DS 18 blames us for ruining his life

(96 Posts)
Kongcat Sat 30-Mar-19 12:47:36

DS has just about broken my heart today. A bit of background, he’s 18 and after sailing through his GCSEs with no work at 16 took 4 A Levels, maths science etc. Back at the first parents evening at AS Level we and him were told he was doing really badly, no work ethic and basically just messing around. He had no inclination to go to Uni and no idea what he wanted to do. We supported him, paying for driving lessons etc and told him he needed to pull his socks up. He continued to do the bare mimimum of work, always in bed till lunchtime and on the Xbox until late at night. We gave him until the following Easter to shape up and things came to a crunch in the April Easter holidays and after him spending the two weeks sleeping and gaming we pretty much gave him the ultimatum of finding a part time job to help pay for the car he was now driving about.
Reluctantly he took a job but of course this was a few weeks before his exams started. He felt he’d done badly at his exams so we urged him to apply for apprenticeships as a back up plan.
Results day came and he did very badly so in the September took an apprenticeship that he had applied for. He’s been at the apprenticeship now for nearly a year - he’s enjoying it and having a great salary, bought a lovely car but he’s seeing all his friends now applying to university.
Now he decides to say that it was our fault he failed his AS levels, because we forced him to take a job around his exams. He can’t see that the very low level of work he did through the year affected his exam outcome - it’s all due to the fact we put our feet down and forced him to get a job.
It’s clearly eating away at him, his attitude towards us has been awful for a while.
I don’t know how to overcome this. I feel terrible. I know that at the time he didn’t appear to be putting work in, that we were at the end of our tethers with him.
Now it’s all our fault - he feels he should have been allowed to coast through and supported through the whole of his a levels.
We suspected it would have been a waste of 2 years.
He says no, he’d have pulled it out of the bag and now it’s ruined his chances of doing what he wants with his life.

OP’s posts: |
Bowchicawowow Sat 30-Mar-19 12:48:52

Tell him to fucking grow up and take responsibility for his own mistakes.

mooncuplanding Sat 30-Mar-19 12:54:46

You can’t be responsible for his actions. What did he want you to do? Pin him down and force him to get his work done?

Don’t make it easy for him to pin this on you. He has to be responsible for his own actions and also responsible for doing something to rectify it. Or what? He’s gonna live the next few years in bitterness and resentment. Fuck that, it’s his shit to deal with

ApolloandDaphne Sat 30-Mar-19 12:54:50

If there is something else he would rather be doing i am sure it is not too late to go to college and do his a levels or start an access course. He needs to grow up and take responsibility for himself.

cliquewhyohwhy Sat 30-Mar-19 12:57:41

He seems a self absorbed little so so. Ignore the idiot. You can't make someone want to study and apply themselves. You did what you thought at the time was the best thing for him to do.

titchy Sat 30-Mar-19 12:59:19

Agree with others. Interesting he's going through the five stages of change though: denial, bargaining, he's now at anger, next will be sadness, then finally acceptance he's fucked up. Once he's got to acceptance he, with your help, can think about what he really wants - Access course for example if it's university.

Xyzzzzz Sat 30-Mar-19 13:00:18

He can always go back and study? He’s only 18 yeah he’ll be a bit behind but if he wants to go back and study then now is the ideal time for him to do so.

It’s not your fault at all the immaturity in him makes it easy to blame mum and dad.


SavageBeauty73 Sat 30-Mar-19 13:02:51

Stop pandering to him. He needs to take responsibility for his actions 🤷‍♀️

HirplesWithHaggis Sat 30-Mar-19 13:04:34

I'm starting a university access course this autumn because I fucked up forty years ago. Your ds can try again when he's ready.

In the meantime, he's working, earning well, gaining skills and not running up tens of thousands of pounds of debt in tuition fees. He might feel differently about his friends once they start moaning about being skint.

Singlenotsingle Sat 30-Mar-19 13:06:01

Of course it's your fault OP! You're a parent! Everything's your fault. That's your function in life... Seriously, don't break your heart over it. He's a silly boy. Tell him to take his A levels again if that's what he wants (he won't!). He's so young. It's never too late.

Firefliess Sat 30-Mar-19 13:06:49

He needs to take responsibility for his own actions. But it's not too late to still consider going to uni. Depending what he wants to do he may find there are courses will take him with the grades he has, especially with the bonus of an apprenticeship as well. Is it a two year apprenticeship? Probably good to finish it, but he could apply to uni this autumn to start next year.

My DS did really similarly - good GCSEs but fell apart rather at sixth form, minimal effort, no interest. I didn't force him to get a job but he still did quite badly. He's also now on an apprenticeship and enjoying it. Currently doesn't want to go to uni at all. I'm encouraging him to think broadly what he'd like to do when he finishes it next summer, and not rule uni out. But he's not keen. I think it's much better to figure out that you don't really thrive being left to do private study during sixth form than to get half way through a degree and then realise it's not for you. You can go to uni later in life if you want to, or not at all. What's his apprenticeship in?

Amongstthetallgrass Sat 30-Mar-19 13:07:38

Tell him to fucking grow up and take responsibility for his own mistakes


I think it’s time he moved out tbh

Kongcat Sat 30-Mar-19 13:08:29

The apprenticeship he’s on is fantastic- he’s on a great salary and it’s a great company with a guaranteed job at the end. He admits that he did the right thing in taking it but he’s bitter that we forced him to find a job which ultimately made him fail his AS levels.
At the time he was doing revision in school all day plus supposedly doing work at home (we never saw anything). He took a job in a fast food restaurant and took a huge 24 hours a week.
I told him at the time it was way too many hours and around 10-12 hours would be more suitable. He was foul to us around that time and took it almost out of spite, and now he’s enjoying trying to prove the point that it was this that made him fail his AS levels.

OP’s posts: |
Kongcat Sat 30-Mar-19 13:09:55

It’s a 4 year apprenticeship in electrical engineering

OP’s posts: |
OhTheRoses Sat 30-Mar-19 13:10:43

Well to be fair the car and driving should have been the reward for doing well and the part time job should have come after the exams. Should he have been doing sciences?

Meandmetoo Sat 30-Mar-19 13:13:12

Have you posted about this before op?

Mix56 Sat 30-Mar-19 13:17:54

Poor little Diddums, did he listen at any point when you were tearing your hair out trying to get him to study & turn off the Xbox...
This is very unpleasant manipulative behaviour.
He screwed up, & with your help fell on his feet, is currently doing something he likes, & will likely end up with a much better job, than he would have on the Uni route.
Plus if he really wanted to, he could study at home, or do a course to get A levels & go to Uni... but actually, he doesn't now, any more than he did then.
Meanwhile he still lives in your house I presume... If you are so awful, why is he still there ?

jelliebelly Sat 30-Mar-19 13:19:05

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I'd have taken the car away before making him get a job to pay for it. From what you've said chances are he'd have failed anyway - he'll get over it eventually.

mando12345 Sat 30-Mar-19 13:24:01

To be honest he does sound lazy, as mine were at that age. However I do think it wasn't the best thing to force him to get a job just before his exams.
I would apologise to him and say in hindsight it didn't help but tell him your reasons for making him work.

LIZS Sat 30-Mar-19 13:28:38

In a few years his friends will leave uni and have to find work, while he has an established career path, earnings and no debt. When he moans just sigh and change the subject.

notacooldad Sat 30-Mar-19 13:31:47

Tell him to fucking grow up and take responsibility for his own mistakes


100%agree with this.
Get over a broken heart. The pair of you are both becoming self absorbed.
Time to tough talk with him and tell him how it is.
Seriously I wouldn't be putting up with nonsense.
When mine try it on with me they are reminded that they are adults so act like one and take responsibility (I couldn't wait until they were18 so I could start throwing that line when needed)

Friendabc Sat 30-Mar-19 13:36:12

No he is wrong.
My dd managed to get A s in all her A levels whilst working and paid for her own driving lessons.

SchadenfreudePersonified Sat 30-Mar-19 13:37:37

He can always go back and study? He’s only 18 yeah he’ll be a bit behind but if he wants to go back and study then now is the ideal time for him to do so.

THIS ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

It's not too late by any means. If he really wanted to go to uni he could and would - but he has a car and a good salary now and won't want to give them up.

I wonder why he is still so bitter when things have worked out so well for him? Is he still living with you and his dad? Perhaps it would be a good idea to encourage him to move out. He's got older but hasn't grown up yet. Supporting himself might just do it.

nutsfornutella Sat 30-Mar-19 13:38:44

You didn't ruin his life. He can take A-levels at a later date if it's what he really wants but he was too immature to work for it. Why is he angry about his screw up? Is he annoyed because he sees a-levels and degrees as superior qualifications or is he bitter that he's not moving out of home and partying at uni?

Did you remind him that you told him to work 10 hours not 24? I have a son in y13 who got a job in y12. He worked near the 24 hr mark for a bit as he enjoyed the money but struggled with tiredness and cane to the realization that those hours were only possible in holidays and 12 is about right. In my experience most y12/13 work as well as school and it's possible that him working made him a more attractive apprenticeship candidate. He needs to realize the pros of his current path. Not all degrees guarantee well paid jobs and a good career as he'll learn when his friends graduate. My ds tries the "it's your fault" thing but I quickly shit him down. He wants to be tested as an adult so can't pull the child card when convenient.

QueenoftheBiscuitTin Sat 30-Mar-19 13:39:08

Many A level students have part time jobs and get good grades. I did. He was lazy and couldn't be arsed to put the effort in.

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