Parenting --Teens/son flunking out in college


My son has ended his first semester of college with 2 failed grades and will probably be put on academic probation. He has the nerve to blame me for making him go to college right out of high school saying he wasn't ready to go. I asked what was he going to do? He didn't have a job and all he did all day was hang out with his 16 year old girlfriend, he is 18. We have sat down and worked out a schedule for him to return back to school and turn things around and get on the right path but I am wondering if I am just going to be out more money if he fails again He is very tight with his girlfriend, sneaking home repeatedly to see her and checking his phone records, texting back and forth constantly exeryday. He  has been with her constantly since he has been home on break, staying at his girlfriend's house even though I never raised him this way or approve of it. I had it last night and told him I don't think it's a good idea for him to go back to school, that maybe he should just find a job instead, I worry that it will be a repeat of the same thing as last semester. This girl has such a hold on him it's crazy. Any ideas  what to do?

Hello Donna,
What does he say he wants to do at this point?
I think whatever plan there is for the next several months needs to be based on what he agrees to do. Although you have some control, he plays a big part in what happens.
If his world revolves around his relationship with his girlfriend, then it might be better for him to drop out of school and work, but be close to her. However, he must have a job within 30 days and he has to begin paying some of his expenses. And perhaps he should be saving toward his college education. Also, there should be some rules about his living at home.
If he chooses to go back to school, then it has to be with the understanding that he must pass all classes, otherwise, you cut off funds for college and he is on his own.
What questions do you have?
James Windell

Parenting --Teens

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


James Windell


I am a parent trainer, psychotherapist, and author specializing in parenting issues.During the past 40 years I`ve worked with parents with discipline problems and challenging children. I give frequent lectures and workshops related to discipline, social skills, and aggressive children. I consult with various agencies and schools where there are child behavior problems. I am listed in the American Psychological Associations` media panel as an expert on parenting and am frequently quoted in leading magazines and newspapers.


I have worked in a juvenile court as a clinical psychologist and as a psychotherapist in private practice. In the Oakland County (MI) Juvenile Court, I developed an award-winning parent training program for parents of adolescent delinquents. In addition I have done group therapy with adolescent delinquents using a social skills-building model. I have consulted with courts, schools, churches, preschools, and domestic violence shelters in areas of parenting.

I received my BA with a major in Psychology in 1963 from Wayne State University. I got my MA in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University in 1972.

I am a member of the American Psychological Association and the Michigan Psychological Association. I have written pamplets, newspaper articles, and professional journal articles. I have been the Coping With Kids columnist for several newspapers for 26 years, and my columns appear weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been the author or co-author of 16 books. My books include, 8 WEEKS to A WELL-BEHAVED CHILD, CHILDREN WHO SAY NO WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO SAY YES, 6 STEPS TO AN EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT TEENAGER, and THE FATHERSTYLE ADVANTAGE. My most recent parenting book (2012) is THE EVETYTHING CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT BOOK. I have appeared on over 180 radio and TV shows related to my books and parenting. For more information about me, my books and columns, go to my website at

I have an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University.

©2017 All rights reserved.