please hold my hand ... have decided to try 'backing off' with ds (15)

(69 Posts)
basildonbond Tue 16-Oct-12 16:28:30

ds1 is ridiculously bright, but also incredibly lazy when it comes to school work

He finds it almost impossible to sit down and concentrate and has got prevarication down to a fine art ...

Our relationship is really suffering as I've become the enforcer/nagger (and it's all been me as dh is away a lot for work)

We've come to the conclusion that unless ds wants to work, nothing I say or do is going to make him so I'm going to tell him once to do something but then let him get on with it and deal with the consequences himself.

All fine in theory .... but it's very hard in practice!! On Sunday he allegedly spent 5 hours making notes for his GCSE History controlled assessment this week and produced a grand total of 3 sentences .... he managed to go on Facebook and YouTube very successfully though hmm which meant that he had to spend all last night on it and not do his maths which was already late and was supposed to be in today - this morning we got a letter from his head of year saying that he had a detention for missing registration because he'd stayed in the library finishing off yet another piece of homework

arghhh how can someone so smart be so monumentally stupid??

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 17-Oct-12 23:31:33

my languages improved immensely

I tell you what, I could have sat those feckin' gcse's !! grin

chocoluvva Wed 17-Oct-12 23:31:35

Ah - not a disaster then.
Sometimes when I'm dithering over whether to try nagging again I think what it would be like if I had 3 or 4 DCs and worked full time - it wouldn't be possible to sustain the nagging etc.

chocoluvva Wed 17-Oct-12 23:37:10

Maryzed, I sooo know what you mean - our household is just the happiest home ever PROVIDED that DH and I don't nag or INTERFERE. Ho Hum
grin at Happy and her languages GCSEs.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Wed 17-Oct-12 23:38:17

DD started paying more attention to her own schoolwork and what needs to be done this year, start of Y10.

It's quite refreshing after 10 full years of arguments and snotty tears not just mine trying to get her do every damn thing that came home from school.

As she started being far easier at the start of this school year, doing her homework on time even if it was at 7.30am on the day it was due, I have accordingly backed off from telling her things need to be done.

I have had three calls from her teachers this year asking if she has been body snatched praising her on her increased effort levels.

Tonight she voluntarily did 1.5 hrs of science revision. After dropping down dead and needing to be revived, I praised her for how well she is doing.

Maybe if I ignore the hellhole that is her bedroom for long enough, the same principle will apply? <<Ever hopeful>>

Mind you, I think the bottom layer will have fully decomposed by then...

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 17-Oct-12 23:38:59

merci beaucoup, choco wink

chocoluvva Wed 17-Oct-12 23:51:00

Och, you're TRES welcome!
Couthy, that's a really encouraging post - I hope the OP is encouraged too.
(FWIW - I was recently struck by something I heard a child psychologist say - sic, that so many parents make such a big deal of complaining about the state of their DCs rooms, while they unknowingly fail to attend to more important (emotional) needs of their DCs).
Surprise, surprise DD did a mega tidy of her room today - it's the most organised room in the house. Although, the downside is that there's now a huge pile of junk on the floor outside her room! You surely can't win 'em all.

MaryZed Thu 18-Oct-12 08:47:21

I am on my third child coming up to Junior Cert.

I have bought (and read most of, ffs) all the revision books, looked at all the past papers and figured out the due dates and format for all the coursework for every one of the fecking 13 subjects they have done.

I reckon I could get straight A's across the board hmm.

Oh, well, parent-teacher meeting on Tuesday, then half term, then school exams; it will be interesting [mutter].

dd on the other hand works very hard, but struggles academically, which is really unfair.

And, going back to some other posts on this thread (which are very wise) - having survived ds1's time at school I know for certain that there are more important things for teenagers than academic achievement, so I know it is more important to have a happy child and a good relationship with them than a string of A's. I just know that with ds2 we could have both, if he just made half an effort, which is sooooo frustrating.

basildonbond Thu 18-Oct-12 08:51:11

What's so petrifying is the timescale ... heartening though it is to hear stories of slacker dc who managed to pull it together at the start of Y10 my Y11 ds is simply running out of time.

At the last parents' evening every single teacher said 'gettingquitebignowbasil is perfectly capable of getting an A* if he does some work ...'

amazingly last night, he didn't have any homework either hmm

he can be charming as long as no-one's telling him what to do

<backing off, backing off>

MaryZed Thu 18-Oct-12 09:12:07

I, sadly, got a wonderful (not) comment from a teacher after ds's last set of exams.

"TeenageZed performed far below his ability, but the result was better than he deserved".

It took me a while to work it out. But I reckon the translation is that he deserved 0 but got about 40% hmm

It reminds me about the Science teacher who wrote on ds1's report that "when he makes the effort he shows that he has great ability at this subject, sadly this is a very rare occurrence".

It's such a fucking waste

blinkedandmissedit Thu 18-Oct-12 09:44:40

Basildon, are you me?

I think I may have to have my tongue surgically removed, I just find it so hard to back off. That obviously says more about me than it does DS.

HOY is due to call me today, I am going to tell her we are now not getting involved unless DS asks.

HappyHalloween, you may have just spurred me on too, thanks smile

blinkedandmissedit Thu 18-Oct-12 10:02:42

Sorry me again, apologies for my keep hijacking! What does one do when attempting backing off and letters keep coming from the school to inform you of just how lazy your child is (as if I didn't know) and that he is falling behind, on report etc etc. Is it possible to just simply ignore, or should I show it to DS? Although he will probably know the letter has already gone out. I think i'm answering my own questions here!

MaryZed Thu 18-Oct-12 10:08:45

I pin ds's report cards to the notice board in his room [evil]

Not that he cares.

Oh so glad it's not just me. grin

Get fed up of the sound of my own bloody voice!

Have told both HOY I will back whatever sanctions they see fit to impose.!

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Thu 18-Oct-12 12:56:57

We totally backed the school up in whatever they suggested

But made the mistake of trying to impose our own sanctions as well

MaryZed Thu 18-Oct-12 19:35:53

How's it going tonight?

ds had sport after school so wasn't home until 6. He said he was going to start homework at 7.30, and has just wandered off, very slowly, to have a shower.

Oh dear.

I will also back up the school. The only trouble is that I think their punishment will be dropping him from sports teams, and I'm not sure what good that will do sad.

blinkedandmissedit Thu 18-Oct-12 20:20:24

Mine came in and has wandered around a bit, sat in rooom, had dinner and is now in the bath. No school work in sight.

Day one of backing off complete grin

blinkedandmissedit Thu 18-Oct-12 20:21:18

Mary, mine is already missing being on one of the teams as it now clashes with his re-sit revision class. I think its a lesson they have to learn, unfortunately.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Thu 18-Oct-12 21:11:56

Our school never considered dropping from sports teams. They are a Sports Academy, which may explain their stance.

FamilyAngel Thu 18-Oct-12 23:16:40

Consequences are the key here. I work with parents of teenagers who instinctively use negative consequences as a punishment for not doing something. The trick is to turn this around and reward good behaviour with good consequences.You will be amazed at how much they can do when you work this way round.

The other thing to bear in mind is that as parents you are teaching them to take responsibility and as with all new skills it may take a while to achieve. When they were babies it didn't matter how many times they fell over while they were learning to walk. You always knew that one day they would do it. It is the same with the skills your teenagers are learning. Have faith that they will get it and don't get frustrated when they don't get it straight away.

chocoluvva Fri 19-Oct-12 00:54:46

That's encouraging Family.

basildonbond Sun 21-Oct-12 10:13:45

Well .... Ds's half term grades arrived yesterday and apparently he's got 1s and 2s (very good and good) for effort all his subjects and mostly A*s and As for achievement so presumably it's all going in by osmosis ...

Will carry on sitting on my hands and hope he can bump the Bs up to As by the end of the year ....

vicster44 Sun 21-Oct-12 10:47:47

I'm so glad I've joined this - My 14 yr old DD is stressing me out. Bright girl but as with the thread wants to do it her way! I remember feeling like her and am trying to remember what it felt like. Don't think I'd like to be a teenager these days.

Lovely to read that so many others are in the same boat - I'm joining in too smile

alistron1 Sun 21-Oct-12 16:17:52

It is hard isn't it? DD1 sat some of her GCSE's early and this summer was shocked not to get the marks she thought she would. This has focused her mind somewhat in Y11
I think most kids do get to the point where it clicks that this schoolwork shit does actually matter - but it can be a long and convoluted road.

WRT to teachers/schools - I have told them at parents evenings that whilst I totally support what they are saying and support any school sanctions (this was with DS1 when he was in Y8) that ultimately HE has to make the effort. Luckily a poor set of Y8 results have focused his mind in Y9. So far. He even bought himself a revision guide last week, with his own money <<faints>>

OneHandFlapping Sun 21-Oct-12 16:25:27

How about some carrot, as well as stick - in the form of monetary bribery. So many £ for achieving a certain grade in GCSE/coursework/end of term test. Match the grades for each subject to what he can realistically achieve if he works hard.

Lemonylemon Tue 23-Oct-12 15:33:21

May I join this thread? I'm well on my way to a bloody heart attack or stroke if this carries on for much longer..

DS, 15, taking GCSEs and EBacc this year. Grades from last year were very bad. Has the brains to do it. I've organised extra tuition but to be honest, I think I'm wasting money.

I argue with him every Tuesday about getting to his extra French class. The lady who tutors him is absolutely lovely and has made time in her schedule to tutor him. But EVERY week, there's an excuse for him not to go. He's also getting extra maths and English tuition too.

He wants to join the Army, specifically the REME. He's not going to get anywhere at this rate. He's lacking drive/motivation etc. That's something I find hard because I'm quite motivated and have to keep going, or we'll all suffer....

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