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Pleeeeease tell me my DS will improve! Inspiration needed!!

(15 Posts)
trottingon Thu 21-Jul-11 13:03:40

My DS is leaving Yr 6 and there are all the usual school celebrations going on this week to say good bye and good luck.

This sounds awful and I know I shouldn't compare but he just doesn't seem to have any drive to achieve and I mean academically, in sport, in art.....nothing

We think he is gorgeous (but we would wouldn't we) but he isn't excelling at anything at all....anything. He is very able but soooo lazy and depends on everyone around him.

I have just watched all his classmates, pretty much without exception, receive medals, trophies or just kind words about how much they have tried and how dependable they are. DS?....nothing. So sad. Please tell me it all comes together at some point!!!sad

Deaddei Thu 21-Jul-11 13:07:23

He will be doing so many new things at secondary school he will find something to drive him forward....dd took no interest in sport at primary but now represents the school. She was not particularly academic but excels now at languages.
He'll make new friends who will encourage him to do things.
He'll be fine!!,

trottingon Thu 21-Jul-11 13:13:31

Thanks D, I think it just hit me quite hard when I saw him alongside his peer group and he seemed to be in a different league regarding his maturity.

Was starting to wonder where we have gone wrong!!

Ormirian Thu 21-Jul-11 13:22:23

Sounds like my DS1. Everyone loved him, he had lots of friends, he was OK at everything but good at no particular subject. Now in Yr 9 - still a bit of an also-ran academically although he has his moments in certain subjects. BUT, most importantly, he has developed a love of and skill in music - he got an academic acheivement award and a subject star in music and his band won the Yr 9 pop project by a huge margin. It might not be the area I'd have chosen for my DC to excel in but who cares! he is energised and really proud of himself. I have no idea where it will lead if anywhere, but it's good to see your child start to beleive in himself.

BTW he didn't pick up a guitar until yr 7.

DB was the same (30 something years ago) - prep school he was bored and demotivated but he found his feet in senior school. An inspirational teacher or a subject that grabs the attention makes all the difference.

Don't despair!

trottingon Thu 21-Jul-11 13:33:47

That is just the kind of thing I needed to read Ormirian!! Thanks so much. We can only hope that if we encourage and value them they will believe in themselves.
DS does play guitar and is quite good but again he is not driven to improve and rarely practices. Perhaps he will become more motivated at High School....that would be great!!

Ormirian Thu 21-Jul-11 15:49:04

Well perhaps encourage him to start a band then! DH started drum lessons in yr 7, and then switched to guitar but he was finding it a chore until he and some friends decided to form a band. They have now made plans to practice over the holidays in our garage and are recording at the college a prize.

Shodan Thu 21-Jul-11 16:08:41

Sounds like my ds1 too. I used to despair of him, frankly.

Then he started yr 10 and it was like I had a changeling. For the first year ever I have had a glowing report from school, he's getting As in his work and his teachers were falling over themselves at Parents evening to tell me how well he's doing/what a valuable member of his classes he is. (Which nearly had me snivelling in abject thanks, actually)

Apparently my second eldest brother as also the same - and now he has a PhD. He said it was just that he didn't see the need to work hard any earlier!

So don't give up hope. Some kids just take a little longer...

Carrotsandcelery Thu 21-Jul-11 16:16:01

There are so many areas where a child can achieve and not all of these are formally recognised. It doesn't mean they are not important.

There are so many stages where this drive can manifest itself too. It doesn't have to be in childhood.

I went to a school where achieving straight A's was very common and you were basically thick unless you did.

Winning a prize for anything was virtually impossible as the same 4 people won them all every year.

I went on to university believing I was a complete non event, despite performing perfectly well there, making great friends etc.

It was not until I was a fully fledged adult with a teaching job that I was really driven to do well. I got by fine until then but once I felt responsible for the futures of all those children I pushed and pushed and pushed myself.

His time will come. Many of those who won everything at school have lived very ordinary lives - happy enough ones but no different to everyone elses.

happygardening Wed 27-Jul-11 07:36:14

My DS1 (14) was just the same. One day by a stroke of luck he saw a leaflet in a shop for our local ATC (air training corp) and said he wanted to join. I nearly fell in fact I think I think I did fall over over he has never actually wanted to join anything in his whole life. Its a big commitment 2 1/2 hours twice a week virtually 52 weeks of the year, lots of drill, tests etc but its changed him as a person; he's more confident and disciplned and now he knows what he wants to do when he leaves school; join the RAF. He is the most non sproty person you could ever meet and they do games on a regular basis and he loves it! He looks fab in the uniform and cares for it in a way he doesn't for his other clothes.
I'm not saying its right for everyone but dont despair out there is something that he would want to do. All he has to do it find it and sadly I cant give you any tips on how he can do that!

trottingon Wed 27-Jul-11 17:19:05

We decided not to do the big push for the Yr 6 SATs because it was a constant battle and the only people focused were DH and me!!!
I am just hoping that you are all right and that he will at some point flick the switch and realise that there is so much inside him, whether that be academic, artistic, musical or in sport.
I know it sounds awful but I just don't want him to be a loser!!
Thanks for all the positive comments...

haggisaggis Wed 27-Jul-11 17:26:22

Think I could have written the same about my ds due to starth high school after teh summer. He gets on well with everyone but seems to have no motivation to push himself. He picks most things up really easily to a basic level but then doesn not do any more to push himself further. I find it so frustrating!

trottingon Wed 27-Jul-11 17:40:12

The thing that really distresses me haggis is the fact that some of his friends are starting to take the rise out of him (e.g. calling him simple) and he is playing up to it. I don't know if you get this with your DS?

DS is no fool and is capable I’m sure, but I am concerned that it might become a self fulfilling prophecy. I don’t know what to do about that…

happygardening Wed 27-Jul-11 18:40:14

My son has also been teased in the past and been called similar names to simple. The one thing I have done is literally make him do things. His last school went on a weeks outward bound holiday and even as I was putting him on the coach he was saying he didn't want to go! My comment "get on the coach your going" end of story he loved it! I made him sail with his prep school ignoring the "i'm going to drown" comments he loved that too. God knows whether or not this helped. He remains cautious but its definately improving. I have also found that given the chance he rises to responsibility I work shifts and sometimes he has to get himself up and off to school on his own and he does. He left his boarding prep last year and changed to a large but good local comp he couldn't even cross a road when he started now he's out and about shopping managing his own money and not getting run over.

trottingon Wed 27-Jul-11 18:50:48

Sounds like you have done everything possible happygardening to support your DS and it is paying off. I agree with you and I do try to encourage independence and self confidence.
I hope that, like your son, he will find some motivation to excel and I am hoping that this negativity from some 'so called' friends won't stick. I always want him to know that he can achieve anything!! Sometimes they listen to friends more than us though!!

happygardening Wed 27-Jul-11 19:08:08

Some other things that have helped: DS1 has a younger brother only one year behind him in school years but five years ahead of him academically and he has a can do ethos to life, joining everything he can and tackling everything with gusto. Since Sept 2010 they have been at different schools, lead differnt lives, and their differences are thus less obvious to DS1, his teachers and friends. I also made DS1 join 2 clubs at school and threatened to take his pocket money away if he forgot to go. I know this makes me sound like a complete cow but it does work.

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