Why Do difficult children Insist on Making Life Difficult for Themselves?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I know...I know...

    There's really no answer.

    This week, difficult child was supposed to be choosing her classes for next year--10th grade. The school starts early because there are ALWAYS scheduling problems. Kids are told right up front that they cannot expect to get their first choice in all classes--they MUST select back-ups just in case.

    Kids are also cautioned to get all their required courses in as soon as possible so there will be no problems graduating on time.

    Well, difficult child selected her courses (including an Astronomy class--that based on her grades and limited enrollment she has ZERO chance of getting) and selected NO BACK-UPS.

    I asked whether there was anything else she could possibly choose as a backup--so she doesn't end up with a schedule full of study-halls--but naturally, this leads to a big argument.

    So...unless everything goes abolsutely perfectly AND she manages to pass all of her classes this year (yeah, right) there is no way that she can graduate on time. We had also planned that difficult child would participate in the school's vocational program--but even THAT won't happen if she doesn't get all her core courses finished in 9th and 10th grade.

    I know there are no good answers...

    And part of the problem is that difficult child is in complete denial. She STILL thinks she has A's and B's.....even though she is currently failing four classes. She's perfectly capable of passing--but she doesn't see the need to put in any extra effort.

    So if she doesn't pass--she will automatically be re-enrolled in those courses next year....and the rest will be study halls. And it is her own stubborn attitude that is going to put her behind.


    Thanks for listening.

  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I am surprised that the school lets her do that. In our district all required classes are assigned to all students and only electives can be "full". Course, if you fail classes in our district, you will be taking them over too.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Why do they do it? Nature of the beast. ;)

    What really irks me though is when they do things so completely halfway willy-nilly and it *still* works out for them. Sometimes I felt/feel like karma is conspiring against the possibility of my difficult child *ever* learning from experience because he really does slide by far more often than the law of averages says he should.

    So, if your difficult child is properly covered by that special difficult child karma, she'll pass and get her electives and all will be well and once again, you will have been completely overreacting and worried for nothing (in her eyes). Sigh... it's kinda no-win. ;)
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Is there any way you can call and talk to her guidance counselor? I would think that she would get her requirements and then only adjust her schedule to fit in some electives. Maybe the guidance councelor should just assign some based on your conversation and then call her to his/her office and let her know that this is her schedule for next year based on the track she's on.

  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    EXACTLY!!!! You are EXACTLY right!!!!

    In a way, it means that our difficult children really do know more about how life works than we do. Here we are, trying to work and play well with others, follow the rules--

    When really, if we did whatever the heck we wanted, things would be just fine anyway.

    Yes, you describe my frustration well...

    Where can I get some of that special Karma for myself? I sure could use it!

  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I did stop in and talk to a guidance counselor because it looks as if difficult child will fail Math (her grades have not better than 50% all year). The guidance counselor explained that all schedules are created in early spring, based on the assumption that the child will pass. If the child fails, their schedule is manually changed over the summer so that they have to re-take the failed course--plus remove them from any classes that they cannot take due to missing the pre-requisite.

    Missing Math I is going to blow a big hole in difficult child's schedule because it is a pre-req for the math and science courses she needs to take in 10th grade.


    You make a good point about the school letting kids do this. I think it's mostly just oversight. Too many kids to keep track--so they rely on students and parents.

    Basically, there is a "suggested course schedule" set up to guide everyone as to how the classes should be taken in order to graduate. The "suggested schedule" has an empty slot each year...so as to allow for kids who are in "Gifted and Talented" or ROTC or other specialized program. If there is no program to put in the empty slot, the student may take extra electives or a study hall.

    Unfortunately, the school is not paying that close attention. difficult child signed up for ROTC...so she shouldn't have had any blank spots in her school day...but she ALSO asked for, and got, a study hall for Freshman year. I went and protested that if difficult child took the study hall in 9th grade, she would not be able to graduate because the rest of her schedule wouldn't work. They saw I was right, so difficult child took keyboarding instead of study hall.

    So now for 10th grade, difficult child should also NOT have any blank space in her schedule...But it is looking like she may be scheduled a study hall anyway...

    AND without completing Math I, she will not be eligible for the Math and Science courses she selected--and she chose no alternates. So instead of being able to at least fulfill some requirements toward graduating...difficult child may end up with a year that doesn't count for much more than making up what she didn't accomplish in 9th grade.

    And for my efforts, of course, I look like the big, mean, ogre for suggesting difficult child at least choose SOME alternates, just in case...

  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Yes, I know this feeling. It's impossible to teach Onyxx that she must follow rules when BM gets away with everything, and then subsequently Onyxx gets a slap on the wrist.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I used to get so mad as a kid (I was 100% easy child) when I saw the difficult children break the rules and still get what the wanted and they also got to be "cool". I would comfort myself by saying that I was going to be better prepared for adulthood. But then they still got what they wanted and they never seemed to get that they should follow any rules...:faint:

    Now I understand that as a society we can't afford to apply significant consequences for every broken rule. That means there will always be people who make incredibly selfish choices and get away with them and worse, cause pain to others.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Have you checked graduation requirements? At Miss KT's high school, there were actually three different sets of "requirements." The first set prepared students to enter a 4-year university, based on NCLB. The second prepared them for a state college. The third was what was needed to graduate from high school. Period. Miss KT's counselor was pushing for the first set, and I sat there and insisted on the third set. There was no way on this earth that she was going to pass four years of math, four years of science, four years of foreign language, etc. Not happening.

    She managed to graduate from high school, on the honor roll, and is now attending a junior college. She's not a stellar student, but she's passing her classes.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi KTMom--

    Yes, difficult child is already working at the lowest level possible. She already changed her program twice in order to get easier and easier requirements.

    The latest revision planned on difficult child attending the school's vocational program--so that she could graduate with some job training. In order to participate, she has to get a few required courses in now--in 9th and 10th grade.

    What's completely ridiculous is that difficult child is perfectly capable of graduating at the Honors level. She is failing because she flat out refuses to do the homework. So her grades of 50% are the result of test grades (in the eighties and nineties) being averaged with homework, classwork, and project grades (zeroes).

    But there's no convincing her that she's going to fail unless she starts doing some school work...

    Likewise, she cannot imagine that it might be a good idea to have a 'backup plan' in case this little game of hers does not work out the way she thinks.

  11. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I have to say that my daughter definately makes things harder for herself. She just never gets a break though. I try to help her, but she does not want to listen. She thinks she knows everything. I have set a rule for myself. She gets teased in school a lot. I feel badly but she does it to herself. She refuses to get up in the morning and get ready for school. Then she drags out of bed and doesn't have the best personal hygiene. I remind her to brush teeth, brush hair, put on deodorant. She doesn't. When she comes home, long face, upset. It hurts my heart, I ask her what happened, the kids teased me. Well duh, I told you they were going to. Next morning she might make some changes, 2 days later back to the same old thing. My other daughter, can really mess up and comes out smelling like a rose regardless. Everytime. I wish my difficult child, could catch a little luck sometimes. They make you crazy and then they break your heart too.