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Need advise on dealing with 18yr DS

(16 Posts)
TryingtoQuit Wed 05-Jan-11 16:25:51

Our DS is a nice person. We've had no late night knocks from police or calls from hospital because hijinks have gone wrong. But now in his second year of A'levels he refuses to accept that his heart is not in it and leave education.
This has become apparent after dismal results in August, followed by phone calls from school about his many absences since the beginning of September, which culminated in a poor report about his prospects from a school meeting in December.

We have given him several options. To stay in education, put his band on hold until July, stay at home and we will support him. Or, leave education, get a job (even part-time), work on his music and stay at home were we can support him. Or find a place of his own were he can do as he chooses.

His reply is 'Well I'm not going to stop going to school'...this exsaperates me. Because just this morning, first day back, I got the shock of my life when I went into his room to put some clean washing in and who was still in bed at 1pm ?!!! He should have been at school by 11 at the lastest. As he is walking out the door at 1.30 and only because I asked if he'd be back in for dinner did he tell me he has a gig tonight.

Really don't know what to do sad. Maybe I just need a moan.

There is also a girlfriend who takes up alot of his time too.

dreamingofsun Wed 05-Jan-11 16:48:13

we've had various rows about schoolwork with our oldest (your son's age) and his younger brother. we've learnt that nagging makes no difference to the oldest and just ends in arguments, but that the younger one needs it and in a way seems to appreciate it.

if your son is like our oldest - which sounds the case- then i think you just have to carry on as you are - supporting him morally and financially and giving him a bit of time to decide what he wants. it seems a waste but once they get to this age they have to take some decisions/choices themselves with our help and encouragement and a few ground rules and compromises.

they can be a pain sometimes though can't they.

noddyholder Wed 05-Jan-11 16:50:32

I am in a similar situation atm.parents evening tonight no appointments book meaning I have spent 2 days on teh phone sorting it and I dread what I will hear tbh.Hard as ds was model student and loved school!

whenigrowup Thu 06-Jan-11 11:02:33

I think a moan is fair enough! I share a lot of your frustrations. My son has just turned 18 and has managed to scrape into college. No matter how much they see school as a pain and a drag it almost seems to represent a safety net; something to moan about but because you have to be there you don't have to make a decision about it.Fact is he doesn't have to be there; it's that awkward cusp between child and adult! You sound like you've very sensibly spelt out the options and dealt with it adult to adult, but, like my son I think, he's not quite in the frame of mind to deal with it like an adult. It's gut wrenchingly hard at times but we realised that all we can do is carefully point out the realities, offer support and try to help with the crises. I cling to the hope that my son will know in time that we as parents tried to do our best!! Having come this far through school maybe there's something to be said for seeing it through to the end and hopefully salvaging something (you never knwo he might manage to achieve more than you or he expect); it might leave a few more options open as well. Hang in there; you are definitely not alone with this one!
Noddyholder; glad I'm not the only one who suffers with this one at parents evening!

maryz Thu 06-Jan-11 12:56:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TryingtoQuit Thu 06-Jan-11 13:59:27

Thanks all for your comments and support. It is always good to know that there's others out there with similar challenges.

He didn't come home last night 'too tired' after his gig hmm. (His girlfriends is further away than our house from the venue!)But on the up side did text to say he would be around at the weekend and we could have "THE TALK" then.

DH and I have agreed that there's no point trying to persuade, cajole, criticise or demand a change in his attitude, but neither will we be funding a school trip to Austria for 4 days to the tune of £400 + spending money.The trip is not fundamental to any of his courses and when it first came up we said it would only go ahead if he showed improvement in his interest in school, after yesterday I think everyone knows that is not going to happen. We both feel a bit guilty about it, but can't see any other way to show him that when you make an agreement with someone you need to stick to it or be prepared to deal with the consequences when you don't. As he tells us, often, 'I'm 18 now, stop treating me like a child'. Nothing one can add to that really is there. Except, perhaps....

Welcome to the wonderful world of adult responsibility oh son of mine wink

noddyholder Thu 06-Jan-11 20:44:57

Well parents evening was dreadful.All his tutors without exception said he was bone idle and showed no interest and thought it was a social club!The head of year said he should get a job or go travelling as he didn;'t seem interested in working hard.they said it was a shame because he was without question one of the more able and creative students but they have put him on a stage 1 disciplinary and he has had a HUGE wake up call.I told him maybe he shold get a job and experience the real world and he nearl;y fainted He is 16 dyspraxic and so not ready for work!He went to college today with a whole new head on and has already approached the additional support team to help him plan a timetable to get organised!He says he just let it go so far he thought there was no way back and although he may fail next weeks exams he is dtermined to catch up and do well in June.Bloody teenagers try this for size and then come on here moaning about baby led bloody weaning grin!

maryz Thu 06-Jan-11 21:14:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noddyholder Fri 07-Jan-11 10:40:04

This new improved ds is scaring me even had a 'chat' with his dad this morning which didn't involve eye rolling and deep breaths grin

TryingtoQuit Fri 07-Jan-11 13:35:17

Noddy- LOL. Hope it continues.It seems we all have the same dilemma. Generally nice boys who we just wish would take one more small step on the road to manhood for their own sakes more than ours. Fingers crossed for you and him.x

Maryz- We got the Austria Trip letter in October, so I think that's more than enough time. As you say, maybe he'll realise what we were up against in 20years time when he has his own teens to deal with. Now there's a thought.

Going to have 'THE TALK' tonight. Can't wait hmm

haggis01 Fri 07-Jan-11 14:49:35

Not just DS's my DD is pretty similar. She hates her 6th form college but refuses to leave or change to a different one. I think she wants to stay in with her (meagre) friendship group. She has no idea what she wants to do next year - has applied to Ucas but not feeling good about subject choice or offers and is finding it hard to get motivated to study for upcoming exams.

I think teens are under a lot of pressure at GCSE - constant module exams and coursework and it doesn't let up at A level, all they can see in their future is more and more work (and exams/tests even for vocational things) so it can look pretty depressing. At least in the early 80's I was able to mooch about all year and then cram after Easter and look forward to aa free 3 years at Uni. We have suggested travelling to DD but she accused us of wanting to get rid of her to get her room for a study and sending her somewhere awful like Africa where she could raped and killed!

Hate the school parents evening system where your child has to run around booking appointments with the teacher for you - does not work especially when there are certain teachers your child wants to avoid you meeting!

Countrygirl19 Mon 10-Jan-11 23:25:44

Late to this discussion but I am so 'pleased' that sixth form attendance is an issue with other parents (no comfort in these words).
My, usually v lovely, daughter (D?) is still proving very erratic with her attendance despite working towards A2s and in her 3rd year of the Sixth Form.
She doesn't want my (our) involvement or interest in any area of her studies - very hard as I work at the school where she is studying and keep getting up-dates on non-attendance! I will ask her teachers to talk to her about it as was suggested in one post.
Have to step back a little now and watch the painful steps she is taking whilst still very much wanting to go to uni.
Who knows but I have found this site v. helpful just knowing that others are in the same situation. All the best.

sharbie Mon 10-Jan-11 23:35:02

oh gosh yes

i have learnt myself the last few weeks to just take a few steps back and let ds feel he has some control over his 16 and a half he was telling me he wanted to drop out of college and get a place to live on his own.
awful times just awful and everything you have done over the years gets thrown back at you.but give him time and endless patience ( i am trying) and a bit of bribery/blackmail seems to do the trick.until the next time of course.

canseethe Tue 11-Jan-11 00:11:33

I feel really sorry for them all. The pressures on teenagers are awful. And at school it's all too easy just to give up on yourself. The teachers are way too busy to notice that you're beginning to slide off the map.

Swedes1 Tue 11-Jan-11 09:29:19

If you read through some of the posts on the teenage boards, you'll see that some people are worried about their teenagers having no social life, even though they're working hard at A level.

You appear to be acting in an inconsistent way. On the one hand you're making him go to school (rescuing him) and on the other hand you are trying to persuade him to give up (trying to get him to take responsiblity).

Get the school on side, tell them that if he is late you would like them to invoke their disciplinary procedures (which surely ends in expulsion if they're repeatedly ignored?) and tell him you aren't going to rescue him any more.

I reckon he'll step up to the plate.

TryingtoQuit Tue 11-Jan-11 10:52:14

I can see why you think we are being inconsistent Swedes1, but the underlying idea behind telling him there are other options is to try and get him to commit to something. At the moment everything in his life is done half heartedly and it is that mindset that we are trying to overcome.

We have said that our ideal is that he carries on and does his best at school, but that if he is not comfortable with that he needs to make a decision.

We are constant in our support of whatever he chooses to do and I think at this time in his life thats all we can offer.

He is already on a warning from the school about his attendance and has had to sign an agreement with them to 'try harder' in the future. It is up to him how seriously he takes it.

All this is of little significance at the moment as he has not been home since Thursday, choosing instead to stay at his girlfriends house to "revise" hmm

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