Out of my depth parenting difficult year 7 DS :-((6 Posts)
Since my DS started year 7 there has been one problem after another with his behaviour at school and attitude. He is a bright boy with no SEN and no identifiable 'excuse' for his can't be arsed attitude, laziness and lack of respect for authority
DH and I are both graduate professionals, not super high achieving or anything but typical MC parents who managed to conform in the education system.
We have previously got away with a fairly relaxed and gentle parenting style and being very strict and serious doesn't come naturally to either of us.
Our year 9 DD is thriving and a hard worker so we have never needed to be pushy parents with her as she just gets on with it.
We are trying our best to support, cajole and lecture DS to get him to understand the importance of education and keeping out of trouble but I feel we are falling short and must doing something wrong
The situation is really getting me down now
Any advice welcome on successfully parenting an unmotivated and lazy child who is clearly bright and naturally academic but just can't be arsed!
Have you asked DS why he behaves in this way, in a neutral fashion? There might be a good reason for it.
Any discussion results in him blaming everyone buy himself, it's always the teacher or the other child at fault apparently but never DS
I have had a serious chat with him to establish if there was some sinister cause for his behaviour (bullying, abuse) but I am as sure as I can be that is not the case
Have you tried just leaving him to it for a bit? Y7 leaves a bit of time for kick up the backside later on without major disaster now. He might be relishing the attention, albeit sought negatively.
Or secondary school is a bigger shock to the system than realised.
Let him know you care but won't be nagging etc. Punishments from school such as detention are of his own making etc.
My DS is now at Uni but during his high school years he could be very trying with us in particular, though luckily school wasn't too much of an issue.
Many teens go through periods of being totally self centred and self absorbed. You cannot tell them anything, as they know ALL the answers to everything. The 'can't be arsed' attitude is also part of it - they want to do what they want, when they want and they don't care about anyone else.
Previously they may have showered regularly or gone to evening activities etc but those things become less important. They want to fit in with their new friends and appear cool and nonchalant about everything. They have hormones rampaging round there bodies and can find it difficult to talk about themselves.
You may have to establish a new parenting style for your DS - I found patience that I never knew I possessed when dealing with drama and fall out with my DS. It sounds like your DS needs more guidance than your DD and would benefit from a firmer stance.
There's no point lecturing or nagging as they switch off - if he won't engage in meaningful talks about your worries you have to be blunt and tell him what's unacceptable, why and if he doesn't change then a, b or c is going to happen.
With some teens you have to decide which battles to fight as you cannot change everything. You then address the most pressing concerns with them e.g. Homework and school work being done.
You and your DH need to be a united front and set clear boundaries for your DS and tell him there will be consequences for not doing as you ask e.g.remove gaming console or loss of mobile phone or not allowed to fav sport activity - whatever you think will have most effect on him.
Parenting teenagers can be difficult and demanding and very stressful, but also very rewarding as they become independent young adults.
Thanks arbrighton and salsamad for your thoughtful replies
All good advice x
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