Teen Boy & Grades
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 11/19/2013 by HAB in NSBR Board
 

HAB
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Posted: 11/19/2013 12:46:04 PM
I'm getting so frustrated with my son and grades. He is a junior. I really am at a loss of what to do. We've given and offered help when he's needed it and been willing to take it, we've offered incentives, we've taken things away, etc. He'll do better for a while and then gets lazy again. At what point do you just let them fail? That's never been an option for me, but he really seems to be in firm denial of the consequences of his actions (or lack of action). I'm starting to wonder if that's the only way that it will click for him and I hate this feeling! He is such a good boy in a million ways. He's also so smart and can work hard and be dependable in other areas. I just don't understand why he won't consistently apply himself here. The thing that drives me crazy is this wasn't an issue until high school and then it's been going on off and on since. Would appreciate any experience/wisdom the peas have to offer!

Thanks,

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bearkat12
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Posted: 11/19/2013 12:51:07 PM
I could have written your post pretty much word for word. My ds is a senior this year and he still struggles in school. He's so smart and is such a hard worker that I don't understand why he doesn't always apply himself to his school work. This year, I have decided just to back off. We have talked to him so many times about if he fails, this is on him. We cannot make him do the work. The first 2 6 weeks he has passed everything. I lose sleep all the time about him and his future but I know he will be ok. It's hard but we just had to let him figure it out on his own.


Shannon

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Posted: 11/19/2013 12:55:30 PM
When do you let them fall? When you've done all the other things you can think of.

It won't be the end of the world, honest, it just might feel like it briefly






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bearkat12
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Posted: 11/19/2013 12:58:25 PM

It won't be the end of the world, honest, it just might feel like it briefly


Totally agree with this!

Also wanted to add that our ds is very laid back and when I get tense and stressed....so does he. I've really had to learn from my dh not to get too worked up about it. He will be fine...one way or the other. Sometimes that means I have to go to the other room to cry or whatever but I try not to let him see me upset. Hugs!


Shannon

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Posted: 11/19/2013 12:58:33 PM
What are his career aspirations or interests? Unless they have some, the whole educational exercise can seem futile. Does he understand fully that grades now affect his college choices? Or does he think he prefers to be in a field where further education isn't needed and is willing to accept the wages that may go with such a choice?

cdnstorelady
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Posted: 11/19/2013 12:58:45 PM
At what point do you just let them fail? That's never been an option for me, but he really seems to be in firm denial of the consequences of his actions (or lack of action)
_____________________________________________________

you've answered your own question.....the only way they get out of denial there are consequences ......is to let the consequences happen. In 2 years he could be in the working world....is not letting him fail at his job going to be something you'll still be doing? I hope not.

KristenFNJ
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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:10:28 PM
Okay, I *know* there is truth to the theory that if you're sick and see a cardiologist they'll say it's your heart, if you see a gastrointerologist they'll say it's intestinal and if you see an opthalmologist they'll say it's your eyes... I have ADD, so I notice things that have similar attributes to ADD.

I KNOW that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, too, and that just because someone has a particular habit or behavior that can be present with ADD, doesn't mean they HAVE ADD.

That said, I just wanted to suggest taking a look at Inattentive ADD, and Executive Function Deficit, just for information-gathering purposes and see if the attributes match your boys, Holly and Shannon.

Kids who are inattentive tend to fall through the cracks, because they aren't jumping out of their seat or calling out in class. Without getting too technically into the why, the roller coaster pattern is very familiar, especially with you both reporting that your boys are smart and have the academic ability to succeed in school.

I've recently seen a colleague have 2 boys who were diagnosed after HS graduation when their struggles in college were suddenly unmanagable, and caused quite a bit of turmoil in their lives. Watching what they've gone through, I'd say now is the critical time to take a closer look, at least to rule out that there could be a problem with Inattentive ADD.

bearkat12
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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:22:24 PM
He was diagnosed with ADD in first grade and been on meds every since. School is just not his thing. He already has plans for after he graduates and has 2 jobs lined up. One where he works now and then offshore. It wasn't "my" vision for him but he seems to have it figured out.


Shannon

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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:22:46 PM

I wish I had an answer for you, but unfortunately, I don't. I have 2 sons. DS #1 is 20 and is very laid back personality wise. He learns easily but doesn't apply himself. It's so frustrating. I wish I were half as smart as he is.

DS #2 is 14. He's more disciplined but is going through an absent minded phase. As an example, he came home from school last night and announce that his History Fair project that we thougt was due on Friday is actually due on Wednesday. I was like because I've been asking him for a couple of weeks when the due date was. Guess what we're doing today?



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KristenFNJ
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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:46:18 PM

He was diagnosed with ADD in first grade and been on meds every since. School is just not his thing. He already has plans for after he graduates and has 2 jobs lined up. One where he works now and then offshore. It wasn't "my" vision for him but he seems to have it figured out.


Well, at least I know my radar is not broken!

Seriously though, I'm sorry that it's such a struggle. If he's been on the same med for a long time, maybe it's time to revisit the dose or the type. It seems like there are quite a few newer brand names being mentioned here and there that weren't as high on the popularity list even just 3 years ago when me and my family were getting diagnosed... even if it's the same class of drug, the different inactive ingredients can change the effectiveness (in good or bad ways, or course!). Might be worth looking in to...

pretzels
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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:46:34 PM
I'm in the middle of this with my 14-year-old high school freshman. He is so unmotivated. He's very smart, but is just meh about school.

In our state, we have no pass, no play, meaning that he has to get a 70 or better to participate in extra-curriculars. He's in marching band and loves it, so I thought that might motivate him...until his freaking band director told them that if they fail an AP or honors course, they can still participate because the extra grade points make it passing.

My current attempt is to motivate him by showing him his potential future. He wants to go to DH's alma mater, which is a good, state university, but they have tightened up entrance requirements. So I've sent off for information already, and we're going to make day trips to the university (it's just three hours away from where we live) from time to time. He's been there for football games, but DH is going to walk him around campus. I'm hoping that if he gets excited about going there, he will start working harder. We will see.

bearkat12
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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:51:30 PM

Seriously though, I'm sorry that it's such a struggle. If he's been on the same med for a long time, maybe it's time to revisit the dose or the type. It seems like there are quite a few newer brand names being mentioned here and there that weren't as high on the popularity list even just 3 years ago when me and my family were getting diagnosed... even if it's the same class of drug, the different inactive ingredients can change the effectiveness (in good or bad ways, or course!). Might be worth looking in to...


Thanks for the input but trust me when I say....we keep very close tabs on him and his meds. He is seen by his dr. every 3 months.


Shannon

HAB
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Posted: 11/19/2013 1:57:23 PM
Thank you all for your input. It can just be completely frustrating and draining! To answer a few questions, he does plan to go to college. We've had many discussions on how his current effort and grades will impact his choices for college, but I don't think he fully gets it. He's starting to have more and more friends that are going to college and I was hoping seeing their example might make an impact.

Kristen, I will keep your thoughts in mind. In looking at the basic signs of ADD, most don't seem to apply to him, but I will keep it in mind and do some more research. I've considered an executive functioning coach/tutor just because I think both he and his sister could benefit from it and sometimes it's better hearing/learning about these things from someone other than mom. We did use someone like that for him for a few months in his Freshman year and it seemed to make a difference. He's just been spotty with how he's continued with what he learned.

It's funny. I look at my two kids and he is really struggling right now and I feel a lot of it is because of laziness. He did not struggle at all in elementary or middle school. For the most part, it was fairly easy. Now that it's harder and he has to work more and he's struggling. In contrast, my daughter has always had to work harder in school. It's always been a struggle. Now in middle school she still has to work hard, but she's ok with that. She knows that it's not a sign of failure that she doesn't get it at first and that it's ok to work. I really wish I would have worked more to make sure he was being challenged earlier.

anxiousmom
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:00:24 PM
I too could have written this.

My oldest is a senior this year. At the end of the first grading period, he had 3 D's, a couple of C's and an A in homeroom.

For the life of me, I can't figure it out. Smart kid, but school is low on his list of priorities. I have taken things away, I have given incentives, I have back off and I have ridden his ass. Nothing works.

He will lie about having completed assignments, and has since he was in about eighth grade. He acts as though school is beneath him.

At the current moment he is in danger of failing school. His teachers have gone out of their way to help him make up assignments, accept late work, whatever. He just keeps not doing anything.

He is a good kid in all other regards. He isn't out drinking, or doing drugs, or anything that I have objections to. He just doesn't want to do his work at school.

I am at my wits end and he will be 18 soon and still in school. Then it will only get worse.

I love that kid, but he is killing my soul.

KatieBPea
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:16:19 PM
It's a tough situation, to be sure.

Two situations come to mind: in both cases, the parents let the son live with the consequences (poor grades) of their bad choices. One 'got a grip' in his twenties and is very successful today, both personally and professionally.

The other is still finding his way, to put it nicely.

I really think so much of it is internal--as parents, we can encourage, guide and support, but the motivation has to come from within.



Mallie
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:19:55 PM

What are his career aspirations or interests? Unless they have some, the whole educational exercise can seem futile. Does he understand fully that grades now affect his college choices?
I have a friend with a teen son who refuses to do homework. Positive reinforcement, punishments, they've tried it all. Nothing works. And yet, this kid is absolutely convinced that (1) his path is college and (2) that he is going to a top tier college. He keeps saying that "In two years, I'll be at Top Tier College!" He's even bought their tee shirts etc online and wears them all the time.

And yet, he barely has a 3.0 GPA because he refuses to do his homework.

So the kid has aspirations and interests. He's been told by parents, guidance counselors and shown the college's admission page listing the baseline requirements for admission -- which he does NOT meet. He has all that. But what he has more of is arrogance and self-delusion.

Until he falls on his face, he's not going to learn. It's going to be a MAJOR life lesson, but it's one he's laying the groundwork for all on his own.

At a certain point as a parent, no matter how much it kills us, we actually have no option but to let life bitchslap them in the face.

anxiousmom
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:26:05 PM
Sadly, I think that is where I am at least. I can't do the work for him.

Both of his parents are college educated as well as all of our family (this includes various profession and medical degrees) and I think we have modeled good educational values. As of right now, the boy thinks that because both of his parents attended the same college (as did a few others in the immediate family) that he will get in regardless of grades. Um. No. Perhaps if could donate enough to get our name on the football stadium, maybe. But our contributions would be more like "yeah, we can pay tuition."

So, I am at the point that I think I have to allow him to pass or fail on his own. But it is KILLING me. We fight all the time and at this point, he will hardly come home to my house, preferring to hide at his dad's where his dad has already come to this point and leaves him be. I cry myself to sleep over where I see our relationship heading.

But on the other hand, isn't it my job as his parent to help guide him and helping him when he is making poor choices?? What kind of mother am I if I just sit back and watch him fail without doing anything??

I am sorry, today was a horrible, no good, awful day and we argued off and on all day. I shouldn't complain on someone else's thread.

anxiousmom
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:28:25 PM
Oh Mallie, that is my son.

Are you sure you don't live next door??

Luvnlifelady
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:30:12 PM
I'm sort of in the same boat with my junior DD. She actually did fail a class last fall. AP Euro...ugh! She will have to make up those credits this spring.

Her grades this fall are passing, but nothing to write home about. She could do much better but just doesn't have the motivation.

She will go to the local JC first before a university, and I actually think she'll do better there. She can somewhat pick her schedule and she's definitely one that does better in the afternoon/evening, so that might help.

As long as she's getting at least a "C" in most classes, I figure I'll lay off but I know she can do better and is starting to want more for herself too.

ETA: I will say too that part of the problem for DD is that she skated through until high school. However, I don't think she ever really learned "how to study." Therefore, when things got hard, she didn't know how to handle it.



needmysanity
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:33:26 PM
My oldest is a Senior and everything is tied to his grades. If we don't he will gladly go through life being "meh". If he wants to participate in school teams he had to have a 3.0. If he wants to drive - 3.0. If he has missing assignments the truck is taken away until they are turned in.

I am already freaking out next year when he goes to college (he is going to the local Junior College and living at home). I'm hoping he will be able to keep his grades up with out us putting expectations on him.

He frustrates me like I can't even explain. I don't understand how he can go through life without wanting to excel at something.


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MikeWozowski
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:40:30 PM
i have one like this, a girl, not a boy.

she was diagnosed with inattentive ADD in high school. that helped, but she still kind of had the attitude you describe. i stopped bugging her about it. she kept her grades up enough to stay out of trouble, but that is all. she THOUGHT she would be getting in to and going to top college. we told her (starting before 9th grade) that she would need to work harder to get into top college. she insisted she would still get in. she wouldn't do any of the extra things like community service and leadership things that help when you apply to top college. still, she thought she would get in...until the letter from top college came.

guess what ... SHE DIDN'T GET IN!! surprise, surprise! so, she had to go to junior college.

then ... she dragged her feet and didn't apply on time to transfer to top college. so ... she got to stay at junior college for another year!!!

saved us money.

you really do have to step back and let them fail. it will all work out somehow in the end.

if you "make" them get good grades now, who is going to "make" them work hard to get good grades in college?

i would still have expectations and have punishments for not doing what the kid is capable of. take away the car and or the phone. they seem to want to work to keep those things.

HAB
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:43:20 PM
I'm sorry you're having such a hard day anxiousmom! I can relate. I tend to think the same thing. As his mom aren't I supposed to help him learn how to navigate these things and learn how to make better choices? Reel him in when he's making a mistake?

For my son, I really don't think this comes from arrogance on his end. I think there's a major case of denial that he thinks he can somehow pull it off at the last minute or that something else seems more important at the moment and so he thinks he'll magically catch up later. Then later never comes!

PeaLikeCrazy
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:52:17 PM
Me too....scoot over....I have a 10th grade son. Same as all of you. He is on ADD meds. He has done better on the meds. His problems didn't begin until school got "hard"....that's when he could no longer manage the ADD. But like someone else said, "he thinks school is beneath him." That sounds like my son. Always going on and on about how STUPID this homework is....how he will never have to use this stuff. He thinks he is so smart. UGH!

HAB
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:55:03 PM
We have tied privileges and activities to this. We've told him what we expect as far as grades in order to get his driver's license. Hasn't happened yet and he'll 17 in February. The latest is that he wants to be involved in the pep band for basketball and the school musical (tryouts are on Monday). We've told him if his two grades that he's struggling with the most aren't up by then, he won't be able to participate. Why add that to a schedule that he's already struggling with. I thought the driving would motivate him, but here we are almost a year later. I just don't know what his currency is these days!

PeaLikeCrazy
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Posted: 11/19/2013 3:56:17 PM
Steph/Needmysanity -
I love what you said about..."how can he go through life and not want to excel..." I always think the same thing! But I also feel like they might be internalizing a lot of what they feel because they are boys. Maybe? I don't know...

anxiousmom
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Posted: 11/19/2013 4:01:12 PM
I just want y'all to know that it is nice to be able to talk about my kid and all his imperfections without any kind of judgement.

Thank you for that.

Miglets
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Posted: 11/19/2013 4:03:27 PM
I have no advice, but am filled w/relief at knowing I am not the only one going thru this.

I will spare you the details (since I'd just be repeating what pp's have said), but will add that adding to my frustration is how it seems that everyone around us has kids flying thru school and off to a great 4 yr. college. Can make you feel like you went wrong somewhere.

Again, I thank you for letting me know we're not alone and I think pp's are right. At some point (and I'm thinkin' it's now) we just have to let them figure it out for themselves. If they fall on their faces, then so be it. They'll get up and go on.

Hang in there - I'm hangin' right next to ya!




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Posted: 11/19/2013 4:07:29 PM
Our kids have to find their own way. Our almost 18 years old is a senior and he could give two hoots about school. Grades are average at best, BUT he excels in other areas that are important....he's a self starter, he's an awesome problem solver, is extremely comfortable getting up in front of people to speak and he has a passion for what he wants to do after high school.

He'll be attending our local community college in a partnership program with one of our state universities. As long as he receives his AA or AS, he can transfer to the state university as a junior and will only have to pay for two years of college at a higher tuition.








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Posted: 11/19/2013 4:26:56 PM
We are in the exact same boat!


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Posted: 11/19/2013 4:49:26 PM
Since a few people mentioned ADD, I'll add a little related tidbit that the parents with the DX probably know, but others might not... A child with AD/HD usually demonstrates a maturity of about 70% their age. So, a 17 year old is probably about as mature as a 12 year old.

I have no idea when this balances out as a child with ADD reaches adulthood, but it seems to have a pretty significant impact on these older teens who seem so far removed from understanding the correlation between their grades and their future.

I know this doesn't fix anything, but sometimes even a small moment of "Oh, THAT's why he's like that" can help, at least to ease some of the self-blame we inflict on ourselves as parents!

HAB
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Posted: 11/19/2013 5:58:55 PM
Thanks again everyone for your insights. It's nice to know I'm not alone!
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voltagain
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Posted: 11/19/2013 6:38:31 PM
At what point do you just let them fail?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

IMO, you let them fail at 6-8 grades. Yes, they may end up held back a year but chances are good, if that happens, they need the extra year to mature anyway. It also shapes their awareness that failure can happen to them and there are long term consequences.

Now you can choose to let go and let him fail or keep pushing him and wait to let go when he is in college. You'll have paid tens of thousands of dollars to get him to a place he won't be ready to keep up with under his own steam and he will flunk out. Then the doors really start closing on him.

Getting into college as a marginal high school student is much easier than getting back into college after "proving" you couldn't handle it.


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HAB
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Posted: 11/19/2013 7:06:32 PM
I see what you're saying voltagain, but my son's issues didn't really start until high school. Aside from a few minor things coming up in middle school where he didn't follow up appropriately after being sick, we never had any of these types of problems until high school.
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Posted: 11/19/2013 7:18:40 PM
We are in the same boat with our son.

So, who do we see to find out if the boy has Inattentive ADD/ADHD & Executive Function Problem? In part 2 of the article on EFP, the child's story sounds just like that of my son, without the family problems.





The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. ~Albert Einstein

HAB
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Posted: 11/19/2013 7:23:22 PM
Maybe you could ask his pediatrician for recommendations on someone that can evaluate him?
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Posted: 11/19/2013 8:04:37 PM
Is this a teenage boy thing? My twins also started high school this year. Son did fairly well thru elementary, middle school, always A's and some B's. The problem is he is laid back, easy going but always has to be pushed and checked up on. Like, is your math homework done? Did you study for World History? Very frustrating, but he did have a 3.7 on his first report card. His twin sister has had straight A's since she started school. Very motivated, always on top of everything. Sometimes, I think I cannot do this for 3.5 more years!!

deragirl
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Posted: 11/19/2013 8:33:46 PM
I agree with Volt about when we let them fail and pick themselves up again - the earlier the better. I honestly believe the picking ourselves back up is a skill we must learn as soon as possible. We will all fail, whether at relationships, academics, a job, or some personal goal we set for ourselves. If we instill a fear of failure into our children we will cripple their potential to stretch themselves and take risks to grow.

My 8th grader has inattentive ADD - absolutely no hyperactivity symptoms. Meds help, but he still has to develop coping/organization skills. As much as I want so many things for him, I'm constantly reminding myself that the character he has developed through some of these struggles will take him a lot further than some smooth path to academic and career success. The bumps in the road will create in him a manhood that is worthy of respect and can thrive in the face of difficulty.

OP, you described your son as having some wonderful characteristics. Encourage him in those areas, value those strengths, and make sure he knows you value him for who he is as a whole, not based on academic performance. School is not everything! An alternative path to college is not something to be ashamed of if it means that the child develops what it takes to be of good character. Finally, I know some wonderful highly respectable folks who did not go to college either at all, or right out of high school. Open your horizons for your son and let him follow his strengths! He may surprise you when his options are a bit more open.


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Posted: 11/19/2013 9:50:43 PM
DS is currently in 7th grade and I keep hoping he will be ineligible one week (he pulls up just before it goes in). I think letting a teen fail in middle school before it affects high school credit and college acceptance is a good idea.


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HAB
BucketHead

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Posted: 11/19/2013 10:19:08 PM
Deragirl, I understand and agree with what you're saying about college not being the right path for everyone, but I'm not sure that it applies in this case. College is something that he has expressed that he wants and thinks is important. I also think that, for him, it is something that he should do. He is a very bright, capable kid.

This would be a totally different thing if I felt he was working and doing his best. I wouldn't be thrilled with bad grades, but could deal with it knowing he's put forth his best effort. I believe that knowing how to work hard is invaluable no matter what you do in life. I am worried that he's not willing to do that for himself right now on a consistent basis.

And, yes, I have made a conscious effort to make sure he knows how wonderful he is in other areas. I really don't want this one area to become the focus of our relationship.
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deragirl
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/19/2013 11:02:18 PM
HAB, I would never say take college off the table, but I would put it in his lap to figure out that he has to make an effort to get it. You can't come to that realization for him, and his timing on getting there might not be what you would have hoped for.

I know some pretty cool success stories from people who learned the hard way that they couldn't just go to college because it was what they always assumed for themselves, but when they did get there it was a huge success. I say that as an encouragement that if he doesn't get it all together super soon you wouldn't give up hope for him going on to do the things he dreams of doing.

And kudos to you for focusing on those other things that he does well and where his good character shows through. I am always super sensitive to that issue because my son was at a school that focused only on academics as far as how they valued the children. For the first few years his native intelligence got him by with great grades, but as the work got harder his ADD became a barrier to success. Then the whole focus of the staff was on him being a low achiever academically, and not on his character or talents in non-academic areas. It really hurt my child and we still deal with some of the emotional consequences of how he was identified only by his academic performance - obviously we changed schools when we realized the full extent of the negative messages he was getting about himself. So whenever possible I encourage parents and teachers to see what is good and value it even while they support the child in addressing the weaknesses.

To me the fact that you describe your son as a hard worker who knows how to be dependable are bigger signs that he can be successful at education when he decides to apply himself than any grade history he obtains between now and then.


Susan Beth
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anxiousmom
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/20/2013 6:20:04 AM
My son doesn't have ADD, has never been tested, nor has anyone ever suggested that we test him. I honestly don't think that is the case for us.

I do talk about his good qualities, he has many. In fact, if it weren't for his grades and general all around lack of motivation, he is a GREAT kid.

But this school thing. Holy moly oly. We have had the same conversations over and over since the beginning of middle school.

And how's this for wanting to pull my hair out? He is also taking dual enrollment classes at the local community college. He has made all A's in those classes. He is taking all AP and honors classes, and is failing. Not because he can't do the work, but because he WON'T do the work. When he applies himself, he can easily get A's.

What is making that happen? He will come home, sit in front of whatever device he has on hand and lie about what kind of work is required of him. He will swear that he has no homework, that he finished it at school-and there is no mechanism for me to check on that. I can see his grades afterwards and see missed assignments, but not when they are due ahead of time.

I turn off tvs, I make him put his phone away, but I can't take the Ipad away because it is was provided by the school as the vehicle in which homework is submitted. He will lie to me and tell me he is doing homework and really being doing something else.

And, because I am human, I will admit this to you guys and no one else (LOL) that I am embarrassed by all this. I was in a group of friends the other day who were all talking about their seniors waiting for acceptance letters from first choices schools, acceptance letters from fall back schools, grades, etc. When I said I was just hoping that my kid graduated, they all looked at me with such pity. It is almost like no one has ever had a kid who wasn't perfect.

He wants to go to college. He has experience, successful experience, taking college classes. And he knows what he wants to do in college (get this-law school) but has no motivation to what it takes to get there.

~*kristina*~
Typical Liberal Pea

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Posted: 11/20/2013 8:23:30 AM

And, because I am human, I will admit this to you guys and no one else (LOL) that I am embarrassed by all this. I was in a group of friends the other day who were all talking about their seniors waiting for acceptance letters from first choices schools, acceptance letters from fall back schools, grades, etc. When I said I was just hoping that my kid graduated, they all looked at me with such pity. It is almost like no one has ever had a kid who wasn't perfect.


I'm sorry you feel like you should be embarrassed. Just because those seniors are waiting for first choice acceptance letters doesn't mean they will be any more successful than your son. Those kids may very well fall flat on their face and then have to deal with the fallout that comes with that and if your friends are looking at your situation with pity, then I'm not sure those are the type of friends I would want to hang out with.

I'm not going to compare my son's academic future with another kid....how can you? Each kids is different, every family situation is different. I'm just glad that where I live (or at the least the parents I know) don't use their senior's college plans as just another competition.





WingNut
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Posted: 11/20/2013 8:51:03 AM
Geeze, I thought *I* was the only one with this problem! :::: joke ::::

Our 15 year old sophomore is the same as many of you describe. Throw in some Aspergers, ADHD, depression and anxiety? Well, that's quite the tight rope we walk. If you push too hard, punish too harshly, you push him into a bigger bought of depression and anxiety (which manifests into all sorts of physical complaints and missed school days). If you lay off, you simply find he doesn't (can't?) step up like you would hope.

We have come to the conclusion this year that we've reach the point where he simply has to fall on his face. I can't keep "fixing" things for him. That hasn't worked for us so we're trying this approach instead.

At least now I have my husband working WITH me on it. He's taken a totally "hands off" approach for years now. That doesn't mean he didn't feel he had the right to criticize my efforts though. A conversation with my son's therapist has finally gotten through to him that I simply can't do this by myself anymore. While I don't think my son is doing any better in school, I feel 100% better that it's not all up to me anymore.


Joy


needmysanity
AncestralPea

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Posted: 11/20/2013 8:59:50 AM

When I said I was just hoping that my kid graduated, they all looked at me with such pity. It is almost like no one has ever had a kid who wasn't perfect.


OMG...I TOTALLY KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!!

I sometimes hate being around people who have kids who are Seniors because of this. No college tours for us, no stressing over waiting for the mail...none of that is in our future and I feel like I have failed him. I am having such a difficult time when him not wanting to be the best he can be.

He is loving, funny, loyal....a lot of good quailties but they don't get you careers, they don't get a jobs....and I worry about that daily.



~Steph~

Mom, wife, CASA advocate, baseball fanatic and wine drinker

Blogging my way through life at Meandering Steph






Darcy_Collins
PeaFixture

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Posted: 11/20/2013 9:25:46 AM
I was wondering if your son worked during high school? It may seem counter-intuitive when they're already struggling in school, but it may help tremendously with motivation. I know that personally, my crappy jobs in high school did more to compel me to university than anything my parents might have said. My cousin had a similar experience with her daughter. She just was not seeing the point in school - she hit that I know everything stage. My cousin's response might seem extreme, but she cut out all "extras" and made her daughter pay for anything over essentials. Phones, movies, trendy clothes, etc. That of course necessitated getting a job (which was the first eye opener in terms of how difficult it is to actually obtain a job with limited education). Then there was the reality of the jobs. It finally clicked with her.

pretzels
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 11/20/2013 9:30:28 AM

What is making that happen? He will come home, sit in front of whatever device he has on hand and lie about what kind of work is required of him. He will swear that he has no homework, that he finished it at school-and there is no mechanism for me to check on that. I can see his grades afterwards and see missed assignments, but not when they are due ahead of time.


Oh, I feel your pain. Only with mine, it's IN CLASS assignments. He will do the work in class, and then get a zero on the assignment. And he has no idea why. I ask him:

1. Did you put your name on it? YES, MOM.
2. Did you turn it into the teacher? YES, MOM.
3. Then why did you get a zero? I DON'T KNOW.

Seriously? Either he's lying or his teachers are disorganized as hell. One of them, I'm convinced is disorganized as hell, but the other one...not so much.
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