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Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Ugh! I don't know what happened to my bright student, but I'm losing my patience with Difficult Child. He's been saying all year that his math teacher stinks, and he definitely is doing far worse in math this year than he has in the past. Report cards were posted to the parent portal and I looked. He got a 41 on his math mid term! A 41!! In an honors math class. And in two classes, one of which was math, and the other is honors AP World History, the comments were "performance declining. Missing homework." I confront him about it, but the teachers are "lying." There is no missing homework, and he got a 41 because the teacher is so bad.

    Then he tells me that he's changed his mind and doesn't want to go away to college. He wants to go, but wants to live home. With me. I never thought I would say this to a child, but I told him that he needs to go away. Even my husband agrees with me, and he never agrees with me about anything when it comes to Difficult Child. If he wants to go somewhere local, that's fine, but he needs to dorm there. The rest of us have earned a chance at a "normal" life (whatever that is) and that starts with him going away to school.

    Two more years. Two more years. Two more years...
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I am not a psychiatrist or a therapist nor do I play one on television. I think he is telling you, in a not so subtle way, is that he is scared. The whole jump from being in HS and living at home to being a responsible adult is scary for a typical kid. I think for our kiddos it is beyond terrifying.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why don't you want him to live at home and go to college? Is it his horrible behavior? I'm not up on your situation.

    I asked because many kids don't want to go away from home and many also gt into drugs and worse at college, and most are WELL ADJUSTED kids.My lovely eighteen year old who is a joy and sunshine to us often gets homesick.

    Also, college isn't for everyone, including all bright kids.

    I would let it go for now if it were me, but I never did think that college was the be-all and end-all of a successful life as I have two very successful young men who make a lot of money without college. One is a millionaire. Well, that one doesn't speak to us anymore, but he flat out refused college, said he's starting out ahead of his peers, and has his own company now and he is rolling in the bucks. My other son would be doing great too if not for having to pay child support.

    It's not like it was in our day. I am thinking we are about the same age. College in the wrong field won't get you a job. College in a good field doesn't always guarantee you a job either.

    At any rate, if he is not going to try hard and is going to spend most of his time parting, he won't last in college anyway. Maybe you need to alter your expectations and get a new plan. He can have to leave at eighteen, college or no college.

    He could be doing poorly in school on purpose and, yes, sending you a message.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry his grades are declining. I know what a worry that can be. My daughter, who always did really well in school started declining in high school. She blew a full scholarship to a local university (where she would have lived in the dorms). For her high school was extremely difficult because she was in with some not so good friends and when she realized this (aka-got burned by them) she went into a deep depression plus suffers from great anxiety. She ended up going to an alternative high school. After high school she took a gap year and then went to the local tech college for 2 1/2 years. She just went away to college in January. She is 21! There were times when I thought she was never going to move or do much. She even came out and told us she was afraid of growing up. She chose to go to therapy and it has helped a lot; she is learning to manage her anxiety and depression.

    I do understand the need to want your son to move out. Hoping he will turn things around and you can find out why things are where they are at right now.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    He has always said he wanted to go away to college, mostly because he wanted to get away from us and our rules. Yes, I want him to live in the dorms because of his behavior towards us and his younger brother, but also because he needs to learn to do things on his own. Managing a schedule, doing his own laundry, living with other people. All skills he needs to figure out because the real world is beckoning, and he has to know how to live with other people.

    It's only the two classes that he has had repeated issues with homework. None of his other teachers report problems with him turning it in. Just math and world history. He says he "forget" that he has it, and then forgets to turn it in late (his world history teacher allows them to make up missed assignments).

    I know I should be more patient with him. If he wants to stay home and answer coming out of my mouth should be, "Of course you can live at home and go to college!" I just can't bring myself to tell him that. I'm just done. Therapists, psychiatrists, medications, hospitals, suicide attempts, violence. I can't take any more of it. His going away to college was always the light at the end of the tunnel for me and the rest of the family. Now that's being taken away, too. It's like will never be anything to look forward to because Difficult Child with always be three, clouding everything.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you honestly think he'll go from doing nothing to being responsible in a college dorm? Most likely, like many who have been there/done that, he won't become magically responsible just because you're not there. He will probably party and not even go to classes. Many of our little darlings have done that. Few get through college.Yes, yes, normal teens can make the transition and are not particularly sorry to have to do it either, even if they have been spoiled at home. But your son is defiant and angry. That's different.

    Not saying it can't happen. ANYTHING can happen. But you should probably have a Plan B. And start to be ok with wasting your money on trying to get him an education and paying for his dorm. What they are when they are here is who they bring with them when they are not here.

    "You can't run away from yourself."
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I truly get where you are coming from with wanting him to go live in the dorm! I don't think you should feel bad about not wanting him at home! I think that is perfectly normal. I know with my difficult child graduating this year I am wishing that he could be out on his own but with his disabilities it isn't going to happen. Sending some gentle hugs your way.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That was my first thought.
    And ramping up in his behaviors, deliberately choosing to fail instead of falling on his face later... that would be typical of many of 'our' kids.
  9. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    I wish you luck Bunny, hopefully you can get it out of him whats really going on. Even if some teachers arent the best, he is going to have to learn to get through it. I know, its hard even for us who dont have their issues. Im trying to teach my kids this, of course, its not working. Hopefully he pulls his grades up, any bribery maybe? You will rent/buy a video game, or other item at the end of such and such month or year for keeping his grades up?
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What happened to your bright student?
    Well... I lost two of them.
    One got lost due to other school issues (bullying, toxic teachers, etc.)
    The other got lost due to having found school too easy in the years when they learned how to study and work... and there is no make-up class for those skills when you hit middle school or later.

    School works for absolutely average kids. There is some accommodation for brilliance, IF you can fit in to the system. Otherwise... in my opinion... school does not work.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I agree with you here. If our young adult children live at our homes, it stalls their development to be independent. Our younger son lives at home and will likely continue to do so couple more years and while it only makes sense in our situation, it is also easy to notice how much less independent and mature he is in certain things than his older brother was at the same age. Figuring things out on your own certainly has benefits. And at least I'm not ready to consider my adult child living in my home as equal room mate with rights and responsibilities to come with that. Instead of sitting down and negotiating equally about the rules with Joy and me and husband agreeing to his rules in the same way we would expect him to respect our rules, we just tyrannically laid down the house rules for him. He is not an equal, adult room mate in our house, he is our barely adult kid living under our roof and that is a big difference to independent living situation.

    However it does sound like your son is getting cold feet. I think that in some ways it is typical. Thought of independence may be thrilling but it is also scary. You may need to push him to take that step and support him more than the typical child. But living independently and having that experience of figuring things out is also a huge confidence and maturity boost.
  12. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    ICD, I think that what happened to your second child is part of what is going on with mine. School was always too easy for him. He ever had to really work hard or study. This year and last year he was hit with work that was hard, and he really did not understand, and still refuses to learn, how to actually study and prepare for tests and working on long term projects.
  13. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Is there any type of classes/testing he can take to help him with learning how to study? I hope things get better with his grades and learning study habits :)