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What do we do next?

Hi Mark,

I have wanted to contact you sooner but time has slipped away. I have received your material and have released control of my son's school issues. They are now his responsibility - his grades that is - not his behavior.

He has been grounded since November - the 1st report card ~ even though he was told he would get his privileges back if his progress report showed improvement ~ when the progress report came the grades were still the same. He made no effort. Finally after a constant tense household ~ several conversations - talks about his future and how his grades will effect him ~ calm talks ~ screaming matches~ crying and all of those adjectives I have missed ~ I finally let go. I took your advice and let him become responsible for his schoolwork. From that moment forward I would not email the teachers, make excuses or try to get extra credit to bring up his grade ~ it was now his responsibility.

Now it is a new card marking and he is showing effort. I have not asked him to do his homework ~ I have not questioned him about it ~ I have helped him with it and been positive.

I am less tense and there has not been a constant source of tension (for that I thank you).

He is still grounded from his privileges until he brings his grades up, but when we do see an effort we are rewarding him - last Friday night he was able to have two friends over because of the improvement. Now my question to you is - if the report card comes home and the grades are still bad - and he is still grounded - what do we do next? Since he is already grounded - from cell phone - friends - going places - would we take something else away - the ipod for example - and for how long? Or what would we do.

Bet you are sorry you asked - lol . Just kidding! Thank you.


Hold on to your horses.

Actually, he shouldn't be grounded at all!!! (You didn't want to hear that, I bet).

Grounding him is just another version of attempting to take responsibility for his academic performance. You wouldn't ground him if he got fired from his job at McDonald's. Getting fired would be the consequence. In the same way, a bad report card is the consequence.

Parents absolutely hate this advice. But when I ask, "Did grounding your kid for the whole grading period make his grades come up?" ...they drop their heads and say, "No ...his grades got worse."

Hang in there. You are doing a great job. Thanks for being moldable.


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