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To force DS 17 to get a part time job?

(62 Posts)
RUPaulsdrab Mon 12-Feb-18 20:26:34

DS is 17, 18 in September. He's doing 3 AS levels, maths, chemistry and biology, due to finish hi A levels next year. Not easy subjects I know.

He flew his GCSEs with very little work, got A*s, As & Bs across the board. However he's not finding A levels so easy. His last parents evening in December we were told unless he pulled his socks up he'd come out badly. His mocks in January yielded 2 C's and a D.

I can't say I've seen a huge improvement in the amount of work he's doing and to be frank I think he's wasting his time doing A levels as he doesn't think he wants to go to university.

He spends hours a day either on the Xbox or watching videos on his iPad. Apparently he needs this downtime as A levels are 'stressful'. He does nothing else at all, no hobbies, no socialising with friends apart from online gaming and school. He finishes school at lunchtime twice a week but wastes the time in the afternoons.

We have paid £700 so far on driving lessons, paid for his licence, theory test and his main test that he's got in a few weeks. We pay for everything for him apart from Xbox games that he dips into Birthday and xmas money for.

After a weekend of him laying in bed, gaming and being a cheeky shit when I asked him to help his sister with her gcse maths homework (he couldn't do it apparently) hmm I snapped and told him he needs a PT job to fill his time around school and help to pay for the insurance on the car he's being GIVEN by a kind relative.

I saw a job advertised in a local shop for 8-12 hours a week in the evenings / weekends but he refuses to apply for it saying it will 'risk' his school work!

I just don't know how to handle him, if I force him to take the job then if/when he does badly in his exams it'll be all my fault for making him work. I know it, he's a manipulative little sod. I've told him we aren't paying to insure / tax / mot the car so if he want to run it he needs to be working but then he says that none of his friends doing these 'hard' A levels are expected to work and I'm being unreasonable to expect it.

Am I?

OutyMcOutface Mon 12-Feb-18 20:29:46

Honestly, I think you may have missed the boat with him. Hopefully he will come to his senses in a couple of years and resist his a levels and then go to university. At this point your best bet is to cut him off financially and let him sort himself out.

NinaNoSleep Mon 12-Feb-18 20:30:20

Nope you are not BU you are teaching him that he needs to work hard to have nice things. Easy -no job, no money, no car tax, no insurance.

AssetRichIncomePoor Mon 12-Feb-18 20:31:06

Been there. Fact is that all A levels are hard (not just STEM ones). But there is no reason for an A level student to get their arse into gear. If they have time to fritter away on the X-Box, they have time to earn money for car insurance. Needless to say, these discussions did not go well with my older DC, and I am hurtling towards them with DC4, who is at boarding school but has already told me that he will need to spend the Easter holidays on his X-Box because GCSEs are "really stressful". Well, so is being unemployed, mate.

AssetRichIncomePoor Mon 12-Feb-18 20:31:50

^not to get

MrsMaxwell Mon 12-Feb-18 20:32:55

Wow he sounds really really spoilt.

I could never afford to give my kids hand outs, they all got paper rounds aged 13 and all work now. When DD was 16 she had 3 part time jobs and she is now in yr 12 has 3 Uni offers and works 25 hours a week (by choice and the money is hers).

She has saved for a car and the insurance for when she passes her test.

NinaNoSleep Mon 12-Feb-18 20:36:24

Additionally he may also need a reference/personal statement and experiences to apply for uni, an apprenticeship or job. He isn't going to get that from his X-Box! Time he broadened his horizons!

Rachie1973 Mon 12-Feb-18 20:37:30

Withdraw the financial support on the car until he contributes

PlanNumber Mon 12-Feb-18 20:40:34

My DS1 is doing Alevels and doesn't have a job. I wonder if he "should" just so he doesn't get to 18 having never worked, but he does need to study hard if he's to pass anything and appears to be doing so, plus he doesn't really cost us much. If he had expensive tastes I'd be telling him he needs a job. He also wouldn't dream of complaining when asked to do minor tasks around the house.

TBF, I gather school are constantly telling them they should be prioritising school work over paid work, so he could be repeating what school have said when he talks of risking his studies.

RUPaulsdrab Mon 12-Feb-18 20:41:35

Thanks, I was brought up the same and had to work for everything I had, studying around work (apprenticeship).

I think he stayed on at 6th form in his school as he thought that was the easiest thing to do (and his friend did the same subjects).

Life is a dream for him, money every day for school lunch, off to school, home, gaming / watching videos then perhaps an hour of study.

He has no direction, whenever we ask what he wants to do after a levels we get 'I don't know', do you want to go to university 'I don't know'. What about an apprenticeship? 'Umm no I don't think I want to do that' so we ask what do you want to do? And we get 'I don't know'

So bloody frustrating! I think he's wasting his time and will come out with 3 mediocre a levels - there are many good apprenticeships around at the moment and as he's finding the a levels hard we think he'd be better off cutting his losses and jumping on to one of those (he's got fantastic GCSE results ) but no, he doesn't want to.

We think a PT job would give him the responsibility he needs, help him grow up being around adults and would be great on his CV.

But no, he doesn't want to do anything.

FancyNewBeesly Mon 12-Feb-18 20:42:23

A-levels aren’t pointless if he’s not going to uni - your highest level of education is important when looking for work in a crowded market, especially if he’s up against people who have been to uni! I found A-levels much harder but figured out I needed to get my head down - I had a job but my mum made me quit as between school, study and my job I was exhausted (had waaaaay too much responsibility after my manager left and I was the most senior employee!). I wouldn’t make him get a job unless he completely refuses to study. Tell him he has a choice - work hard at school or drop out, get a job and pay rent

RUPaulsdrab Mon 12-Feb-18 20:42:51

Yes, he tells us that school do not recommend he gets work but honestly with the amount of study he's putting in and the results he's getting out he's wasting his time I fear....

PlanNumber Mon 12-Feb-18 20:44:25

If he's got the prospect of decent Alevel grades, that's a far better option than an apprenticeship IMO, unless there was a very specific one he really wanted to do. Alevels will give him far more options, but of course he does need to make sure he gets them.

Leeds2 Mon 12-Feb-18 20:45:46

Yes, I would be telling him to get a job pronto and make it quite clear that you will not be giving him any money.
Even if you accepted his argument that he is too busy studying to get a job, the same doesn't really hold true for the summer holiday so he should be able to get something then that won't impact upon his study at all.

MyBrilliantDisguise Mon 12-Feb-18 20:45:47

It's the gaming that's the problem. It makes people so lazy. I used to teach sixth formers and to be honest, none of the gamers worked either at college or in a job - they "didn't have time." It's so addictive.

I would stop all money flowing in his direction. Everything. I'd tell him I'd match what he earned (if you can afford that.) Working part-time will help break the addiction simply because he'll be out of the house.

Sarsparella Mon 12-Feb-18 20:45:55

Yanbu at all, tbh I’d be tempted to remove the Xbox for his attitude, and suggest if he spent more time studying he wouldn’t find the A levels so hard

Dolphincrossing Mon 12-Feb-18 20:48:46

If you want him to get a part time job to instil personal responsibility and time management then I think you are misguided at this stage.

If you want to give him a sort of ultimatum I’m not sure a part time job is the best way to go about it.

Assuming you found the job for him, he still has to turn up and make an effort.

You could withdraw financial support, I suppose.

teaandtoast Mon 12-Feb-18 20:50:04

I wouldn't make him get a job. If he fails, he needs to fail on his own, not with a ready made excuse.

Can you and Dh decide together on what you expect from ds after a-levels and then set it out clearly to ds?
Ie, you won't be giving him money, he'll be paying you board etc or whatever.

Wolfiefan Mon 12-Feb-18 20:53:46

So who does he think is going to tax and MOT and service and put fuel in the car? I wouldn't be forcing him to get a job but I would make it clear you won't be paying for those things. And he needs to knuckle down and do some work for A levels or lose the gaming device.

HundredMilesAnHour Mon 12-Feb-18 20:54:48

Wow, sounds like he needs a kick up the backside to either get a job or study more (or both!). My parents wouldn't have tolerated this sort of behaviour. I was told to get a part time job at 15 or leave home (!) and I worked part time throughout my A levels (and by uni, I had 4 part time jobs). I also cleaned (dusted, hoovered etc) the house every day and did the washing-up each night.

I would be tempted to remove the Xbox as it really doesn't sound like he's pulling his weight. Life is just too easy for him right now. Which means adulthood will be an unpleasant surprise if you continue to enable him.

welshmist Mon 12-Feb-18 20:56:44

My 16 year old is doing 3 challenging A levels plus a city and guilds in CAD. He was 16 last July, worked shifts in a pub restaurant for the summer. Now we allow him to do one shift on a Saturday or Sunday more during holidays. It keeps him occupied rather than revision or x box. Teaches him how to deal with people from all walks of life. He now has a debit card, loves to shop at ASOS. now and again. He does moan about minimum wage when he works harder than the older ones lol.

I think it is good for him to work he is less shy now.

choseausername1 Mon 12-Feb-18 20:59:36

You’re not unreasonable at all.

Your son is obviously a very bright kid who probably thinks he’ll sail it through because of his gcse results, especially if they didn’t take much effort to pass.

I’d take away the power leads for the Xbox and the iPad and allow him to earn them back. He’s got time to play games? He’s got time to study. It’s your house and your rules, even if he thinks that not going to uni is the right decision right now... at least he’s set up for the future should he change his mind.

I know that I am certainly not doing now what I thought I’d be doing at 17!!! I can’t imagine many people are.

A job will help him understand the meaning of money- not just reliance on you. Plus if he hates it he might hit the books more ;)

I was a complete brat at 17, and it took my mother doing something similar to get me to cop on. Don’t feel guilty or unreasonable for making him face up to being a grown up.

Best of luck!

RUPaulsdrab Mon 12-Feb-18 21:01:28

It just feels like he's taking the piss at the moment. He'll be an adult in September! He doesn't go anywhere, he doesn't go out with friends, not sure he'd know how to even catch a bus apart from the school one fgs!

I got him a weeks work experience last year in my workplace - he was like a wet weekend. No go in him at all. I just don't know how to handle it. DH thinks we should be paying for him to get driving and that it will be the key to him growing up and spreading his wings. It'll be a waste of money, he won't go anywhere to drive it anyway!

Thebookswereherfriends Mon 12-Feb-18 21:03:02

I did not get a car until I could afford a car. Unless you live in the arse end of nowhere I'm sure he does not need a car. Once he gets given this car from the relative tell him he needs to fund it himself. He can either get a job to do so or leave it sorn until after his a levels when he has the time for a job. I would also fund him to the bare minimum. Don't buy any treats he likes, buy basic toiletries, bare minimum in clothes I.e. t shirts from Tesco. He needs to realise that life doesn't magically hand you everything you need, but someone has to fund it and if he wants anything decent he'll pull his finger out and start working one way or another.

Dolphincrossing Mon 12-Feb-18 21:03:02

I think you’re very unreasonable to give him everything and then to blame him because of it actually.

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