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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 01-25-2017, 11:54 AM
first timer first timer is offline
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Default Kid Failing Grade 10 - frustrated parent

Hi some background info: 2 kids D:18 in college living with me full time since last June when she graduated high school - her choice, stays over to her mother's 1 night a week; S:15 50/50 schedule in Grade 10;

S:15 has never had much interest in school but did do the work to pass each grade until this year, Grade 10. Is even more disinterested than before and is on the verge of failing. Mother is not interested in our kids' education, the responsibility has fallen on me. So no support from her at all.

I am doing my best but its like pulling teeth to get my S:15 to do anything school related or to even take failing seriously. I still hear - dad is making me study.

I was wondering how other parents deal with this frustration.
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:08 PM
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Janus Janus is offline
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If this was an intact family, I would recommend that you make privileges dependent upon successful attitude regarding school. Not necessarily mark based, but certainly attitude based.

Unfortunately, in a divorce situation, if you come down hard and the other parent is permissive, the kid will just walk to his mom's house and avoid all repercussions.

Kid will fail, kid will do summer school. Hopefully kid decides next year that summer school is not so awesome and takes step to avoid it.

The other option is to have two meetings:

#1) You and mom: Decide on consequences
#2) You and mom and kid: Where as a team you lay out consequences

Obviously if mom is not on board then you and your child are out of luck.
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:35 AM
trinton trinton is offline
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don't pressure the child, talk to her friendly and promise her a new car if she graduates with a B
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Old 01-26-2017, 09:42 AM
SadAndTired SadAndTired is offline
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It sounds like you are going to have to do a lot of the work on this one, first timer.

What does your son say about school? It is just hard for him or just feels pointless? Any reasons why school is difficult? Have you offered your support? Sit down and tackle the homework together?

Have you met with any of his teachers to get their perspective? It is a learning disability? Behavioural issue? Their opinion might help greatly.

What about medical issue? Is he depressed? Anxious? Apathetic?

I think simply asking Mom to insist he study isn't going to help.

Approach your son in a "how can I help?" manner and see what he says. What he identifies as the problem may not really be it but it will give you a starting point. It may take several times of approaching him gently to get him to open up.

I think you need to find out the genuine root of the problem before trying out solutions.
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:13 PM
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Thank everyone for your replies.

What does your son say about school? - He hates it.

It is just hard for him or just feels pointless? - not hard, just would rather be playing games online than doing school work or studying

Any reasons why school is difficult? - no, just not interested

Have you offered your support? - yes, went through all the material with him before exams

Sit down and tackle the homework together? - yes when he is with me

Have you met with any of his teachers to get their perspective? - yes, they say same thing, he rushes through the work, does not check it, needs to do more review

It is a learning disability? - nope, been tested

Behavioural issue? - nope, good kid

Their opinion might help greatly. - teacher's opinion is he needs to make more of an effort, do the work, review

What about medical issue? Is he depressed? Anxious? Apathetic? - he gets anxious because he knows he is doing poorly; he has an ostrich approach

I think simply asking Mom to insist he study isn't going to help. - no it would not, she has made it very clear that when he is with her he is in control of what he does, when he does it, if he chooses to do nothing then he will learn from his mistakes

Approach your son in a "how can I help?" manner and see what he says. What he identifies as the problem may not really be it but it will give you a starting point. It may take several times of approaching him gently to get him to open up. - this is my approach but his attitude is not changing

I think you need to find out the genuine root of the problem before trying out solutions. - he knows I am not going to give up on him, which has been his concern over the years

I struggle with how to support him with this because it seems all it is, is him not wanting to make the effort and when he does, he thinks its a one time thing, perhaps he has to fail to wake up
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:18 PM
PeacefulMoments PeacefulMoments is offline
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Maybe show him what his life would look like at a minimum wage job.
Do a little budget and show him what his income would be and also show him rents and expected expenses.

It might be a good reality check as to what could happen in his life if he doesn't put some effort into his education and future.

Many teens don't understand the concept of what it takes to support yourself, especially in the lifestyle they want to live.
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Old 01-26-2017, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Maybe show him what his life would look like at a minimum wage job.
Teenagers generally apply a massive present value discount when it comes to future benefits. In other words, if one course of action would bring 100 points of happiness in the future, they might value it at about 5 points today. If it takes 7 points of effort and unhappiness today to earn that 100 points of happiness in the future, they won't necessarily see the value.

Teenagers are awesome people, but they are not the best at long-term planning.
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Old 01-26-2017, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Teenagers generally apply a massive present value discount when it comes to future benefits. In other words, if one course of action would bring 100 points of happiness in the future, they might value it at about 5 points today. If it takes 7 points of effort and unhappiness today to earn that 100 points of happiness in the future, they won't necessarily see the value.

Teenagers are awesome people, but they are not the best at long-term planning.
Brilliant response. Applause.
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:46 PM
Beachnana Beachnana is offline
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Suggest he takes a coop at 16 he can join the armed reserve. Get a couple of credits, earn good money and he may just like it.
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Old 03-05-2017, 09:12 AM
Aghast Aghast is offline
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Quote:
I think simply asking Mom to insist he study isn't going to help. - no it would not, she has made it very clear that when he is with her he is in control of what he does, when he does it, if he chooses to do nothing then he will learn from his mistakes
Obviously we don't know the whole story but, I am with mom on this one. I am in the same situation with my s16. Maybe mom is a bit too laid back but in the end, the teenager is going to decide whether or not he/she is going to put forth an effort.

Have your talk, explain that a few years of hard work will translate into less work the rest of his/her life. Make a period of no electronics which he/she can do homework and if he decides not to do homework....he will learn from his mistakes.

Too much helicopter parenting going on these days, kids don't fall, so how do they learn to get back up? Should we write their resumes? Should we attend their interviews? What happens when they enter their career and they aren't ambitious? Do we pay then a visit and lecture them on the benefits of climbing the corporate ladder?

You mentioned that he was a good kid, so you have done your job. He's a teenager now so you no longer control his behaviour/ actions, you can only guide him and offer advice. Don't give up on him but don't pull your hair out about it.

What is the difference in a child's behaviour between a split family and an intact family?....Who is to blame.
In an intact family, the child is to blame, in a split family it is the other parent.
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