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My DS (19) started university last week and has begun skipping classes already!

(18 Posts)
Witco Wed 28-Sep-11 10:09:07

He bunked off college for most of his A level classes (bored) and scraped through with half-decent results. He is 'arty' so put together a portfolio and did an interview for Graphic Design and was accepted. Now he's going on about how it's the wrong course, wants to do Fine Art instead but is lying in bed, not doing anything about trying to change his course. Am at the end of my tether but he's 19 so what can I do? Makes my blood boil!!!

Notquitegrownup Wed 28-Sep-11 10:21:07

Is he living at home? In that case you can start stipulating conditions of being there - pulling his weight around the house, getting a part time job etc. However, if he is away from home, you really can't do anything, especially if he is funding himself via student loans etc. And making mistakes, finding your own motivation is all part of growing up. However, it is an expensive way of doing it these days.

It's early days yet, and he may yet find the energy to a) change course or b) realise that learning is not supposed to be all fun, and that you just have to knuckle down to do it or c) discover that you can skip a few lectures, still have a good time at Uni, but really shouldn't worry your mum by telling her exactly what you are doing/feeling all the time.

Since he has told you, you can return the confidence by sitting him down when he is next at home and explaining how you feel, but it would be wrong to expect him to take on board the solutions that you suggest. He is 19 now, and has to find his own way forward. You need to be grown up enough to decide how much you can afford to support him financially, or otherwise, and to make the boundaries clear to him. The rest really is up to him.

Witco Wed 28-Sep-11 10:27:18

NQGU, he's living at home and has done nothing about getting a part-time job apart from putting together a CV under duress. We fund his college costs, bus ticket but apart from that he gets paid for doing work around the house/garden. I just find this inertia exhausting and very stressful. DH & I work full-time and we also have a 10 year old, so it's a busy house that requires everyine to pull their weight in order to work. I keep hoping he'll mature and be the loving child we used to enjoy havig around!

Witco Wed 28-Sep-11 10:27:54

Oh, and I found he wasn't going in because I came home unexpectedly - busted!

ForYourDreamsAreChina Wed 28-Sep-11 10:31:35

You know what? At 19 he's old enough to get into shit on his own.

Some 19 yr olds are conscripted into armies, living on the streets, married with 3 kids.

Yours needs tough love. I would do absolutely nothing. It's time he grew up.

Witco Wed 28-Sep-11 10:53:15

Yes he is and it is high time he grew up. But, from a practical point of view, he's a constant source of worry and is causing serious stress and strain to DH and I. He has a regular weed habit that doesn't help (banned from our house) and is a poor role model to his 10 year old sister. Pah, teenagers!

motheroftwoboys Wed 28-Sep-11 14:30:25

Bit late now but you would have been better off encouraging him to go to Uni away from home. We were in exactly the same position with our DS2 (19) who left his good school with mediocre GCSEs (didn't work) to college where he did a Diploma - with a lot of pushing and prodding. To mu surprise he was accepted at 4 unis and has just started. Early days yet but it seems it might be the making of him as he has to start taking responsibility for himself.

Witco Thu 29-Sep-11 10:28:02

Good advice motheroftwoboys, thanks. I know I only grew up when I moved away from home and had to look after myself.

civeng40 Tue 11-Oct-11 09:47:53

Must be some kind of underlying issue to be investigated. I'm familiar with your scenario and the best approach is to treat the cause rather than the symptoms.

mumeeee Tue 11-Oct-11 10:03:05

A lot of first years skip classes in the early days but then knuckle down. I agree with motheroftwoboys it would have been better to go to a uni away from home. DD2 went to uni at nearly 19. It was hard work with her the year before. she went and I think if she had ended up living at home another year we would all have gone mad. But she went to a uni 3 hours drive away and although she did miss some lectured she grew up a lot in her first year. She is now 21, in her final year and working hard. Would it be at all possible for your DS to find some accommodation on uni halls at this late stage? Sometime spaces do become available during the first term. Did he apply for a student loan?

Witco Fri 21-Oct-11 18:33:24

We are in Ireland so no student loans available, thus going to the local uni. I wish he would go away and do his growing up under someone else's roof. He went to a couple of counselling sessions under duress but said it was useless and isn't going anymore. That cost us several hundreds of euros for the sessions he didn't attend that still had to be paid for. He says he has no interest in anything and can't get a job because he has no experience. The stress of this is making me unwell and causing a huge strain on the family.

ragged Fri 21-Oct-11 18:44:43

Sounds normal for the age.
Actually, sounds a lot like my Dad, OP.
Well, not the weed or counselling bits, but skipping class definitely (my dad was playing basketball, instead).
He ended up graduating top of his group in law school.

I honestly think, am sorry if this doesn't come across nicely, that you need to L E T G O. Treat him like a lodger. Does he pay his rent? Does he do his share of cleaning? Is he considerate and follow house rules? And Let him make his own mistakes outside the home. If you want him to act like an adult you need to treat him as such.

I'd probably ban the weed from the house premises, consider it my privilege as landlord...

Witco Fri 21-Oct-11 18:49:17

Ragged, we have banned all drugs from the house but he smokes it when we are not around. I have in the past come home from work unexpectedly to find him hosting a 'stoner day' for some mothers who are bunking off college/uni! He has jobs to do around the house which he doesn't do, or will do under duress. He doesn't have any money/benefits (cos he hasn't applied for any) so he can't pay rent. He smokes (cigs) and I worry how he is paying for them now he doesn't even get pocket money. And DH, DD (10) and I are the ones getting stressed!!!

AnyPhantomFucker Fri 21-Oct-11 18:56:40

I would worry how he is funding his drug habit, tbh

he has no money coming in

but finds money for drugs

this "stoner day" he hosted ( what the actual fuck...) do realise he probably procured the drugs and sold them at profit ?

what do you think that makes him ?

I wouldn't have him in my house

I wouldn't have him living with a 10yo

Witco Fri 21-Oct-11 19:12:18

"what do you think that makes him ?" My son and therein lies the dilemma sad

AnyPhantomFucker Fri 21-Oct-11 19:14:26

your son the drug dealer ?

sorry, love, you do need to get real here sad

ragged Sat 22-Oct-11 09:16:53

You need Custardo (Custy). Custy has definitely had a lot of similar tough love decisions. And MaryZ. Hopefully they'll be along soon.

AnyPhantomFucker Sun 23-Oct-11 12:46:25


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