At Least He's Not Screaming

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    difficult child spoke to his guidance counselor yesterday about dropping orchestra and, well...let's just say that it didn't go the way difficult child had hoped. I called the GC to tell him something else and he told me that he told difficult child that it's too late in the year to drop it and that I should tell him that the principal won't allow him to drop it now. Basically, he said to put the blame on him, which is I suppose why difficult child didn't have a screaming meltdown about it: this time he could not pin the blame on me (for a change!)

    So, his response to being told that he would not be allowed to drop orchestra was, "Well, I don't care what GC says. I am not going and they can't make me. I don't care if they mark me badly." Really he does care, but not enough to make him go back to the orchestera room. He says that another kid just quit orchestra two weeks ago and it's not fair to make him continue when someone else just got to do what he wants to do now.

    Orchestra is an elective. He is not required to take it. It is an "extra" class for those students who wish to take it. He goes to the class every other morning before school (zero period) and has a violin lesson once a week during the school day that requires him to miss a class and make up the work. The GC knows about difficult child's problems here at home (at school he's an angel) but thinks that he should have to plow through to the end of the school year. That's a really long way off! husband and I both think that he should be allowed to drop the course, if for no other reason than to ease whatever is troubling his little mind, and so that I don't have to deal with the tantrums when he fails the class because he doesn't go to it.

    I asked difficult child if he was having trouble with missing classes and making up the work, but he just yelled at me that he doesn't want to talk about it and to leave him alone. If he won't tell me what the problem is I can't try to help him, so I feel like I'm left standing here looking stupid.

    I'm going to call the GC this morning and see what he says, but I'm not really sure what to do. If they make him continue with the class it's going to ruin his average and I know that he really upset about that, but like I said, not upset enough to give in and continue with the class.

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi Pam, my son is very bright and struggled mightily through many years of school. When he was in public school up through 9th grade, his teachers never could understand why he wouldn't just do what was expected of him because they knew that he was cognitively able. We now know from the staff at his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that he is extremely "stress sensitive" and that he needs to have as many stresses removed from his academic day as possible for him to perform to the best of his ability. I suspect from your recent posts that your son may be similar and that he is trying to tell you that with his actions. It may not be worth it to push him to take orchestra and continue with the violin if you want him to succeed in other parts of his academic life.

    When my son was younger, we found that we needed to build in as much downtime into his schedule as possible to alleviate meltdowns. As much as it went against our values (and we didn't make the same decisions for our daughters), that meant not pushing him to attend any classes outside of the school day, including religious school and other extracurriculars that we thought important but he couldn't handle. This decision did prevent meltdowns and ease his anxiety.

    There is a happy ending to this story. My son will graduate from high school and his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) program one week from today! He has a much greater understanding of his strengths and challenges and now works with himself rather than against himself. So I want you to know that there is hope as these kinds of kids grow and mature.

    Hang in there, Pam.
  3. Frazzledmom

    Frazzledmom Guest

    I'm not sure how it is in your community but I know that if I REALLY thought it was best for my son to drop a class I could push the school to accept that. I'd push hard, they should be able to come up with an alternative if it's necessary. You know what's best. Good luck.
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thanks, ladies!

    Smallworld, you are exactly right that he is very stress sensitive. Last night my mother in law was here babysitting and difficult child told her that he was not going to take orchestra any more. When she asked him why he told her that he got a "really bad grade" on a test or a quiz (mother in law was not really sure which) in his Englis class and that he thought that orchestra was getting in they way of him doing as well as he feels that he should. This was the missing piece to the puzzle. I had a feeling that this was the problem, but he would not tell me. I'm glad that he told mother in law because she then was able to tell me so that at least I have a better understanding of what is going on in his mind. By the way, the grade he got on the test/quiz that he felt was really bad? He got a 72, which for difficult child is like a failing grade. He's a straight A student, so a grade that low is pretty devestating to him.

    I have spoken to the guidance counselor twice today and basically told him that I undertand that he would like to see difficult child stick it out and that this could be a really great learning experience for him, but that if it was a choice between having him learn a really great lesson which will add more chaos to a home that is already full of chaos, or him dropping an elective that he does not need to take at this point I want the class dropped. The GC told me that if push really comes to shove he will allow him to drop the class, but he is going to talk to him to see if he can get him to change his mind. I don't see what the point is, but I think that the GC doesn't want difficult child to think that we're allowing him to drop the class because he caused a rukus over it. He wants him to know that we are going to allow him to drop the class because the adults in the picture think that this is the best thing for him to do right now.

    I've never had school problems with difficult child, so this is a completely new experience for me.

  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    yea it's all a learning experience wish they came with-handbooks. dont' you? lol. just a small how to guide i'd be good with. you did good it isnt' easy never is. yet you looked at the options and yea i'm all with you more chaos in your home or dropping an elective class. drop the class lessen the drama!