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Don't know how to talk to DS anymore

(7 Posts)
HUCKMUCK Mon 11-May-20 11:43:36

My DS is almost 15 - Y10. We have always been pretty close. He is my youngest. He is no trouble 99% of the time.

He is normal teenage lazy but will do chores and clean up when he is asked. He doesn't back chat or get stroppy. He isn't rude or disrespectful. My DD (22) is just finishing uni and is living with us - they get a long great. School feedback is generally that he is a nice boy, has great friends, behaves well. However, he has always struggled academically. He may be mildly dyslexic but no assessment has ever showed any cause for concern. He understands most subjects but really really struggles with written work.

My personal feeling is he has a major lack of confidence which manifests as a complete lack of motivation or will.

School are brilliant at managing this usually but now he is working at home it is apparent that he needs a lot of support. It has been a constant struggle to get him to engage with school work and I will admit that I have given up a bit, I suppose naively thinking it was better to keep the peace. He now has a huge backlog of work to get through and most of what he has done in the last few days has been minimal effort. He is resistant to me helping him, he does anything he can to avoid talking about it and he just shuts down if I try.

I've had emails from 2 of his teachers and now a call from his head of year and I just don't know what to do. I am concerned that this is such a pivotal year for him. I worry that he will not get good enough grades to do anything in year 12. He has no clue about anything he might be interested in in the future. I'm not too worried about that but I do worry that he won't have many options if he doesn't knuckle down.

We have always been pretty relaxed about things like screen time with the caveat that while he is doing ok at school, we will remain so. We have now put limits on screen time - he can't access anything until after 2pm except for using his phone during breaks. He is now moping around in the kitchen, huffing about the work he has to do and not engaging. I can access his work so I can see what he is doing. He's ticking the boxes but with the bare minimum of effort.

I'm really worried but also at a loss.

OP’s posts: |
JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 11-May-20 15:15:55

Have you spoken to his HOY yourself and told the your concerns?

I think it would be useful for them to know and you could perhaps decide together how to move forward.

Could he have inattentive ADHD too? He sounds very much like my DD.

NekoShiro Mon 11-May-20 15:21:25

I'm really sorry you're having these issues, personally I don't understand why scholl hasn't been suspended for a year so students can pick things up again same time next year, this is an extremely unsettling time for adults, I can't even imagine how kids are processing all of this, in the shadow of a pandemic I could see school work slipping way down on my list of priorities. Have you spoken to him about why he's avoiding it so much?

Side note I did also wonder about inattentive adhd, within a school setting it would be easier for him to focus and get stuff done but at home there would be far to many distractions.

HUCKMUCK Mon 11-May-20 16:51:13

Thanks - I've never heard of inattentive ADHD - I'll have a look. I think I'll try and get him to come for a walk later and chat to him gently. He hates any kind of attention on him so out of the house with nobody else around might be more comfortable.

Thanks for your replies.

OP’s posts: |
JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 11-May-20 17:27:14

There is some information here HUCK. It often runs in families so doesn't be surprised if you find it also describes you, DH or one of the DGPs thanks

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 11-May-20 18:17:29


EwwSprouts Tue 12-May-20 11:13:06

It's understandable and I'm not convinced it's unusual at the moment. School work seems less important as school is closed. He's seen year 11 have their exams cancelled. He doesn't know what he wants to do in the future so is less motivated before all this anyway.

Written work and teen boys is a generalisation because there is some truth in it. I remember DS's English teacher saying in year 9 she thought she could drag the skills out of him by GCSEs. DS leans towards science and he and a few of his friends who will get strong grades in science GCSEs this year scored two and three grades lower in English mocks.

You say in normal times he gets good feedback from school and he sounds generally good-natured. Hold on to that. See if he is feeling overwhelmed by having to manage his timetable himself more? I find snacks/drinks at regular intervals help break up the studying and motivate.

Chat about where he wants to go at 16, 6th form, apprenticeship etc then have google with around what grades he would need in what subjects. DS yr11 has no clue what he wants to do. All he knows now is science not essays and would like to stay at same school. So he knows what he needs just for the next step. He can decide next year if college/univ/job.

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