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I'm told I hbu, feel terrible but I'm stuck at how to reverse it...but aibu?

(31 Posts)
jimijack Sat 11-Mar-17 08:45:15

I was telling some work colleagues about my ongoing issues with ds aged 13 and school.

He has been on reporter for several reasons over the last year.

Last week I received 2 phone calls (voice mail messages) and an email from different teachers plus ds came home to say that a letter would arrive from another one of his teachers regarding his lack of effort in class, lack of homework submission, poor attitude towards his work, silly behaviour.

So I spoke to his head of year, we have set up a meeting to discuss how to help him and proceed.
Me & dh are fed up of this. Speaking to ds, he says it's not that he can't do it, finds it difficult, he says he just can't be bothered and lacks enthusiasm.
It's his mock exams next week.
We have sourced a maths tutor as this is a subject he struggles with, plus he & dh have sourced an evening class at the college starting in September offering GCSE maths for any one who wants to do it, they are going to go together to that. He seems keen on that.

In the mean time, he insisted on us giving him money to buy some revision books for various subjects, promised to do 10 minutes each book a night...has done very little.

I have removed his hand sets and wires for his play station or whatever the hell it is he spends hour's on, taken his phone off him and threatened to remove other things from him if he does not perform well all last week while on report again....he has had a brilliant week, ticks each lesson, even merit points, so chuffed with him, so gave him his phone back.

Colleague says I'm completely unreasonable as he might be struggling to understand the work, should meet his teacher first then decide.

This never occurred to me, Felt awful, just like a total shit parent.

Am I being "sledgehammer to a tack" ? Ds has form with this, I do punish as I see fit, but now think I'm being ott possibly sad

rainbowdash888 Sat 11-Mar-17 08:48:11

Yanbu. Your da is being disruptive at school and has admitted he can't be bothered rather than can't do. You are doing everything you can to support him and switch him back on to learning. Take no notice

LIZS Sat 11-Mar-17 08:54:57

Cant you do both? There is no point in planning tutoring etc without knowing what the issue is. I'm surprised a fe college will offer a course for which a 13 yo is eligible, most of the students will be adults retaking their gcse.

Happinessisthis Sat 11-Mar-17 08:55:37

YANBU at all. You are helping a struggling Ds but also showing him there will be consequences for lazy behaviour.
I think you've handled it beautifully and should be congratulating yourself.
He was punished for being lazy and rewarded for making the effort and trying hard. You are sourcing help for the difficulties and working with the school. Well done you!

amprev Sat 11-Mar-17 08:57:48

The fact that you've seen N improvement in such a short weird of time suggests it's more to do with effort than ability. I would be doing exactly the same? Have these issues been a constant theme during his school life?

PumpkinPie2016 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:02:19

YANBU - I am a teacher and see lots of students like your son. I have one at the moment - very bright, no SN but would rather play the class clown then do any work!

It is frustrating for me and the other students find it irritating when their lessons are disrupted.

I only wish every parent was as supportive as you!

EllaHen Sat 11-Mar-17 09:03:10

Eh ...? Your ds has admitted that he doesn't find the work difficult - do your colleagues think he is lying or mistaken?

The school wants to meet with you because parents who are supportive of school and value education will undoubtedly encourage their child to progress.

You are handling this issue very well. If more parents were like you, schools would have less bother motivating pupils.

Astro55 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:06:07

Sounds like he's just messing about in class - so capable

Yes he needs to learn that effort equals reward and he can't afford to mess up his exams -

He's appears to be pulled up and switched on again!

What you've dontbis punished the behavior

What you and the teachers in the meeting will do is a plan going forward - this should also be entwined with a plan at home -

Effort at school and homework plus tutor - no effort no phone etc

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 11-Mar-17 09:15:05

Ignore your colleague.
Your methods have already produced an improvement in results, so stop questioning yourself - your colleague may have a whole different set of parenting "values", that don't include punishments, deprivations, or possibly even discipline (complete guesswork but it would fit the pic given).

Your DS has responded well to what you did. You have results. That's all you need to know that you have not been unreasonable at all, so tell colleague to butt out, or just smile sweetly and nod next time they impart their opinion.

jimijack Sat 11-Mar-17 09:16:38

Ah thanks every one.

Fe college tutor does the lessons on a voluntary basis, ds will be 14 by then, we know the chap doing it. Apparently he put out a small advert and has jam packed classes, been doing it for a few years. Lots of kids and parents go to it. I think it's a fantastic thing.

I'm just not a namby pamby parent and do worry I am too harsh at times. There are subjects that I have little tolerance for poor performance, education is the main one, disrespect to others is the other.

This has been an issue throughout school pretty much looking back, silly behavior, laziness, it's a struggle constantly with him.

Thanks again, feel better that I'm doing the right thing as I suspected.

Crumbs1 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:18:07

Sounds like very reasonable parenting. With risk of being labelled sexist, boys do sometimes struggle to focus and see long term consequences of lack of work. They often to better with a long term goal that boosts their self drive but as they tend to mature later lots of teen boys haven't a clue what they want to do after school.
Parenting well involves supplementing that lack of personal motivation by whatever means gets them to succeed to maximum potential academically. He'll than you later.

Idefix Sat 11-Mar-17 09:32:23

From experience I would say you need to speak to the teachers,ensure there are no issues that need to ge dealt with. Once you have done that I would do more than remove his gadgets, with ds we had to monitor his completion of hw once we were aware he was not doing it. He found organising, being motivated difficult to do by himself and was v easily distracted, by anything and everything.

I expect other pp will come on a flame me for molly coddling ds with his hw, we would literally discuss what homework he had in his planner and set up a time table at home and support/supervise and check it was done to a good standard. This worked for ds, leaving it to him and repeated detentions for non submission did not work.DS is now in college and we no longer have to do this it worked. Dd has never need this level of support--her revision timetable is like a military operation, on which we get dispatches on a regular basis-- with her school work.

At the time we had one or two people saying we were babying him, being mean, should leave him to it, I am so glad we ignored these people. By the time GCSEs results were back we knew we had made the right decision.

Is your ds ready to dos GCSE maths at ight school? I would liase with his school, as this could have a negative effect.

I think a lot of parents do think that once children are in secondary school they should be left to get on with but I really think that depends on the child. From what I have seen with my own dd there is so much more homework and pressure than when I was that age. I don't think it is a bad thing to provide more support.

To the pp saying why would work colleagues say he is struggling if ds says it is easy, children do lie to cover up embarrassment, to not want to be perceived as 'stupid'.

What are the other reasons for his being on report op? You sound caring op and I don't think you should feel bad.

Idefix Sat 11-Mar-17 09:36:50

Sorry for the typos and missed words, pain medication has ruined my abilities in English at the moment blush

TheCakes Sat 11-Mar-17 09:37:10

Sounds like he has his priorities in the wrong order, so you have taken action to put them right. I have to do the same with my 14 year old fairly regularly.
He can have all the PlayStation time he likes when he's done his schoolwork. Sorry kiddo, but that's life.
YANBU.

HerOtherHalf Sat 11-Mar-17 09:50:51

He sounds like me when i was young, and you sound a bit like my parents. They focused on punishing poor behaviour and underperformance rather than rewarding good performance. Note that reversing a punishment (giving a confiscated phone back) is not a reward. My upbringing turned me into a perfectionist and procrastinator and I still struggle with it. I would avoid doing things if I didn't feel I could do them well enough and I would waste a lot of unnecessary time trying to get the things I did attempt better than they really needed to be.
Its strange that if you were to ask for training advice on dog forums you would get an almost universal chorus of positive reinforcement not punishment. That's because it's the best practice and it works. Strange that this message doesn't appear to have been so widely spread in parenting.

Justwantcookies Sat 11-Mar-17 09:59:42

Sounds like you're doing the right thing and as his work has improved he has earned his phone back. We had to do a similar thing, out ds was more than capable but the effort wasn't being put in. We did the same, removed games and gadgets and also put in place extra work at home during what would have been game time. He pulled his socks up and his work improved no end! Also promised if certain levels reached in 6 months he'd get a reward. Feels like I'm bribing my child to do their school work but if this is what works to stop him fucking up his future that's what we will do. And it seems to be working.

If what you're doing is working, keep doing it!!

TheCakes Sat 11-Mar-17 10:03:16

Well yeah, obviously lay it on with a trowel how proud you are of the new, improved effort he's making. If he keeps it up another week after getting his phone back, give him a little reward.
But you still were NU in taking action in the first place.

jimijack Sat 11-Mar-17 11:48:41

Regarding rewards, he is "earning" his stuff back. The kit he owns, to my mind are a luxury, not a given, not an everyday expected part of his life.

That's how it is in this house, I never bought any of it for him, my bil did, with our approval, obviously, but it is such a good bargaining chip, we choose our currency, this works for us.

My huge worry is what one poster said further up, if he is lying and actually is struggling with the work but too embarrassed to tell us...his mocks will be very telling.

The GCSE maths is do as much or as little as you want, you don't have to do the exam at the end, it is GCSE level, but flexible enough to not be too in your face academic. It will help him loads, he is quite keen, luckily dh is good at maths but wants to take the heat and pressure off ds, by going together, they can just work through it together......if ds does well in the lesson, I imagine a treat kfc May be thrown in, his favourite and a rare treat.

jimijack Sat 11-Mar-17 11:52:13

Reasons for report are lack of homework, lack of work in lesson...blank pages after a 2 hour lesson, repeatedly told to get on with it, silly behaviour, no focus.

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 11-Mar-17 11:59:55

For goodness sakes - some people need to get a grip. Removing a child's access to electronic devices so they can study isn't mean - it's great parenting and an absolute necessity for concentration and effort. Having such easy access to gadgets is part of the reason why children have such poor concentration. It takes no effort whatsoever to watch TV and play games, so when kids actually have to focus on reading/writing/studying they find it so hard.

Revision time should mean no gadgets anyway - having access to electronics isn't a human right, it's a luxury that can be dispensed with for a short amount of time to actually get some work done. That's not even counting the fact that he should have had them removed anyway for misbehaving in class!

OP, you absolutely did the right thing, you sound like a great parent. Please don't lose confidence over silly comments.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 11-Mar-17 12:02:17

But what you did worked and he showed some improvement! Carry on, you wont be doing him any favours if you dont.

jimijack Sat 11-Mar-17 12:05:15

Yup. I am, meeting with teacher next week, plan of action will be formulated,.

As for my colleague, I think she just does things differently, that's ok for her. Not for me/us.

Kevinbaconsrealwife Sat 11-Mar-17 12:21:49

You sound like great , for whatever my opinion is worth I would have done exactly the same.....keep on as you are...xx

Kevinbaconsrealwife Sat 11-Mar-17 12:22:17

* like great parents....

nakedscientist Sat 11-Mar-17 12:26:25

You sound like a brilliant mum to me OP!

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