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Yr 12 DS. I'm at a complete loss about how to deal with this.

(66 Posts)
DontKnowHowToCope Mon 23-Oct-17 22:19:29

He did relatively badly at GCSE, looked at College but chose to stay in school. Scraped into 6th form and promised to turn his work ethic around.
He says he's doing the same amount of study as he has contact time - which is what we agreed but I don't see much evidence of that. He overeats and says he hates himself. But he's sociable and often laughing with his brothers/friends. I've discovered that he had an E for a major piece of work. He started it late and when his older brother gave him advice on how to improve it, he spent about 30 mins on it when his brother's estimate was 4 hours.
He said he'd turn it round after the shock of GCSEs but I don't think he has the work ethic needed.
He's also forgetful and disorganised and it's doing my head in so much that I just want to leave and never come back. There are similar issues with his older brothers who flunked uni but at least 1 of them has a job.
Anyone got a road map for this kind of thing?
Please be kind. I'm in no state for a pasting.

GreatStar Mon 23-Oct-17 22:37:18

I think all you can is offer encouragement and guide him gently at this stage. Try not to get yourself worked up too much over it, easier said than done I know.
Keep the lines of communication open. It's good he has confided in you about the low esteem and comfort eating. Him laughing etc with his brothers & friends doesn't mean he's Mr confident and happy. It probably means he's good at making his insecurities.
As I said earlier, gentle encouragement and positive support will likely be received better than if you were to take a firm stand regarding his studies

DontKnowHowToCope Mon 23-Oct-17 22:42:38

Thanks for replying. I've tried gentle encouragement. I've tried very positive approaches - what went well, everybody sharing good news from their day etc., targeted praise. I just think that despite his promises and good intentions he's really quite lazy and unmotivated. I think we might be on a hiding to nothing and that finding something other than A levels could be a better option. He doesn't know what he wants though.

GreatStar Mon 23-Oct-17 22:47:50

It's still early days in his A Levels. He may be unmotivated now but perhaps will pick up? There's worse that could be happening other than him not studying. Is he ok otherwise? Like not getting into trouble, giving you cheek, banking off school etc?

fleecyjumper Mon 23-Oct-17 22:56:10

My son is clever but was unmotivated by A levels. The subjects just weren't what he wanted to do apart from one which he did well in. He is now at college doing BTEC in subject he is passionate about; doing all the work and getting top grades. A levels aren't for everybody. Maybe look at something else he could be doing.

DontKnowHowToCope Mon 23-Oct-17 22:57:05

He seems fine. He's chatty and happy to spend time with us or his brothers when he's at home. The thing that gets to me is the broken promises. We had a long talk about which option was best after his GCSEs. He wasn't pressured into staying at school but he wanted to stay and promised faithfully that he'd put the work in. He isn't. It's so stressful. I don't know how to teach him to be organised and I don't want to nag or baby him as he needs to learn to organise himself.
Coupled with the problems with at least 1 of his brothers doing nothing after uni, I've had enough. I want to help him but I don't know how any more. Nothing I've tried works. And there's a lot else going on. I'm overwhelmed really. Lots of sticks and branches piling on.

DontKnowHowToCope Mon 23-Oct-17 22:58:15

fleecy that's what I've suggested but he's adamant that he wants to stay in school with his friends.

Caulk Mon 23-Oct-17 23:00:53

Does he have a plan for what he wants to do next. I can understand that a levels could feel pretty pointless if you don’t know what degree you want to do or what career from that degree.

Is he getting any help regarding how he feels about himself?

DontKnowHowToCope Mon 23-Oct-17 23:04:19

No he doesn't know what he wants after A levels. I wouldn't know how to get him help for how he feels about himself. Could I ask at the GP? School?

DontKnowHowToCope Mon 23-Oct-17 23:06:19

He's had careers appointments and done quizes to try to work it out but he still doesn't know.

Caulk Mon 23-Oct-17 23:06:38

I’d encoauge him to speak to Childline or School support staff when he talks like that if he won’t talk to you or his brothers. You could go to his GP with him or make an appt for him.

DontKnowHowToCope Mon 23-Oct-17 23:08:44

Good ideas thank you. I'll speak to him about Childline and suggest the GP.

Trying2bgd Mon 23-Oct-17 23:11:13

Go speak to his tutor at school and get their opinion on how he is doing, perhaps, ask whether they have sessions on organisation and study skills. They should be able to help with some of the issues you mentioned. Also check whether the school has a counselling service? There is only so much you can do then you have to let them make their own mistakes and hope they learn from the consequences or live with them.

DontKnowHowToCope Mon 23-Oct-17 23:12:32

I'll ask about the counselling service at parents evening coming up. Thanks.

Trying2bgd Mon 23-Oct-17 23:13:10

One other thing, get him an appointment with the careers service. If he can get an idea of what he wants in the future then he will work towards it and gain some motivation and focus. Good luck

UnRavellingFast Mon 23-Oct-17 23:14:50

Might be worth getting appt with educational psychologist? The lack of focus etc could be a form of ADHD and there are meds to help with this. It's somewhat of a mechanical problem with processing and might be a relief if diagnosed for him- getting help and not his 'fault'. My son had similar experiences which is why I wondered.

fleecyjumper Mon 23-Oct-17 23:16:17

That's why my son wanted to stay to do A levels to be with his friends. He even wanted to stay on an extra year. He just wasn't ready to move on out of his comfort zone. I had to find the college course (that I knew he would love) and we had a shouting match with him crying when it was the college open day. He liked the sound of the course but I still had to nag him to apply but he went to the interview and was accepted. He 'grew up' over the summer he turned 18 and as I said is doing well and is a different boy really. You might have to just let your son go through the A levels; not do very well then think of something else.

fleecyjumper Mon 23-Oct-17 23:19:06

Oh and just to say (as others mentioned counselling) that my son's CAMHS appointment took 8 months to come through!

fleecyjumper Mon 23-Oct-17 23:24:42

By which time they saw him once then said he didn't need to be seen again as he was much better! (After being through the shouting, crying, applying for college etc!)

HeebieJeebies456 Mon 23-Oct-17 23:33:21

It's obvious he just can't be arsed making an effort at anything other than eating and socialising hmm

Give him two choices - either buckle up and get some decent grades, or get a full time job and/or move out.

Make it clear you expect him to provide for himself once he's left college.
I doubt very much he's going to get into university (even if he wanted to go)
He's refusing to grow up and be responsible because he probably thinks you will continue to provide for him indefinitely.

Not having a 'career path' isn't that big a deal provided you still have the skills and know-how to be an independent, working adult.

HMC2000 Mon 23-Oct-17 23:36:22

I work in a Uni, and the 'forgetful and disorganised' rings the dyspraxia bell for me. It's worth speaking to your GP and getting it checked out. We have some very clever but incredibly frustrating students who just can't organise their time/ remember to do things or be places. If they want to get better, working with an SpLD mentor can work wonders. Of course it is possible that he's just lazy, forgetful and disorganised, for which I have no suggestions, I'm afraid

Alonglongway Mon 23-Oct-17 23:52:53

Yes echo the dyspraxia point. One of mine has been diagnosed aged 19 and is in uni and struggling. She’s had a very unconventional education journey so short of conventional qualifications but she can demonstrate talent in her chosen field so they admitted her and she struggled from day 1. They got her to do DSA application and she has been diagnosed with dyspraxia, which was a huge help to her understanding herself, and also awarded a package of support - software, kit and 1:1 mentoring just about to get going

DancingOnParsnips Tue 24-Oct-17 00:15:12

HeebieJeebies456 yeah, that should work. hmm. wtf

HeebieJeebies456 Tue 24-Oct-17 01:00:16

well yea it would........who gives him money?
Who feeds, cooks,cleans for him?

Stop doing all that and he'll soon start changing his attitude.

If he knew his parents would follow through and make him homeless if he didn't buckle up - he'd soon change his attitude.

He's an adult, albeit a young one, but enough of an adult to be responsible for himself.
Less mollycoddling and more tough love is what he needs.........

DontKnowHowToCope Tue 24-Oct-17 06:27:15

There are additional needs in the family that co occur with dyspraxia but apart from forgetfulness, disorganisation and appalling handwriting, he doesn't have other symptoms. I think he'd be about average on standardised gross motor tests like the ABC. He uses a laptop for exams. I can't see him going to uni at all. I think an apprenticeship would be better.

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