Hello my friend. I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that you are having with your son. Just to ease your frustration, many boys between 7th and 8th grade experience a downward spiral but then it starts to improve in the second part of 9th grade and even in the beginning of 10th grade. The reason are because his hormones are changing, he is influenced by peers, and is more concerned about being socially accepted. School is not at the top of the list but rather at the bottom. One activity that keeps youths on the right track is sports. Is your son interested at all playing any team sport at school..maybe for next year? If so, have him try out as soon as possible. Sports team players are usually required to maintain a certain grade point average. If they are experiencing any type of trouble at school, then their coach will be on their case like crazy and they will not get away with anything. On the other hand if your son is not involved in any type of sports activity at school, enforce stricter consequences. First of all with his attitude toward school, behavior at school, and failing grades, he should not even be allowed to play his X Box at all. Additionally, limit his social interaction with friends. Take away his cell phone if he has one. Limit his computer usage and television time. He needs to feel almost like he is in jail and that he knows you mean business unless he changes. The problem is that no matter what you say or do, you cannot make him change. It is an intrinsic factor and he must come to the realization that he is headed down the wrong path. Furthermore, is he has an assigned academic counselor at school, attempt to schedule weekly meetings with your son and the counselor. The school must be willing to work with you to get your son back on the right and appropriate path.
Hope this helps or at least provides you with some insight. Just ask if you need more assistance.