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How do you cope with having different expectations to h regarding education?

(40 Posts)
admysteltoe Thu 18-Dec-08 21:30:10

I'm having trouble understanding where h is coming from the way he talks about the dc's education. They have to get grade A or he isn't happy and thinks they should have all toys and treats taken away so they can learn.

I've put this in primary education as ds is 10, he'd be in the 6th year on UK buther ein Germany he's in a grammar style school already and it's really tough marking. One mistake and your A is gone. He ha sbrought 2 grade C'S home (a 3 in Germany) even though I sta with him all weekend doing maths he only got a 3 in his test. H says he must be stupid (ds) and what if I went out to work full time and didn't sit with him and work, he'd be even more stupid.

Am I maybe too easy going on the dc? I just tell them to do their best an dtry hard and I sit and help them with learning for tests etc but FGS they are 9 and 10. I wantto move back to UK because of this. H's answer is well millions of Germans get through their system so why can't our dc...

admysteltoe Thu 18-Dec-08 21:31:20

OMG, I didn't check that before I posted eh..I'll be getting all my toys taken off me too.

ScummyMummy Thu 18-Dec-08 21:31:28

Is your h in the army?

admysteltoe Thu 18-Dec-08 21:34:40

Lol, no but it was his greatest dream to join - he failed the entrance test and became a mad scientist instead.

choosyfloosy Thu 18-Dec-08 21:35:33

This sounds like a really major conflict between you.

What if ds does turn out not to be academic? What would that mean to your dh?

I do think though that this sounds like a cultural conflict as well, that it would be easy to get wrong. Are there any members of H's family, or other parents, who could model a different approach for him - and possibly even for you? I don't think either approach will work to make happy children while you are so far apart.

frogs Thu 18-Dec-08 21:36:21

Is your dh German himself? It's a very different mindset than in the UK.

admysteltoe Thu 18-Dec-08 21:39:33

No h isn't German but he was brought up to study - no play and only the best got into the good school later and only the top few got in to the good university etc. I can see what he means.

frogs Thu 18-Dec-08 21:42:34

Sounds like the combination of the Gm education system and his personality is always going to be an issue. Might he be less driven in a more laid-back system like the UK, or would he just be insisting that they went to super-pushy private or grammar schools?

admysteltoe Thu 18-Dec-08 21:56:22

I think the best think that could happen to us would be if we got back to UK. He did have a stupid idea of sending me out to work full time and sending ds to boarding school - as if that would improve his grades. I would never consider that though.

choosyfloosy Thu 18-Dec-08 22:01:14

Well, boarding schools do tend to have good results.... I don't think it's a stupid idea exactly, but clearly not something you want (I wouldn't either).

wouldn't he spend all his time in the UK complaining about the slackness of the children/teachers/other parents?

What do your dcs' teachers say? Might they be the best people to talk with?

ScummyMummy Thu 18-Dec-08 22:06:37

He sounds like a really difficult man to talk to about this issue, admysteltoe. Is he a warm and loving father in other ways?

frogs Thu 18-Dec-08 22:11:26

I think the german system is particularly difficult for somebody like this because of the constant, relentless testing for even quite young children. By contrast my dc never had a grade of any kind until they left primary school, apart from the levels in their SATS which aren't really used in the same way anyway.

MollieO Thu 18-Dec-08 22:11:33

He sounds like the 'Fast Show' competitive dad! Not everyone is going to be academic. Maybe he has some issues about failing his army entrance exam, hence the pressure he is now putting on his children. The best judge of what your ds is capable of is surely his teacher. If he/she thinks that he could do better then you need to find some way of supporting that. If your ds is working at his potential (and putting in the effort) then your ds' teacher could explain this to your dh.

Coldtits Thu 18-Dec-08 22:13:20

He sounds like a power crazed twat to be honest, and I'd deal with him by telling him so, then riding roughshod over his ridiculous attitudes.

frogs Thu 18-Dec-08 22:15:27

The teacher won't though, mollie, that's the problem. The German system is geared up to each child achieving the 'class target' by the end of the year, ideally with 1's and 2's for end of year grades, which are based on the average of all the tests they do in the course of the year.

Kids who don't achieve the target, which includes kids who get 5's or 6's in their report have to repeat the year. And if your grades aren't good enough, they threaten you with relegation to a secondary modern type school. As education systems go it's pretty red in tooth and claw.

MollieO Thu 18-Dec-08 22:31:45

That sounds awful. Is German his first language or second? That might be part of the problem.

Do you have family in the UK? If so then maybe boarding school near his grandparents might be an option unless you can persuade your dh to relocate back to the UK.

I suppose I'm lucky that I don't have a dh to consider when making education choices for my ds!

ScummyMummy Thu 18-Dec-08 22:54:59

Gosh, frogs. I think I'd be wanting to move home, in that case. I'm a bit fanatical on the "no pressure" front though, I must admit. Mine could sometimes do with a bit of a kick up the arse on the working harder front. But easing off on the pressure seems extra important to me if your son is trying really hard but not being rewarded, admysteltoe. Really soul destrying, that.

cory Thu 18-Dec-08 23:31:04

I am sorry but your dh sounds horrible. What if his son genuinely does not have the capacity to get all As? Is he going to punish him for that?

And does he think he himself should be punished for failing the army entrance test? Maybe you should withold sex?

This man sounds like an arch-prat.

admysteltoe Fri 19-Dec-08 07:30:23

Coldtits, that's maybe what his motive was for joining the army - to use his power crazed twatiness in his work! He does have a good side to him but it doesn't come to surface very often. I wouldn't describe him as a warm and loving father because (my excuse for him) he wasn't brought up that way. He loves his family but doesn't go about showing it often enough.

You're all right too - what if ds isn't a little Einstein like his dad wishes? I know of British/German dc who were getting low grades in Germany, then moved to UK and are now top of the class purely and simply thriving on the way of teaching and difference in attitude in UK. Ds is getting depressed about the work too so maybe it would be better for us to go to UK even without h - after all he should understand that it's all for their education.

piscesmoon Fri 19-Dec-08 08:30:41

I think you need to stop him before he damages your DC. I'm not sure how you do it though!
I would tell him to stop living through his DS-if he wants good grades he needs to take on extra study and do it himself.
I should have a clear word with him. Tell him that you will be supportive but that is it. Tell him DS may not be an A student but he is just as loveable. I would make it quite plain that you are not going to sit next to him helping him with Maths etc and that you are not going to punish him for getting lower grades.

Anna8888 Fri 19-Dec-08 08:33:58

I think that your DH ought to be doing the homework with your DS himself. It really is not on to expect you to make DS work to DH's standards.

And perhaps your DH would learn a thing or two in the process.

My DP does homework with the DSSs. He has very high expectations - and he gets the standards he wants. But only since getting fully involved. The DSSs aren't unhappy or pressured btw - they love being top of their class.

admysteltoe Fri 19-Dec-08 08:43:59

I would like him to sit with the dc and do homework but he has about 15 minutes a day with them - that's how much he works. He says there are are no dc who can't get good grades because it's all just practise.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, I try to teach the dc the school method because they get all confused if I start in English and with the old methods I had at school. I've had dd in tears trying to do some maths that she swears the teacher didn't explain in class but just handed out the homework. I get the feeling German schooling is alot about how much help the dc het at home. They don't really teach them at school, all the real learning happens at home.

Anyway, last day ofterm today but we'll be doing abitof maths and German every day and they could both do with some English training too as I've recently found out that they won't be getting grade A in English 'just because they are British' hmm they have to conform to German school English which doesn't come naturally to them.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 19-Dec-08 08:45:21

But maybe the OP's DS just isn't that academically inclined?

And his methods might result in a tantrum and a sulk, if he tried to help with homework.

Does your DH realise there is more to life than academic results? Is he a happy man? Your DC deserve a more balanced approach, and some concern about their emotional and physical lives, not just their intellectual life.

Anna8888 Fri 19-Dec-08 08:48:59

To be honest, I know that I will not be able to help DD with her school work for as long as DH will because it is the French system that he went through and he will be better at helping her meet its expectations than I will.

However, there is much more to education that fulfilling the requirements of a school system and I know that what I bring to DD will be much more equally valuable.

Anna8888 Fri 19-Dec-08 08:49:17


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