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Now I know why I always regretted that DS~1 was not a joiner and a do-er.

(41 Posts)
OrmIrian Wed 22-Jul-09 16:56:09

DS#1 doing OK in Yr7. OK not great. Par for the course for my eldest. We went to his acheivement assembly to see him receive a certificate for 'consistently good attitude to learning'. And realised that virtually all the other pupils also had certificates for major contribution to non-academic activities or to school clubs. DS has never been good at joining things. He has now missed out on the robotics club that he was desperate to join because he couldn't be arsed! And the eco club and local science forum for the same reasons. Next yr they will be recruiting the new Yr7s and it will even harder for him to get involved. I spoke to his tutor before and was told that DS needs to sort it out for himself and he's been told who to speak to and has done nothing ! <growl>

All his teachers tell me that he is polite and helpful and a generally nice kid. But I so wish he had some bloody fire in his belly and actually sorted a few things out for himself. I feel frustrated that he is in danger of letting secondary school and all it's opportunities pass him by sad.

Sickofbloodyswineflu Wed 22-Jul-09 17:01:06

My 10 year old will going into Y7 this time next year and I have the same concerns about him..bare minimum boy we call him. Its frustrating but maybe when he misses out on a few good things he will get the message and the motivation he needs?

OrmIrian Wed 22-Jul-09 17:03:27

bare minimum boy is about right grin

OrmIrian Wed 22-Jul-09 18:15:51

Just has a chat with DS. Apparently he did talk to the teacher in question but apparently he then decided not to bother as on that particular day he'd rather go to the library and play physics games on the computer hmmAnd he did go to the Eco club and planted a tree which was 'alright' but not interesting enough to go back apparently.

Gnnaggghhharrgg! <bangs head on desk> How do you motivate a person that simply won't be motivated? And yes I know it's his school career not mine. But I know how much easier it is to get involved when it's provided on a plate.

lljkk Wed 22-Jul-09 18:24:20

I have similar problems with ds (soon to start Yr5). I asked same questions elsewhere, how to instill motivation/self-discipline in our DC.

OrmIrian Wed 22-Jul-09 18:28:04

I thought that when he really wanted something - the robotics was one of the deciding factors in choosing his school - it would be enough of a motivation. I was seemingly wrong.
If you find the answer - other than violence wink - please let me know.

lljkk Wed 22-Jul-09 18:35:09

Times Online Article.
Part of the references are extreme; at least I don't feel like DS has huge problem of self-control. But otherwise, I like the honesty in that piece about difficulty in getting a child started, and the admission of general familial dysfunctionality, .

OrmIrian Wed 22-Jul-09 18:39:57

DS knows what he loves - skate boarding. He sticks at that and is improving hugely. But that isn't a school activity hmm He also improved at hw when he started yr 7.

DD is very self-motivated at school re academic work. But not in anything else. The only thing she has stuck at has been riding. She's tried everything else and given up.

TheProvincialLady Wed 22-Jul-09 18:53:23

Orm I think you are a bit hard on your DC (in the nicest possible way). Listen to yourself about DD - you are totally focussed on the negatives. What I read is that your DD is very self motivated at school work and has stuck at riding as her main interest. A lot of kids do a bit of this, a bit of that and no real interest. It all souns good to me.

Meanwhile, your DS is passionate at skate boarding and works at it. And he spends his lunchtime doing physics games FFS, not beating other kids up and smoking! If it isn't his personality to be a joiner and a doer then so be it - I feel a bit frustrated with DH sometimes for the same reason because I am a joiner etc. But then he gets frustrated with me for getting involved with a million things and never having time for myself or him.

Imagine if your mum was criticising you for not having stuck at ballet (for example), when you have stuck at running and made it a real passion rather than a passing whim because that's what your friends do etc.

OrmIrian Wed 22-Jul-09 18:57:07

Am I, lady blush

I don't mean to be. I think they are damned wonderful TBH. And I do remember mum having a go at me for the same things (my lack of joining and sticking is something I regret now) and it upset me. I don't really mention it to them for that reason but it does bother me.

But you are right of course. I just get frustrated I guess. Having been there myself.

lazymumofteenagesons Wed 22-Jul-09 18:59:32

At least you have got a bit of time. i have a 17 year just finished AS levels whose report stated that it is a shame he runs in just before lessons and is out of the premises as soon as lessons finished. In other words does not contribute to anything outside of timetable.

For 4 years I have been trying to get him to go to something. he even avoided football team cos matches on saturday afternoon.

He is passionate about playing the guitar but never joined a band or jazz club.

Now it is his last year and he says he may go to various 'societies' - he's left it a bit late!

Sorry not much help, just sympathy.

Hassled Wed 22-Jul-09 19:05:05

Orm - my DS1 was also a Bare Minimum Boy, and coasted through school doing just about enough, academically and extra-curriculum wise.

But he has really changed at University - I have no idea what happened but suddenly he seems ambitious and driven. He wants to get a First, and seems to be working hard enough that it's not completely improbable. So don't depair just yet - it may just take a while.

TheProvincialLady Wed 22-Jul-09 19:05:12

Only in this thread I mean!

I already catch myself trying to engineer my DS1's personality etc so he won't suffer the same problems I did at school with shyness, being different etc(he is 2!)blush But I am not shy now, and my individuality has made me successful in my career and somehow moderately popular in later life. I guess there are many and varied paths to success.

<strokes beard>

seeker Wed 22-Jul-09 21:41:20

I have a dd who has always found it hard to join in things - even things she is desperate to do. And she has always said things like "I didn't want to" or "I would rather do..." even though I knew that she really wanted to. She's found it much easier in year 8 - because she knew more people and knew the teachers and where the room was - don't despair!

webwiz Wed 22-Jul-09 22:49:26

My DCs come in all three flavours: completely unmotivated, hugely self motivated and one in the middle. My eldest DD is almost 18 and has driven me mad with her lack of motivation - homework and coursework is left to the last minute and she took part in precisely none of the many many things on offer at school and sixth form. I wish I'd given her a bit of a shove a few years ago because I think it would have helped her to have a more positive outlook. I can't imagine her joining anything at university but I'll wait and see. smile

DD2 is the absolute opposite - she is 16 and has just taken her GCSEs while singing in two choirs, dancing, playing the flute, rehearsing for the school musical and completing all her work on time without a word from me. I haven't treated the girls any differently but DD1 will say "it looks boring" and DD2 will be hopping up and down saying "let me do it".

DS is 12 and falls slap bang in the middle, he will do things but he doesn't like to be overloaded. I respect the fact that he likes time to chill out a bit especially as this has been his first year at secondary school. He's also a bit rubbish at finding the right room for school activities but I think that will be better when he is in year 8. I think if he starts showing DD1 tendencies I will encourage him very strongly to take part in things because I think it has a knock on effect on school work and general well being.

The article says its not about nature/nurture but just to add to the nature side DD2 was wildly active before she was born (her little feet never stopped kicking!) and has just carried on like that ever since grin

snorkle Wed 22-Jul-09 23:19:50

Do you think children tend to polarize webwiz? I have two at opposite extremes too so I can feel your fustration OrmIrian.

OrmIrian Thu 23-Jul-09 07:56:24

Thanks everyone. I am glad not to be alone in this.

webwiz - "DD2 will be hopping up and down saying "let me do it". See that was my DD until about a yr ago. She wanted to do everything. Now, not so much. I think she may be a bit tired - she has put a lot into her school work and the class play this year. I am hoping when she starts secondary in a yr she will grasp the opportunities she is offered.

Here's hoping Yr8 will make the changes with DS#1. He is starting guitar lessons - which is great. But I have to admit to a mean little bit of me that wished he would choose something on offer free rather than something that will cost me another an arm and a leg hmm

edam Thu 23-Jul-09 08:06:16

webwiz - sounds horribly like your dd may be heading for journalism. grin Or another career with lots of pressing deadlines.

I am a journalist and would say the vast majority of us seem to have been drawn to this career partly because you HAVE to meet immediate deadlines. Give a journalist a lengthy deadline and they will procrastinate until the very last minute.

Point is, people whose brains are wired to need immediate external pressure before they can get off their behinds do fall into careers that fit. (And I'm sure there are other careers with similar pressures, it's just I don't know about them.)

webwiz Thu 23-Jul-09 08:48:55

Hi snorkle - I would have thought its a bell curve thing with most kids in the middle happily doing a few things they enjoy and a smaller number at the two extremes. DH was motivated to do well at school etc and works hard but has done nothing other than play a bit of football (and a lot of watching it) he doesn't really get the value of taking part in things or the need to pay for expensive lessons on musical instruments for the DCs. I am a self confessed doer and feel there is something missing if I'm not at some sort of committee or starting something new.

I think perhaps DD1 would have done more if she'd had a bit more self esteem and wasn't scared of trying new things which is a bit different from not "needing" to do anything. Perhaps its our job as parents to help our kids find the right balance for them personally.

snorkle Thu 23-Jul-09 10:24:19

you are probably right about the bell curve thing webwiz, I just wondered if there was some family dynamic effect coming to play where children in the same family actively tried to be as different from each other as possible.

OrmIrian Thu 23-Jul-09 11:31:10

hassled - Just re-read your post. Thanks for the reassurance. I hope that will work with DS too. He always does just enough to get by. When he first started Yr7 he was so enthusiastic that I hoped things had changed - but as the year went by I realised that no... he was still the same grin

claricebeansmum Thu 23-Jul-09 11:39:03

Am so pleased to have found this thread. We have just met up with friends whose children are swimming for county, singing for the country, etc etc and my two are just not interested. We give them opportunities but DS just can't be arsed TBH.

OrmIrian Thu 23-Jul-09 11:48:29

Same here clarice. At first I used to try to beg, bully and cajole my DS into doing things and sticking with it. Then I began to think it wasn't fair to do that so I let him drift away. And the acheivements assembly brought back all those feelings of inadequacy i had as a child that I didn't do loads of extracurricular stuff, because it appears that it really matters. Still sad And no any old extracurricular activities either - just the ones that the school deems worthy.

fircone Thu 23-Jul-09 13:22:01

Interesting thread.

At the moment the dcs are pottering around the house, busy doing nothing. Everyone else is off doing sporty camps, music masterclasses etc etc.

Whenever I suggest some sort of hobby to ds, he groans deeply.

But... do I belong to anything? Er, no. I keep saying to ds, "Learn from my mistakes", but he really seems to have inherited the lone wolf gene.

LIZS Thu 23-Jul-09 13:32:34

Interesting , could easily be ds, 11 and just going into year 7. He is useless at taking in information and acting upon it without prompting. Has no concept of having to seize the moment, over thinks what he might like to do then regrets it when too late.

Maybe he gets it from me .... <sigh>

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