Posted by: Phumlani | 2012-01-31

Problem with child


My son 11 years moved to study at Pretoria(Centurion) with my customery wife last year. His perfomance at school was very bad. I always go to Pretoria on the weekends because I work at the construction in Mpumalanga. At first I thought it was the change of place and his not used to it. All of last year''s term he failed them badly. When I''m in Pretoria on the weekends I''d try to help him with his studies and I''d often ask him what was his problem.

My wife would also try to assist him. He(son) always hides the news letters fron school and doesn''t do his home work during the week since I''m not there. Eventually he failed last year.

This year my wife received a letter from school stating that my son''s attitude and behaviour hasn''t change, for a repeating student. When my wife checked his school work, she discovered that he hasn''t been doing his school work.

I don''t know what to do anymore, I''ve tried to reason with him but he(son) often told me he has no problem.

From what I see when I''m in Pretoria, they get along with the wife. My wife now is worried that she''s failing to raise my son because he''s not doing well at school. I don''t know what to do anymore, please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Purple's response is sensible and useful. Yes, both that serious and calm discussion with the child is needed, and for you to try to meet with his teacher, and maybe the principal, for more informaion and advice.
Does he find it hard to see the blackboard ? ( this was a problem for me when I was in primary school, but a good teacher spoted it, I had my eyes tested, go glasses, and the problm evaporated).
An educational or child psychologist shuld be able to assess him and se if there are any particular problems making it harder for him to study and learn, and if none is found, can advise on the lines of Puple's opening suggestions, on how to set up a plan to encourage him to do his work. He cant be left unsupervised with nobody chcking his work unil the end of term or school year

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Our users say:
Posted by: Phumlani | 2012-01-31

Thank you very much for your input.

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Posted by: Bron | 2012-01-31

A friend of ours has a son who did more or less the same thing. They got endless complaints from school etc. THey eventually had him tested for ADD. Perhaps you should have him tested too.
Since the test and subsequent medications, he is more eager and keen to go to school, gets better results etc. Maybe your son does not have ADD, but some other problem. Dont rest until you find out, as sorting it out now can prevent his adulthood turning out to be a nightmare.

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Posted by: Purple | 2012-01-31

This is really worrying for you and your wife.

Over a weekend can you as the parents sit together to work on a plan of action?
He should have a set time for doing his homework each day. When he is finished, your wife should check that he has done it. If he has not done it, he then loses priveleges, like he does not get to go out and play with his friends, he isn''t allowed to watch TV, no money for tuck shop. If he does do it, then he can have these priveleges.

Sit down with him and explain to him the way things are going to work from now onwards. Tell him how things will work in the week, tell him that over weekends you will spend time with him on both days helping him revise work in preparation for tests, listening to him reading out loud and so on. Explain to him that you love him and care about him and that you want him to have the ability to succeed in life as an adult and that if he doesn''t, he is going to have a rather unhappy life looking back regretting that he did not apply himself.

It is probably also a good idea to request a meeting with his teacher to find out why she does not monitor whether he does his work at school or not. This is his or her responsibility. If the teacher is not doing their job, request a meeting with the principal to ask that something be done about it.

You should probably also try to find out if he is having any learning problems that are making it difficult for him to understand the work and he is responding by having an attitude problem towards the work.
Take him to the optometrist to have his eyes tested in case he is struggling to see the board or read his books.
IF there is no problem there, then take him to see a peadiatrician or an educational psychologist for further advice on where to get him tested for dyslexia (it is not always picked up in grade R and grade 1).

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