Feeling a bit sad for my difficult child today

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 'Chelle, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    My difficult child has been doing very well, haven't any big problems to ask about. Just his reaction to an English assignment he got has left me sad for him, and trying to think of what to say to him to help him out. I knew this semester would be a harder one, having both English and Math, his 2 least favorite subjects. One of the resource teachers he's worked with quite a bit in the past called yesterday and talked to me about his reaction to English so far. She said she went in the room and noticed his mood was not good, and asked what what going on. He was upset about English, on the 2 assignments they've done so far his marks are in the C+ range. He told the resource teacher that he did the best he could, but if that was the marks he was going to get on his best effort, he didn't see the point. Then told her about the next assignment which is writing 200 words on each of 9 different memories from his past. He was upset about this because, he told her, there are very few good memories in his past, most of it is bad, and why would he want to bring that all up again in an English assignment. This is the part that makes me sad, that he feels there are so few good memories that he doesn't feel he could come up with 9. It's not good to know that your child (when he's still only 16) feels his childhood was so bad he doesn't want to remember anything of it.

    I'm going to try take this as it's partly all the negatives to start with: that it's English, that his teacher that he's never worked with before has marked him so hard, and that it's an assignment that would be hard for him in any case -- and not necessarily that he thinks his life is all bad. And there is one good thing I see in this -- he actually talked to the teacher (who he likes) about what was going on. HUGE thing for him, in the past he wouldn't have said a word.

    This assignment is worth a large portion of the marks, if he doesn't do it he wont pass the class and will have to retake it. (SIGH) Now what to say to him to get him to do it :huh: Guess I'll have to sit down with him and try to put some memories down that he could write about, I know he's gotta have some good ones in there somewhere.
     
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Chelle, I actually had something similar happen to me in a college english class and I handled it by going to the professor privately and explaining that the assignment was something that would be emotionally difficult for me to do. She understood it well and allowed me to choose another topic for the paper. Maybe you could talk to difficult child's teacher and see if he/she would be willing to allow difficult child to do a different topic since this one is such a difficult one emotionally. Im sure the teacher would be understanding.
     
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Your plan is what I was going to suggest. Maybe shoot an email off to his teacher about this, then remind him that this doesn't have to be about his strongest memories. Maybe you can find some photos of a vacation, or first party, etc., and help him remember and come up with some words and not dwell on the negative. It's one of those assignments he just needs to get thru. And really, a C+ in a weak, hated subject is not so bad. When I had classes like that most of my energy went to making myself do it. LOL!
     
  4. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Thanks for the suggestion. The resource teacher was going to talk to the English teacher, see if there were anything they could do to modify it for difficult child. They've been very good with him in the past, trying to accomodate him with changes just so he could get an assignment handed in they could mark. Don't know if anything will change, but it can be about ANY memory, so hopefully we can find some things he'll agree to write about. Part of the problem with English assignments is that they're so abstract, which is hard for difficult child to "get" sometimes. Not to mention many of them the teacher is looking for "feelings" to come out in the writing, and difficult child does NOT do feelings. Resource teacher and I talked about getting him to write something about his memories that are more "fact" based, and just hand it in. Better a lower mark and get through the class than no mark at all. It's probably one reason his mark in this class is not that high (and he was only hoping for a low to mid B, not aiming for the stars here LOL). The teacher is probably looking for something in the writing that difficult child is not able to give.
     
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hmmm... ask difficult child what he'd like to write about and propose that to the teacher, making the length and level of difficulty or expectations equal to her original assignment. Maybe then he'll get into it and get a grade that helps turn the C+ into a B- it's not that far of a jump! Will he write about goals for the future or what he'd do if he was stranded on an island or his ideal vacation?
     
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes...not all english is feeling oriented. Research papers arent.
     
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I just thought of another one my son was allowed to use- (he got to substitute assignments when it was about his father and then something else about family memries). He did the one about being stranded on an island, then another one was to write about his favorite things or people or what he'd love to do and why for each. I'm just thinking that if you could think of (or find out) what your difficult child is passionate about or talks about a lot, that he could really get into this assignment.
     
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Can you think of some good memories and take the opportunity to help him remember them?
     
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