teachers and try to find out what the problems are. Is he turning in his homework? Can he do anything for extra credit? If the teachers tell you that other kids are having an influence on him then you need to know this.
Sometimes if certain students are failing a certain class, it’s not the student but teachers so you need to look at the overall grades in the class. If the teacher won’t allow this then talk with the principal because you need to see those grades. If all or most of the kids are failing the class, then it is obviously the teachers fault – not your son.
The last step is to get mentors for him in these topics. Back in the day the teachers would hang around after school to work more with students but today many parents need to seek out mentors in the community from learning centers. Make sure his reading level is up to par for his class.
With texts, emails and phones today – tell his teachers and the principal, that you would like to receive reports every two weeks on his grades, until he brings up the grades. So set this up right away.
Make sure you read the book “How To Raise Smart, Talented and Responsible Children: Dream Big Dreams” – available as an e-book and paperback at www.angelspress.com.