Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Being a parent really sucks sometimes

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

HFSSC posted 4/1/2014 20:40 PM

Because I really needed something else on my plate right now.

DS15 has struggled in school ever since we witnessed the horrible wreck in September that killed a young man and wounded another. He is a smart kid, loves to read, was qualified for the Duke TIP program as well as some other gifted programs. But he has pretty much blown that opportunity because of his grades. Not test grades... he makes all A's on tests. It's homework and projects. He will frat around and not do anything until the day before. Or he'll do the work and not turn it in. He had a 13 average in health class. A THIRTEEN out of a hundred. He managed to pull it up to a 75 for his 3rd quarter grade. We have done everything we could think of to help him, to motivate him. He started lying about schoolwork and we've tried to address that.

Which brings us to today. He is in Air Force JROTC and his unit leaves tomorrow for a trip to Tampa. He has worked hard, raising $ for the trip, getting his uniform ready, etc. He had a couple of biology assignments that were overdue because he was sick one day and was taking the ASVAB another day. I asked him Friday if he had turned them in. He said he had forgotten. So yesterday I texted to remind him and he responded "all done. Everything turned in." Today I looked on the edmodo website and found that not only had he not turned in those assignments, he got a 1 on a health assignment. ONE. Out of a hundred. The comment said, "can not make up. Wasted 43 minutes of class time and did almost nothing "

And we had to make a decision. How could we let him go on a trip, miss 3 days of school when he won't do his work when he is there??? And the lying is the bigger problem, IMO. We called his Colonel and he was very cool about it. He has been a wonderful resource this year. I just hate that we had to do this. I remember my parents telling me some punishment hurt them more than it hurt me and I thought they were full of crap. Now I know how true that was.

This absolutely sucks. But I heard something years ago from a woman speaker (Priscilla Shirer, if anyone is interested) She was talking about having plans to speak at a conference and spend some alone time with her husband. Their teen son got in some fairly serious trouble at school and she was agonizing on whether to cancel. Her husband said, "If he broke his leg and needed surgery, there wouldn't even be a question of what to do. Our son's character is broken. How much more important is that?"

I know we are doing the right thing. But Lord, it sucks right now.

gahurts posted 4/1/2014 22:04 PM

I agree HF and also have struggled with similar issues. DS21 would get As on all his tests but flunk the class because he either would not do the class work/homework or he'd do it and not turn it in.

I wish I had some answers. Unfortunately I do not but I wanted you to know that I hear you.

Cally60 posted 4/2/2014 01:44 AM

This is where the system is all wrong. If a student can ace all the tests without doing the homework, then he doesn't need to do the homework. But unless he plays by the rules and does it, he fails.

Sorry, HFSSC: this is of no comfort to you in your misery over your son's current problems. And I feel for you, in your misery and anxiety.

But I also have a certain amount of sympathy for your son, gahurts's son, and the many, many other bright students like them.

[This message edited by Cally60 at 1:47 AM, April 2nd (Wednesday)]

HFSSC posted 4/2/2014 06:52 AM

Thanks, y'all. And Cally, while I feel the same way about grading to a certain extent. But some of the work has been projects and papers, not just "busy work" homework. And the bigger issue to me is the lying and conflict avoidance that we're seeing.

We're in OT, so I can't go into why it concerns me so much other than to say that at 15, he only has a couple of years (at most) left for us to help him become a decent citizen, honest employee, safe boyfriend/husband/partner. I don't want him to learn this crap in his 30's and 40's like JM and I did.

I read something last night that blew me away.

Thank God that you all keep teaching me about me: That every one of us has two of us really. The Short-Term You —- and the Long-Term You.

The Immediate You. And the Ultimate You.

And if I only loved the right now Immediate You —- and let The Immediate You come and go and do whatever felt best, I wouldn’t be loving the Ultimate You.

I love the long-term Ultimate You too much to give the short-term Immediate You what you want —- but what isn’t ultimately best.

Sometimes the short-term Immediate You can’t have what immediately feels best— so the long-term Ultimate You has what is ultimately best.

It's from an article my sister posted last night on facebook. She had no idea what we were struggling with, just resonated with her right now. Here's a link to the whole article for anyone interested:

So, up and at 'em we go. At least he hugged me last night and told me he loves me.

tushnurse posted 4/2/2014 07:54 AM


I totally get where you are coming from. My oldest now 17 has performed similarly. He too is brilliant, in all honors, and simply chooses to not do the work. He also has ADHD. I had him off meds for a while his Freshman, and part of Sophomore year. His grades sucked. A's on tests, and no other work being turned in. Put him back on meds, helped a bit.

He unfortunately has now ruined his opportunity to go to Vet school from the get go. He simply will not be accepted with the GPA he has regardless of his ACT. I'm very frustrated, and still struggle with keeping him motivated. He is doing better this year, but the one class he has that is really quite hard he has just not done the work. Currently carrying an F. I did not have him take honors Lang Arts this year because the teacher is notorious for making them write tons of papers, and no feedback. The kid knows how to write, it comes easy. HE would not have done the work. So now he is bored out of his mind in a regular Lang Arts class.

I have had to make him cancel on things he has planned as punishment. The thing that really got his attention and helped him get motivated was threatening to take him out of bands. That's his passion. Knowing that we will not hesitate to yank him out seems to have helped him to stay motivated.

So I feel your pain, but know you are absolutely doing the right thing. Remember it's not our jobs as parents to be their best friends. Our job is to raise responsible, respectful, productive members of society. You my friend are doing so by playing hard ball with him.

((((and strength))))

StrongerOne posted 4/2/2014 08:26 AM

t/j to Tushnurse--

If your DS performs well in college, he can still go to vet school. Major in something he will do well in, take the pre-vet coursework, put in a lot of hours at a vet office, doing research (if he has not had that opportunity in high school, he needs to be proactive and look for opportunities in college), service, leadership, pre-vet club, etc...Vet school is super competitive re grades, but grades are not enough.

I work at a large univ with a top vet school. Was talking with the pre-vet advisor last week, as it happens. What your DS has to do is a complete turnaround from what he did in HS, which is hard...

Questions I would ask your DS: 1. Why do you want to go to vet school? (that's the biggie) 2. Are there other ways to do what you want that don't involve vet school? What are they? (he will have to do some research, talk to some people too) 3. If vet school is your true goal, can you realistically commit to the focus, organization, motivation, and work that it takes to get in? 4. Do you need to take a year after high school to work full time (maybe at a vet's office) before you start college.

That's my professional advice

HFSSC -- is your DS in IC? Witnessing a wreck like that is terrible -- He is really hurting.

[This message edited by StrongerOne at 8:27 AM, April 2nd (Wednesday)]

Ascendant posted 4/2/2014 08:44 AM

This is where the system is all wrong. If a student can ace all the tests without doing the homework, then he doesn't need to do the homework. But unless he plays by the rules and does it, he fails.
As a kid who fit this mold to a 'T' all throughout my school years, I am going to respectfully disagree. I would routinely get 99s and 100s on tests, do zero homework, and get a 'D' or 'C' in the class...and I told myself the exact same thing: Why should I have to do the homework if I already know the info?

I can tell you that doing the homework prepares you for lots of types of jobs going wherein you have big projects made up of many tiny steps that need to be done, steps that cannot afford to be skipped just because we assume we already know the best way to get it done. Doing homework, while occasionally monotonous and pointless, teaches us that we aren't allowed a different set of rules just because we're smarter than our peers....we still have to do all the legwork.

I mean, I've had lots of jobs, and plenty of them involved doing work that I thought was pointless, and lame, and beneath me, but making sure that you cross all those t's and dot those i's is good for kids like that, trust me.

You know when it really began to hit me? Large scale research papers in my senior year of high school and college. Projects where one must do all the necessary 'little' steps along the way or else you end up with a bad product at the end. From what you've said, your son sounds an awful lot like me at his age, even down to being in JROTC.

There is an element of procrastination at play here, a little bit of perfectionism, and maybe a little bit of ADD, who knows. On my end there certainly was....I'm not hyperactive, but I cannot pay attention for the life of me to minute tasks.

For me, a large part of the issue was that big projects seemed large and insurmountable....and I had no idea how to get organized and where to get started. My advice is to really hunker down with him and focus on some goal setting exercises. Teach him (or have him taught) how to break a big project down to it's smallest component parts, and to assign deadlines to each one. It's worked wonders for me in my adult years, I just wish I hadn't waited so long to learn it as a skill. It makes it a series of small, manageable tasks as opposed to a huge, surly one.

HFSSC posted 4/2/2014 08:55 AM

He was in IC for 3 months following the wreck. We are probably going to get him back in unless the school guidance counselor can spend some time with him. (We are very fortunate in that the counselors actually will do counseling when it's needed)

I truly do believe this is related to that event. I just don't know how to help him heal and not use it as a crutch or excuse for bad behavior.

HFSSC posted 4/2/2014 09:47 AM

You hit it exactly. Thank you for the suggestion about breaking things into smaller tasks and setting goals. I do think that's a big part of the issue for him... he sees this monstrous task that he doesn't know how to attack.

We are going to get through this. Just sucks doing the hard stuff some times.

Rebreather posted 4/2/2014 11:20 AM

Dude, I feel you. I live this with my very bright son as well. It is so incredibly frustrating. And it has only been the last year for him. Started with not doing his advanced math in 8th grade because he didn't like the teacher and how she collected work. That makes sense. It got him into some bad habits that he's taken through his freshman year. He's pulling himself out of the hole right now, but it sucks. I HATE that the majority of my parenting time is hollering at him. HATE. IT. Last night he curled up next to me to watch a TV show together and it was very sweet.

Anyway, hang in there! You are not alone.

Sad in AZ posted 4/2/2014 11:36 AM

I never yelled at DS about school, and I didn't monitor his work once he reached high school. I laid it all on the line as far as what he could expect if he chose to not pursue an academic career (ie--participate academically in high school) but it was up to him.

He chose to not take a language and not take SATs. I explained this would preclude him from university; he was OK with that. Community college was available to start. He's very intelligent but he hated school; I was the same way, so I had empathy.

He thrived. He found DECA (sort of a junior marketing organization.) Wound up becoming southern area vice president in AZ. He traveled all over the country with them. I would never have considered stopping him from this, as it was his niche. Perhaps jROTC is your DS's niche?

DS got his dream job right out of HS--he was an IT manager by the time he was 19--with no college. He did wind up going for his BS in IT--on his employer's dime.

You know your son; you know how he will react and how this will affect him. But perhaps there's a creative way to look at his education?

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy