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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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I have sons ages 12 and 16. They live with me for one school

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I have sons ages 12 and 16. They live with me for one school year and live with their mother the next school year. They are currently living with their mother. We are divorced. However both sons are with me just about the whole weekend. The 16 year old told the judge that he did not want to live with his mother and gave various reasons. The 12 year old did the same but with less emphasis. However the judge ordered the present arrangement. The 16 year old, in the past had a very good school record--sometimes making straight As. Now he has a couple of C's -this is an anomoly for him. He hates living with his mother and while he is there he stays away from her in another part of the house.
I contacted his teachers and they all say his grades are deteriorating because he does not hand in his assignments or is late with them This weekend I confronted him [nicely] and got him to work on his English paper. I also contacted his mother and told her the situation but she says "What can she do--he does not obey me". I am cutting his computer time when he is with me and insisting that he bring his homework to me during the weekend. This weekend I worked with him on an English term paper. Any suggestions for how to handle this? I am easy going type of father as per "discipline" PS the other son is making all As and does not have a particular problem with his mother.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. Does your 16 year old obey you and respect you? I gather the mother does not enforce any rules? Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, he obeys me and respects me. Sometimes when I tell him he can only use the computer for so long a time he cheats a little--but we both know it. He is upset about having to live with his mother and does not respect her [for various reasons]
Hello again. It sounds like you have a great relationship with your son. Just continue to praise and guide him when he is with you and also somehow keep in contact with him when he is at his mother's house especially when it comes to getting good grades. His mother seems like she does not care so you must step up to the plate and provide the guidance that he craves and needs.

Just tell him that he needs to at least be respectful to his mother when he is over her house because it is her house. Provide him with some sort of incentive if he can raise his grades to how they were before. Try to focus more on what he is doing right.

Additionally, you may want to seek professional counseling for him for a few sessions just so he can learn some intervention and coping strategies in living and dealing with his mother. That seems to be a pressing issue that must be resolved.

If his grades do not improve and you know that he truly has the abilities, you can schedule a meeting for him to meet with his school counselor as well to help him get back on track.

Continue to enforce any consequences that you feel make him step up to the plate and try harder in school.
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