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Failing at school

(9 Posts)
sohackedoff Thu 14-Jan-16 09:43:19

DS is failing at school. Attempts to address this with him are met with verbal abuse and claims that I'm trying to control his life. WWYD?

lljkk Thu 14-Jan-16 09:45:53

( That's like the theme tune to teenage life, isn't it, the control thing? I sure sang that one ).

failing socially, academically, failing to turn up, failing to show respect? Can you be more specific.

sohackedoff Thu 14-Jan-16 09:54:46

He does homework. On time but poorly. He is capable but clearly has very low standards and does just enough to keep teachers off his case. Totally unconcerned that in 18 months time he leaves school. Doesn't want to socialise. Just wants to "game" and when I limit this I'm controlling him apparently. If I suggest he goes out with friends he says they're all doing what he's doing ie Gaming. Just seems like a really small life to me and think that if he's not careful post 16 is going to involve resist. Feeling hopeless and struggling to cope with the stress of it.

sohackedoff Thu 14-Jan-16 09:55:43


titchy Thu 14-Jan-16 09:58:59

They do all game in year 10. Maybe you should back off. If he does resits so what? It's a year of HIS life he'll have wasted not yours. And tbh a year isn't much out of an entire life.

If he was violent or refusing school that'd be different of course.

lljkk Thu 14-Jan-16 10:05:30

There are 2 schools of thought:

1) Back off & encourage/advise but hard work has to come from within & you accept it's his life. It will drive you insane to try to make them work, anyway.

2) Kill yourself in trying to make them do work because you can't live with yourself otherwise.

Most OPs like OP only want to find ways to do 2). I'll leave thread to others unless you want to transition to 1).

throckenholt Thu 14-Jan-16 10:39:14

I would try and talk to him about what he would like to be doing in say 2 years time, and then 5 years time (and if that goes well - 10 years time !).

With the starting point that he needs to be financially supporting himself, and hopefully doing something he enjoys.

Ask him if he can see ways that gaming will support him in the future, or if it will just be one of the things he chooses to do in his leisure time. If it will be his income, then get him to think about what he needs to do to get to that stage. What does he need to get out of school to get to where he wants to be ?

If it isn't going to support him, then what else could he imagine doing (or if not that then what would he definitely NOT want to be doing ? Not just work but life aspirations - eg working towards a career, living in a bedsit, owning a car, travelling, working casual minimum wage jobs). Then same question - What does he need to get out of school to get to where he wants to be ?

At this age they need to start taking responsibility and ownership of their life. You aren't dictating (apart from no longer financially supporting) - you are trying to help him see where he wants to go and how to get there.

You can't force them - but hopefully you can help face the future.

Peebles1 Thu 14-Jan-16 23:19:58

Well, he's a while off yet sohackedoff so don't despair. My DS1 was similar at that age, but he suddenly knuckled down in yr 11 and did really well. Sometimes they get scared as exams approach and get their arses into gear. The teachers nag them too, remember. DD was far worse at this age - wouldn't work, refused school, engrossed in boyfriend (she had anxiety issues so complicated) - she never did knuckle down till the last minute (I'm talking the night before for some of them!), but she passed 8 and got to sixth form. She's not much better now, and although I believe in attitude no1 from previous post, I often find myself drifting into attitude no 2! So no magic answer from me but don't despair, things may change or he may get away with little work and pass anyway.

OneMagnumisneverenough Fri 15-Jan-16 14:07:50

I'm with throkenholt I have a 15 and 14 year old that game far too much. They are both naturally bright and well behaved so they do well enough in school. Homework is always done and handed in on time but isn't the best they could do. They both know however that they are responsible for their own future. They know that we love them and will give them support and help with what they want to do - Uni etc but ultimately it is down to them. DS1 has just done mock exams and did really well in some and less well in others (he passed them all though) We've said to him well done for passing but also said that we believe he could do better - he agrees and has made more of an effort of the last few weeks.

I am pretty sure DS2 will be the same. he will buckle down when the chips are down.

I think some of them just feel a bit lost. I've also found that when I hear the anger starting in their voice, to call them on it and say something along the lines of "I can hear you getting annoyed, I'm not trying to tell you what to do, I'm trying to help you get the most out of life and be happy and successful, I want good things for you because you're my son and I love you".

I've also explained that Unis/colleges/employers will not give a jot what exams his parents have passed, what house we have and what car we drive" they care about what he has done or achieved. And if they want to have a nice house and car and raise a family or travel abroad or whatever, it's them that needs to put the effort in.

I'm actually really enjoying my teenagers since I stopped trying to control them so much. They are good kids who actually don't need me breathing down their neck 24/7.

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