I understand that I need to let go of micro-managing my son's academic progress (which is, predictably, poor). How do I reconcile this with allowing my son to do what he enjoys (e.g., playing XBox) when it's clear he's shirking his schoolwork responsibilities? If I'm not to be on top of his homework and grades, do I then allow him to enjoy what he wants, in spite of poor academic performance?
First, what does your son do to earn Xbox privileges? Remember, ALL privileges must be earned. In this way, you are not “allowing” (i.e., a free handout of privilege) him to do anything – he is earning the privilege for himself.
Next, we don’t want to “micro-manage” schoolwork – but we don’t want to reward lack of effort either. Thus, set aside a one-hour chunk of time (e.g., 4:00 – 5:00 PM) that is either “homework time” or “chore time.” Then let your son decide what he wants to do with that hour. He can do chores or schoolwork, or some combination thereof. In the event he refuses to do either, then revert to the 3-day-discipline outlined in the eBook.
The above recommendation is based on the assumption that (a) your son has a history (i.e., at least 6 months) of “poor academic performance” and (b) “poor academic performance” is a major source of parent-child conflict.
My Out-of-Control Teen