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Making SS do School Work

3Libras06's picture

So SS11 has had a difficult year here with us. He just started living with us full time in May. He's had a lot of problems at school including but not limited to turning in homework, participating in class, finishing tests, etc etc etc.

Parent teacher conferences were last Thurs and we found that he has been sleeping in class the first two hours of school for about a week or two now. I KNOW it's because he's been resisting his bedtime and finding ways to stay up and read half of the night. I've already taken away his lava lamp (he was using the light to read), taken away his alarm clock (it projected a planet onto the ceiling which he also used to read) and have made it a rule to sleep with the door open and moved his bed in front of the door. IDK what else we can do!!!!

We even moved his bedtime earlier and established a reading time 30 minutes to an hour before bed. No dice.

I just checked his online status of homework and he now has like six missing math assignments and just got a 34% on his math test. It's not that he doesn't know how to do this stuff - HE DOES. He just refuses to do it.

How many of you stepmothers make it your responsibility to ride these kids' asses and make them succeed? BM is in another state, busy playing happy homemaker with her new husband and two babies. DH works rotate and a lot of overtime so he doesn't check online grades and basically waits to be contacted by the school.

Is this not my business? Not something I should stress over?! I've already tried going into the school every day and clean his desk, make him come home and do homework all evening and missing assignments but that just made my life hell. I'm at a loss here.

Anon2009's picture

Is he getting some sort of professional help? He may need help in learning how to deal with getting the shaft from his own BM. I'm sure he feels the fact that she's not also being a good mom to him very acutely.

That said, he needs to learn other, healthier ways of coping. I think this is where dh needs to step up, take the lead and have some difficult but necessary discussions with ss, and listen to what SS has to say as well. And I think DH needs to really listen to him, too. This helped my DH a lot. He needs to not say "I know" or "I understand." Because unless he went through similar things as a kid, he does not. And of course, he needs to let his son know he'll always be there for him and love him unconditionally. He also needs to enforce appropriate consequences for bad behavior.

3Libras06's picture

Yes. He sees a psychologist every week and has an appointment with another doctor soon to see about medication to assess anxiety that the psychologist is seeing.

He is starting to understand how terrible his mother is - As about three weeks ago he threatened to commit suicide at school because he was angry over missing recess. Later, when we spoke about it he said he thought of his mother and wanted to get back at her.

DH doesn't know what to do. Point blank. He just doesn't.

Anon2009's picture

What he needs to do (and this is easier said than done) is be the parent that his son needs. Maybe he needs parenting classes to help him learn how to be a better parent.

3Libras06's picture

I have tried this! And I still am attempting to make it work. Thing is, while living with his mother he was abused mentally, physically and emotionally. He was taken away by the state and put in our custody after a battle. I know he's going through depression and his psychologist who he sees once a week says he has anxiety issues. He is going to be evaluated in a few days to see about medication.

Either way, having toys taken away or privileges of any sort taken away don't do anything for him and I'm guessing it's because of what he went through with his mother and stepfather.

I love DH, that is the only reason why I'm here and doing this. At some point though, his lack of desire to make his son behave and cooperate may be the thing that pushes me away.

Fansi's picture

I seriously just felt like I was reading about my life with SD10, lol, I have no advice as we haven't found what works yet but I can say that yes I make it my responsibility because DH would just tell her the answers, he's not very good at just helping. Her teacher and I email almost daily as well.

jumanji's picture

I'm right there. Most parents would be THRILLED that their kids love to read. Ditzy had a good idea - try it.