Parents of ADHD Children
Lack of Effort, Lack of Caring, Despite Abilities
It seems that we, as parents of ADHD kids, constantly deal with the ever-present issue of our kids’ lack of self-motivation and lack of effort. I am having a very hard time lately with my son in these areas and I’d love to hear from some of you on this.
He is in 5th grade, and he is very bright, but he won’t work to the level of his abilitites. Only certain teachers in the past have been able to motivate him, and the effort has been severely lacking for the past year or so. It has become a huge battle to get him to do homework, and special projects are even more difficult. It is having a negative affect on our relationship, which has always been very good.
He won 1st place in the science fair a year ago, and he was always willing to work (at least somewhat) for certain teachers, but now he will only make an effort if the subject matter interests him, and he has been known to refuse to do work for his current teachers, even though he likes them a lot and loves his school.
He used to take such pride in being an A-student, and he was proud of the fact that he was a smart kid. He has gone from that to not seeming to care about his school work at all, and his grades are all over the map. He doesn’t seem to care, for instance, that he got a D on his math homework last night or that he has more unsatisfactory marks on his progress report than satisfactory ones.
I don’t get mad at him when his grades fall, but rather try to encourage him and tell him we’ll figure out what the problem is so he can get back on track, but he just will NOT try at all. Not at all. It is the most frustrating thing. He can offer no explanation as to what might be bothering him, so that’s not it. He just doesn’t want to try at anything, and the fact that he is refusing to do things the teachers ask really has me worried.
He read 15 difficult books over the summer and gave me a verbal report on each one, so I know he reads well. However, when the school tested his reading aptitude, he came out below grade level and got most of the comprehension questions wrong. He used to be an ace at math, but now those skills are also testing below grade level. When he does his math at home, he flies through it and does okay, but he fails at it or just daydreams at school when it comes time to do the work, so they think he’s not good at math. It’s mind boggling.
He is sinking and I don’t know what to do about it!!! I am trying to get him approved for an IEP, but we’ll see what the school board says after they test him, which should be in a couple weeks. He has a 504, but getting them to make more accommodations is a subject for another post.
I’m just looking for ideas on how to motivate him and looking to commiserate with parents who are also struggling with this issue of effort and motivation. I’ve tried rewards, taking away privileges if certain standards aren’t met, etc., and nothing is working. He just doesn’t seem to care, yet he does have certain apirations for his life, like wanting to be an engineer.
I need ideas. :(
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