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Feel like giving up with DS(5 Posts)
Feel as though I've reached the end of my patience with DS 15 in year 11. Thought he was depressed about 18 months ago so had him referred to CAMHS. He's improved so much since then and although he's an anxious child - demonstrated through aggression!! He's getting so much support from school, CAMHS, and me and DH. He's really bright but is refusing to do any and I mean any revision despite much help from various people. GCSE's looming. Tells us he's done it then tells therapist he's too sad. Trouble is, he's absolutely fine when playing his games, seeing friends (rarely does this though). He eats well, plays football and sleeps. Feel like he's going to flunk his exams and quite honestly not sure if I care any more....
I have received a lot of sensible and wise advice in the Teenagers section. If you don't get many responses here, then you could try posting your question in there.
Until then, I don't have any advice but I can sympathise. DS1 is 14, has problems with anxiety and low mood / hopelessness. OK at home at the moment, but problems with disengagement and lack of effort at school.
I don't know how much help I'll be as my kids are 4 and 6, but I was a rebellious teen so hopefully this'll help a bit.
Like I said, I was rebelious. I didn't often do as I should and I did go off the rails a bit. I skyved school often and when it came to my GCSE's I didn't do any revision. I'm dyslexic, though this wasn't diagnosed until I was 19, though I've always been very naturally intelligent (seems wrong to blow my own trumpet like that...).
Anyway, as it turned out, despite all of my shortcomings, I sat all of my GCSE's and passed all with grade C and above. I think there's a lot to be said for natural intelligence!
After GCSE's I got to chose what I wanted to do for A-levels and because it was my choice rather than enforced, because I found more enjoyment in education, I went on to take an advanced GNVQ, an A-level and two AS-levels, followed by two university degrees.
I think that the only advice I can offer is that you support your son on an emotional level in anyway you can see he needs and leave the rest to itself. At the end of the day, exams can be re-sat if needs be.
If he comes to understand that you'll be there no matter what, that's a good job as a parent in my book.
Having had a dd who suffered extreme anxiety during her GCSE years and in the end did a reduced number of GCSE's, I can only second nldm's advice.
Be there for him as a mum. Support him emotionally. GCSE's are not the end of the line. Dd made two suicide attempts before she realised that. That could have been the end of the line.
There are various ways of picking up after a bad performance at secondary. DD moved on after her GCSE's, found a (very good) sixth form college that agreed to take her with minimum requirements and is now doing very well in her A-levels.
He has a long life in front of him. And being able to play football is good: it is bound to have a positive effect on his health and consequently on his mood.
What I found with a medically anxious teen is that there is a temptation to try to make the rest of their life as miserable as the part they are anxious about. But ime that is self-defeating. It just takes away the platform they might use to raise themselves up again.
When dd first started dropping out of school we wanted to stop her from going to youth theatre, because we felt so bad about her being seen out and about when she wasn't at school. Eventually we realised that it was the theatre that represented hope for her. CAHMS were also very firm on that point: don't stop her from doing the one healthy and positive thing in her life. So eventually we told dd that whatever else happened we would not take the drama lessons away from her. She is now studying drama and acting at college and is planning to apply for stage school. It was worth holding out.
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