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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 8:19 am 
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My eldest is in Year 10, though I have been reading the current threads with interest. His end of year exams are coming up soon and he is just putting in no effort at all. He is more interested in the PlayStation, Sky Sports or random websites than doing anything productive, like revision! I can of course take away all technology and become even more unpopular, but is that my best bet?

In some ways I think my best strategy to simply let him crash and burn, bearing in mind that it is just year 10. However, his school is a SS, so not only is there a high bar for sixth form, but these results may influence whether he can take the subjects he wants, even if he does eventually make the grade.

We’re really struggling to find a middle ground here and if it is this bad now, just how fraught is it going to get next year, when the stakes are so much higher? My choices appear to be play the ogre and ruin my relationship with him, or step back and watch the carnage – neither of which are particularly attractive.

Do those of you with kids who are not as diligent as you would like have any tips and strategies for what to do? Or how do you cope with your DC simply not appreciating what is at stake? (Wine and chocolate are already being consumed in high quantities!)

Many thanks


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 8:25 am 
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It's not uncommon in Year 10 especially now we've gone back to linear GCSEs.

Year 10 results should give him a 'kick up the proverbially' and should not effect sixth form entry.

Somehow when they come back in September, attitudes tend to change especially when they begin to look at sixth form choices and the grades they need.

Hang in there and maybe start to talk about sixth form ...


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 9:28 am 
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Thanks Guest55. It's reassuring that Year 11 typically prompts a change in attitude. I'll try and change tack and talk about sixth form instead.

I still fear though that this whole process could erode my relationship with my son as stress on both sides causes fall-out. For people who have been through public exams, does your relationship with your kids get back on track?


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 10:01 am 
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I'm a teacher and parent so have experienced it from both sides!

Views will differ but try to offer help rather than nagging. So my DS was happy for me to mark practice papers (mark schemes are online) and help with revision when he needed it. Other posters on here will have been completely 'hands off' and others will very closely supervise.

Ultimately, they need to develop independence and be able to motivate themselves; some need more support in this than others.

This forum is great for sharing concerns and knowing you aren't the only one feeling like this!


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 10:34 am 
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Location: Herts
I have a Y10 and a Y11. My strategy is to let carnage reign with Y10 so that the reality is experienced when you can do something about rather than when the brown envelope is opened next August. I also have no bandwidth for anything other than my Y11 right now.

Your ds may well discover that his cohort may be pretending to do no work and he may look very bad at result time. I would also say be prepared to play the ogre when it matters; he will thank you for it later on. I recently watched some highly successful brothers talk affectionately of how their mother used to lock them in their room until they had finished their homework and how grateful they were to her!

You might just want to mention that it is very cool to pretend you are doing no work for exams but the consequences of believing this claim may be uncomfortable! DG


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 10:36 am 
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I agree with G55 - I help out by marking papers as I think if they mark them themselves there is a tendency to say "oh, yes, that's what I meant". I try not to nag (hard sometimes) but it is counterproductive. Feed them well & be there if they need you.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 10:56 am 
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Does your ds want to stay on at his ss? Is he the type to get back up and dust himself off and come out fighting in year 11 if you let him crash and burn? I agree with Daogroupie you often get kids saying they can't be bothered to revise whilst in reality they are, but they think they sounder cooler if they say the aren't :roll: . Eldest dd was asked often if she'd done any revision that day, were they any extra classes laid on etc. The replies came with numerous eye rolls, tuts and sarcastic answers but I just bit my lip ALOT!

She was rewarded with good results and appreciates my sticking my nose in...now but obviously not at the time. It's AS time now and I definitely haven't gotten so involved this time round but she seems to be getting on fine, staying to extra revision after school and bedroom walls covered in revision notes.

Bumped into a friends daughter on Monday who had her first gsce that morning and she laughingly informed me she'd only started revising the Saturday before :shock: I'm hoping she was joking!


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 11:48 am 
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Thank you so much for all the tips and strategies. It appears as if backing off, trying not to nag, allowing bad results to provide the impetus for next year, being there to support and provide help when he asks, all seem to be the way to go.

He does definitely want to stay on at his current school, especially as they have overseas cricket and rugby trips that he likes the look of! He is quite competitive, so the idea of getting bad results may well prompt him to review his actions. I shall just have to hope that works and try and keep calm and step back... (though I also appreciate the idea that kids eventually thank their parents for playing hardball - even if it takes years)


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 4:31 pm 
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Well, if he is competitive this could help when trying to get good grades. The down side could be that if he fails he may stop trying as if he didn't try, then he would have an excuse if he failed. :(
It's an issue of motivation. They cannot see the near future and the consequences. It makes me think of the films Back to the Future and the Shawshank Redemption. One went back and kicked their younger selves into action and the other regretted not being able to tell his younger self to act differently.
How do we bring the future to them? Show them their future if they work or not?
I try to do this with mine, to motivate them, but I can't say I'm succeeding that much. :?
Any ideas?
My year 7 son has his end of year tests coming up. He has to revise and is finding it dull. He's not very competitive, so not motivated that way. He asked me to please "punish him" to force him to do it! I'm refusing as I don't believe in punishment! Maybe with time he will be angry with me for not "helping " him in the way he asked me!!!!!
We do have a great relationship so far, but I have puberty to deal with soon.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Its still not too late to make a difference for tear 10 results. Just waiting to let a child fail and then try and rectify may be too late. If possible, work with the child and invest time for revision. Some are all for independence and some are hands on. Its up to you as a patent as to what approach should be. Confiscate the controllers till the exams are over, is this too cruel?


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