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A Little Success Outside School

By Jodie Lynn


My 10-year-old son is having trouble in school with just about all of his subjects. He doesn't like to go and it is a struggle each day to get him up and out the door. There's nothing wrong with him physically or emotionally but apparently something is bothering him enough to make school something he greatly dislikes. How can we get him to talk about it or more importantly, what questions can we ask to try to get to the bottom of this situation?


Our son got into the same situation by the fifth week of school; he wouldnít talk to us or to his teacher. It wasnít that he didnít like his teacher because he seemed to enjoy her. However, getting him up in the mornings was driving us crazy. He would tell us that he had done his homework at school during free time when in reality, he wasnít doing it at all. It put him behind to the point that he felt he would never be able to catch up so he just gave up. We talked to the teacher and she gave us the name of a great tutor who could work with him in the evening. Within a few weeks, he was caught up on assignments and felt much better about himself and school. Talk with his teacher and see if your son might need an outside tutor. Ė Angie W. in Provo, UT


Since there are so many variables in this situation, you may need to help him relax enough to forget about the stress he is currently feeling. If he can do something he really enjoys at least twice a week, maybe he can work out the constant frustration that is causing him to feel inadequate in school. You might perceive this as rewarding his negative behavior but itís actually going to help him to be able to open up to you about what is really going on with school. When children clam up about their feelings, getting them into situations where they can experience success not only builds self-esteem, but also enhances their ability to see things clearly so that whatever it is that is going on doesnít seem so overwhelming after all. It may take a little time but with patience and kind words, he should be able to talk about his challenges.

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If I make my ex-husband pay child support, he says it will cause resentment towards our two children. I donít know if he would really have ill feelings towards our children or if it is just some type of ploy. So far, I have not forced him to pay but it is very hard to get by on my income alone. Should I take a chance and legally force him to do it anyway? Or, should I continue to get by on my own?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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