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Kids & Poor Academic Performance

Hi Mark,

I am writing for advice on how to get my 7th grade son to do his best in school. He is very intelligent, yet does not seem to care about his schoolwork. He easily makes it on the honor role, but with effort he could be on the top honors. Recently, I discovered that he got a 40% on a Spanish quiz. I asked if he could retake it and he made up some story. After emailing the teacher I discovered that he did retake it during his detention time (which I knew nothing about) and he received the same grade. So now he is lying about his work and about having detention. He is a constant disruption in class. Though the teacher has moved his seat several times he still turns around and talks w/others. What can I do about this??? In general, he is liking 7th grade more because he moves from class to class every 40 minutes. I know that he is easily distracted and we try to give talk w/him about things he can do to focus. The problem is that he doesn't seem to care! He is very active in sports. He is on the soccer team and is doing well with that. He is also playing on a town baseball team. I wanted to take him off of the baseball team, but my husband thinks that will only make matters worse. The busier he is, the better his behavior is, but how do I get him to focus more on his schoolwork??

Thank you again for all of your time and support.


Hi J.,

Poor academic performance is addressed in the section of the eBook entitled Read these Emails from Exasperated Parents.

Please look toward the bottom of that page where it reads:

"My 16-year-old son brought home straight F's on his last report card. I grounded him for the entire grading period, but he continues to fail in nearly all subjects. I know he is a bright kid and can do the work when he wants to. What can I do to motivate him?"

Let me know if you need clarification,


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