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 ?

Bonsoir Sat 12-Jan-13 09:51:22

You can always send her to school in France for a year afterwards to get the precociousness knocked out of her. There are some horrible Jesuit establishments if you are interested wink

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 19:03:07

I hope so Bonsoir.

I recall the line in The Tiger Mother when she talks about clogs to clogs in three generations and declares 'well not on my watch' grin.

I will be interested to see whether my DD's current situation (out of school for much of this year to perform) begins to turn her into some precious little princess ^shudders^.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 18:04:10

wordfactory - I wouldn't worry. It doesn't sound to me (from your posts) as if your DC are in danger. I see plenty of wealthy families around me and some have entitled brats for DC and others have hardworking grafters. It is hugely much down to how you treat them and what you explain about comfort (physical and moral) and the hardships you must necessarily cross in order to deserve it.

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 15:07:56

It is one of my greatest fears that my DC will become entitled brats...

DH and I are self made, yet DC have absurd privilege. I would be incandescent if they squandered such good luck.

At 13, I'm still satisfied that they're on the right tracks, but we're quite tough on them. High expectations.

They're certainly not showered with stuff and have a good deal less than many less affluent friends/family. They do notget their own way either - this is a family and we negotiate. They have to treat anyone who works for us with huge respect (when we had a full time housekeeper, they had to keep their rooms tidy so she could clean). They have to do anyhting they reasonablly can for themselves. School work must be done to a high standard. Bad report = the sky falling in. They are not aware of monies/properties that are in trust for them.

I would not dream of sending them termly boarding by the way.

racingheart Fri 11-Jan-13 13:15:14

I'm with chin up and wildirish on not encouraging any sense of entitlement. My DC sell stuff on eBay too to raise money for things they want.

They'll be at private school from Yr7 and they are also coming into a family inheritance at 18 which will make them far wealthier than we will ever be. We decided not to tell them about it. That way they aren't growing up thinking it'll all happen for them. They are making plans and getting on with them, not expecting the world to kneel at their important little toes bearing gifts.

Amerryscot Thu 10-Jan-13 18:15:50

My DS2 wasn't a good student. He was very pleasant in school, would engage in lessons, but did not produce the written work or ever revise thoroughly for exams.

It used to really stress me out, but on of his teachers said that he wasn't wired to be a great student and that was an epiphany moment for me. Nagging was making both of us unhappy and did not achieve any of my goals.

When occasionally thinking about withdrawing him from his school, I soon realised that he would be much worse off in the local comp or sixth form college. He might achieve his goal of being invisible in lessons and completely below the radar screen so would actually be much worse off, coupled with the misery of being exposed to constant bad behaviour and disruption.

We stuck with the independent school because the were gently on top of him, and had a knack of encouragement to help him achieve. He did appreciate being there, so from that angle, it wasn't a waste.

exoticfruits Thu 10-Jan-13 06:07:45

Girls are sometimes much more 'people pleaders' - are you sure that she really wants to fit the mould you have chosen for her?

exoticfruits Thu 10-Jan-13 06:06:26

I would think that he knows your expectations and he doesn't think he can live up to them and therefore his 'get out' is that he won't try- if he doesn't try he can't fail. You have gone overboard in trying to mould him into the child you want - maybe it is time to stand back and find out what sort if child he actually is and support that one. Start with an interest and develop from there. I would also give him far less in the way of material things and give him more responsibility - e.g helping around the house, cooking the meal, mowing the lawn etc. Also benign neglect- let him get bored and develop his imagination and have time to think about what he wants to do.

funnyperson Wed 09-Jan-13 22:15:08

wildirishrose I wish mine would 'sell their old clothes, games, toys etc at car boot sales or on ebay to earn some cash.' Thats amazing. Does that not take up time? Or do they do it in the holidays?

I ain't at all wealthy so I must say I try to shower mine with gifts, having no hesitation on that front apart from budget which is a deterrent. The only thing is, neither of them have or have had a playstation/nintendo/ipad/wii/xbox/kindle. This possibly helped to encourage .....reading......playing musical instruments....drama....sport......

I am envious of the fact your dc help convert clutter to cash.

OP is your son your first child? I watched a v interesting film called 'Stand By Me' on the tv recently, which, though clearly fictional, was about 12 year old boys messing around. My son never got to mess around much at 12 and watching the film made me think that perhaps wasn't such a good thing for him.

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 19:35:50

Could this supposed indifference to his mother's opinions simply be a case of normal 11yo male bravado?

And could the OP's supposed hung-ho-yness simply be an attempt to control rising parental panic?

In which case- OP, I know how you feel. My ds hasn't got the expectations, but he has the attitude. Though not as bad at 12 as it was at 11. I think a lot of it is to do with insecurity.

tricot39 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:20:42

What chinup said.

I would also start talking to him about what you expect him to achieve in order to go to the school he wants. Discuss what plan b will be with him and why if he doesnt meet expectations - obviously making them achievable! Once he knows the limits it is then his choice and you have to let him sink or swim. <easier said than done>.

Going to a comp didnt do me any harm and frankly pushed me to do well. If you have a reasonable state offering it might be worth considering even if to just mention as part of plan b!

racingheart Wed 09-Jan-13 18:56:52

I am utterly biased and prepared to be shouted at but here's my take:

He may be lazy or he may be a late starter.

If he's lazy, perhaps there's little you can do. But if he's a late starter and is already at a school where the ethos is to work hard and succeed, he can slot right in when his ambition kicks in. This happened to my nephew who went from bottom of the bottom set at primary to top of the top set at secondary and is now at a good uni. One of my DC is just like him, so I'm holding fast to the hope that he too will get an urge to work hard when he hits his teens.

If he's at a school where bright but lazy kids just coasts along unnoticed because so many other pupils are at a similar level, he may never get that drive to sort himself out. It's possible no one will push him. He'll be surrounded by equally laid back drifters who think success is a bit sad and geeky.

So I'd send him to an academic private school with strong expectations, small classes and a hard-work ethos.

Garnier Wed 09-Jan-13 18:12:19

OP - I feel your pain. I have my own donkey to worry about!

mrsshackleton Wed 09-Jan-13 18:04:47

The more I think about this the odder it seems

Why don't you send him to the local school if that's where he wants to go? It's not that unusual for an 11 yo to want to come home to his Mum after school.

I think that in your position I would be giving him some life lessons in what sort of job he might expect to get if he works hard (and an idea of the salary range) and if it's possible, some hands-on experience of the sort of job he'll be doing for the rest of his working life if he doesn't get those qualifications. That's what worked for me and is also working for DS1 (Y8).

Tasmania Wed 09-Jan-13 17:56:43

^^ With that I mean with that is... does he see her as an authority figure? Does he recognize anyone as an authority figure at all??

Tasmania Wed 09-Jan-13 17:53:29

Could the inheritance be from someone other than parents (granduncle or something) that gets passed down the male line of the family tree?

Anyway - I'd like to know how Buzi apart from schoolwork gets on with the boy. There seems to be something wrong in that relationship when he is totally indifferent about what his mother has to say. Have you ever watched Supernanny and seen the uncanny similarity with The Dog Whisperer???

Xenia Wed 09-Jan-13 16:17:36

As hg says the boy cannot expect to inherit. My father died about 2 weeks after he spent the very last of life savings on dementia care which cost him £120,000 a year at home day and night, very similar to the hg situation. You cannot live life waiting for an inheritance. As I had child 1 at 22 I always tell her she'll be lucky if she inherits when nearly 80 years old if there is anything left.

If he wants to go to a good local private day school and not to board why force him to board? If it's a boarding school which takes all comers or placed 700 in the country like Millfield or somewhere he may be better at home developing a close loving relationship to you than being sent away. (Do get him assessed by a psychologist though and let him type all work - could make a huge difference)

sue52 Wed 09-Jan-13 15:48:38

Send him to a boarding school that closely supervises prep. It's hard to be a slacker where there is nowhere to hide.

wildirishrose Wed 09-Jan-13 15:14:41

It is hard not to shower them with gifts when you love them so much. I hope they understand when they're older.

Ive read your other posts in this thread you have such a lovely way with words and are very informative, I look forward to reading more of your posts.

NorhamGardens Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:58

That's great wildirishrose. You make it sound easy to do these things but it really isn't I know. It's great to think that family influence is ultimately stronger than peer influence too.

wildirishrose Wed 09-Jan-13 14:40:56

We recently built an orphanage in India so all the children were involved in the project from the beginning. When you see abject poverty on that scale it affects you no matter what age you are.
They know that they’re very fortunate but I also try to drum into them that money and possessions don’t always last but work ethic and determination do.
They don’t normally mention what others have its more so-and-so goes to bed at 9 why do I have to go at 8, if they did ever say that someone had the latest xbox they would have to do jobs, extra homework or research until they earn enough to pay for it themselves.
My eldest has had her own business since she was 14 so I very rarely give her any money. The younger ones sell their old clothes, games, toys etc at car boot sales or on ebay to earn some cash.
I don’t know if I’m doing the right way or not but its taken a lot of sacrifice to make our money and I don’t want our children to be horrid little rich kids who think that Mummy and Daddy will give them everything in life while they do nothing.

NorhamGardens Wed 09-Jan-13 14:05:31

WildIrishRose - how have you done it? Surely they'll know you are very well off and if they have the measure of you will know this is on the cards? Unless you live very humbly & have hidden any outward signs of wealth from them? Having said that I fully respect what you're doing & making them appreciate the value of money is truly admirable in your circumstances.

What about their peers? They sound fairly young and I imagine that you hear a lot of 'well so and so has...'. How do you manage this? I imagine it maybe easier to hide money in trust and future property in Mayfair whilst they are young? In my experience they get wind of it later on...

wildirishrose Wed 09-Jan-13 13:58:58

Put yourself in the mind of a child, would you bother working if you knew money was just going to fall into your hands? We actually have the same situation with our children. They all have properties in Mayfair for when they’re older, money in trust etc, etc but not one of them knows about it. I make them work for every penny I spend on them and at Christmas they got a PS3 game between them…. Nothing like doing without to make someone hungry for success.

JoanByers Wed 09-Jan-13 13:57:45

I was talking to a woman who sent her son to boarding school in Australia. She comes from a culture where children of the rich are generally very lazy. She reckoned that Australia was the most grounded and her son had to work in KFC to show him what the real world was like.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now