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How to chear up a heartbroken teen

(15 Posts)
KarmaNoMore Sat 15-Oct-16 08:00:28

DS's life has never been easy. As a child, he had to battle with a set of different health conditions that made him feel different and excluded him of certain activities. He had a very involved dad, who turned his back on him after he got another family (he has refused to see DS for more than 6 years).

DS is incredibly bright, he knows a lot about current affairs, history and science but can't write properly, which means his disability often pulls him back or makes him appear lazy when he is trying so hard. His exam results don't reflect his ability. Every year I face a morías of teachers saying "if he could only put into paper what he says, he would be classed as gifted, but then he is can't.

He has not had an easy life, but he has taken every difficulty on the chin and fight himself through it, no matter how painful he has found it or how rejected he feels.

He has a strong and determined mind, he can apply himself to anything that interests him and when he really wants something, he know how to work hard to get it, which is the reason of this thread, he has found the first stone wall he won't be able to break.

He really wanted to be a pilot, waited in anticipation to meet the age requirements for joining the air cadets. Once in, he has been working hard to be noticed, and had enjoyed the discipline of it. He was really looking forward to join the RAF in the future but he has learned yesterday that no matter how hard he tries, he has no chance, as asthma is a disqualifying condition, which breaks his heart because his asthma is practically unexistant nowadays.

I know he is young and probably he would have wanted to be something different in the future. I know the RAF had good reasons to avoid asmathics and that there is nothing we can do about it. I know that it hurts to see your children's dreams being shattered but the question is, how can I cheer him up? In earlier times I would have let him talk, hug him a lot and distract him taking him to his favourite place or even for something as simple as an ice cream but being a teen... I'm not sure what can I do, I certainly do not want to let him stay in bed feeling depressed all the weekend.

What can I do to make him feel better?

OP’s posts: |
AliceThrewTheFookingGlass Sat 15-Oct-16 08:24:06

Sorry I have no real advice for you but didn't want to leave your post unanswered.

Has your DS considered becoming an adult instructor for cadets when he's old enough? I was a member of the ACF for many years and a lot of our adult instructors were people who wanted to join the army but couldn't for one reason or another.

I know you didn't ask about this but is your son able to use a laptop at school to do his work on? We had a girl at secondary school who was unable to write properly so she was allowed to type everything on a laptop instead. This meant she could still do her work and show her knowledge as best as she could.

Peebles1 Sat 15-Oct-16 09:09:33

Do commercial airlines have the same rules? No idea, just a thought. As a parent I suppose we do have a tendency to try and 'fix' things, but maybe he just needs you to sympathise and be there while he's going through this upset.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Sat 15-Oct-16 09:21:49

Gently pushing aside his early life, and speaking about the here and now.
Unfortunately, life is full of knock backs and disappointments, try not to make it a big issue.I know it's upsetting, we all want our children to follow their dreams and succeed. How about being really positive, could he , not sure of his age, earn some money somehow, or collect Birthday and Christmas money, and save up for his own small plane, flying lessons, yes he could, yay ! 😄
Maybe, he could become interested in airport control.
Do you live anywhere near a small airfield, pop along with him, explain his interest. Lying in bed will get him nowhere, tell him.

iPost Sat 15-Oct-16 09:41:34

My father, in the latter part of his career as a fighter pilot, worked with the applicants that made it... and then turned out to get airsick in a non-commercial plane. Not everybody who went through special "anti puking" training got over it. Broken dreams, even at the later stages of jumping through hoops, are not unheard of.

So I'd try here this forum Plenty of serving and ex military pilots here. As well as people who always wanted to be a pilot, but didn't make it. And they can be quite approachable. Between them they should be able to point you/him in alternative directions as well as offer tips for how others have moved past their searing disappointment.

I have a video the RAE medics made of my father, about how to stay conscious under high G-force. Watching him, I can see why asthmatics would be at a potentially deadly disadvantage.

I have it tucked away in a private folder, but if you son would like to see it, to understand better why nobody would risk his life, and the lives of those pootling around on the ground as planes fly overhead, I can send you a link. PM me if it you think it would help. Sometimes it helps to have concrete evidence that a line in the sand isn't there for very good reason, rather than being a random, meaningless barrier, erected for archaic reasons.

About the writing, would the school be open to him using an app like Dragon Dictation ?

iPost Sat 15-Oct-16 09:49:01


Sometimes it helps to have concrete evidence that a line in the sand is there for very good reason, rather than being a random, meaningless barrier, erected for archaic reasons.

grassroots Sat 15-Oct-16 09:56:50

Here is the guidance from the CAA on asthma and related conditions.

Maybe, when he is feeling better, he can work out some other options ? Hopefully it won't rule out a career in aviation altogether. Best wishes.

grassroots Sat 15-Oct-16 10:04:01

Also, the Royal Navy have different medical criteria for their pilots.

Worth having a look at least.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Sat 15-Oct-16 10:13:57

Hi Karma, lots of great help and advice here, hope it makes you feel better.
I'm sure your Son will buck up a bit now, there is plenty for him to go on, here. 💐

iPost Sat 15-Oct-16 10:48:59

The way you talk about how switched on and focused your son is reminds me of my own teenager. And I did really really worry about his capacity for dealing with broken dreams, cos his long term career plan is one hell of a long shot and he didn't seem able to accept that it is a long shot.

He is basketball obsessed, so I bought him basketball related titles by an specific author. Came across another of his books which is not basketball specific and DS rates it as the best thing he has ever read 30 million times

It seems to have created a distinct attitude swing and opened him up mentally to a future outside the tight confines of his current dream job. It wasn't an overnight change, it was more subtle. But in the space of a few months he has widened his range of interests, looked at various routes within the same field, started talking about other fields that might be interesting to work in, and is applying the same sort of focus in other arenas that previously was directed exclusively at basketball.

He hasn't given up on his dream at all. But he appears to be more open and ready to take on Plan Bs.

I think perhaps the biggest impact has been I feel I can afford to worry a little less about his resilience in the face of intense disappointment. Because he is talking about how he has the ability to influence how many future possibilities will be open to him, rather than just being overly invested in the one he wants more than anything else in the world.

Might be worth having a look at the blurb and the reviews to see if its content might appeal to your lad. As a post disappointment tool it could be quite useful to help him regroup his energies and point them outwards in a positive way.

Just be prepared for lengthy "Dick says..." monologues. Very lengthy. And potentially quite repetitive to boot. grin

<big fat hug> love. It hurts when they hurt.

P1nkP0ppy Sat 15-Oct-16 10:57:48

Friend's son was too tall to get in the RAF as a pilot (he passed two interviews before they bothered to tell him 😟) so he did aeronautical engineering instead. He too was very disappointed but has done very well since and now works in the Middle East.

ViveLesVacances Sat 15-Oct-16 11:49:48

Karma - I had asthma as a child, but it vanished after the age of about 12. When I did my scuba diving license I had to get a GP medical (standard practice) and they said as I hadn't had asthma in years, it was now considered that I didn't have it at all.

I was 21 when I did the license and probably 11 at the time of my last asthma episode. Worth checking in with the GP?

KarmaNoMore Sat 15-Oct-16 14:30:12

To be honest, if there's a kid who has been knocked down right, left and centre, it is him. He just soldiers on, I really respect how he picks himself up from disappointments and carries on. He is absolutely ace!.

We have had a lot of hugs, I baked him some cookies and being who he is, he has spent all the morning searching other options. So I have not being able to read the thread until now.

We found out about the Navy being less stringent with asthma (thanks for the suggestion)he got a bit positive about joining the navy instead but he has now learnt that he will be disqualified to join any forces due to severe allergies, has had a good cry and then has gone on to check his peak flow.

Thanks for the suggestion about becoming a cadet instructor, he has really enjoyed many aspects of the cadets so something like that could help him to keep a foot in when he is older. I will mention once he looks more receptive.

For some reason he is not that interested in comercial flying (I suppose he enjoys the structure and discipline, in fact he thrives in environments with clear rules), so thanks again for the suggestion, I will try to get him to find out more about it once he feels better.

OP’s posts: |
KarmaNoMore Sat 15-Oct-16 14:52:24

Sorry, got interrupted.

Thank you all for the great suggestions, and sharing your knowledge about how these things can end up into disappointment. I will make sure I go through other suggestions when he looks a bit more positive.

And yes, I would definitively like to have the link to the video mentioned. I probably wouldn't mention it know because it will floor him but it would be a good idea for him to watch it later on so he can understand the reasons behind the restrictions.

Many (many) thanks.

OP’s posts: |
iPost Sat 15-Oct-16 15:21:50


I've sent a link to vid by PM

If it doesn't work let me know and I'll upload it to another platform.

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