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(36 Posts)
seasider Sat 12-May-18 18:24:46

I am at my wit' s end . Youngest DS starts his GCSEs this week and is refusing to revise. He was never very academic (able but lazy) but we thought he would get a few passes. In the last few months he has become friendly with a boy who joined the school and he is never in . He Has wanted a best mate for ages so I am loath to try and split them up.DS has never been an angel but started behaving badly at school despite being told he will be banned from the school prom.
We have told he can have one night out at the weekend while his exams are on. He agreed but now is sulking as he is " the only one not allowed out!" He has not kept to his side of the bargain and done some revision. We have never really pushed him and have taken a step back so as not to put the pressure on.
I know it's not the end of the world and he can 're-sit but it's so frustrating and I wonder where I have gone wrong

BlueBelle Sat 12-May-18 18:45:20

Seasider you haven’t gone wrong I think this is much more common than you realise A lot of boys can’t face the classroom at 16 our dads were out working at 14 my grandad was fighting in a war at 16 (he changed his birth certificate and they were taking anyone WW1 without questions) his mum must have died a thousand deaths as he was sent straight to France and lucky to come out alive
My own son came away with very little at 16 signed on for a YTS and has zoomed through working life and earns more than my two girls put together
It’s frustrating but not the end of the world

seasider Sat 12-May-18 18:49:19

Thanks Blubelle I know he will get there eventually but it's just so hard when you know he is shooting himself in the foot! I just want the best for him sad

Greenfinch Sat 12-May-18 18:51:17

You have not gone wrong and children are all very different despite being brought up in the same family.In this day and age when so many youngsters are suffering from anxiety and stress and getting getting all het up about exams it is refreshing to hear about one who is not.I think you just have to accept him as he is without pushing or bargaining with him.One of my sons was like that at school but has since done very well because of his confidence and laid back approach.I think your son will find his own way.Don't worry about him.

Greenfinch Sat 12-May-18 18:54:11

Don't worry sorry.
I crossed posts with BlueBelle but would echo what she says.

M0nica Sat 12-May-18 19:27:59

seasider it is not your fault. But even if your son's exam results are a disaster, all is not lost. My closest friend did few O levels and failed all her A levels and went off and trained as a secretary. At 22, she realised how foolish she had been, went back to college and qualified as a solicitor and when it became possible for solicitors to become judges was appointed to be a judge. Her retirement pension alone is more than I ever earned. Another friend did something similar but later put the hours in and became a Chartered Accountant and was also very successful.

Sometimes youngsters have to find their way in life for sometime before they suddenly fix on something they want to do and then they work and concentrate and amaze everybody.

seasider Sat 12-May-18 23:13:23

Thank you everybody. I will bite my tongue and just try to support him .

minxie Sun 13-May-18 09:25:20

Don’t worry to much, my youngest sailed through his GCSE’s without much revision. He thought he could do the same with his A levels and failed all but one. We fought to get him back in school and he has since gone on to get a first in law. Things tend to straighten out. I never put pressure on him as that tends to push them away

LJP1 Sun 13-May-18 09:27:15

You haven't gone wrong. He is trying to find his own feet and unfortunately he is doing it at this time in his education.

Just support him. He knows he should work and that you are concerned but back off. Explain that the choices he makes from now on are his and that you will always be there to pick up and dust off if things don't work out.

Theoddbird Sun 13-May-18 09:29:17

Just relax. You can't make him do anything. Just let him know you are there and respect his choices. The more you push the more he will rebel...I have been there...hahaha. My children came through it all and are all very happy x

Marianne1953 Sun 13-May-18 09:31:42

He is just immature and is more interested on how he fits in with his peers. My son ended up leaving school early for similar reasons as your son. Their peers have a lot to answer for. He went into an apprenticeship and has done well for himself, although he is week with his girlfriends in a similar way he was with his school friends and has had financial troubles because of this. He did regret not going to university and started an OU degree. He has his own business (contractor for companies he has worked for previously).

Marianne1953 Sun 13-May-18 09:36:47

I posted the message to quickly. I meant to end by saying that they will have to learn the hard way if they don’t do well at school, however, it may not be a bad way, especially once they mature

Yvonnew1 Sun 13-May-18 09:41:20

I was never made to revise as my father’s view was I can make to stare at your books but I can’t make you take it in. But he was very supportive in anything I did. I wasn’t ready for study at 16. I left school but returned to study when I was ready. I went to night classes and loved it and got qualifications that way. I remembered my father’s wise words and actions when my daughters went through their GCSEs. They had enough pressure at school without me adding to it. They are both successful, well adjusted adults.

ddraig123 Sun 13-May-18 09:49:25

I think you answered your own question - "We have never really pushed him". Good study habits need to be developed from an early age - making sure he always does his homework and helping him as and when necessary for example. Refusing to revise is not something that you should have ever have let become an option for him. Discipline should have been enforced and self-discipline learnt by 16 too. Too little too late now unfortunately, as his patterns of behaviour and lack of respect for others including for his own parents wishes have been established.

P3terpan Sun 13-May-18 09:50:38

My son was th Bain of my life at school, you would think I had dragged him to sixth form and I was regularly being called into college about one misdemeanour or another. He didn’t revise either but scraped through to university was just as bad there but got through and got his degree. Came home and couldn’t settle to a regular job so went into the army! He’s now happily married, a major and is quite the sensible person who sticks to the rules. Don’t give up on him seasider, always be there for him and he will come through. But a prod in the back with a big stick now and again never hurts😉

seasider Sun 13-May-18 09:58:30

Thanks everybody good to hear the success stories. When I say we haven't pushed him I mean we have tried not to put pressure on him as the school are doing a good job of that. I have always supported him with homework and his outside activities but I do admit he could be more organised. It's very late in the day now and I have encouraged, offered help, and bought all the resources I can find so it's down to him now.

Coconut Sun 13-May-18 10:03:20

I told my 3 as teenagers to ask themselves life questions .... do they want a nice car or an old banger ? do they want a nice house or a bedsit ? do they want designer clothes or bargain basement stuff ? do they want holidays abroad or a caravan at home ? I reiterated that none of this is in anyway derogatory, it’s just a simple life choice. I said that once they have answered these questions it should tell them what they need to do at school at this vital time. As others have said, you can’t force them to revise etc they have to want to do it themselves. Only one of mine got loads of GCSE’s, however, all 3 are highly successful in their chosen fields. We can but advise, but then it’s down to them really.

J52 Sun 13-May-18 10:05:16

You can’t make someone do something they don’t want to. By insisting and instigating rules, you are likely to make things worse for both of you. Try to keep a light atmosphere, as you are doing.
I taught GCSEs and their predecessors for 38 years and what you describe was pretty common. Some sailed through on ability, some didn’t. There’s always retakes.
If it’s any consolation I didn’t open my DS’s last 6th form report, I knew what it would say! Fortunately he was in the sail through camp.
Hope it all works out 💐.

DotMH1901 Sun 13-May-18 10:54:58

My DGS is almost 15 - he has such a whining moaning complaining life - everything is wrong, he hates school, his teachers are all liars - my DD is fed up with getting letters from school about his attitude - he is very able but lazy, doing just the bare minimum to get through. My DD is seeing his teachers again later this week to see if his attitude has improved at all. All we hear is how his 'mates' are allowed to stay up half the night on their x-boxes, can stay in bed all day if they want, get the very latest shoes/clothes etc, don't have to help around the house, don't have their Nan (me) living with them etc, etc. I don't know about my DD but I am fed up with hearing it.

Jaycee5 Sun 13-May-18 10:55:46

I think it is quite common and one reason that it is such a shame that there are fewer opportunities to catch up than there used to be.
I had a lot of problems at school because of my home situation but I went to night school after I left which I did much better at because it was under my control. I was able to qualify as a solicitor (although it took a long time) and had my own practice before I retired.
There are plenty of people who end up successful despite not doing well at school but I think that it is more difficult now with such an over emphasis on university.
I think that it is as important to have a good friend at school as it is to get the grades but it is not a good situation when they conflict.
You can only make him aware of your feelings and try to encourage him (which I am sure you have done). If you push teenagers will push back, particularly boys.
As you say, it is down to him now. You are just doing a mother's job of worrying.

Rosina Sun 13-May-18 11:01:05

This is so hard to deal with and I do feel for you - at his age there are so many distractions and he is also suffering from 'Everybody and Nobody' syndrome. Everyone else can do what they want, he is the only one who can't, nobody else gets treated so harshly - I expect many on here have heard this so often from teenagers. You are far from alone which is not much consolation but there is usually a chance to retake if the worst happens and some people just don't mature enough by his age to see that what they are doing - or failing to do- is going to impact on them in the end.

nipsmum Sun 13-May-18 11:17:29

Don't panic. My eldest daughter studied and revised endlessly for higher studies and got good results. My younger daughter did as little as possible. They both got to university. They both have the careers they want, and are both happily married with children. Everyone is different. The more you nag your son the more he will kick back and resent you.Reverse psychology sometimes works.

glammagran Sun 13-May-18 11:20:33

I’d like to say many people can and do change radically over time. My DS scraped one mediocre A level (very lazy at the time) but 23 years on, is a director in a fairly large American corporation. Downside is he lives abroad so don’t often see him and his family. DD (18 year age difference) didn’t get good A levels either (also lazy) but is just finishing Masters in an unusual field for a woman and potential employers are lining up. I really think some individuals mature at a far slower rate than others. I can still hear my constant nagging voice for them to revise which of course, had the opposite effect.

paddyann Sun 13-May-18 11:51:03

I was that child.I wanted to leave school BEFORE my O levels ,my parents were called in and the head teacher ,a very serious nun,told them I was wasting my life.I didn't think so,I had part time jobs since I was 13in the late 60's.
My parents told me if you dont have a full time job by the end of school holidays you have to go back.Of course I pulled out all the stops and had 5 job interviews lined up within days.I took the first one that was offered,although another 3 later offered at least that way I was
By the time I was 21 I had my own business,with my 20 year old husband .We've run it and another two businesses for the past 43 years .Not bad for a 15 year old school leaver .I wouldn't change a thing.If your boy isn't interested in school dont force him,he'll find a road to suit himself .I know its a different world now but there are still opportunities if you look for them .Good luck to him and please dont you stress ,he has to run his life how he wants and making decisions/mistakes is all a part of it .

Eglantine21 Sun 13-May-18 12:02:36

When I was a teacher, I had an.inspection which was led by an HMI who was the total waster at school!