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Tell me about your bright, able but can't be arsed DC's

(61 Posts)
sandyballs Tue 12-Nov-13 11:52:52

I've posted on here before about 12 year old DD (Year 8). Thankfully her behaviour has improved since those posts but she still is still under performing in most lessons.

Feedback from teachers say that she's bright and able and when she sets her mind to it she can create some fantastic work ..... but she can't be bothered most of the time.

I've tried calm chats about the future, about how she will be doing exams in just three years, which prob sounds a life time away for her, but it really isn't. I've tried being cross and punishing. She just doesn't care.

She's a lovely girl, funny, kind, lots of friends, is involved with guides and lots of sport, but how can I get her to buckle down at school. It's the same with homework - at the weekend she had to do a PSCHE article on the history of alcohol, when I eventually managed to get her to sit down and do it she spent about two minutes cutting and pasting from google, producing a piece of work which very obviously wasn't her own.

When I look back at primary school she had a great thirst for knowledge and loved reading, homework, learning ........... I'm sad this has vanished and I'm worried about her future. If she was struggling at school but did her best I'd find it far easier than being capable but not bothering.

Any ideas/experience?

basildonbond Sun 17-Nov-13 06:40:06

All depressingly familiar here ... Ds1, extremely naturally bright - he just 'gets' things easily but also extremely lazy ... Was predicted all A*s for GCSE - came out with a sprinkling of A*s, As and a couple of Bs. Is utterly convinced of his superiority but doesn't seem to realise that the outward evidence doesn't support his conviction (71 boys in his year got all A*s and As so he's not even in the top third of his cohort). He's now in lower sixth doing IB in subjects he likes and is naturally good at and is still arsing around and getting behind - I could tear my hair out in frustration

Ds2 is in the top stream of his school - again is very bright but does the bare minimum and seems to think revision is 'cheating' - he's in Y9

And then we have dd (Y6) who's also very bright but who works hard and oh my, the difference!! I will be amazed if she doesn't end up being anything she wants to be - I just hope she doesn't feel she has to support her lazy brothers in their impecunious old age hmm

Willemdefoeismine Sun 17-Nov-13 08:07:37

Notice how it's mainly boys mentioned...says it all...

Basildonbond you are lucky that your DD has a different attitude - unfortunately our DS's has rubbed off on DD too ;-(

Timetoask Sun 17-Nov-13 09:47:24

I was like this at school. Left everything till the last minute, then stressed myself for a couple of days and everything was fine and rosy again when my marks were good.

The problem, is that although I did ok, I could have done so much better! If I was a more organised person and not a procrastinator. This habit has continued with me until adulthood and it is now so difficult to get rid of.

I know I shouldn't blame my parents (but I do!). My mum (main carer, dad worked long hours) is an extremely disorganised person as well. So although she always emphasised the importance of a good education, good career, etc, she never really showed us how to organise our time properly, how to have an orderly mind. She allowed us to watch far more TV than what was ideal.

I am desperately trying to avoid this problem with my own DC. Luckily DH is the total opposite!

lottysmum Sun 17-Nov-13 10:02:02

Timetoask - I could have written your post but I was born in the age where my parents expected me to get married and have children rather than have a career.,..they pushed my older brother but were laid back with me and I was therefore VERY lazy..... I had a conversation with my DD about this because she is very able but show signs of doing bare minimum sometimes or just lack of confidence motivation ...I think sometimes its down to whether their teacher can motivate them DD seems to have switched back on in English because she likes the teacher but turned off in Maths because the teacher in not motivating her...

Unfortunately for our DD her dad and I are both the same but did OK but didn't fulfill our potential...

notagiraffe Sun 17-Nov-13 12:50:46

Same here Time to ask. Takes a long time to unlearn those bad habits. DC are at a school where they are expected to really work - real nose to the grindstone stuff. Sometimes it freaks me out and I want to pull them out and send them somewhere laid back, but I have seen them develop from being idle and complacent, and realise how much I'd have got from a school that taught such self discipline early on.

lotty - when I got a place at an oxbridge college (vague so as not to out myself here) my mum said, shame it was you not your brother (he didn't get in) as you won't need your education and he will. Oh the good old days hmm

BerstieSpotts Mon 18-Nov-13 19:15:15

Yes! Bread you make a really good point. If you imagine that working hard means long hours, stress, burnout then you avoid it like the plague. However it's actually the opposite - that a little effort put in earlier will prevent the need for so much work that you do burn out. It's a silly catch 22 - I still do it now.

On that note I should really go and round up some rubbish or something else which isn't all the housework (that I'm ignoring) but is something.

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 19-Nov-13 08:17:50

Parents' evening today. This should be interesting...

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 19-Nov-13 21:56:06

The first teacher we saw (saws subject that he was actually feeling quite confident about) said that he's putting in about half the effort he could.

Every teacher said that he is capable of exemplary work and high achievement but that inconsistent effort means that he rarely produces the goods.

The word "coasting" came up a lot.

Several teachers said that they will not be able to argue the case for putting him in top sets for GCSEs unless he comes up with the evidence within the next few months.

The evening ended with a reality check from the head of year, who reminded him that he is still academically gifted (despite recent appearances) and that he would be of an ilk to be head prefect and apply to Oxbridge if that's what he chooses, but that he would have to start putting the effort in now.

As soon as we got home, he decided to re-do two pieces of homework. grin

Talkinpeace Tue 19-Nov-13 21:59:36

fingers crossed that it continues

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 20-Nov-13 12:53:27

I haven't RTWT, but I will tell you what happened with DS1. For a reason that I won't go into here, we had a meeting with his HoY in Y8. She was very clever and got reports from each of his teachers. The ones that were strict gave him good reports, the weaker teachers gave him not such good reports. But, the HoY told him that academic ability is not the only reason for the set placing in schools. Behaviour comes into it, too.

The wording from the horse's mouth made a definite difference to DS1. I won't say that he changed overnight into an academic fiend, but his attitude definitely changed. He's now doing A levels and has just applied for uni. He's on track for As and Bs.

I think in your situation I would ask for a meeting with HoY. Let your DD hear things from them, not just you, the parents who don't know anything smile!

Talkinpeace Wed 20-Nov-13 13:41:02

Very true, and DDs HOY is great, DS head of year is burnt out and everybody knows it (including them)

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