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to think that sometimes being a parent feels completely fucking uphill?????

(22 Posts)
maristella Mon 03-Oct-11 18:01:36

I feel like I'm constantly nagging, and I'm so tired of it sad

DS (13) has always been forgetful and dreamy, and it's not getting any better. He has yet another detention this week for not doing his homework; he told me he had done it Fri eve, we went away until Sun eve and got back much later than we should have due to traffic. I should have checked, I know. But he was sent to his room to do his homework after receiving a detention last week too; on Fri I had said no more, and told him to go and do everything that needed to be done.

Every day he is getting negative feedback in his homework planner, every bloody day sad At his school they get a good behaviour stamp for each lesson, and if it isn't issued, a reason id given for why, and it's always for not putting in enough effort.

I fought tooth and nail to get him into the school he is in after some horrible bullying at his last school. I know he played a part in what happened there, but the fact remains that is was badly managed by the school and escalated.

Just the other week his new school have said that if he causes any more trouble he might be moved out to another school. He had been quite devious, and was spreading unpleasant stuff about some boys he had fallen out with and got a slap for it. The school were very unhappy and said that he cannot expect to say such things without causing a fair amount of trouble. I agree. He denies saying anything, but I know when I'm being lied to and he was lying. He simply will not fess up, man up and take his punishment on the chin. He is not rough and tumble, and I understand that he will verbally defend himself very well; it is his form of defence, but I know what he said about these kids and it was horrible, it was not defence but attack. Just dishing out a punishment (no XBOX that eve) lead to him going on and on at me, denying it.

I can;t afford to transport him to another school, and to be completely honest, if he has to go to yet another school in our area I will be mortified. I know that may not be fair, but it is how I feel.

All I asked him to do before I got home today over the phone was to open the windows upstairs, he promptly forgot. Ds is like a sieve, anything small and unimportant to him is simply gone.

I don't ask too much do I? We are talking daily battles over homework; I don't set it, yet I am battling with him. I'm a single parent so all the battles are with me. It feels like the simplest things require ridiculous battles.

Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 18:03:05

I could ahve written this post. Every single day is battle with DS1, who is also 13. I've been in tears several times (not only over him, but it doesn't help)

maristella Mon 03-Oct-11 18:16:11

Really Saltire ?

It's so tiring isn't it? I told him earlier that I feel really fed up; my life should not consist of this much nagging and reprimanding sad

troisgarcons Mon 03-Oct-11 18:24:48

Isn't there a HW club he could attend? Most school run them.

FWIW none of mine ever do home work - cna't say I'm on their case. I don't believe in it at primary level. There was a screaming battle of wills with the eldest. Middle just does his own thing. He usually knocks his out at lunch time or after school before coming home

Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 18:43:10

maristella - it is tiring. i feelas though the hour before he leaves for school adn the time between him getting back and going to bed, is jsut me nagging him or him nagging me. I'm getting a 2 pronged attack at the minute by DS1 and his brother (11) because they want Fifa 12 for x-box as "all our friends ahve it".

it is relentless on and on and on they go.

maristella Mon 03-Oct-11 18:43:43

Yes, he will be going twice each week from now on. I wish he had gone there today but thought I would let him off as we got back at bedtime last night and he didn;t get time to wind down much at home.

What really hacks me off is how blopdy resentful he is when I have to nag him. I start by asking, ask again, nag, nag, then raise my voice. And he is so aggrieved! I don;t think it has to be so difficult, and I feel really fed up with it all

AbbyAbsinthe Mon 03-Oct-11 18:47:45

My dd (almost 14) is a fucking nightmare, and has been for about 18 months now. Every single day there is a battle of some sort. It's so very wearing. I really do sympathise.

troisgarcons Mon 03-Oct-11 18:50:40

I did go throughthis with my 16yo - he was the most confrontational little shite going. Slowly we are coming out the other side - but I swear he has PMT! It can be all eggshells round him some days

LineRunner Mon 03-Oct-11 19:02:20

Sympathies from here, also.

I think you could try to enlist the school to help out, constructively. Speak to your DS's form tutor, or Head of Year, or even the Head if you get a call organised. Ask them to keep him back after school, preferably in an organised homework club, to get him to do his homework.

This way the battle is less between you and your son, and less exhausting for you emotionally. It positions the tension back inside school, whilst giving you a bit of a breather but being a supportive parent.

Also when your DS gets home he is homework-free, and you might have less atmosphere.

maristella Mon 03-Oct-11 19:51:35

I really need to ask for the school's help. But I am really worried that if he gives off a similar attitude that he has outside of school then he will be quite unpopular with school staff sad It is so tiringm i feel exhausted. Oh well, the young sir will be going to bed very soon wink he won't like it but tough, he has worn me out

Andrewofgg Mon 03-Oct-11 20:17:30

Like nailing jelly to a tree. Been there, done that. They come through and rejoin our species. Good luck until then.

Incidentally Maristella if there are grandparents or aunts/uncles in regular contact I expect he's nice as pie to them!

Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 20:33:11

I actually think that the terrible twos was easier than parenting a teenager

amicissima Mon 03-Oct-11 21:29:57

I agree with Saltire; teens have definitely been the worst stage for me.

I think in a way it becomes a bit of a vicious circle: they don't take it upon themselves to remember because they know Mum will nag remind them.

I understand how you feel about the school, having gone through a lot to get him there, but I think, at 13, he just has to take responsibility for himself and if (and it's a big if - they try not to give up on pupils) that gets as far as him losing the place there, so be it. (I know, it would be awful for you, but it is his life).

My approach is to say each thing once, and once only. If he 'forgets' to do what he's supposed to he will suffer the consequences. If When I dish out a punishment, I will say what and why and totally refuse to speak further on the subject - I just leave the room and do my stuff. If I get a mouthful I simply say calmly "Don't speak to me like that" and walk away.

If he starts denying his part in trouble I think my approach might be that I don't know the details as I wasn't there, but that I think he should look carefully at his behaviour and consider whether he bears some responsibility. I would also press the idea of him taking responsibility for his mistakes and errors of judgement because that's the only way he can learn. Would he have been quite happy with his actions if you had been watching? Honestly? After all, you are not trying to help him learn to avoid punishment, you are trying to help him to learn to do the right thing because he is a person who does the right thing IYSWIM.

I don't think it hurts to point out that his teachers are only human and it is worth his while getting a reputation for behaving responsibly, so that their first reaction is that 'it' is unlikely to be DS as he's such a good guy.

If you feel that you want to make a significant change to your approach it might be worth having a word with the school as there could be a deterioration in his performance while he adjusts from you running his life to him running it.

My main tactic is (silent) self-talk: "whatever", over and over while the ranting goes on.

HTH

maristella Mon 03-Oct-11 21:46:13

Andrew he's great with uncles and aunt but is a shocker towards GP's sad My Dad handles him well and firmly, but Mum doesn't handle him well at all, although that is partly her fault as he does not have a great deal of respect for her as a result of her own behaviour (another thread!)

Saltire the squealy toddler phases were much more fun! The angry toddler can be picked up and plonked in a different room until they are ready to be super cute again grin I miss my little sweet boy.....

amic I would like to, but his education would suffer massively if he was only given instructions the once, as would his home life. He simply does not have enough privileges in his life to remove one for each consequence! He is also really humiliated when single out in class for not doing homework, he really hates it. The sad fact that I cannot let him turn out like his uneducated, unemployed, unenthusiastic father (who he does not see); I am determined that his life will have far fewer self built pitfalls.

I want his life to be as full as possible, but the effort is emptying my life before my eyes! I feel older, more tired every time he starts (or doesn't start), I cannot envisage quitting smoking without actually blowing a gasket the way things are, and I sure as hell cannot envisage bringing a man into this situation. I have far less support because he is so bloody argumentative. He doesn't just isolate himself!

amicissima Mon 03-Oct-11 22:38:11

Please don't think I'm arguing with you (you have enough of that!). I'm on your side. It just sounds as if things aren't working very well for you at the moment and I was suggesting that withdrawing a bit might take off the pressure from both of you.

I really sympathise with you feeling that you want to help your DS avoid the pitfalls his father fell into. It's soul-destroying to watch our LOs make, and suffer from, mistakes that seem totally unneccessary. I do think that there comes a point where it is up to him and if he stuffs up his life, you just can't stop him and will destroy yourself trying. Where that point is, of course, is personal to each of us, and TBH, I think you are right to fight on while he is only 13.

FWIW, for a while I was working with a group of young adults who were taking GCSEs, having blown their education while at school. They described themselves as you describe your son and all expressed regret that they hadn't taken notice of what their mums said. They also, however, said that she just couldn't make any difference at the time; they were set in their ways. It was only later that they realised that they couldn't get on without GCSEs and came to the college. This time round they really applied themselves and reckoned they did much better than they would have at school.

That message sounds bleak, but the good news is that, although it's easier to do the 'right' thing at the 'right' time, the facilities do exist to redeem a messed-up education.

Meanwhile, although I see my ways don't sound right to you, I do hope that your DS does start to take responsibility for himself. I do think years 8, 9 and 10 can be the worst, and a lot of DCs start to see the point of it all as GCSEs loom.

I may not be able to help, but I do wish you lots of luck.

Shodan Mon 03-Oct-11 22:56:56

I may not be able to help much, but I can at least offer you some hope.

Ds1 was exactly the same and I was tearing my hair out with worry. He was on a stage two report at school for not doing homework/detentions/mucking about in class/being mouthy in class- you name it, he did it. All the teachers agreed that he wasn't a bad lad and was in fact very intelligent, but lazy. Between us (school and home) we tried everything we could think of. We removed privileges at home, we gave him punishments for getting detentions, we tried ignoring the bad and praising the good. The school rang us regularly with progress reports (not that there was ever much progress) and we had to go in to see the head of year at least twice every single year.

None of it made a blind bit of difference. But then he started his GCSE years and it was like we had a changeling in the house. Homework was done well and on time. Behaviour in school changed dramatically. He said to us that he 'suddenly realised' what it was all about. He even matured enough to accept that he was going to have to work extra hard to make up lost ground.

For the first time, last year, since he started school (more or less), I didn't dread parent-teacher evening. In fact I was nearly reduced to a snivelling wreck by the lovely, positive comments we received.

So take heart. They can change. But keep talking with his teachers.

Good luck.

AbbyAbsinthe Mon 03-Oct-11 23:15:02

I've said the very same just this week... The baby and toddler stages are a walk in the park compared to the teenager thing. Hope things take an upward turn!

Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 23:27:12

My DH is in the military and I am really struggling with lots of other issues, and I think to myself when DS1 starts "Oh god here we go again. it is relentless. I don't know how single parents cope. I'm on my own for a few weeks jsut now as DH is out of the country I am almost on my knees. Next year he is awya for 6 months, and I am breaking out in a sweat at the thought of it.

I don't have the homework issues with DS1 (I do with DS2) but it's the relentless answering back, saying no to me, or the usual "it's not fair".

have a wine with me x

Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 23:49:01

Also, someone suggested the "How to talk so teens will lsiten" book. I ahve ordered a copy from Amazon, but a few people on here swear it's good advice in it

maristella Tue 04-Oct-11 08:25:56

amic there are so many facilities for post 16 GCSE's, I just want everything to be as straightforward as poss for DS. I remember very well what it was like to not listen to my parents, and I hope that there is still a part of him that wants to listen. I know he worries about his GCSE's, and I keep saying that he needs to be focussed and organised, or he will have lots to worry about, and that by sorting himself out he has a lot less to worry about.

I did ask him last night why it has to be so hard, he says he does try but that is exactly what I do not think he does. I think he regrets not trying when he is being pulled up on stuff by me.

He is one of those kids who without nagging from me would wear he same items of clothing for several months, through lack of thought and after having lost clothes by leaving them places; his personal hygiene would be awful; he would never touch a drop of water and his health would suffer; his teachers would write him off as he would never hand anything in.

Saltire I will definitely drink some wine with you, although it will have to be later smile My child is actually driving me to drink! I will also check out that book too.

Abby you too! wine

So today I have the XBox controllers; HRH will get them back at the end of the week if he meets his targets of doing his homework, doing his daily tasks (only ever 1 or 2 things I ask him to do, they take 5 minutes at most), and can show some understanding of why not to be spiteful and wind up people at school.

When he gets them back I will confiscate them ngihtly and he can only have them back when I get back from work and see for myself that he has done everything he needs to do. He will listen or go without!

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Tue 04-Oct-11 09:27:02

Oi, give me my son back. Actually, no you can keep him for a while!

He sounds just like mine (nearly 13).

He's more than capable and in the top sets but he cba. He's had the same feedback from school since he started - doesn't do enough work. He does the bare minimum he needs to but no more. If it doesn't interest him it's obvious in the work. It's like listening to teachers talking about a different child!

He also loses clothes, personal hygiene non existent without serious nagging, doesn't drink water, eats very little. Just doesn't seem to have any natural survival instinct, let alone any desire to do homework!

Saltire Tue 04-Oct-11 10:09:58

Mine is at home today.angry He refused point blank to get ready for school and locked himself in the bathroom, coming up with every excuse knwon as to why he couldn't go to school.

I've rung the school and the head of house is ringing me back alter.
I just cannot cope, what with my Fibro, house issues regarding our own house, defence estates issues, falling out with the neighbours and being bullied where I live, I think I need more than a glass fo wine!hmm

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