This has been a very crazy and challenging school year for everyone. In the past few weeks, I’ve talked to several parents about their teenage sons and a total lack of interest in school. Not completing assignments, not logging on, failing grades, and total lack of interest in school.

Unfortunately, this behavior is common for teenage boys for a plethora of reasons. However, here is a strategy I have given to parents that have been successful so far.

Sit down with him and ask him:

  1. Do you think you’re living up to my expectations of you?
  2. Do you think you’re doing your best and giving an optimal level? 
  3. How can WE make this problem better and improve? 

More than likely, he’ll surprise you and be honest and tell you “No.” If he says “Yes,” you break out the emails from the teacher/teachers. Only show these emails if the child is adamant about there’s not an issue.

Let’s write down some things WE can do. Let’s come up with four things YOU can do:





*Recognize the shift from WE to YOU. He has to know you’re supportive. Additionally, he’s coming up with the list and he’ll sign as it’s now his word and not yours. It’s a contract between the two of you.

Next, outline the consequences of him not keeping up with what HE said he would do.

* Take his phone for an hour before you do this so he can feel life without the phone. For teenagers, taking their phone is their worst fear.


Marcus Jackson, Ed.D.