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??

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 16:38:55

i think backing off is the right thing to do.

you have done the nagging and it isn't having an effect. well not the effect you want, it could be having the "heels dug in" effect as it did with me. leave him to it, prepare to hear bad results and to say "i told you so" at the end of it. you cant do the work for him or sit the exams and nagging at him doesn't make his hands do work, it just pisses you off, pisses him off and makes the whole thing really stressful for everyone. if he isn't going to work he isn't going to work and nagging wont change that so you might aswell have him not working without the constant nagging because that isn't good for you either. he may just need a good dose of consequences and could surprise you by taking responsibility for his own work once he realises he isn't doing it for you but for himself and that his grades are gonna suck if he doesn't kick himself up the arse and knuckle down. i know when my mum nagged i just went and sat in my room listening to music and texting with a textbook open on the bed. i was a stubborn little cow and hated being told to do something. left to my own devices i worked out what i needed to do in the end and my results were all my own doing, good or bad.

lljkk Tue 16-Oct-12 16:39:15

He's not the first, he won't be the last...

Have you tried limiting his Youtube or FB access?

Hullygully Tue 16-Oct-12 16:40:02

Unplug the router

NatashaBee Tue 16-Oct-12 16:41:47

What HullyGully said. And I would let the school know what you plan to do.

NatashaBee Tue 16-Oct-12 16:42:56

*as in, tell the school that you are letting him plan his own schedule and manage the consequences. Not tell the school that you plan to unplug the router...

flow4 Tue 16-Oct-12 20:36:56

Yup, another vote here for backing off. You don't really have any other option: by this age, it's up to them: you can't do it for them and they have to do it themselves.

MaryZed Tue 16-Oct-12 23:33:49

I will join you if you will hold my hand back.

ds2 is 14 and has his Junior Cert in June - which at the rate he is going he is likely to fail. In his first year he had the highest score in maths in the year; now he is probably about the middle of the year, and he just doesn't seem to care.

I do unplug the router, and lock up his guitar, and take away his ipod, and pretty much everything, but it makes no difference. He would be happy to lie on his bed and stare at the ceiling for three hours hmm.

And he used to be such a nice child <wails>

BeingBooyhoo Tue 16-Oct-12 23:51:57

Maryz i was your son! i really was. i remember spending 90 minutes watching a spider crawl over my bedroom wall during an enforced study session. and i knew exactly what i was doing. i wasn't being stubborn to get my mum all frantic and hysterical, i really hated her getting like that but i really couldn't defeat that part of me that refused to do something simply because i had been told to do it. left to my own devices i actually managed to get a good bit of studying done before my gcses, but as soon as my mum told me i should be doing it, downed tools and found something, anything else to be doing that meant i wasn't looking at a textbook. i was the same with cleaning. left on my own i would gut the house top to bottom, but tell me to hoover the back hall and you would be waiting 3 months. it's not big or clever but it was how i functioned. my mum still doesn't get me now and tries to tell me what to do and when to do it.

flow4 Tue 16-Oct-12 23:57:03

My DS1 had a lower objective test score in maths at the start of year 10 than he did when he left primary school (Y6). In year 8, when he'd just turned 13, his English teacher told us he was the only boy in his year still reading for pleasure. He never read another novel again sad

pixwix Wed 17-Oct-12 00:00:13

Basildonbond - I reached the same conclusion back in yr 9 - mine is also 15, but in yr 10 now - he's one of the older ones in the year thank God!

It got to the point where I was sick of the sound of my own voice, and the H1 detentions for homework - it clearly wasn't working. No matter how much I nagged, it had no effect, neither did taking stuff away.

I don't know if it is coincidental, but in the last year, I have seen a sea change in him since I laid off. I made it clear that his homework was his concern, and that if he wanted to do whatever he wanted to do after he left school it was up to him - but he would need qualifications - and he seemed to switch on.

Now, he is pretty self organised, gets on with it, and is getting good grades. Every now and then, I will ask him how his homework is going, and he rolls his eyes, and tells me it is under control. certainly, he is producing stuff, and doing well, so I allude to how well he is doing, and how mature he is etc.... he's now really motivated - mostly through maturity and school - rather than me.

I haven't completely left him to it - more that I am a resource. Am happy to read through essays, or to test him on stuff if he wants, or to suggest further reading if he's engaged with something... A few months ago, he asked me to test him on the reproductive system - that was a complete joy....

I don't know how, and I don't know why - one of the mysteries of teenage life - perhaps the moon was rising in saggitarius - suddenly he engaged with stuff. but certainly, stopping being on his case seemed to help - you can help and support, and you can lead a horse to water, but not make him drink.

Ach - he's my first teenager, so am fumbling in the dark meself!

basildonbond Wed 17-Oct-12 08:28:40

Thank you

I've told school that I'm leaving it up to him and that he will have to face the consequences - not heard back yet

It is sooo frustrating - this morning he told me he'd been too tired to do his maths h/w which is now very late - but he did find time to get his haircut, go swimming, eat half the contents of the fridge and sit on the loo for an hour ....

I have turned off the router before but apparently he needed the Internet for 'research' hmm

Good to hear that some of your dc have managed to turn it round once left to their own devices - sadly I suspect ds is going to need to fail quite badly before he pulls his finger out ...

ClippedPhoenix Wed 17-Oct-12 13:34:46

<<holds hand>> as have a DS of nearly 15.

My DS would rather do absolutely anything but homework. I remember doing a course a couple of years ago and I was the same to be fair grin

I'm a mean mum and make him sit in the kitchen with no other distractions to complete his homework. I don't read it through or anything even though it would take nano second as it's only probably a sentence at best. World War III would erupt.

Where revision is concerned (which I think is the most important aspect of homestudies) I make it as lighthearted as possible, we both quiz each other and have a bit of a laugh together.

blinkedandmissedit Wed 17-Oct-12 13:39:35

Joining in too. DS is 15, in year 11. He is pretty bright, but getting Ds and Es as he refuses to even do the bare minimum. In the past 2 weeks I have had 2 phonecalls and 3 letters from school - all different subjects! He is on report. Yesterday I found 2 detention slips in his diary. Today I have a letter from the science department telling me is is basically doing nothing.

HOY is involved.

Somehow he thinks he will be doing Alevels next year!

He has no internet or pocket money, but again is one who will sit and do nothing, rather than work. We have tried backing off before but it's really hard when there is constant contact from the school asking for our support!

However, I feel if I carry on being involved, my relationship with DS will be damaged beyond repair, as hardly a day goes by when I don't have to speak to him about whatever joy I have received from the school. The issues also appear at home, with all chores also completed to a minimum, as in washing up still dirty etc.

It is so hard. However, the level headed part of me feels that the outcome will be the same whetever I do, so I may as well try to preserve my relationship with DS.

flow4 Wed 17-Oct-12 20:29:10

In case anyone has missed it, here's another similar post with some more views and advice: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/teenagers/1588526-Underperforming-17-yr-Son

chocoluvva Wed 17-Oct-12 23:03:36

My DD 16- is the same. I've backed off quite a lot too - very hard to do. I've noticed that she will respond to ocassional chivvying though. It's not just me either - I've heard her teacher tell her specific ways to do her training - her expert, highly-regarded, beloved by DD teacher and still DD said, "Why can't I do it MY way though?"
Goes off to bang head on wall.
The problem is the time-scale isn't it? At what stage will your DS reach the conclusion for himself that he needs to get on? Will it be in time to do ok in his exams? I've tried to persuade DD that she only has a few more months and if she can prioritise school just for those few months she will have so many more choices available to her, but I might as well try to persuade her that I was Queen of Fairyland!!!
I think you've had really good advice OP - about preserving your relationship with your DS.
Good luck to you and your DS smile

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 17-Oct-12 23:11:51

this time last year I was having a nightmare with then-15yo dd

she did her gcse's this year < nod at Hully >

let me just tell you that she was predicted C's and D's in most of her subjects prior to mocks, with the constant refrain of "she could do better if she actually tried/applied herself"

we nagged her, we cajoled her, we threatened her, we rewarded her, we punished her, I came on here and tore my hair out over and over

we went in school, got teachers on board and got weekly updates, we got extra tuition, study plans

the upshot of all this angst and relationship-destroying drama, you ask ?

she got almost exactly the grades she was predicted, with some a grade below

we didn't manage to pull her up on anything at all

in other words, it made fuck all difference

now if this helps one person to not have the stress we did, I will be very glad

back.off.

chocoluvva Wed 17-Oct-12 23:20:51

Well, HappyHalloween I don't know about the OP your post is useful for me. If my DD doesn't do well I don't want to be thinking, 'I didn't nag her enough and feel responsible'. It's good to hear that some DCs just don't respond to their parents best efforts.
My friend's DD gave up at school despite her parents best efforts to make her study and she flunked her exams. She did a boring poorly-paid job for a year, went back to college to retake some exams, did a HND and is now successfully doing a degree in nursing. She needed to learn for herself the hard way.
Shame it's so expensive to get qualifications once you've left school though.
How's your DD getting on now, Happy?

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 17-Oct-12 23:22:23

that is how I felt, choco

that if I didn't push her, i would blame myself for not trying harder

bottom line ?

it wasn't my battle to win or lose

chocoluvva Wed 17-Oct-12 23:25:21

"it wasn't my battle"
A lightbulb has just come on in my head! Honestly.
Hope that helps you too OP.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 17-Oct-12 23:26:35

with regrading of English papers after all the hoo-haa, and sitting a maths and English paper on commencing college (that she came top of the friggin' class in !!!) she scraped enough C's to get on a level 3 vocational course

we have, apart from attending open days, parents induction evening and showing the appropriate level of mild interest, pretty much let her get on with it unaccosted smile

no irate letters home from college yet...

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 17-Oct-12 23:27:24

she has to resit maths gcse next year though...much to her disgust

i shall be keeping out of it completely

it's a bloody relief I tell ya

chocoluvva Wed 17-Oct-12 23:28:13

I don't like being told what to do either - unless I've ASKED for advice!!

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 17-Oct-12 23:29:11

choco..I did turn it into a battle

every evening, we would argue and she would still not do anything constructive

the only thing that helped, in hindsight, was running through oral tests in languages over and over

she still got D's in French and Spanish though grin

MaryZed Wed 17-Oct-12 23:29:37

Ok, night one of backing off, and guess what?

He had no homework apparently, none hmm.

On the upside, we didn't have a row <grits teeth>

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....

brighterfuture Tue 23-Oct-12 18:53:15

Where we live school work is marked out of 20 . I told ds1 16 (very lazy , never does homework, extremely disorganised etc.) that I would pay him 1 quid for every point he got above 10.
Seeing as he was rarely getting anything above 6 I thought it a safe bet. He came home friday night with his very much improved results and It worked out I had to give him 40 quid ! Luckily he kindly reduced it to 20 when he saw my shock
Apart from this incentive I have totally backed off... it really has cut down my stress levels.

mummytime Tue 23-Oct-12 19:30:54

Just one word of warning, at some point you might just want to start letting him know that although you can (if bright enough) get good grades at GCSE with little work; when it comes to A'level its a whole other kettle of fish.
This is from a Mum who was phoned last night by two of her DS's lower sixth subject teachers.

youarewinning Tue 23-Oct-12 19:39:08

<creeps in>

<can I join?>

My DS is only 8yo atm! but showing signs of heading the same way - lazy but able. He does work hard at school though just seems he can only put effort into things when he wants to.

I have recently tried backing off - rushed homework etc and told/ asked his teacher not to praise work that's below his ability. (luckily she agreed). I find the whole fact they are meant to write 2 positive things and the child/adult gets a wish (on how to improve) means even crap work gets praised. hmm

You ladies/ Gents are so very knowledgable I think I will copy this thread and print it out for future reference - I get the feeling I'm gonna need it. grin

vicster44 Tue 23-Oct-12 20:15:12

Have to say since I backed off on Sunday it appears to be working (Yes I know its early days!) but yesterday and today dd (14) has been studying for tests and doing Coursework without me saying a word smile. However I do feel there may an ulterior motive hmm

blinkedandmissedit Thu 25-Oct-12 11:56:57

Doesn't seem to be doing much so far - since backing off, DS appears to have done the grand total of no schoolwork or revision, unless he is doing it in his bedroom.

It's only been a week though [hopeful]

daisydoodoo Thu 25-Oct-12 12:42:34

i could have written your op, unfortunatley not your follow up.

backing off has not resulted in any improvements and has meant he has slipped further so much so that already have the forms to complete for re sits, and hes only just started year 11!

unfortunatley ds1 15, is one of those that will just sit and stare at the walls rather than do anything. this is the boy who started senior school and up o end of year 8 with predicted a's nd a*.

I backed off with ds- it did no good. I will not forget going into his room the day before an A level to find him flat on his back, humming having done NO work. 'you work better when you are scared,' said the monstrous child. 'I'm waiting for the adrenalin to kick in.'
He is now at an unposh uni and beginning to work for the first time in his life, and it is now dd's turn to say 'MAKE me work!' and then go straight into a tantrum when I suggest turning off ipod, facebook, crap US tv.
So I too am backing off, except router now on a timer- off at 10pm.
You can only push so far. It took my nephew 3 years of making fries at McDs before it dawned on him that there was another world out there (with a maths degree in it as it happened).
So good luck. It's awful. They have so many distractions but even so have to admit if we turned everything off they would still much prefer sleeping and annoying the cat.

silver73 Sun 04-Nov-12 01:03:41

I've only read bits of this thread but would like to give a bit of light at the end of the tunnel news.

My DS is very bright and has always wanted to be a doctor. However, he was difficult to get to work for his GCSEs. DH said leave him to it but I continued to nag him/bribe him and monitor his work as far as I could. He got 12 GCSEs but they were not stellar for medical school application.

On awards day I saw his face and he looked gutted as his friends had done so much better than him. At the start of AS levels a new hard working DS emerged. He had a wobble with maths A level as he did not like the way it was taught. We got him a tutor for an hour a week and he agreed to do chores in return.

He has now just put in his medical school application with AAA prediction and has a grade A in his fourth subject he dropped after AS level so we are hoping he will get AAAa.

He is one of the youngest in the year and I just think that he could not control himself when it came to computer games so we had to step in. I also kept in email contact with his teachers (much to his annoyance) so I knew if he was not doing the GCSE coursework.

Due to the less than stellar GCSEs we have had to choose carefully and avoid medical schools that place a lot of emphasis on GCSEs but like a high UKCAT which thankfully he got. He also had an offer for his fifth choice university within 3 days of his application going in.

We now don't have to nag him as he works hard and plays hard. He just seems to have grown up so much from 16 - 17. I also think the continuous GCSE coursework was too much for him as he prefers exams.....

RosieGirl Sun 04-Nov-12 20:43:29

Hello everyone, may I jump in the boat if there is any room left.

I am going in tomorrow to have a meeting with my 15 yo DD's achievement director. They are going to try her on a special programme, because although she apparently should be achieving A & B's she is scraping D's & E's. apparently even a fly will distract her from what she should be doing.

I also had decided to back off, as every conversation was negative, but the teachers are pushing her.

To those that have "encouraged" the positive approach, I have praised, offered money, concert tickets, permission to go to parties I would have never normally allowed her to go to and many other positive approaches........ None have worked.

Maryz Sun 04-Nov-12 20:50:57

I have backed off completely.

ds has exams next week. This week was half term, apparently meant for study. He didn't get up any day before 3, and has done very little.

His results will be interesting hmm.

Added to which the result of the parent/teacher meeting is him being assessed for ADHD, with the school convinced he will get a diagnosis. And watching him try to focus this week, I strongly suspect they are right.

Oh dear.

flow4 Mon 05-Nov-12 12:01:53

I am coming to the conclusion that 'backing off' is for our benefit, rather than theirs! hmm grin If you have a DC who doesn't want to study, or isn't ready for it, then nothing seems to work - certainly not punishment and rarely reward either... We just have to hang on in there until they find their own motivation, and meanwhile, 'backing off' helps us keep our sanity smile

BTW, I was in the supermarket with my DSes on Saturday, and I overheard DS1 (17, major underachiever, long history of trouble) saying to DS2 (nearly 13, bright, achieving, motivated) "Nahh, take it from me, you don't want to leave your homework til the last minute, it's much better to do it early. And that's coming from me. I learnt the hard way"!! grin grin

flow4 Mon 05-Nov-12 12:03:29

Will getting a diagnosis mean there'll be some support for your DS2, Maryz? smile

basildonbond Mon 05-Nov-12 14:43:53

I spoke too soon ....

ds has a major piece of English coursework due in this week .... and, yup, he's not even started ...

had the whole of half term (and he had two weeks) to get it done in

his relatively better grades (by no means stellar though) seem to have given him the impression that he can slack off again

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Maryz - ds has 'aspects of ADHD' (he has a mixed-bag diagnosis, i.e. a bit of this and a bit of that ...) and concentrating on anything other than xbox appears to be problematic hmm - hope the assessment goes well and is helpful

StarsGhostTail Mon 05-Nov-12 15:05:32

I remind DD to practice for controlled assessments, I remind her to revise for tests, I remind her to do her Art because that is all marked.

I will nag from Easter of Y11.
That's it DH stresses about every tiny bit of HW. I point blank refuse to.

DC need a childhood and they need to pass their GCSEs, if that's done by learning the revision book cover to cover the night before the exam and never handing in a HW in 2 the years before I really don't care.

MaMattoo Mon 05-Nov-12 15:09:59

Holding your hand. Your child sounds like I was at that age. It gave me such pleased to drive mum and all school teachers insane. Big headed that I am, I did not need as much time to do stuff as was expected and planned in. I could breeze past stuff, did not matter if I did not get my best potential grades. I was happy, confident and very annoying.
...don't think much has changed grin I am an post doctoral researcher/academic now (who would have thunk it)
Backing off and not nagging has a way to flummox a child that is beyond description!

MaMattoo Mon 05-Nov-12 15:12:19

My grammar and spelling are better than what this post indicates...

basildonbond Mon 12-Nov-12 12:55:43

I definitely, definitely spoke too soon ....

last night ds told me that he had 6 pieces of work outstanding, including 2 which should have been done over half term but 'he forgot'

this is after he spent the entire afternoon 'relaxing' because he had plenty of time to get everything done .....

FFS how can he be so monumentally stupid???

blinkedandmissedit Tue 13-Nov-12 12:48:47

Basildon- mine is still being exactly the same. Apparently he didn't have any homework over half term - he has done absolutely nothing for the last 3 weeks. We have had another letter from the art department saying he isn't doing his work. Apparently this is my fault as I nagged him to take art - I bloody well didn't, I advised him against it. He is apparently spending his time on the academic subjects - only he isn't, he does nothing!

I have come to realise this is all a bit of sport for DS. He loves winding us up and if it isn't over homework, it's over something else. He is going to get one massive shock when he doesn't get the grades he needs for A levels next year and has to spend 2 years doing something he hates. However, I don't think that any amount of nagging or punishing from us will make the slightest bit of difference.

Toomuchtea Tue 13-Nov-12 15:50:47

You are quite right, blinked, it makes no difference. I was that idle person once; no one could tell me anything, because I knew best. I did manage to scrape the grades to get where I wanted to go, and eventually at university, it started to dawn on me what hard work actually was. And I was determined, if I had a child, that they would learn from my mistakes.

Fast forward to my beloved DS. He sailed through GCSEs doing no work whatsover, convinced he was going to be a doctor. He crashed and burned pretty early on in A levels, and nothing anyone could do made him work. He didn't get to medical school; he didn't make the grades for the (very good) university that gave him a really good offer, obviously seeing the brains that lurked very far beneath the laid back exterior. Failing did finally make him get off his backside. He organised himself a place at clearing, and is on course for a first.

He alternates between saying that I should have made him work (fortunately for him I am so incandescent at this I am temporarily wordless) and acknowledging his general fecklessness.

It was a terrible, terrible few years. It is utterly heart rending seeing them screw up their dreams, and knowing there is sod all you can do about it.

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