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DH mad with sons AS results- causing major rift

(86 Posts)
Kitty909 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:35:49

My son got his AS results on Thursday. He got ABCC but had been predicted all A's.
He is disappointed as knows he was capable of higher grades, but I'm sure he'll learn from this and says he's going to put in the extra effort needed for next year.
My DH is mad... Truly cross and angry about this apparent 'failure'. It's making me so upset and protective of my DS, who is an ideal teenager in so many ways. He is a great sportsman, has his Duke of Edinburgh gold, has a part-time job, school prefect....
He is DS's step-father, and in his anger, even shouted how all his time and effort had been wasted (to me, not to DS). We got together when DS was 2, and they have had a great relationship so far.
We have had a lot of stressful things go on in our lives over the last year or two, but have always put effort into our relationship. I feel this could be the big test of our future together. He thinks I'm always defending DS - and maybe I am in this instance.
I can't accept his view on this - any advice please?
Thank you

CeliaFate Sat 16-Aug-14 14:39:32

Why didn't he get higher grades? Was it because he didn't do enough work? If so, I can see why his step dad would be miffed, but not to the extent he's gone to. It's not a "failure" to get ABCC - they're excellent grades! Sounds like step dad is living vicariously through your son. They're not dh's grades, it's not dh's life!
Ds has learnt from this experience and has seen how much effort he needs to put in now to get higher grades.
Dh needs to back off and appreciate what a good step son he has or risk losing him and you.

Tell him to stop being a knobber. What did mr wonderful get in his a levels?

Your post does read to me like you are protecting a delightful son who in this case hasn't achieved what he was capable of. It sounds like your dh has restrained his frustration in front of ds? Is that right?
ABCC are decent grades but a world away from AAAA. I wouldn't see it as a failure but in a candidate who is capable of more it does represent a failure to achieve potential.
I don't think you're doing anybody any favours by denying that.
Probably best to clear the air and then focus on supporting ds next year. Acknowledge your husbands feelings but then be clear that you all need to move on.

antimatter Sat 16-Aug-14 14:45:04

Your son must be very disappointed without being shouted at!

Your DH needs to see this in a context - of learning and grades.

I guess your DS is going to drop one subject and can also make adjustments to how he is studying. He's done one subject very well getting an A! THere's enough time to understand what are gaps in his C subject. Also was it low C or high C, low B or high B.

I think school should be able to give him predictions on what A-levels results is he going to get.
I think getting AAB or ABB is not the end of the world.
Dropping one of his A levels should still allow him to get to any course he wants. Obviously some would need AAA - was your DH trying to live his life through your son?

eyebags63 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:45:34

My understanding is that they are only AS results, so there is still time to improve for the second half of the A level and get an overall great result? Not that there is anything wrong with ABC in my opinion.

I can see why your DH might be upset if DS has failed to achieve full potential due to lack of effort, but if DS has given it everything and it hasn't worked out then so what, it isn't the be all and end all. ABC would still get him into a decent university or further training course.

Ultimately they are your DS's results and DH needs to accept that. Having ssaid that you will be doing him no favours if you are 'defending' his lack of effort.

Kitty909 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:51:13

Northernlurker, yes you are absolutely right. It is a case of not fulfilling his potential, and I'm supporting him by be practical about what can be done from now on. Yesterday he signed up for AS biology at local tech to re-do his ASmodules alongside A2 because that's the only way he can get an A next year.
My problem is DH wants to rant on about something he can't change, whereas, I'm trying to find a way forward. Yes, maybe I smugly expected to be announcing wonderful results, and I think part of his problem is that his brother's son got 4A's, so he feels let down.
Btw, he got DDE at a-level!!

Tell your H to shut the fuck up as he's not helping. Given that Ghastly Gove implemented a plan to mark down exams this year to make it look like they are harder and teenagers are thick and lazy, it may not even be your DS' fault that he didn't get all A's.

Annarose2014 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:57:19

My father used to go postal when we didn't get our expected grades. Doesn't everyones?

<suddenly wonders what other Dads were like at exam time.....>

Kitty909 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:59:04

Thanks for your replies.
Antimatter, yes, he is dropping a subject (high C) and the low C - biology- is being dealt with as re-sits. He wants to go to bristol, durham or similar, so it's probably the first time that he has to deal with the fact that under-achieving has a knock-on effect. It is obviously now going to be harder for him to get the grade predictions he hoped, but he's confident he can turn it round to AAB at least.
I feel it will be a big wake-up call - and hopefully one he can learn from.
DH has to accept it and get back to the job of encouraging him, before it causes a major fallout between them - and me .

Lottiedoubtie Sat 16-Aug-14 15:04:39

My father used to go postal when we didn't get our expected grades. Doesn't everyones?

No, mine gave me a hug, made a joke, made me a cup of tea and then left me sobbing with someone else whilst he made himself scarce.

There is absolutely no point in yelling at a teenager who is already themselves upset at their results. Supporting them in taking sensible next steps to rectify the situation is the only appropriate course of action IMO. What is the point of yelling and being angry?

simontowers2 Sat 16-Aug-14 15:07:23

Your DH sounds like dick to me.

ISingSoprano Sat 16-Aug-14 15:07:47

What does he want to do post A-level? His results are very respectable - not stellar, but respectable nonetheless. If he was planning to do medicine or apply to Oxford or Cambridge he may have blown it but otherwise he will still have the pick of the best universities (assuming he wants that). Shouting at him at this stage isn't really going to do much - supporting him to harness his disappointment and make plans for improving those grades next year will pay greater dividends. It sounds to me like you have a cracking young man there and this is a fairly minor set back.

Dirtybadger Sat 16-Aug-14 15:09:26

annarose my dad didn't even know I dropped out of school (during A2 year) until he noticed I was going to work more than often (I.e. Full time!). So no not all go ballistic. My parents, fortunately, have always been proud of me and respected my choices- education wise. I massively underachieved and left school. I went back into education at 21 when I was done with everything else and cared more. In my final year of uni now and I know so long as I pass they'll be super happy. I would be disappointed if I didn't also do well but I can't imagine the added pressure of other people caring so much about how I did, too. It should be sort of irrelevant to them. I'm paying and it's my future.

Even if your ds had been a lazy toad and got U's- dh being mad wouldn't help at all. He's 17. Adult and all that. Almost, at least. I agree with your approach.
He will probably do better next year. It's a big jump from gcse to a level. It's possible some teaching is substandard too, if he's aware of mass underperformance. I was in a psychology class exclusively made up of people predicted A-B's. In our first year half failed completely half got Ds or Cs! I did go to quite a shit school though so maybe not in your ds's case...

Holdthepage Sat 16-Aug-14 15:10:45

Tell your DH to wind his neck in. Disappointing exam results are not the end of the world, he has time to put the extra effort in & get into his chosen Uni.

I really think you need to take a firm stand on this before he damages their relationship irreparably.

Kitty909 Sat 16-Aug-14 15:12:26

ISingSoprano - This is what I'm trying to get through to DH ... It isn't a disaster in the grand scheme of life. Being diagnosed with an awful illness, losing a family member, there are so many major dilemmas to be in, but DS's worse than expected grades is a stumble! He just doesn't get it!

clam Sat 16-Aug-14 15:13:10

I'm hearing of a lot of AS being lower than expected.
Tell your idiot of an h to STFU.

Kitty909 Sat 16-Aug-14 15:14:52

Sounds like grand advise!

RedRoom Sat 16-Aug-14 15:15:43

Im on my phone and in a hurry so sorry if this js garbled.

I'm a secondary teacher. I agree with you that the focus now needs to be on what he can do to remedy this. Your DH being mad will not change your son's intrinsic ability or motivation: your son is already feeling the consequences of insufficient effort. Once initial disappointment is justifiably expressed, continual moaning is no use. It changes nothing. I'd imagine the predicted grades are for A2 and not the grades he is expected to get a year early, as that's how it works in every school I've taught in because these are the ones that go to UCAS.

He got ABCC, is dropping the C grade subject (as I'm sure you know, all students drop their worst subject unless their school makes them do 4) and he has made the effort to retake the other C grade. He can still achieve his target grades.

Most students that I teach get a grade higher than their AS result due to the way that the modules % are weighted.

Pinkfrocks Sat 16-Aug-14 15:17:19

It really is disgusting that your DH is behaving like this. Why did he have such an emotional investment in your son's grades? Did he see him as fulfilling some ambition he never had himself?

Not only has your son got to deal with lower grades, he has to cope with his stepdad going mental.

What he OUGHT to be doing is saying 'you must be disappointed, let's see what we can do to help you get your grades for next year..- maybe a tutor of two would help?'

I think you need to double check the retakes- some unis won't accept grades bumped up by retakes.

Your son should also talk to his teachers who may be able to suggest where he went wrong- which parts of the syllabus he needs extra help with and any past papers that he might find useful.

Tell your DH to shut up- he sounds an idiot- and it seems more about his own issues that he's got bottled up than your son's.

Mitzi50 Sat 16-Aug-14 15:22:56

Your DH is being very counterproductive - as you say it will be a big wake up call for your son and he will now really have to pull his finger out if he wants to up his grades for A2.

However, if the grades are a total surprise it is worth getting the papers back and considering having a re-mark. Getting the papers back will be useful anyway as he will be able to see where he needs to improve.

polkadotdelight Sat 16-Aug-14 15:24:39

As if teenagers aren't under enough pressure. He hasn't hurt anyone, hasn't got anyone pregnant and isn't in trouble with the police! He may not have got the best results he is capable of but this will be a lesson for him from the sounds of it and he needs support not punishment. Your DH is being unfair here.

Honestly? Your son sounds wonderful. Those grades arnt a disaster by any means. What does he want to do after college?

Your DH sounds like a cruel knob tbh

My DS gets his GCSE's next week, I'm not expecting all A's or any A's
and DH and I will congratulate/commiserate whichever way we can,

It's not the end of the world,this is my 3rd DC and I have finally realised that exam results are not the be all and end all

Give your son a big hug! And tell DH to piss off grin

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Sat 16-Aug-14 15:50:50

I think part of his problem is that his brother's son got 4A's, so he feels let down

this is probably a good part of his reaction.

Knackered123 Sat 16-Aug-14 15:52:35

I think you are absolutely right to protect your son, there is nothing wrong with those grades. I personally feel that putting the pressure on like that can be counterproductive as it could result in making your son feel bad about himself. He probably feels bad enough anyway and he sounds like a good lad.

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