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How do I stop being such a nag?

(5 Posts)
mumto3boys Wed 04-Nov-09 13:26:42

DS1 is in year 8 and almost 13. He's quite bright, but also lazy and every parents evening since day dot is DS1 doesn't achieve his potential.

He's quite lazy in most areas, but also very lovely, friendly and very open, in fact sometimes a bit too open! He is also quite young for his age.

So anyway, my problem is I am sure I am way too involved in everything, nag too much and am a bit control freakish.

I had a moan at him before school today. He had been reading instead of getting ready so was making himself late. Then hadn't packed his bag. which he is meant to do the night before and always tells me it is done.

With his homework he does the absolute minimum to get by. I have now started to check his homework.

How do I back off and let him make his own mistakes? I feel if I do he could do badly at school as he mainly can't be arsed, but at the same time I know that I shouldn't really be checking his homework.

We have quite a lot of falling outs over this, and things like teeth brushing and the state of his hair. He doesn't yet smell if unwashed so he doesn't see a problem.

Do I let him go out without brushing his teeth? Wihtout packing his bag, without food for the day?

Does anyone else find it this hard? How do I back off as I can see it ruining our relationship?

BCNSback Wed 04-Nov-09 13:32:06

I would .. and have in that past ( also around the year 8 stage) let it go.

If he is late he gets told by the school, if his homework isn't good enough.. he gets told by the school etc etc.. oh and if he smells his friends will tell him. Harsh I know.. but a few simple words from friends or teachers.. did a whole lot more than me nagging.

Hard to bite your tongue though ..

I now just say once in the evening... is everything sorted for tomorrow.. if he says yes.. i leave it at that.

BTW this stage passed within the year (ish).. now in year 10 and isn't quite so lazy wink

brightwell Wed 04-Nov-09 18:12:27

My ds year 7 is the same, it drives me mad... I find it very hard but I'm a great believer in learning at "the school of hard knocks" if he goes to school without his lunch box that I leave on the kitchen side...he goes hungry, if he doesn't put his gym kit, uniform in the wash on Friday, he wears it dirty. If he doesn't hand cheques in for school trips, he loses out. It's hard but he has to learn I was maried to a man who babied by his mother and I believe it puts them at a disadvantage in later life.

inthesticks Wed 04-Nov-09 18:57:05

I've had this too. DS in year 9 now and in year 8 I realised I was still organising him too much. Partly because he got "A"s for organisation in his end of year 7 report blush.
I found it really really hard to not nag. To not tell him it was time for the bus, or remind him to take his lunch box, or tell him to get his books ready. The worst was to stand by and not make sure his homework was done.
A year later he has gone hungry a few times, forgotten his PE kit a few times and it is always a last minute panic at 8.10am but he more or less organises himself.
I couldn't let him not do homework though as I think his school work is too important.

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 06-Nov-09 19:00:15

I agree with all the other posters.

I've had exactly the same with my DS1. He mucked around in Y7 and most of Y8 until school pointed out to him that it is not just ability, but behaviour too that gets you in the top sets. Y9 his behaviour was great - no reports/detentions at all, but still not that motivated. BUT now he's in Y10, first year of GCSE, what a difference. He's completely motivated, does all his homework, and never forgets his books.

I never looked at his homework unless he wanted me to. It's all part of growing up. I am absolutely a believer in children having to make their own mistakes, especially from senior school age.

If I were you I wouldn't check his homework. The only way he will learn is if he has consequences such as detentions or reports or having to do his homework again.

If he told me (as he had to) that he had a detention or was on report for something at school I backed the school completely.

Also, I would definitely try to stop saying anything as my son is also very open, but he did withdraw if I started to nag him about school. If DS told me something "bad" about school, either what he or someone else had done, I just listened (tried to) and made no comment. If I made some comments such as how silly that behaviour was he would say that it a reason for him not to tell me things.

I would just mention a couple of times a week about the hygiene (don't have it with DS1 at all, but sometimes with DD). I'm sure it will turn out all right in the end. None of my friends or family smells, but I know that my youngest brother wasn't that keen on washing when he was younger.

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