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All the advocating is exhausting, to be sure. I go through times where I back off for a bit, because I’m just too tired of fighting. It’s practically a full-time job to help our kids succeed.
My son (9th grade) also seems to not care one bit about doing well. He does everything he can to avoid reading, avoid schoolwork, even avoid school. I know it’s because the traditional way of “teaching” in schools doesn’t work for him — being organized, planning future activities, focusing and staying on task on his own, completing worksheets (he has dysgraphia as well), writing essays, test-taking, busy work, etc. He avoids because it’s extremely hard for him to succeed. He’s learned that he doesn’t “fit” and just stopped trying. Of course, I encourage him to do well so he can achieve the career he’d like (computers). But, I also recognize that grades aren’t everything and he is learning, even if he can’t show it in the way school expects.
Some kids just aren’t good at school. There are a lot of very successful adults with ADHD who barely scraped by in K-12.
I do believe in natural consequences, but you have to be very careful with stepping back and letting kids with ADHD “sink or swim” — be sure they have the skills and developmental maturity that they can truly do it on their own, if they want to.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism