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AIBU to be really annoyed with DS for just doing O.K at school?

(105 Posts)
moodymum8 Fri 15-Mar-13 08:26:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

exoticfruits Fri 15-Mar-13 08:32:54

YANBU but you will probably have to wait until his grades start slipping for him to realise. I am surprised he hasn't got more competition- is he in a school where the top are creamed off?

VanitasVanitatum Fri 15-Mar-13 08:34:29

You're not BU. I was exactly like this in school and it took me years to build up a work ethic when I hit the real world after gcse..

GirlOutNumbered Fri 15-Mar-13 08:35:26

I see this a lot in class. Children come in and are used to being the best in class. They coast and get distracted as they believe its easy and then start to fail. They are not used to failing and so don't know how to cope and start dong less. Etc etc

exoticfruits Fri 15-Mar-13 08:35:29

I went to a secondary modern and could coast along and stay near the top- at that age your reasoning is that if you can come within the top 5 in the class with little work then why do it to be top? Sorry- I realise it isn't much help.

DesiderataHollow Fri 15-Mar-13 08:45:58

What motivation does he have to strive?

I was that child too, never did any homework, did the bare minimum in class, spent non-homework detentions every evening in the library (they misunderstood my motivation so badly that they thought that was a punishment) .

I was always in the top three of the (grammar) stream and left school with 10 good O levels and an offer of an assisted place for 6th form at a private school. I had no inclination to further study. I have no idea what anyone could have done to make me feel that there was any point to exerting myself when I was outstripping everyone else with the minimum of effort.

I had a couple of bashes at A levels later on, but to be honest couldn't see the point, and finally went to university to do a History degree as a mature student (with no A levels) because I had finally found something that gripped me and made me want to study.

So, he has to want to do it. He has to be able to see something that will encourage him now. Not some intangible in the future.

livinginwonderland Fri 15-Mar-13 08:46:30

i was like this. i found it very easy to get good grades with very little effort up until my gcse's. i didn't see the point in trying when i could just as easily do the bare minimum and get the same results at the end. i know that's not what you want to hear, though!

be grateful you have a smart kid with a natural intelligence - he'll learn eventually that he needs to do more and more work as he grows older. it might take a half term of "bad" grades to make him realise - that's what kicked me into gear, but it will happen smile

moodymum8 Fri 15-Mar-13 08:48:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 08:48:57

"He knows I am I think because he lectured me that in MFL for example he has got the highest level they award for Year 7 so what’s my problem?"

There shouldn't be a cap on what level they can get-what did he get, by the way?

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 15-Mar-13 08:53:37

If it's any consolation, I was like this until year 9 as I didn't see the point (exams didn't mean anything anyway) so coasted along in the top half of a very selective grammar school. I wanted decent GCSEs/A Levels/degree so I worked harder from yr 10 and got them. Many of the kids who worked very hard in years 7-9 seemed to rebel around GCSE time and didn't do as well as they might have if they had saved some effort from their ridiculously extensive yr7 projects grin

That said, I agree, it's very frustrating and he does need to snap out of it before the real work comes along.

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 08:54:08

I would just let him get on with it, to be honest.

Does he do anything outside school? I have a year 7 who is having a bit of an easy ride academically at the moment, so I am giving him reading challenges, and he's also booked in for a music exam. Very exposing, music exams- if you don't practice at least a bit you fall flat on your face!

mrsjay Fri 15-Mar-13 08:57:42

YANBU but you will probably have to wait until his grades start slipping for him to realise. I am surprised he hasn't got more competition- is he in a school where the top are creamed off?

^ ^ this I had a coaster ( a girl) and it used to drive me up the wall she got good marks was well behaved but I knew she could do better, I ended up having to let it go the nagging wasn't working, she got good exam results but she could have got better iyswim, she is nearly 20 now and doing a degree in music production and engineering, she wanted to do physics but couldnt be arsed to study hmm , she is happy and very good at what she does,

moodymum8 Fri 15-Mar-13 09:27:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Fri 15-Mar-13 09:31:13

I just couldnt think of anything that would motivate dd to do better I tried shouting coercing bribery even nothing seemed to work her passion was music though so I think she was focused on tha I know I sound ungrateful as she did quite well in school but It is frustrating

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 09:36:41

So is he at least a level 4c in MFL?

Had you thought about getting him to read more widely? An hour of a book chosen by you before any sci-fi, or screen stuff?

YouTheCat Fri 15-Mar-13 09:38:50

He's 11/12 and he has his whole life ahead of him to get stressed out by exams and work.

Let him enjoy coasting a bit. He will have to work hard when it comes down to GCSEs in a few years and even harder for A levels. Year 7 can be a bit of a shock for some kids.

Then it'll be off to uni for more work and exams and before you know it he'll be doing the 9-5 drudge like the rest of us.

noblegiraffe Fri 15-Mar-13 09:43:34

I've found with high achieving boys, competition between them can be an excellent motivator. Second highest? So who came top then? Can you encourage friendly rivalry? 'if you're so clever, how come Johnny beat you??'

Unfortunately, some boys aren't competitive and just don't give a shit. They are very hard to deal with.

cocobongo Fri 15-Mar-13 09:43:50

I think the problem is often that there is often a rebasing of standards when moving to a secondary school. I remember when I moved to secondary, the things I was initially doing in maths were things I had covered 2/3 years before. I guess it was to allow others to catch up. However, it had the potential to make people switch off and coast. Is it possible this is what is happening to your son? Is what he is covering not challenging enough?

BlahBlahBlahhh Fri 15-Mar-13 09:47:15

You've just described my year 8 son....we are using the carrot and stick approach...he is very materialistic...wants cool car, exotic holidays, nice house, designer clothes when he gets a job...we just point out to him that if that's what he wants the way to get it is to knuckle down. He knows what career path he wants to follow so Im doing my best to guide him. I've worked backwards....this is what you want and to get it you'll need this do this degree you need to have these A levels, to get these A levels you'd probably need to have got a good GCSE grade at these subjects etc etc. Nobody guided me and Im plodding along in a job I tolerate but don't enjoy. For me to change that I would need to retake certain GCSEs prior to doing another degree. Have explained to DS the cost involved if you have to retake as an adult and how lucky you are prior to 18 getting to take exams for free. Reading this back I sound so serious...Im not at all, In fact Im very easygoing but I speak as someone who also coasted along and did ok but with a bit of effort could have gone far !

hackmum Fri 15-Mar-13 09:51:21

Children tend to go backwards in year 7 for a while - it's a difficult transition.

I don't blame him for coasting. In my view, it's a natural human tendency. Who wants to put in a load of extra effort when you're 12 years old? The problem, perhaps, is that the school is letting him coast and not stretching him enough.

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 09:53:18

Noblegiraffe- sadly the thing that motivates my ds is the simple fact that the one person likely to beat him is a girl!

Not proud of that- but it does make him put a bit of effort in! blush

nokidshere Fri 15-Mar-13 09:53:18

You cannot make them do it.

All you can do is instill and talk about the importance of education and the pitfalls of coasting along.

I've learned to step back and leave my boys to it. They wont have me sitting next to them in the exam room after all. I get that you are frustrated but nagging won't help unfortunately.

Startail Fri 15-Mar-13 09:56:05

You won't get any where, very few people are inclined to put in more effort than they can see any reward for.

DH does complicated technical stuff above and beyond work for fun.

He can't get that the rest of us like to chill having done what we need to.

I think if you nag DS now, you risk him saying bugger off when there is important revision to do.

Yes a work ethic is a wonderful thing to have, but you can't force someone to have one, they have to find something they love.

For DH it's absolutely anything technical, for DD1 it's singing, DD2 and me are still looking.

moodymum8 Fri 15-Mar-13 10:09:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 10:18:48

Please don't take this the wrong way- but when you say "I don't think he's mind that" what do you mean? The seems to be a lot of "he just won't" " he refuses" in your posts- I know it's easy for me to say, but it does sound a bit as though he rules the roost a bit. Am I wrong?

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