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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:46 am 
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I'm not actually sure what I think about this but I am getting to the end of my tether with DS. He puts zero effort into anything he does at school, except music, and does not care about the consequences from school - missed trips, detention, redoing class work, missing out on matches, angry teachers - or home - pc ban (his world) and even angrier mother! More important/worrying is that his behaviour is also very poor and I am wondering if I should be forking out huge fees on a boy that won't even meet me halfway, or if his very character means that he needs to be in an independent school because the smaller class sizes make it more difficult for him to go under the radar.

Please do not think I am washing my hands of him. He is my high-maintenance child who I put virtually all my time and resources into and will still do so regardless of what school he goes to. The things I mention are not the standard lazy boy as the teachers feel this self-destructive nature is not normal. HELP! :(


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:15 am 
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How horrid for you WFG, there's nothing worse than knowing something is bothering your child and not being able to get to the bottom of it. How old is he?

I am no expert and am on a perilously steep learning curve myself but I would suspect there is something bothering him - does he have an older sibling, favourite uncle, grandfather he can talk to? Even though DS talks to both DH and I about things that are bothering him sometimes when he needs to "talk" he goes to his grandfather, he seems to be able to open up to him.

Another question, I know from your posts that you think long and hard about school choices, but does your DS actually like his school, is it possibly as simple as the fact that he would prefer to be somewhere else?

Good luck with this one.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:21 am 
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WFG - sorry to hear you are having problems, as with all of I am speaking from experience of a sample size of 2 (+ a few in the family who have had "interesting educational experiences! :wink: )

You have to look at what you want out of his education. cos whatever it is at the moment it isn't what he wants... some kids struggle with too much parental attention and concern - he will also be getting that if the class sizes are too small as well, can't jog along....

Light touch parenting is the ideal but obviously helps if you have to have a light touch child too - that tends tio start at about the age of 3 days..

I appreciate you want him to succeed at school, but if there is too much pressure then he will rebel sooner or later ... one relative waited until after public school and oxbridge and professional training to decided he was going to write music instead - much steam from parents ears but TBH you could see it coming from prep school. Some will manage the rebellion big time at Uni.

So if you go for the light touch low maintenance, try the local day school, forget the fees, don't give him any baggage to go with and see what happens - you might be pleasantly surprised.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:29 am 
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The problem is that nothing bothers him. Success, the benefits of effort and good behaviour, treats have no impact on him although he expects them eventhough he does nothing to deserve them.

The school he is currently in has been the most successful so far but he is still far from perfect and it costs a fortune, especially the boarding fees in the senior school. If he is going to be like this in any school then maybe I should keep the money and enjoy my life a bit more!

I should add that I fully expect he will stay until the end of the prep school as we are very happy with the school, although if I am going to opt for state then I have to start looking now as applications begin after September. :?

EDIT:Herm, thanks for your post. DS2 has never had any pressure put on him, probably because I underestimated his abilities and talents in certain areas and I had learnt not to make the same mistakes as with the other so I just let him "be". I admit I was much more stressy with DS1 because of his abilities and being a novice parent but for the last 5+ years I have left it all to the school and home time is definitely home time.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:40 am 
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Maybe it is worth looking at the state options and letting him look with you, there maybe somthing there that switches him on. You may even get an inkling that it would "bother" him to leave the current school or that he would prefer to be at a day school and at home with you. Then you would at least have some grounds for discussion.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:01 am 
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Hi WFG, your post struck a chord with me because this sounds much like me when I was at school. I also don't know how relevant this post will be but I thought it might give you another perspective.

I don't know how old your DS is but my problems started when I left a small local mixed private school for a much larger girls independant at 10. Having alsways been top of the class and winning prizes every year in my new school the 1st year I came near the bottom, and there I pretty much stayed. I don't think it was that I hated the school or the girls as I had lots of friends (or I was overly thick) but I just didn't fit there. My sister and my brother, at the boys equivilent achieved great results but I ended up at a Crammer in Oxford where I eventually managed to decent A' Levels at retake. I loved that year !

Throughout my time at the school I was a pain in the neck, never handing in homework, bunking off with increasing frequency, deliberately wearing all the wrong uniform, smoking at break etc....generally seeing how far I could push anything and everything (ooh I can't wait till mine are teenagers ). I even ran away from home a few times (once with a broken leg - but that's another story). But no sanction either from school or Home made any difference. I just didn't care! and couldn't see past my own nose. I think eventually the school had pretty much given up on me but of course still accepted the fees. My parents god love 'em maintained a sang froid that I doubt I could ever manage with mine, and loved me through it all.

Was it the school ? hideous hormones ? Unhappiness ? or was I just a horrible Child ? Probably all of them but I do remember most the unhappiness. And lovely though my parents were and are I always felt they never really listened to me. I begged them to let me move schools but to no avail. At 20, I finally grew up, ended up working for my Dad's company, and am now incredibly close to both of them. Something I doubt they thought would ever happen.

I apologise for rambling on but I just wonder if there is an issue ( single or multiple ) which is driving your DS's behavior. All I know is that looking back I am hugely grateful my folks never 'gave up' on me. I just wish we had talked more !


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:21 am 
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Thanks Logic,

FWIW I would be fine with this if I knew he would come out the other end the way you have but what if the road he is potentially heading down ends badly? :( I do try and talk to him but he literally cannot have a serious conversation with me as he turns everything into a joke. :roll:

Doodles, he is not boarding, that didn't work out either! :roll:

I suppose I was expecting a flaming for even suggesting not spending school fees on DS. Someone tell me what to do!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:26 am 
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WFG

Is this the DS for whom you have been asking about selective schools such as Habs, MT, etc? If he is and you were considering applying for them in the coming academic year, maybe he is getting anxious about this. It could be a defence mechanism, if he takes lots of these selective exams and doesn't succeed then it's OK because he hasn't really tried.

Whatever the reason, good luck in getting to the bottom of it all.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:32 am 
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We aren't going to comment on the school fees, I opted not to pay them as state GS good and gave the balance we wanted. Had a recent discussion with the kids and it turns out they are happy that we did that.

Quote:
but what if the road he is potentially heading down ends badly?


... well that's parenthood, just as likely to happen at this school as any other, and as if you spend lots of time sorting his education as if you spend none- you can only do your best, and sometimes doing nothing is the best thing.

That either means he stays where he is or goes to school with the kid next door and it is all a done deal.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:46 am 
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WFG I don't think state or indie (fees) is the question here, it's finding a school he's relatively happy at that is most important.

You've probably done this but is it possible to sit him down and talk along the lines of "we know you are not happy at .... school, where would you like to go......" throw the ball back into his court and see if you can start a conversation that way or get him to do some online research and come to you with some options which you can discuss together. Ok, it may not be the best approach and I am sure that some will shout "No" at me, and I appreciate that he is rather young, but you sound pretty desperate and surely it's worth trying anything that will get him to look at and talk about the situation


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