12-Year-Old Disruptive in Class, Grades Slipping


12 yr old son (6th grade-always has gone to a Christian School) Always has been respectful, did well in school, focused in school & was organized up until 6th grade = now his grades are going down. His math teacher contacted us said our son was talking/disruptive in class during a test - after repeated warnings he got his test taken away. His Science teacher contacted us saying our son was getting low test scores & was given an opportunity to re-do the test to make corrections for ½ credit but never turned the test back in. Language/Social Studies- teacher said our son can work hard as she’s seen it- she thinks with other boys in the class are trying to “find their place amongst their classmates” Many of the boys show off & be silly with remarks/comments. Many times she said our son is participating in this behavior, she said our son definitely is NOT the instigator but he follows others when they start in…teacher says she gives classroom time to complete homework but our son is choosing not to do assignments. Teacher said our son is a nice kid, he is smart = he just needs to apply himself…she said our son is RUSHING through his work, trying to hurry & get it done. She thinks that because of one of our sons good friends does not apply himself & frequently has outburst in class that our son tries to be like his friend. She said our son needs to be encouraged to be a leader in the relationship & encourage his friend to act appropriately. The teacher said she tells our son the last day she would accept late work but he still doesn’t turn in his homework/make up work. Today mid-term grades were sent home. All of our son’s grades were 42% to 46% except for his Science he had a C. There are a lot of missing Math assignments as well. I tried to talk to our son about this, he gets VERY defensive, turns very disrespectful. Our son is very interested in going into the Military I talked about the high respect that is expected. Our son told me that he would probably get slapped & kicked if he wasn’t respectful in the Military like I do to him at home-I did back hand our son in the car ONCE when he was being VERY disrespectful & once when our son was teasing our dog & wouldn’t stop I walked in between the dog & our son to separate them as the dog was biting I moved the dog away with my leg & our son was in the way & got in the way of my leg (accused me of kicking him) – That’s all he remembers is what mom did wrong & puts the guilt on me by saying I slapped & kicked him-My parents were much older when they had me-I feared ever to talk to my parents like that. I feel like I am making our son sound terrible, when he isn’t-he is a very sweet, old soul (Christian) boy & humble. He is a very good at basketball/cross country. We live on an acreage with horses, cats, dogs, goats,& chickens. He has responsibilities but I do admit he doesn’t get enough chores to do, he is very lazy at chores. He doesn’t have many electronics, he has a Wii that he barely plays, he takes a cell phone with him to school (calls & text phone only) he plays a game on my smart phone & watches TV. Things started to really change in the last 5 months. Do I work too many hours (60-70/wk) & not home enough?? Our son keeps saying trust him to get homework done but doesn’t. Any suggestions about his disrespectfulness, lack of focus on school, etc? What can we do to stop these behaviors so they don’t become habits? My husband & I need advice on our son. Thanks!

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