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Child Behavior Forum
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Normal 13yr old boy

Our 13yr old boy has a very difficult time structuring his time, especially when he has to do things he doesn't want to do, such as homework and cleaning his bedroom.  He does well in school with the work he does in school.  His behavior in school is somewhat disruptive, if he is egged on by others, but for the most part we get good reports on his behaviour.  He half heartedly does his homework and the same is true when studying for tests.  He hurries through everything so he can get to his interests which are friends, skateboarding and playing his guitar.  He hands in homework half done, or not at all and his test scores are very low if he truly has to study.  He has to call home once per week with his school report which includes grades on assignments, tests and homework.  He is grounded when there is a bad report.  Then he does ok for a few weeks, while he is grounded, and then he slips back into this pattern.  If we don't structure the time for him, he doesn't do anything to improve the situation, even when he knows he is going to be grounded.  He is not bothered by E's anymore.  High school will be next year and we are very concerned that he will never learn to structure himself.
He does the same when it comes to structuring his responsibilites at home.  If it is something that is not of importance to him, he will put it off, sometimes until he can't do it or until we get mad and make him do the things he should be doing.
My question is, is this normal behavior for a 13yr old, who will be 14 in May, or is he behind in maturity and abstract thinking developement?  
If it is normal, how long do we continue to keep this structure around him before we let me go ?  If it is not normal, do we seek counseling or structure things differently or ?????
1 Responses
242606 tn?1243786248
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
This sounds like normal-spectrum behavior that requires the type of structuring you are providing. The general approach is to make it in your son's vested interest to do the things he needs to do. If he sees successful accomplishment of his responsibilities as his "ticket" to the pursuits he enjoys, he will accomodate to them.
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