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Parents of both boys and girls

(21 Posts)
Howdoyousortoutboys Sat 19-Nov-16 13:42:58

DD is working hard at school and spend a satisfying amount of time doing homework and revising, is organised and tidy, and despite having a slight disadvantage in terms of raw intelligence compared to DS, I am sure will do extremely work because of her work ethic and self discipline. Unfortunately DS is not pulling his socks up and I am not sure how to help this. He is just lazy and minimalist, he is driving me bonkers. School reports and parents evening invariably tell the same thing, he is not making any efforts, particularly at home. Apart from shouting and policing and nagging, which is not fun and exhausting, what can I do? His dad is always away for work, I am basically on my own with this.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sat 19-Nov-16 13:48:32

I can't help but am in exactly the same position so you are not alone

DD very motivated, organised and hardworking

DS the exact opposite

Both naturally bright so DS is doing ok academically despite the lack of effort but it is so frustrating when he has the ability to do so much better

My DS is Y7 so I am just hoping that things improve in the next year or two before he starts GCSEs. DH says he was similar at that age and the competitiveness of exams are what motivated him so I'm hoping that might happen with DS

noblegiraffe Sat 19-Nov-16 16:05:02

If you can sort this, bottle it and sell it because it's an issue across the country. It's one of the reasons girls are outperforming boys at GCSE.

I think for boys there is an issue with appearing to be a hard worker, there is definitely a tendency for boys to disparage 'swots'. It's ok to do well in tests so long as you are clear that you did no revision and just winged it.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sat 19-Nov-16 17:35:34

It's depressing isn't it

Bribery is about the only thing my DS responds to but that feels unfair on DD as she does well without needing rewards

Ethelswith Sat 19-Nov-16 17:38:11

My DS is diligent and reliable.

My DD is scatty and does the minimum.

Individual personality is vastly more important than gonads, even during the puberty years.

You really do need to ditch the preconception that one sex is more likely to behave in a certain way, and support your Dc as an individual, whether you have boys, girls or both.

noblegiraffe Sat 19-Nov-16 17:50:02

You really do need to ditch the preconception that one sex is more likely to behave in a certain way

However in some cases it's true. Socialisation does cause differences between the sexes in attitudes to various things. To pretend it doesn't means any attempts to tackle the behaviour are less likely to succeed.

feelingdizzy Sat 19-Nov-16 17:57:02

Mine are the same dd focussed and diligent.ds a lovely lad,appears to be the only child out of the 800 in the school,who never gets any homework,and doesn't have to wear a tiesmile

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sat 19-Nov-16 18:05:31

Ethel I realise that not all children fit into this stereotype but the reality is that an awful lot do

I absolutely agree that as parents we need to respond to our DC as individuals

Have you any advice for dealing with lazy, unmotivated DC?

lljkk Sat 19-Nov-16 18:16:33

The stereotype fits mine pretty well. DD ultra ambitious & fierce high achiever. Older Boys were A) bored witless lazy wouldn't even try (and then not hard) until yr11 & B) willing to try but needs handholding thru almost all homework.

I don't worry confused... the boys have other issues, I can live with the boys underachieving. Not because they are boys, but they are their own bundle of desires & ambitions (or lack thereof). Therefore all the kids will earn what they get. Which is fine.

DS3 is MUCH more diligent & organised than his older bros, but I don't think he'll ever approach DD for sheer determination and all round bundle of star talents. DD doesn't take after me or DH, btw. I was more like the emotional basketcase scatter brained DS2 & DH is like the diligent steady DS3.

DD's career advisor at school, said that 2 of her DC are doctors & the other one is a lawyer. tbh, I can't even relate to people like that! I don't see how we could ever understand each other's experience.

Howdoyousortoutboys Sat 19-Nov-16 18:17:03

It's one of the reasons girls are outperforming boys at GCSE. Noblegiraffe, do you know the other reasons? Apparently some private schools have decided to become co-ed to improve their rankings in the league tables.

Traalaa Sat 19-Nov-16 18:20:24

Why don't you step back, so don't nag him into working and let him fail a bit. I don't mean longterm, but tell him you're tired of nagging and will help if he asks for it, but from now on it's up to him, so give him the responsibility. Most kids like being thought of as clever and I'd bet he'll hate it if he fails a few tests or starts slipping down the sets a bit. At some point he's got to have a jolt and surely better now than later. You don't have to be mean about it, or get involved in any conflict. Just be matter of fact and step away.

Howdoyousortoutboys Sat 19-Nov-16 18:32:25

I think titillating his competitiveness is probably what will work in the end, hopefully he will wake up before year 11!

noblegiraffe Sat 19-Nov-16 19:44:38


I should have said it's one of the reasons girls are currently outperforming boys at GCSE - girls tend to do much better in coursework which favours consistent effort over a period of time. It will be interesting to see what happens to GCSE results now that most controlled assessments have been scrapped (when coursework was scrapped from GCSE maths in 2009 boys overtook girls in results).

One of the other reasons girls do better than boys at GCSE is boys' literacy issues. 68.2% of girls get A*-C in English GCSE but only 52.3% of boys do, which is a massive difference, and will feed through to other essay-based subjects. There are issues with getting boys to write and especially to read that I'm sure English teachers are well aware of; as a maths teacher it doesn't have so much impact.

I don't know about private schools becoming co-ed. I think the research showed that girls tend to do better academically in single-sex schools, and boys tend to do better in mixed.

SAHDthatsall Sat 19-Nov-16 20:27:23

Maybe boys just realise deep down that they don't need to work as hard as girls and get good results because eventually they will get better jobs anyway, get paid more for doing the same job etc? Also more likely to get a job than a girl who is more qualified as firms don't want to take on the hassles and baggage that a woman brings with them? All true!

namechangedtoday15 Sat 19-Nov-16 21:33:25

As a mother of boy & girl twins (Y7) there is definitely a difference whether that be personality / experience / gender. I couldn't disagree more that boys don't want to be seen as clever, my DC are at single sex grammar schools and everyone wants to succeed.

For my DS, he is a "bare minimum" worker - but its worked for him so far. But now its not enough and we are struggling with changing his approach. He completely gets (as a footballer) that you have to practice and practice freekicks / penalties to be good, he just doesn't seem to see how that translates to academic work!

Watching with interest!

troutsprout Sun 20-Nov-16 17:19:00

I think the awareness about working hard to achieve your best kicks in much later for boys. Also a sense responsibility and independence.
Ds just didn't seem interested in looking forward.. planning or thinking sbout consequences . He was too immature for it.. living only in the moment.
He wasn't good at working out what people / teachers wanted from him either. Dd in contrast is brilliant at that.
His work ethic has improved post GCSEs as he has matured.

rubyshoes3 Sun 20-Nov-16 18:13:58

I have 3 boys, older one was always motivated in his studies. Second son was not at all bothered until he got his exam timetable then he started to revise. The youngest has just started secondary and he is already working hard because he wants to make sure he gets better pass marks then his brothers.
So for me I have found all 3 of my boys have been totally different.

Hoppinggreen Sun 20-Nov-16 19:41:17

DD is very very academic, offered Grammar place and Private Scholarship.
We never really pushed her, she's pretty diligent and really enjoys learning.
DS is (I think) as bright but he would rather just get his homework over with and is much more slapdash about it.
He's 4 years younger and I do wonder how much of it is nature or nurture, when she was an only one and pfb we put a lot of " effort " into DD and were probably a bit Tiger mum/Dad with her whereas we were much more chilled with DS. He is a lot less intense than his sister though and more laid back. He finds social situations much easier too.

Witchend Sun 20-Nov-16 19:55:16

I have 3 dc and they're all different.

Dd1's a perfectionist. Always does her hardest (except for tidying her room)
Dd2 likes to do well, but is somewhat slapdash. But will always make sure she's done enough to keep out of trouble.
Ds who couldn't care less, and will make sure he's done the bare minimum because he doesn't like being kept in at lunch to redo it.

DD1 takes of dh, dd2 takes after me, not sure who ds takes after!

ReallyTired Mon 21-Nov-16 09:29:00

Girls go through puberty earlier. Boys are hormonal and impossible at around 14/15 years old where as girls go through their impossible stage at 12/13. Being stroppy and rebellious in year 7 is less damaging than being stroppy and rebellious during the GCSE years.

I wish that Ds' secondary would take advantage of funding for a longer school day. Getting all homework done in school would benefit white working class teens.

BackforGood Mon 21-Nov-16 23:49:53

I agree with the poster who said if you find the answer then you should bottle it and sell it. You would become very rich, very soon.

Of course not all girls are like this and not all boys are like this, but you'd be fooling yourself to say that isn't how a considerable proportion are.

either way, whether it is for girls or boys, or for girls and boys - it would still be great to know what the answer is.
I just think the teenage years are so the wrong time to be taking exams which can change - or set - the course of your career path.

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