16 yr old nearly finished 1st year apprenticeship, worse behaviour than a toddler, help!(8 Posts)
I've been trying to put this succinctly but I can't, I'm at my wits end. I feel sick at the thought of waking him up tomorrow. He's not in and won't be for an hour or two. He might be lovely or he might refuse to go. I find myself cajoling and pleading, I'm finding all my authority gone, coupled with the guilt that I make him (I drive him at 6.30) go. Any help would be gratefully appreciated.
I am on my way to bed, but couldn't leave this unanswered.
Is the apprenticeship more important to you or to him?
How does his employer/trainer feel about his attitude?
Is there any other transport available?
At what age do you feel he should be taking responsibility for organising himself?
In another 2 years he will be old enough to vote, to get married....somewhere between now and then he needs to grow up.
Are you supporting him financially?
Sorry about the list of questions, but these are all things that you will have to discuss with him at some point, so it is worth giving some serious thought to how you feel about them.
I have a sixteen year old son and an 18 year old son. Both have a small allowance to cover travel and lunches and some very basic expenses. Everything else has to be earned, sither by jobs in the home or a part time job. One is still at school, one is at college. both are responsible for own laundry etc, and for getting themselves up and out in the mornings. BUT - it has taken regular discussion and negotiating to get to this point, and it has not been easy. Indeed I have had a very rocky time with ds1.
My (very longwinded) point is that you are clearly very stressed by the current situation, but if you have not set out clearly what you want and expect, you can't expect him to change overnight. You need to have the conversation and set some ground rules.
If you have promised you will wake him, and drive him to work, then you will have to do it this time, but, if it is feasable, tell him he has to get himself organised in future - provided there is an alternative way for him to get there.
Try to have a calm discussion at a convenient time, rather than a big row.
I have been where you are, and it is possible to turn things around. And yes - they are just like large toddlers. And they do get better, but they need as much parental input at this stage as they did when they WERE toddlers!
Sorry for the lecture - teenagers are such hard work - I really hope things improve for you. You are not alone. I am sure there will be lots more help and support on here in the morning.
3littlefrogs' advice is very wise.
I would work towards ensuring he knows it is his responsibility to get ready and turn up on time.
And let him take the heat if he doesn't.
Don't turn it into a battle for authority. Take yourself out of the equation.
Just make it clear that he needs to work out what he is going to do with his future, and it is up to him to take responsibility for himself now.
I don't really understand why you feel guilty, tbh.
I'm just travelling back through the mists of time to when I was 16, working full time in a factory and doing A levels at night time.
If I hadn't set my alarm and gone off to work at 7am my parents wouldn't have done anything, and certainly wouldn't have felt guilty about the fact that I, like them, had to work 9 hours a day in a noisy, horrible factory.
I know things are different these days and kids do get mollycoddled much more than we did, but your ds sounds like he needs to understand the consequences of not going to work etc. Apprenticeships are few and far between and he's lucky to have got one, imo.
you could try what i have done on a cuople of occasions when my ds has been having the screaming heebie jeebies about something ,i leave and go out ,it completely takes the wind out of thier sails ,and each time ive got back and he has gone to school with everything he needed and not missed the bus !
There is some really good advice here, but I do identify with how you're feeling.
We know we shouldn't be getting them up and driving them there, but we know that they have no sense of responsibility and will miss work/school/whatever and not think about the consequences. I've been there too.
I'm still going through it (17 yr-old son) and when I can step back and stop thinking emotionally (hard to do) I feel that I really have to let him make his own mistakes and hope that light will dawn when he sees what a mess he's made. Trouble is, so far when I've done that, the mess is made and it's everyone else's fault, and he has another joint to make it all go away.
That's why I still scour the papers/internet for job vacancies that he then tosses aside. When you love them as we do, we hang on to the hope that they'll do the right thing. My head is always telling me that they maybe have to learn the hard way before they'll wake up to their responsibilities.
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