Reply To: Teen admittedly quit trying at school


I’m 16, and the only reason I haven’t failed all my classes since kindergarten is because all my teachers knew I had bad, undiagnosed ADHD and were understanding. Later, in high school, my teachers were much less understanding, and my parents had always been making me get a’s or get grounded (because the only reason I wouldn’t have an A was usually missing or late assignments).
I’m in all regular classes, and I’m in the top choir and orchestra. Sometimes, two of my teachers assign projects to do that take up all my time at the same time that I have an important choir and orchestra concert because they’re always at the same time. It’s so, so hard. I get so stressed out and scared of failing and my brain hurts so much that I don’t practice for the concerts and I don’t do the projects. I just wait and worry about it until the latest possible day and then I rush to do everything.
My school is somewhat understanding- some teachers more than others- but my parents are too busy to help with my school work and I’m too anxious to ask for help. I’m sure that if my school worked a little harder to make life easier and accepted that some days I was going to have a hard time and work on something for hours and not be able to finish it, and my parents helped me more, I wouldn’t have these problems. Unfortunately, my school has 3,600 kids enrolled, so they don’t care about one student with ADHD.
I don’t know how to fix this, I can just say that I have felt 100% ready to just give up multiple times. The best solution I can imagine would be to move, but no one’s just going to up and move like that haha. Maybe you can try talking to his teachers individually and work out an agreement. Find out what his biggest problems are (not turning in work, not paying attention enough to understand, etc) when it comes to the actual work and try to talk to his teachers and find a way to cut him a little more slack.
I’d try to find some solution soon, though, because personally I have gone so far as to consider doing something that would give me a real excuse to have extra time on my work- like getting seriously hurt. I wouldn’t do that to myself, but I don’t know your son or how far he’d be willing to go. I don’t want to scare you, but it could be concerning.