DS & homework anxiety

(6 Posts)
lizzieoak Sun 27-Nov-16 05:00:40

Ds really is a marvel. He's smart, kind, responsible, easy to parent, and generally responsible. I'm very lucky.

However. Toward the end of term, two terms running, he's gotten completely overwhelmed with essays, labs, group projects and looming exams.

Last night he spent 4+ hours on homework (& one reason he's got so much is that he went on a chaperoned trip w friends last weekend, assuring me all homework was up to date), today (Saturday) he's spent maybe 3 hours but hs spent most of the day dragging himself around covered in a duvet, watching reruns of Downton Abbey (he says it's soothing), eating biscuits & saying the English essays that are due "have no relevance to life".

I'm getting a bit exasperated. Last year he had an 8 hours a week crap job stocking shelves & hated that to bits too. He loves learning & is terrifically well-read on a broad range of subjects. And he'll work up to a point, but then gets totally overwhelmed and downs tools.

I worry he won't be able to cope with uni (in 18 monthsish) or a job really, as he gets so anxious about having to do stuff he doesn't want to do.

Gently coaxing doesn't work (gives list of reasons why he's not able to), getting annoyed doesn't work as he says if "teachers & everyone keep on at me I may just quit school. Well, not really, but I can't take it".

What to do? Not sure how best to support him, light a fire under him. Only thing that slightly works is saying "okay, after Lord Grantham comes back from London, you need to tackle your Physics work".

Last year he got so upset he was throwing up and trembling. I'm a bit exasperated (as being an adult involves doing work you don't want to All Bloody Day, 5 days a week), but also worried about his future.

I love him to bits and we get on very well. I hate to see him overwhelmed, but I also know how much he wants to go to university - & a good uni at that. If I ignore it & let him suffer the consequences he won't get the grades he needs to get scholarships. Many evenings he has no homework as he's done it at lunch, so I'm not slave-driving him. But when he starts the weekend full of ambition then crumbles less than half-way through ...not sure how to help.

whothefuckhas5children Sun 27-Nov-16 05:17:55

Sounds like anxiety. He needs to develop coping techniques and it sounds like he might need help developing them. Can you talk to GP?

lizzieoak Sun 27-Nov-16 05:24:37

Thanks - he tried that. The gp was very nice, referred him to a youth mental health clinic, they had a 3 month wait list and ds decided it was a one-time thing & he was cured!

I'm going to try to herd him back there (he was coming over all male & thinking talking would not help), but in the meantime I know how I approach it can help it or make it worse, so not sure what's the best route.

He feels most comfortable when doing the right thing, so I know he'll feel even more stressed Monday morning when he realises he spent half the weekend avoiding it and it's still looming. Poor guy sad

lljkk Sun 27-Nov-16 08:02:01

how old is he?
If you tell the school he's struggling, do they try to give more revision tips? sad angry
Have you looked into private counselling to help him learn techniques for dealing with stress?

I have one that gets panic attacks... pausing to think what I could best say.

lljkk Sun 27-Nov-16 08:14:07

(okay, spotted the 18m to Uni bit)

This is is a one-off thing to try. It's about him feeling on top of things so that they don't overwhelm him.

My idea is that if he's amenable, you could offer to sit down & help him draw up a schedule. The schedule tells him how he will spend his time in weeks between now & Christmas. So block out the things like fun trips already planned or family meals, & sleep & travel & other things with fixed times or he can't much control or change.

Then block out doss time... study time, showers, meals, favourite tv programmes & "nothing specific" time. The schedule is his bible what he's doing when & he has to follow it. If this works for him, then around 1 January he can repeat plan out blocks in January, then again for Feb & so on. He can swap around doss time & study time blocks if required, but he shouldn't completely skip over study time; he can use seemingly unnecessary study time to rejig the next 4 weeks of blocked out time, if required. With an initial nudge, sounds like he might click with this kind of time management... doing it on paper on a bit of A4 paper in his room might work, something he can glance at, also try to make the blocks regular so he can almost guess them without looking.

lizzieoak Sun 27-Nov-16 15:57:53

Thanks smile I'll see how he's doing today (early morning where we are). That's a great idea, but may need to wait till this onslaught of homework is passed.

I think yoga might help him, so I'm going to try to drag him to class this week.

I need to figure out what to say to him. He needs sympathy, but also motivation & I know I end up sounding Pollyannaish or exasperated.

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