I'm a 16 year-old junior in high school. I often spar with my parents over the fact that I'm failing many classes. The issue, however, is not that I do not understand the material; it's that "failing" is simply my approach to passing.
I tend to get high 70s to low 90s in the first quarter of each semester without having to study, pay attention in class, or even do the work. Then, in the second quarter (which usually comes with more "difficult" work), I can exert about the same level of effort and pass the class.
For example, in class #1, I earned a 77 in the first quarter. Therefore, I only need to earn a 63 in the second quarter to pass.
77 + 63 = 140 140 / 2 = 70
Often, I sit in class programming on my laptop while listening to music. When this is not an option (because of a strict teacher, etc.), I generally write down math problems to solve, or zone out.
I'm a fairly knowledgeable guy, IMHO, and I know most of the things that my high school teachers (public school) are teaching. My standardized test scores have always been pretty good for my age (for example, I took the ACT at age 12, and got a 26). I may or may not go to college (I want to be a computer programmer), but if I do decide I want to, I will apply for scholarships that are based solely on ACT scores (planning to take it this spring).
My parents have different goals for me. They feel that I should have a 90 or above in every class (they've lightened up from 95 to 90), and to get a full ride to college. They constantly push for me to do more than expected (often bribing me, or threatening to take away my things if I don't comply).
I've had a discussion with them before about possibly not attending college and instead going straight to the work force, and they seemed quite disappointed. They said many things like: "it's so sad that you think that", and other demeaning things along those lines.
I'm not trying to spill my whole education history online, but I thought some background information might be helpful.
My real question is: How can I get my parents to accept that I'm only trying to pass (that I will, in fact, pass), and that I'd like to spend my time doing harder/better things?
They often tell me that I'm smart, but they are constantly pushing me to get better grades, or get onto me for having sub-par grades (by their definition). This trend has occurred throughout my life, even when I was younger when they would require I read
x number of chapters or for
x number of hours to earn time on a computer or watching TV.
I'll be 17 soon, and I believe I'm being treated like a young child. How can I get them to treat me like the age I am? Also, I feel like they rarely hear me out when I disagree with their way of thinking. How can I even start this conversation without them immediately shutting it down?
Note: As I type, they are arguing with me over schoolwork I haven't done.