Welcome to my pity party.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Slept for about 3 hours last night and finally gave up after tossing and turning for an hour and came downstairs at 5am.

    All I could think about is how much I feel like I'm failing because difficult child 1 fell flat on his face this semester. I don't know that there's any one reason his grades dropped and for the first time he actually FAILED a class. Maybe because I didn't hover, I believed him when he said he did the homework and I didn't verify online until we were so far gone in the semester it was too late. He seems to have a lack of motivation and says school is boring and I want to just apply my foot to his backside. But this is the kid who shuts down or lashes out when confronted. Like when I caught him in a lie about his French homework he suddenly comes home (the week before finals) and announces he wants to drop French, how much it hoovers and he hates it. WHAT?! So you've invested a year and a half in this foreign language and NOW you've decided you don't want to take it anymore... uh huh. And the class he failed? Chemistry. Mostly because he didn't turn in the homework. And such is the story for all his other classes where he just blew stuff off, or did the homework but didn't turn it in. GAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!

    This is a kid with a reasonably above average IQ. He is his own worst enemy. We got his PSAT results, which were disappointing. And I was thinking last month of enrolling him in an SAT prep class this spring, but now after this dismal semester, I'm wondering why bother? And then I feel guilty for thinking that way! But all he wants to do is play Xbox with difficult child 2 or go to lacrosse practice. No motivation to get a job this summer because "I'm not done being a kid yet, mom." He turns 18 in 7 months. No interest in thinking about college or career. No interest in dating. No social life outside of lunchtime at school or lacrosse. I'm scared to think about him being 25 years old and still living at home because I can't get him to get out there and take chances.

    And I'm burned out with difficult child 2's issues at school. The moron math teacher who figured humiliation was the best way to get him to stay awake in class because she couldn't be bothered with reading his IEP which would TELL her that this is something he struggles with and it's not something he's doing intentionally. The immature water polo coach who has his own special brand of bullying and singling out difficult child 2 so that the environment for his peers continuing to harass him is juuuust perfect. And difficult child 2 is famous for doing work, but forgetting to turn it in. He dug out about 50 pages of work that he'd filed in his completed work box at home that had never been turned in! It's a miracle he didn't fail any classes this semester, but his grades aren't exactly stellar either.

    And even easy child this semester had missed assignments and her grades dropped. She was my one consistent source of parental pride and delight. I guess it was a good run, considering she's almost a teenager.

    So now I'm forced to be the heavy and starting Monday everyone's on a very tight leash. easy child protests the loudest because she's not used to having restrictions because she's always been an A student and always got all her work done. I reminded her that even SHE slacked off. I told them all to really enjoy their video games this weekend because they were going away.

    husband is now off Paxil and on Lamictal, and I'm seeing improvements in his mood and reduction in reactivity and negativity. He's helping out around the house more and trying to be more involved with the kids. So that's a good thing. But his job commute is still a huge drain and we are back in debt again thanks to unexpected expenses and no savings to really bail us out thanks to the huge difference in pay at this job compared to the one he lost. Of course, my angry decision to book the trip to New Orleans for next month after difficult child 2 put his foot through my wall isn't going to help with the budget, but I was/am just so tired of postponing everything because of other people's problems. And with all the difficult child issues to deal with there's just no way I can see me getting a job yet. Just when I think things are going well...

    I know things could be much worse, but I just feel so incredibly frustrated and disappointed with everything right now and my glass is looking very half-empty.:2dissapointed:
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    difficult child 1 and 2 should be doing this school stuff without you having to hover. By high school it was no longer something I dealt with on a reg basis. It was completely up to the kids to get their school work done and turned in on time. But I was really good about making some mighty fun activities suddenly vanish when they weren't doing how they should. No distractions is amazing to get home work done. lol

    They really need to be learning to meet these responsibilities themselves. They're quickly approaching adulthood. You need to practice laying the blame where it belongs. It's not your fault their grades have slipped, it's theirs.

  3. southermama3

    southermama3 New Member

    I don't have a teen but I have a tween who shows similar behavior. Starts stuff and never follows through UH! *throws head into wall*

    I too have a child with an above average iq and she tends to get bored a lot. She makes straight a's but fails writing bc she won't take the time to do it neatly!! I wonder how in the world can someone fail a course a's easy a's writing it's like failing PE!!!! It frustrates me to no end!!

    I wanted to wish u some peace! Lots of love..kel
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I feel your frustration. You can only do so much.Sounds like it is time for him to sink or swim based on his efforts.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just sending a huge comforting hug your way. I think you may just be having a one day pity party and I think that is therapeutic. Even two days isn't bad. Just don't let it move on to the point where you are doubting "your" capabilities and strengths. Figure out if "maybe" you have been too involved in guiding schoolwork etc. It's an easy trap to fall into because we all know how valuable education can be and as parents we want them to have every advantage. You'll figure it out. Why? Cause you're a smart cookie!
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member


    How totally draining. My vote??? Enjoy the trip. It is an investment in yourself, and in their mom.

    Do you think it would help to get one more little accommodation, even if it is someone (an ed aide or sp ed teacher) is taking five minutes each day to go through each of the kids folders to help them put assignments in a "turn in" folder for each class......and maybe need the teachers for each class to specifically ask them to get the papers out of the turn in folders??? Eventually you can reduce the prompts, but for now they dont have the skills consistently, so it might be something that could help.

    Whatever you do, just know you are heard and it is not your failure. We can all do things differently but sometimes we just dont know until a problem arises...it is easy to let some things slide when they have been going ok or when there are priorities. Pretty hard to look into the future and predict all of the issues that may come up. sounds like puberty is hitting your home harder and harder too.... that is rough.

    So, now you see what is going on and you are adjusting your parenting, it is what we all have to do... unfortunately for those of us here that process can happen way more frequently than many other parents. big sigh.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. Enjoy your trip, you deserve it. As for the school issues? That is hard. I give easy child reminders to do homework and ask her about it, but don't double check her. I feel like they are her grades and she needs to be responsible for them.

    If it was difficult child in that place? I don't know what I would do. Homework is a battle I have up on with him years ago, it just causes too much stress. I dread high school with graduation on the line.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Have your pity party the rest of today and then set down the law. Like you said you do not want to be in my shoes with a grown, hairy behinded adult living at home. (and no end in sight!) He needs you to sit him down and tell him that all outside activities will cease and desist until grades are pulled up. If he wants to be 21 and still in school, that is fine with you but he can explain to his classmates why his brother and sister are graduating before him!

    Does he have to have a foreign language to graduate there? Here it depends on if they are college prep or not. Of course, they can get the regular diploma and then go to community college and then transfer to a 4 year after they get the 2 years in. Saves a bit of money that way too. Just a thought. I dont know what your thoughts are on taking away lacrosse so I will leave that on your shoulders. For me, everything that he didnt have to do would be gone. TV, phone, all fun...until he was pulling at least C's.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    He isn't driving yet, is he? Pulling the keys was a major motivator for Miss KT.

    While I understand your frustration, I'd let the two oldest sink or swim. Failing a class was the turn-around for Miss KT, forcing her to take zero period PE one semester. She became much more diligent at doing the work and turning it in after that. They don't need the SAT for community college, so I wouldn't sweat that, either - I seem to remember you saying that they'd be doing at least a year at community college before transferring.

    Hugs to you. Hope the boys decide to ramp up their efforts next semester.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    (((((hugs))))) I also think a day or three of pity party are not a bad thing for you. But then you have to figure out how to handle this. in my opinion something is going on with easy child. If she hasn't been tested for LDs or other problems, that might be a good idea. Also doing whatever is possible to help with organization, including having her do the Turn In folder thing AND some ocnsequence for not turning it all in.

    difficult child 2 clearly needs help. Bullying is EVIL and WRONG and his coach is supposed to stop it not join in. I would NOT let that one go as this is a school sponsored thing and he is getting PAID to do this. Do you really want YOUR taxes and activity fees to go to PAY someone to bully your child? Cause that is what happens when a school employee bullies a child. I would even phrase it that way to the activity director and if your previous efforts have not taken care of the issue TOTALLY then I would go see the school superintendent. I would NOT mess with the principal or activity director again because they already know and either haven't done anything or haven't done enough. Bullying can VERY MUCH be part of his grade problems. The anxiety that results can ruin everything else, including how well your medications are working. At 15 there needs to be something that you can use as a carrot to help with turning things in.

    As for 17yo difficult child? Cut off the money tap. Seriously, he is REFUSING to get a job OR to do a good job and his ONLY responsibility (school) because he wants to play video games and lacrosse? Well, sorry Charlie that is about the BIGGEST pile of BS I have EVER heard of. Who does he think he is and what RIGHT does he think he has to be a slacker with YOUR MONEY???? You and husband need to come up with some boundaries, responsibilities and privileges. Not meeting the responsibiliites and sticking to the boundaries will mean that his life seriously hoovers, like no tv/video games/lacrosse/time with friends/money for ANYTHNG, packed lunches of PBJ sandwiches and a thermos good ole H2O for a drink and not much else and the thermos better come home or he ponies up the $$ for a new one EVERY TIME.

    What have you really expected of him up to now? He has had his fun paid for by you, has had you double check his school stuff, has wanted for NOTHING including luxuries, and he has NO intention of NOT living this way the rest of his life. Or at least until he is 25 or 30. Read Parenting Your Teen with Love and Logic, then start holding him accountable and making him be a responsible person if he wants his fun. As he has flunked a class, he may not be able to play lacrosse. Did you have an agreement, or is there a school or assn rule about eligibility? My folks would have sold my gear for what your son did. I wasn't expected to make all A's (and I could have but it was boring and I had things to do) but I did makes A's and B's except for VERY select classes (GYM) where it was common knowledge that there was no way on this Earth that I could do that stuff. But even in gym I had to WORK HARD. My folks would NOT have let me have car keys, nights out iwth my friends, or much of ANYTHING else if I flunked a class and had C's and D's. Just would have been a nightmare for me.

    As for boring? Is he SERIOUS???? How many times have you watched some game, performance etc... and been bored out of you MIND but you stayed and watched anyway because HE was in said whatever?? How many BORING hours have you spent doing his laundry, cooking his food, washing his dishes, cleaning the house he lives in, waiting in lines to get something he just couldn't live without? How about all those HOURS you spent cleaning off his tush and then applying another diaper to it? Were those EXCITING? The most riveting thng that ever happened? OF COURSE NOT! But you did them anyway because it was your job to do them. Yes, you loved him then and love him now and wanted and watn the best for him, but you were STILL BORED when you did those things.

    What about husband? Is husband's job a thrill a minute or is it like most job, fairly interesting, something he is good and often, wait for it ....BORING because there can only be so many new ways to do something? But husband has held a job that had a substantially large amt of BORING day after day, week after week, so that difficult child 1 could have a good life.

    Time to tell difficult child 1 to grow up. And time to insist it happen by not providing all the stuff he wants. Make him earn them. I think he should be forced to have a job. A LOT of people do far better when they are busy and don't have a lot of down time. They must schedule things, and learn to stick with it, and put in more effort, but they also accomplish more and get more out of life.

    You are a great mom. Honestly, the fact that you haven't lost your own mind as you worked to get the help they and husband needed should be a HUGE source of pride in your parenting. I know their are days when my biggest source of parental pride is that I haven't eaten my young. NO ONE can upset you more than your kids.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    (((Hugs))) Your difficult child 2 sounds similar to my easy child/difficult child who always says she isn't ready to be an adult (too late-she is 18). I worry to if she will ever move out because getting her to take any risks is very difficult.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, I hate to tell him, life as an adult is very boring...lol.

    I will never forget the time when Jamie came home for his first visit once he was actually finally at his first assignment in the Marines. He was up at Quantico and had a 72 hour pass. He didnt have a car yet but one of his buddies was going down to SC to visit his parents so he dropped Jamie at our house and would come back and pick him up on their way home. Marines are good that way.

    Anyway, Jamie was sitting in the living room with us and he had been gone almost a year at this point and we had seen him maybe twice...his boot camp graduation and then when graduated from a part they do at Camp Lejeune right after boot camp. Then we didnt see him again till that visit in November. Well...he told us that he had no idea why he was in such a hurry to grow up. Being an adult sure wasnt what everyone said it was cracked up to be. He wished he could go back to being a kid again because that was a heck of a lot more fun. Then he sort of looked around the room and house, leaned back in the chair and sighed. He looked at us and said...but you know mom and dad, I can never come home again. This will always be my childhood home but now I have to find my grownup home and this simply cant be it. It was a somewhat teary moment but obviously he was the only one we launched correctly. With the help of the Marines!
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks everyone :)

    I'm doing better today. I try to detach, I try to not get too stuck on a particular vision I have for my kids, but like any parent, it hurts to see them fail and I find myself panicking over all the what-ifs. Not good.

    We've implemented a strict homework check policy and taken away all video/hand held game choices which were HUGE distractions for all three kids. They only get a limited amount of time on them AFTER I've signed off on their planner/work being completed. As predicted, easy child is the one having the hardest time with this, but that's just tough beans for her.

    The boys are not complaining a bit and have lined up very well to follow the new rules, but it's only been one night so we've got a long road ahead of us. But it was nice to see difficult child 1 set his alarm (FINALLY) and actually get up to take his medications on his own yesterday morning. He's sick now, though and had a harder time getting up today -- only went in for 1st period and called me to bring him home. Looks like he's got husband's nasty cold (which turned into bronchitis and sinus infection for husband). It's always something.

    I'm not going to bother with all the SAT garbage. At this point, it will mean more stress and more money, neither of which I can afford. But I AM going to look into summer school for difficult child 1 and told him so. I got an exasperated sigh, but that's it. He seems resigned to the fact that he dropped the ball and these are the consequences he's earned. So that's a good step, I think.

    One day at a time...
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    VERY good update!! Good for you!
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Pity parties are worthwhile sometimes. Go for it! Get it out of your system (believe it or not, it will pass ... I'm living proof) and then move on and crack down, as others have said.
    I totally hear you about difficult child 1. Sounds so much like my difficult child. He could sell ice cubes to Eskimos. The only thing that has gotten us over his lying is to force him to re-do any missing assignment, NOW. Doesn't matter if it's done 3X and he eventually finds them all stuffed in his locker. It's his responsiblity to turn them in and if he doesn't, he has to redo them. He has fits, he yells, he swears, he gets in my face. I make him do it anyway. That's what a Warrior Mom does.
    I agree with-the others, cut off the money, video games, whatever he uses the most and loves the most so that you get his attention. His attention will not be pretty, so be prepared for him to yell that he hates you. A lot.
    I am so sorry about difficult child 2's issues in school with-the moron teachers. I read that on the general board and get so frustrated, I could fly through the screen. I tend to call mtngs so often that the teachers get sick of it, so it's either deal with-me at another mtng, or do keep difficult child after school and make sure he gets his work done. (After school works much better for them. :))
    I am so happy that your husband's medication change is working. Fingers crossed!
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Great update... I wonder if easy child will just settle in... probably the hardest as you said because in past really she hadn't needed so many interventions. You did an amazing job... would be a role model on that bald psychologists show, LOL

    Hope they get in a better school work pattern. And hopefully the rewards from improved grades and self satisfaction will make them do this all independently (ok not holding my breath, but it is a nice dream)