Last Updated: Nov 22,2010
Lots of good advise here, and no, I didn
Taking things way ex: tv, games, computer, going outside to play. Those normally work the best because when you take those things away all they have left to do is school work and chores which will soon boost there grades back up. Once they start improving then you can slowly give them something back as a reward.
Here is how I would handle it with my child.
I would tell him (my oldest is almost 9 and a her... but still) that he is going to get the belt for forging my signature.
I don't know what else is going on and I intend to find out, but forging my signature is unacceptable. It prevented me from finding out about the problem earlier and helping my son better.
I would give him the belt (spank her...my wife is terrified of us using a belt... the compromises we make huh?).
Then I would give him an hour to think about WHAT'S going on at school. Chances are, he doesn't really know himself, but this will give him time to come down from being whipped with the belt, so that you can have a calm and honest heart to heart.
during the heart to heart.... I would tell him that you are disappointed in his performance at school. However, it is so out of character for him and such a deviation from his past performance that you believe that there is something bothering him that is effecting his performance. Listen to him and listen to what he says.
Regardless of what he says, implement a system that ensures his homework gets done and back to the teacher. I don't know how that system will work. That depends on you, your son, and your teacher. I don't know any of you well enough to suggest that. However, WE had a daily form sent home that we signed and sent back. It detailed the homework for the day and her daily behavior.
I would talk to his teacher, and if the teacher has no idea what it could be that's affecting his performance, then I would demand (don't ask, because Principals will believe you are required to do what THEY say for as long as you let them) that the principal change your son to a different teacher. If a previously "A" student is failing all of the sudden for no apparent reason, then it's just not working with this teacher. You are not required for your son to STAY with this teacher if they just aren't working out. You CAN have your son moved to a different classroom to see if he will improve under a different teacher.
It's not a reflection on the teacher. If your son just isn't connecting well, don't wait for him to fail and repeat the fifth grade before you make a change.
Plus, if it's the teacher bullying him (it happens), he will likely be removed from that situation. If it's another student in his class, that may also give him some relief from the situation.
This is what I would do if it were MY child.
Sorry, but I'm kind of sensitive about this one. To clarify, I don't give them everything they want, I give them everything they need.
When I was a kid my mom wasn't always able to provide everything for us. We hardly had clothes that fit or shoes to wear. Sometimes the only thing we had to eat was at school. So I made a promise that my kids would never have to experience those same kind of hardships. Trust me, they're not fed with a silver spoon.
Not sure if this was mentioned already, but daughter, also in fifth grade, has in years passed been a bit mischievous in school. The answer was to request a daily report from her teachers. Contact the school and tell them you want this, at least then you know how each day went and what homework is due the next day.
Thanks for the tip and I'm intending on leaning towards this model. When I was in school math was my favorite subject and it came easy to me. Now English on the other hand, I have always struggled with and something I had to work extra hard at. I was never good with sentencing structure or essays so it's hard for me to make sure he is proficient in this area. I do try to read up on his text books and use that as a basis to help him along but it's just not my area of expertise.
One thing I do notice when I'm helping him with math is that I try to alter his learning model from how the teacher is doing it to how I was taught. To me, It seems like she's over complicating things. I try to simplify it for him like cross multiplying instead of adding that extra step. It may be that I'm putting too much on his plate at once, but I'm trying to help him out in the long run.
I didn't read all the replies but it's around this age where kids start to hang out with the wrong crowd.
What I mean by that is that Straight A students are considered "losers" and its "cool" to be failing. He probably brags to his friends that he failed this, or failed that. I would have a serious talk with him to clear this up. I've had friends with high IQ's and great potential almost fail out of school because they fell into the peer pressure of the "stupid" kids. By stupid kids, I mean the kids who really can't get an A in anything and degrade the kids who do.
It sucks that its such a young age. I saw this around 7th grade or so when I was a kid but high school fixed all of that. Once I was in honors courses with other smart kids, I developed good friendships where you excelled and competed for the best grades. No longer was failing "cool" but looked terrible. Get him through these next few years and make sure he gets accepted into honors classes and he will excel, trust me.
btw, this is advice from a male (it's MUCH more common among males) who went through this same thing and had some rough years in middle school and managed to graduate into an engineering program and graduate with a great job. Don't let one year of his life worry you.
As a student how nearly failed out of middle and high school, the one thing I could say would be make sure to be on top of him when it comes to homework projects studying etc. from 6th grade on I learned that I could tell my mother that I didnt have any homework and such knowing she wouldnt follow through with checking. Luckily in middle school my teachers made me stay after and do my homework. Highschool was the same deal, luckily I was a star athlete and the coaches wouldnt allow me to fail off.
I know full well that if my mother hounded on me even just a little more about homework and school work I would have done so much better.
This is going to be really hard, ignore it if you want to continue with what you are doing.
Just read what you are saying.
My daughter is only 3 so I haven't had to work with her on grades yet, but from my experience in high school and my siblings/friends everyone is different. One thing that got me in shape once was when my parents talked to me and told me that if I wanted to work at McDonalds my whole life then I should keep doing what I was doing. I figured F that and started turning in my work again.
Kids are kids, when there ready to let their brain explode you wont b able to hold em back, trust me dont worry anyway whats 5 grade translated to uk schools? Lol
I don't like dismissing someone's opinion because they aren't a parent. However, sometimes it is obvious that someone only holds their opinion because they have NEVER been a parent.
Sometimes parents work long hours... yes. It's true. We have kids to support. I've done it. I eventually found another job, but for the entirety of my employment at that time, I worked Sundown to Sunup.... 5pm - 8am actually (5 to 7 days a week).
It was rough. That's not a family issue, and you shouldn't mistake it as such.
His wife being in tears. Really? My wife cried when my daughter failed a math test. When your child is failing in a grade, that's a normal response.
And taking the belt to a child that forged your signature... also a natural response.
None of these indicate family issues.
Don't worry about it though, one day when you have a family, you will understand that these things are how families work. The cleavers don't exist. Families are messy, emotional, horrible, and wonderful things... and all of those things WITHOUT family issues.
No, they were sugesting he was failing because of the teacher.... the bullying thing wasn't what I was talking about.
Even if jr is getting bullied...looking to blame the teacher, when the teacher may not be aware, is also negligent. Kids are sneaky little shizez sometimes. Bullies are like bank robbers and banks are like teachers... sometimes, no matter how many precautions they take, a bank is still robbed. You can't blame the tellers because it happened during their shift. Now, if a teller ignores procedures and doesn't report a robbery, then yes, there are reprocussions.
But the entire 'see if the teacher messed up BEFORE we see if its junior dropping the ball is simply trying to deflect the blame away from the obvious 'if you had control of your kids, this wouldn't be an issue''
Well you have to know a little bit about my background first. My wife is a stay at home mom and does most of the child rearing while I work full time to support our family. Yes, it's not the most ideal situation but nothing ever is. Everyone has issues but there are no serious issues like violence, child abuse or substance abuse in our household. I regret not being more active with my son because this could have curbed some of the issues, but the main issue here is the lying and dishonesty, not the actual failing of a grade.
Don't confuse expectations with unrealistic expectations. My kids have earned a certain level of trust and with that trust they get a certain level of independence and responsibility. Like I said, my son is not a bad kid. Lying and forging signatures is not in his nature, this is unusual territory for him. We're a very open family and there are no communication barriers. When you're a parent, having expectations is normal. I have instilled good values in my son and he's at the age where he knows the difference between right or wrong. If I tell my son to clean his room and I have already taught him the importance of it and how to accomplish it. I have expectations that it will be done. This is no different.
Yea, but I was a kid once. People think that THEIR child is soo different they only THEY know what is going on. I was simply pointing out that there was a disconnect between the real world and the world he was telling us about. We got a story about how he tried everything for his family. But when really read what he wrote, we have to see a few inescapable facts. ALL kids have problems in school. All families have issues. Everyone tries hard to make their child the best. But you know something, that is just a fallacy. When we remove all the blame out of the post. When we remove the shell game, passing the buck, and disillusionment of the fairy tell story, we end up with one concrete problem. The only three people and 1 child that can make a decisions about that child's future are not talking to each other on a regular basis. I would also try to remove any metal or physical problems out of the way. When was the last time you had the child in or an eye exam? He just may not be able to see the board. Is there history of depression or adhd? If there is no physical or mental reason for the child behavior. Then he simply slip through the parenting/teacher crack. The only 4 people that can fix this problem is the the two parents, the teacher, and the child. Don't let him play the middle. Meet and talk to the teachers on a regular basis. They will be floored if you do, my sister is a teacher, out of her 90 some students a year, she only get a phone call from a parent like 3 times a year, usually to blame her for the child failing the class. No parent in her 6 years of teaching has ever called her to make sure the child is doing ok. None. Being a parent means you have to be actively engaged in the child life. You do not control it movement for movement, but you need to make sure you set the parameters of what you want you child to do, how open or closed they are is up to you as a parent. Barring bullying, mental, or physical problem, I just say the kid found the quickest relief wins, the parent let that be a option. If you want to be angry at me, fine do so. But talk to the teacher on a weekly basis and let the child know he is in trouble until he pulls the grades. You may have to get a tutor until he catches up.
It isn't about the child being different. It's about the understanding being different from when you're a child and when you're a parent.
When your parents tell you "Wait until you have kids", it's an honest statement that you have a completely different understanding of how things work in a family when you are a parent yourself.
See, again. There is no disconnect between the world he spoke of and the real world. As you raise a child, you will better understand this.
Only 2 people can make decisions about THAT child's future. Two not three. They are talking to each other on a regular basis.
And here is what you need to understand as a parent: Children earn a certain level of trust. A child with a history of turning in their homework and making straight A's has earned the trust that you don't stand over them making sure they dot their i's and cross their t's.
Being knee deep in their education is a waste of time if it's unnecessary, and for some kids it is unnecessary.
It's THAT simple huh? Another thing you'll learn about kids from being a parent... it's never THAT simple. There are physical reasons, mental reasons, social reasons and a host of other reasons that could cause problems in school.
Developing a mental or physical issue in the 5th grade is highly unlikely. However, there are a host of other issues that can appear at a moment's notice that are completely UNrelated to the teacher/parent issue.
First reasonable thing you've said.
And personally, aside from the occasional parent/teacher meeting, she shouldn't.
That's what it means huh? Honestly, that is but ONE part of being a parent (something I expect you'll learn when your time comes).
Being a parent ALSO means teaching your child to fend for themselves whenever possible. It ALSO means giving them independence to do things on their own (like school) when they've earned your trust that they will do it. Being a parent means a lot of things... and many of them conflict with each other. Being involved conflicts with giving them independence. Sometimes you give them more than they are ready for, and have to pull back.
Parenting is ALOT more complicated than you understand.
Forget about all the other possibilities... right? It could be as simple as he's being distracted by a girl. It could be as complicated as he witnessed something in regards to a friend that is REALLY bothering him, or has been sexually molested by another student (unlikely, but unfortunately possible).
The myriad of things that could be effecting him and his school work are so vast that they could not all be listed here.
I don't think anyone's angry with you. All parents were at one time not-parents, and were at one time kids ourselves. We understand the simplistic way that people who haven't had to raise children view raising children.
I do find it extremely amusing though.
The child knows the material, so I don't think a tutor is going to help. I do think that contact with the teacher on a "daily" basis would be appropriate.
In your long post, that phrase jumped out at me as if it were in bold, blinking, red font.
I did 13 years of family counseling in an area where it was quite common to see kids barely making it through school, in all grade levels and from all income levels.
Please take a look at that phrase I cut and quoted from your post: you state a large portion of the problem, your "instinct" to strike the child, and then you state that you're puzzled about it.
If there is one thing that I've learned about kids over the years, raising them and working with them, it is that they can spot impending abuse a mile away, and the sad thing is that they themselves do not know how to communicate what they see in their parent(s) and they often will exhibit sudden behaviors out of character to people who know him or her, such as what you're describing.
If your "first instinct" is to attack your child with a weapon because of poor school performance, believe me, that kid is aware of that instinct inside of you.
My first instinct when seeing something like that in a kid is to just pick a time when the kid is receptive, accepting and relaxed, and kindly bring up school grades, then ask how I can help on an ongoing basis, setting goals together.
But to threaten the kid, etc, just builds natural barriers and communication will be lost; I mean real communication, you'll learn nothing of what is causing the problems at school, from him or her, if you're his or her enemy instead of friend.
I'm relatively still a "child" (19yrsold) but I wouldn't say spanking is never the answer. People react to different kinds of "punishment." It's not like you can reason a young child out of doing something foolish,stupid, or damaging to their future. Although you have to be careful not to have a negative effect, I wouldn't make a blanket statement like that. I can honestly say when I was younger spankings did work to deter some bad behavior.
There is never, ever an excuse for striking a child. It is bullying, plain and simple. How do you feel doing it?
It is interesting when people enter a discussion about raising kids, etc and they want to make a case for physically attacking a young person. They'll use cute words, like "spanking," etc.
Some will tell how they were assaulted and how it did them good. Of course, they have no choice, do they, because the parent hitting them was also the person providing food and shelter. People need to think about how disgusting a scenario that is.
It's simply cowardice and an admission that the parent does not know what they are doing so they resort to physical force. And it is quite common, look at the world, people at every level of society, world-wide, are solving their issues with violence and then, when they "win," talking about how "god" was with them, etc.
I have to say, I'm about sick of people in this country claiming that spanking and using a belt are abuse. They are not. Simple as that.
You CAN be abusive with it, but it in and of itself is not abuse.
The same way I feel when they scream in time out... I don't like disciplining my child, but I do it because I love them.
We call it "spanking" because that's VERY specific. Spanking is done on the bottom which is well padded to avoid doing any damage to the child.
"Strking" can be anywhere, and it's general intent is to cause damage...
So, yes, we use the specific term.
Spanking is not assault. Anymore than sending a child to bed without dinner is starvation.
lol. I understand you don't like spanking, and you want to label it as something it is not. However, spanking (if done right) is not assault. It is designed to cause physical discomfort in order to deter children from doing something that they should not. It works best when they are younger and unable to reason WHY they shouldn't do things. As they get older and are able to reason more and more, spanking should be a last resort for serious issues.
By teen years, it should disappear altogether.
Now, that's not to say that people don't take it TOO far, and abuse their children in the name of corporal punishment.
I read a statistic about how many children died each year during corporal punishment.
I was pretty disgusted that people would lump a swat on the bottom with abuse so extreme that the child died from it.
I seriously think that the mentality of the "parents" in this thread is why the united states eduction system is 18th out of the 24 first world nations. We are also 20th out of 21 first world nations in children well-being. If you really think you are correct, you are part of the problem, not the cure. So I will just say, follow the advice given by the "parents" and continue to offer your child near the bottom education. Of course I was not educated, my early years, in the united states, so I know very little about what it is really like being 21th out of 24 place. UNICEF ranks well-being of British, U.S. children last in industrialized world - USATODAY.com Poor Marks For U.S. Education System - CBS News Come on, the united states is dead last in reading. Educational Score Performance - Country Rankings
I disagree with using physical means for discipline. There are already too many issues where kids don't use their words and instead act out, a parent doing the same thing just exacerbates the situation. They're the ones that (typically) end up getting into fights, and doing the same to their kids. Anyway, enough of that.
Have you thought since your child always got straight A's and seems to know the stuff so well that he's just bored? That whole "not being challenged enough" thing can be true. Are there any GATE programs or anything at this school? Something that may be more fun so that it challenges him?
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