You can take the Donkey to private school but what if he isn't BOVVERED ?

(58 Posts)
Buzi Tue 08-Jan-13 23:31:12

Having killed myself at my Comp, got myself into top notch Uni, a great career and great life..married happily two kids to wealthy self-made man from Smart yet lost their cash background...how do I manage when my 11 yr old DS is still at school refusing to drink from the font of knowledge, no homework comes home, shocking handwriting, eyelash curling spelling, one word answers...I've tried it all ...tutors,rewards, threats,patience, encouragement...even counselling ( for me that is !!!)...Frankly I am at the point of sending the cheques to charity...I have one other friend...same thing bright enough kid...just not going to even try..! All my other mates kids drifting into London Day, Winchester...you name it...! Do i just give and hope he will get it together eventually ? My daughter 8 is fine ...she does however tend to mimic his behaviour if she wants an out !!
Anyone else had a DS like mine ?

Musomathsci Tue 08-Jan-13 23:40:26

Maybe you just have to accept that he really isn't that bothered and isn't going to achieve much academically, at least not at this stage, anyway. Some kids are genuinely late starters, and he may wake up and start working at some stage.

I guess you have to ask yourself whether the non-academic benefits of a private education are worth enough to you to justify continuing to pay through the nose. Would you rather he carried on in that environment whatever the eventual academic outcome?

Alternatively, would a spell in a comp show him the alternative and get him to buck his ideas up? If you go this route, I would suggest you simply tell him that you're not paying if he's not going to make the effort, and then shut up about it and let him get on with it (or not) for a while.

Is he just overwhelmed by trying to live up to your expectations? Could you take the pressure off, and let him find his own level? It takes guts to back off, but sometimes that's all you can do.

Hold your nerve, he's only 11, so there's plenty of time, and as you have found yourself, it's possible to do just fine in life, even if you aren't at a fancy-pants public school.

grovel Tue 08-Jan-13 23:40:37

Don't panic. Boys can kick-start any time.

KristinaM Tue 08-Jan-13 23:40:43

One of the basic rules of parenting is don't get in a control battle with your child over issues you can't control . That includes what goes into and out of their bodies and what happens at school.

Does this feel like a control battle to you? It sounds like one to me.then you need to step away.

You need to let go of your " what will the neighbours think?" Concerns too. That's your problem, not your sons.

I'm assuming that your child just doesn't want to study, and that he doesn't have any kind of learning difficulty , like dyslexia. or condition like aspergers. Or illness like depression. Or some problem at school like bullying . I'm sure you've checked out all these things .

Labro Tue 08-Jan-13 23:48:01

There are plenty like yours, unfortunately even paying for the education doesn't guarantee that they will engage with whichever system they are in! What does your ds want to do, if hes in private, would he prefer to be at the local comp? Would it be that bad if he was? Sounds also like the school (whether state on private) needs to work at engaging with him. My ds has to do homework at lunchtime if its not done on time, perhaps his school are too lenient in some areas? Is he year 6? Some boys get like this when they get to being the oldest in their primary school and it evens out, but its hard if hes supposed to be heading for 11+ entry! Not many useful suggestions I'm afraid, but there are many who go through it.

Buzi Tue 08-Jan-13 23:53:06

He is absolutely fine ..just immature... and I often ask myself if in our hectic lifestyle if this is his way of controlling me ? I don't have academic expectations for him it is just that he will come in to a fortune at some point and I don't want it to be given that he does tiddly squat and the world lands in his lap ! He is exceptionally popular at his school and very good looking...maybe he will end up being a very happy nightclub promoter ...the world can be his oyster ...I had to make mine ....and I think perhaps back off is all I can do ! He frequently says that is he is very clever and absolutely fine..maybe I should take him at his word...he does read my only hope ...that kindle is red hot..I suppose I just would have enjoyed to have that connection with my child I had with my parents where they helped me and I made them so happy and made myself feel so enabled !

timidviper Tue 08-Jan-13 23:57:21

He's a boy!

My friend taught in a senior school and said if she told her class to read to page 21 of a book the boys would stop there even if it was mid-paragraph and mid-cliffhanger, whereas the girls would read to a sensible point. Boys will always do the absolute bare minimum.

Buzi Wed 09-Jan-13 00:00:55

I discovered that even the top branded private schools can do absolutely zippo if the DS isn't interested ...Winston Churchill didn't shine at school ! I also discovered that many private schools are a total sham...they takes your money and you and tutors do all their work for them!!
I just moved him from a very lenient school and the new school is far more together and are aware he is a challenge...he has a place at a well known boys boarding school come what may but do you send a wealthy dosser into a crowd he can go off the rails with or to a school where he will stick out like a sore thumb..?
I always thought that if i parented like my super parents did me and my jolly sibs all would be well BUT no the little varmint has got me !!

Buzi Wed 09-Jan-13 00:02:51

I like that timidiviper grin ! Yup he is really a boy...and boys are lazy ...!

Buzi Wed 09-Jan-13 00:10:06

PS my delightfully deluded DS wants to go to a Top 50, low fee paying ,HIGHLY competitive school, locally, because it is super ,day and he can come home to me at pm !!!
My brother just pointed out that our mother used to regularly throw his homework on the fire and make him redo it and after studying english at Oxford he is now a miserable lawyer !

Labro Wed 09-Jan-13 00:10:23

Then you've already identified the problems. Regardless of anything you may say to him, he already knows he has comtrol, he knows which school hes going to next and that come a certain age he will have lots of money, add to that the good looks etc and he already knows he has you over a barrel and has no incentive to try at anything. Must be quite strange to know all that at 11. Its difficult for you because you've come into it from a background of working hard for what you achieved, but given that he already knows these facts about his future, then give up gracefully and just enjoy spending time with him and let the schools worry about the terrible attitude.

Buzi Wed 09-Jan-13 00:15:18

Yes I expect at ten to midnight before the 13+ he will get his books out and maybe get in ! I might wait til he's packed off to an expensive school with nice facilities and do an Angelina Jolie...get me some kids who need a break !

DoodlesNoodles Wed 09-Jan-13 00:17:23

You have plenty of time yet.
At his age he can get by just by being 'clever' but once he is a little older, his marks will start to reflect how much effort he put in. This may be the kick up the pants he needs. He may need to fail before he starts to succeed. IYSWIM He sounds as though he is a little arrogant at the moment, it's not a great characteristic but one that he can grow out of.

I would leave him be for the time being and see how it goes.

Good luck.

Buzi Wed 09-Jan-13 00:21:05

I have recently read a tome by a New York Ed psych saying that all research shows within parented limits successful adults come from children who proved it to themselves...! Now I am boring you all with my self-indulgent problem ! Thanks for the sensible comments from smart people...if anyone does have a magic bullet I would be interested in buying it !

Buzi Wed 09-Jan-13 00:26:10

Now I am off to read a good cookbook...maybe channel my energies by achieving a life long goal ...the perfect cheese soufflé ! He likes cooking too maybe we should bond over Delia Smith instead !

Buzi Wed 09-Jan-13 00:27:43

thanks

Labro Wed 09-Jan-13 00:50:27

Lol! At least you'd eat well, hope our comments helped a bit, take care

Tasmania Wed 09-Jan-13 00:54:19

Give all the fortune to dd. That will teach him wink.

This all sounds a lot like my dad moaning to me about my brother who is in his early 20s! Love him... high IQ, but when it comes down to it... he's lazy. Also went to posher schools than me! He knows he stands to inherit quite a bit. For weeks, my dad was calling me because my brother is just lounging his life away at uni (it's the second one he's at, after taking 2 years off after school). My dad has a name for him... which is basically a word for someone who just likes the good things in life.

In the end, I just told my dad to let him be - if he wants to change, he will... hopefully in his own time.

If he is not interested in academia, is there any outside interests you could encourage him towards, something else that perhaps he might be motivated to do well in, like, I don't know, wind surfing or scuba diving or cricket or skiing?

Greythorne Wed 09-Jan-13 08:13:42

Try to channel him?
Get to grips with what he is passionate about?

Skiing? Diving? Chess? Art? Music?

Encourage home to pursue his passion....then use the passion to blackmail motivate him academically?

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 08:19:02

I agree with Greythorne - you need him to focus/concentrate on something even if it isn't school. It's really important for DC to learn self-motivation and the rewards of progress (whether that is chess/ski-ing/wakeboarding/French).

Bunbaker Wed 09-Jan-13 08:25:49

"Regardless of anything you may say to him, he already knows he has control, he knows which school hes going to next and that come a certain age he will have lots of money, add to that the good looks etc and he already knows he has you over a barrel and has no incentive to try at anything. Must be quite strange to know all that at 11."

There is a girl in DD's class like that. This girl is constantly on report, is disruptive in class and just doesn't care about being educated. Her parents own their own business and she knows that it will be hers when she is older. What she doesn't realise is that unless she works hard at school there is a good chance that she will run the business into the ground.

Xenia Wed 09-Jan-13 08:32:57

People argue that a private school is much more important for children like this than those who do try, I'm afraid. So you need to grin and bear it and hope he comes good at GCSE, a level or degree level.

Secondly have him tested by a psychologist.

Third if no homework is coming home see if the school has a homework club where he stays at school until it is done and/or get his teachers to email you the homework so you or whoever looks after him after school can make sure he gets it done.

Fourthly develop his other interests. Most children find one thing they love - it may just be football or drawing rather than chess or maths or the violin but if they can feel good about one thing and not feel criticised all the time, but accepted and loved and that people think they are good at something then that often turns them around.

I found writing very hard and learned to touch type at 15 and that of course was terribly useful. If he does find writing hard see if the psychologist you pay for recommends he types work. It could transform his life.
Be on his side. Praise him,. Love him. Encourage him.

Ah I see Bonsoir and I have a very similar answer....

BranchingOut Wed 09-Jan-13 08:34:41

I would be tempted to take him on a tour of a not-great comp, just to see if that shakes him up a bit.

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 09:43:26

"I suppose I just would have enjoyed to have that connection with my child I had with my parents where they helped me and I made them so happy and made myself feel so enabled !"

This says it all, really. I suspect all those of us who had happy childhoods and close relationships to our parents nurse that secret wish (or sense of obligation?) to replicate that relationship in our dealings with our children. It is very hard to accept that it never will be the same relationship, because it's not the same parent relating to the same child. It may be as good, or even better, but it's never going to be the same; every relationship is unique and every generation has to work this one out for themselves.

Even my dd who is very like me in talents and interests and attitudes to work is a totally different personality (highly strung and creative where I was plodding and calm); there is no way our relationship can ever reflect the dynamics of any relationship where I was the child. We have to find our own way.

I have a ds exactly like yours (except with no future expectations of money). No idea where his life is going, but at the moment I think it is good enough if we stay on good terms and manage to maintain certain basic standards of behaviour.

Bonding over Delia Smith sounds good. Ds and I did some very good bonding in the summer over boats. It made all the difference in the world to find that he was naturally good at something I valued- or, to put it another way, that I valued something he was good at and enjoyed.

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