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Teen may be sent home from course.(14 Posts)
Just woke up to find a 2am text from 17yo ds. He's on a course that he was desperate to do. Apparently he and some others were caught out of their rooms after lights-out. Penalty is instant sending home. Doesn't yet know whether that will happen.
He knew the rules. He broke them. He needs to take responsibility for his actions. His text implies that he understands this.
But I am torn. While I firmly believe what I've said above, I want ds to know that we will always have his back. Yet I don't think that this is a situation in which I should fight for him.
He's a very black-and-white thinker. Very bright, very rigid. He needs to learn his own lessons, and far better that he do so by getting chucked off this course than off a university course.
But if he were at risk of something major like that, I would definitely fight his corner, even if he'd been stupid- but I would need him to tell me about it in time so that I could support him. Ds has a bit of a history of trying to deal with things himself, not understanding that support is available. And also either not realising that he'd done something stupid, or thinking that he'd done something stupid but not realising that it was actually a perfectly reasonable mistake to make.
So I'm really not sure how to play this, what to say if the director contacts me. And how dh and I should behave to ds.
He needs to learn that his actions have consequences and this seems an ideal time to learn tbh, just as you say (better now than Uni).
You are extremely unlikely to be able to help him at Uni by 'fighting his corner' and tbh, if he's in the wrong then that's not helpful. I don't think portraying this kind of issue as a 'battle' is helpful either. He's stuffed up, that has consequences. We all make mistakes, but his actions (being out of his room) is not a mistake it's a deliberate choice in this instance.
Agree with PP. You want to help him? Allow him to face the consequences. Let him come home, be upset and chat with him about learning from his mistake, and not messing around on something that matters to him.
If the director contacts you, be civil and listen. But don;t beg to let him stay. That just undermines their authority. What message would that set others?
He is a black and white thinker, knew and understood the rules, yet chose to break them. Lesson learnt hopefully. As long as all participants are dealt with equally why would you get involved. Will you be out of pocket?
* If the director contacts you, be civil and listen. But don;t beg to let him stay. That just undermines their authority. What message would that set others?*
Just tell him how to apologise (go to them promptly with a short sincere apology) and how to graciously accept the punishment.
It’s naive and not true to suggest you can’t fight these things. Not always, obviously but very often what and how you say things makes a difference. If you don’t want to to teach him a lesson, then say. Personally I think it sounds like a draconian rule, but I’m not one for daft rules...
Like others, I don’t get what part of this is a potential ‘fight’, unless you were thinking of arguing either that he didn’t do what he was caught doing, or that he should not be subject to the same penalty as anyone else, and you don’t sound like the type of parent that would go in for that type of thing.
It’s really tricky and you must feel for him, but it’s never too early to learn how much it sucks to be your own worst enemy.
Not everything is a fight, it's just an expression. This case certainly is not a fight. But, even as adults, it is good to know that there are people we can trust, who will support us and have our interests at heart.
At uni I certainly benefitted from my parents' support. I made a mistake, didn't deal with it, hid, compounded the problems. Even adults do this. When my mum found out, she called my tutor. Not to solve the problem, but to get the ball rolling for me to speak to him. I didn't know that I could ask for help for my mistake in the first place (rigid thinking...apples not falling far from trees?) Tutor and I sorted out something that could have been dealt with so much more easily, had I gone to him in the first place.
Director called me. They've decided not to send him home.
Wonder what he will take from this?
"Phew! That was a close one - I won't do that again."
"I am invincible!"
Perhaps you could now speak to him and say something that the Director has extended some good will? Rather than let him think he's got away with it?
Wonder what he will take from this?
Well that is something to talk to him about when he gets home. And don't be deflected by bravado, that often shows real fear underneath.
But do use this as an opportunity to talk and listen to him. Tell him you will have his back and be there to help if he needs it (but you can't if he doesn't talk to you).
I would also praise him for telling you himself of the incident when it happened, rather than trying to cover it up. Often young people are really worried about how their parents will react, far more than they let on.
You could tell him to come home if you want to press the point, if he has a tendency to do this kind of stunt it may be a worthwhile thing to do!
Hi Jellyslice, all sounds it worked out in the end. I am sure he learnt something. You sound like a sensible, caring parent, and just pleased the outcome was good in the end.