Teenaged son refusing to get up to go to college in the mornings -- any seasoned parents with words of wisdom?

(28 Posts)
PurtyDarnFine Thu 06-Dec-12 22:03:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YDdraigGoch Thu 06-Dec-12 22:08:44

Watching with interest as same problem with DD2 (17), who is on "stage 3" in sixth form for constantly being late, not handing in work on time, and skipping lessons.
Bright girl, not achieving potential. Worried that if she gets kicked out of school, she'll lounge in bed all day and not get a job.

Ponders Thu 06-Dec-12 22:13:07

If they get kicked out of school/college & don't get a job, what do they imagine they're going to live on?

"I'm not a child any more" hmm

next time he pulls that one she should say "in that case you can find yourself a job & somewhere to live" remove his front door key & show him the way out angry

Ponders Thu 06-Dec-12 22:15:21

or, to start the process more gently, not give him any money or cook him any meals or do any laundry for him - going to college is his job atm, & if he doesn't do that he gets no home comforts

if he persists in not getting up & going in, then she can show him the door

LucieMay Thu 06-Dec-12 22:23:34

Ponders, you would really make a 16 year old homeless for not going to college? That's pretty callous.

Ponders Thu 06-Dec-12 22:28:50

no, of course I wouldn't! grin

but I would be attempting to educate him into how the world really works & what his alternatives are

& if he persisted in making the wrong choices I would be making his life at home very uncomfortable

glastocat Thu 06-Dec-12 22:31:20

My mum had a pretty effective way of dealing with me when I was a stroppy teenager. She told me I could do what I liked after aged sixteen, but if I left school rather than carry on to university, if I wanted to stay living at home I would have to hand over the vast majority of my wages as keep. If I had no job, I had to go to school, that was my choice. No job or school, I would have to leave. I too her seriously, she was a single parent and worked all hours herself. I did walk out to stay with a boyfriend once when I was 16, but I came crawling back before midnight. [Grin] I stayed at school, there was little choice, got my degree etc. so, tough love is worth a go.

PurtyDarnFine Thu 06-Dec-12 23:23:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Thu 06-Dec-12 23:33:52

I've been in conversation with my ds's school over this exact same issue this week, as it happens !
I had to swallow my pride - feel a bit of a fool in some ways as clearly he's here in my house when the problem occurs, not there, in school, under their care, but I was hoping for them to support me, in that his 16yr old mind can't compute that being late for school every day now, at the beginning of the Lower 6th, will impact on his future (failing exams through missing lessons, reports from school if applying for a reference, etc). He is still at a stage developmentally of "immediate response needed for my mind to connect".
The Pastoral lady has been brilliant and has not only spoken to him - so it's not just me, but every adult he knows giving the same message - but has also asked him to report to her at registration every morning. If he misses, he is under the impression there 'will be consequences' (don't know what they are, or even if he knows, but he's left on time twice this week, which is a start).
Is there anyone at the college who might be able to do similar for your friend's ds ?

sashh Fri 07-Dec-12 04:41:02

Take his bed away? It's obviously too comfortable.

Pay him? If he doesn't go he doesn't get any 'allowance' or pocket money or whatever.

I think it's about not enabling the behavior. Most of us skipped at some point but that was fun because we were scared of getting caught. This is a different level. I think she should stop treating him like a child and treat and talk to him like an adult, one of the biggest things is consequences. If he goes to college he gets his money (I'm assuming all of these things btw), his clothes washed and ironed, his meals cooked, freedom within limits, if he doesn't then no money, does his own chores and has to start contributing to the household bills and chores.

I think it's about not enabling the behavior. Most of us skipped at some point but that was fun because we were scared of getting caught. This is a different level. I think she should stop treating him like a child and treat and talk to him like an adult, one of the biggest things is consequences. If he goes to college he gets his money (I'm assuming all of these things btw), his clothes washed and ironed, his meals cooked, freedom within limits, if he doesn't then no money, does his own chores and has to start contributing to the household bills and chores.

SofiaAmes Fri 07-Dec-12 05:04:00

I loved school at that age. But we had a lot more autonomy in picking classes and interspersing the academics with "electives" as I was at school in the USA. I took Latin and Car Mechanics. AP (uni level) Biology and Cheerleading. I wonder if there is some way to entice him to college with a promise of something more interesting than just boring classes when he gets there. Don't forget that teenagers have a whole lot of hormones working against any semblance of common sense. Maybe positive action bribery might be more effective....ie I'll cook your favorite dinner, buy you some clothes, give you an itunes card...whatever rocks their boat....if you get to college on time every day this week. You can't make the reward too far off....they are teenagers after all and their hormones make them predisposed to instant gratification.

Chottie Fri 07-Dec-12 05:26:33

I'm just wondering why he doesn't want to go to College, is it wrong course, tutor probs, other student probs? Is he ill or depressed? Can you go out with him (neutral place!) such as a coffee shop and sit down and just listen to him. Let him say his piece so you find out exactly what is happening.

If he loved his course and everything was ok, he would be out of bed and eager to start the day.

I would be saying to him that part of being an adult is being responsible for yourself, your own actions, planning for your future.

Please, please do not be offended, but from your post he seems quite immature.... Does he have any activities outside of College, sports, scouts, clubs extra? What does he do for fun and enjoyment?

What's his Dad's take on this? does your son have an older brother or friend or uncle who could have a man-to-man chat with him? However close you are to your son, there maybe some 'man things' he would rather discuss with another male.

You sound a lovely, caring mum { } For the long term, I do know of several 16 year olds who worried their mums, but have turned out to be caring, loving young men.

brighterfuture Fri 07-Dec-12 08:44:05

I have found one of the most effective ways for me has been to feign indifference and say ok do it your way but these are the consequences for you eg. getting kicked out of college etc.

With my Ds reverse psychology is fairly effective. Making out like I am so fed up that I no longer give a toss gets more positive results that punishmnets. For my Ds it's all about control and feeling empowered. He wants to feel in control of the situation and having to be somewhere because someone else says so just makes him more inclined to do it his way.

By agreeing with him that yes he can choose to blow out his college /future if he wants to and that frankly I am beyond caring, is more likely to get him out of bed than nagging. ( I think because ultimately he knows at some level what's best for him )

noddyholder Fri 07-Dec-12 08:48:20

My son did exactly this ad in the march of year one decided to leave as he just admitted he hated it. He started a new college the followingsept and is now in yr 2 of that ad doing brilliantly. Not one missed day or assignment. Maybe it's not for him?

BackforGood Fri 07-Dec-12 12:04:49

If he loved his course and everything was ok, he would be out of bed and eager to start the day

Ha, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,ha

I take it Chottie, you don't have a 16 yr old ds ? grin

BackforGood to be fair I have a 16 year old DS who is just like that. He loves his course so much I had to chain him to the bed to stop him going in with flu.
So I think Chottie may have a point. I think lots of 16 year olds are herded on to A level courses which really don't suit them. The step up from GCSE is so big it seems to cause the less motivated ones to give up quite quickly.
DS tells me some in his physics class just got 8% in a mock exam. Several of them got A* at GCSE. They have had a shock as they underestimated the workload.

parsnipcake Fri 07-Dec-12 14:34:56

I have found that unplugging the Internet router at 10pm makes my teens a lot easier to rouse. With my college teen, she had to be up at 8 to get her lunch money. Otherwise she gets none. If she gets up late, I block her net access for the rest of the day, but while I let her know the consequences, I leave everything else upto her.

Ineedpigsinblankets Fri 07-Dec-12 14:40:37

I agree about A levels not suiting many teens.

Dd1 went down the A level route because we didnt know there was an alternative.

Dd2 has gone vocational at a residential college and absolutely loves it. I am not saying she doesnt struggle to get out of bed in the mornings but she has so far managed to get across campus and into class at the right time.

There is alot more variety with vocational courses and they can still lead to a place at UNI if that is the way they want to go.

Good luck to your friendsmile

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 07-Dec-12 14:44:06

Just my (probably very unpopular!) opinion but I think if he wants to be an adult - let him be one.

If he doesn't want to go to college then he should get a job and pay his way.

If he wants to do some other type of course - let him. If this isn't right for him but he'll get on with something else, then that's better.

If he won't do either then he needs to be on basic services only.

No washing or ironing or cooking etc done for him. Roof over his head and access to food and facilities only. no pocket money and no lifts etc.

He needs a reality check.

Sometimes, falling on their arse is what they need.

Chottie Fri 07-Dec-12 17:32:52

BackforGood

Yep, I've been there and got the T-shirt. I have seen both DS and DD through A Levels, Uni and into the world of work. It was not a straight path, but one with twists and turns and for DS a year outreferred to as his 'wilderness year'. But he came through, life turned round and now both are financially independent and working in jobs they love. smile

1605 Fri 07-Dec-12 17:42:06

Along with the other advice above, make sure your teen is not iron/vit B/vit D deficient.

Lethargy, apathy, low mood,extended sleeping all associated with a lack of these.

ZhenThereWereTwo Fri 07-Dec-12 17:54:08

My DH's mother once kicked in his locked door and threw cold water on him to make him get up for college, he fell back to sleep in a soaking wet bed, so she took the duvet away and dragged him out of bed by his feet!

She could offer him a week trial as an adult and send him on work experience with relative or friend (something that is hard going would be perfect) and do what Hecate suggests above. Give him a taste of the real world.

MrsHoarder Fri 07-Dec-12 17:54:12

Be careful you don't just push him off the rails entirely. Can a neutral adult (uncle, godfather etc) have a chat with him and see if they can get to the bottom of what's up. Of course if its that he really wants to quit then that's his call and he needs to understand about contributing to the household once leaving full time education.

Know of two cases where the teenager in question slid into depression and moved into less safe accommodation to get away from home though. Less desirable all round.

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