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 Post subject: Rebellious sixth former
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:32 pm 
Hi,

I don't know if there's anyone else out there who has this dilemma but ...
my 17 year old seems to have decided that the more I remind him about revision, the less he will do.

We had the same situation last year when he took his GCSEs, gaining a credible 8 Bs and one A with very little work. Though had he listened to me and worked harder, then I'm sure there would have been a lot more As!

So, how do I get him to see that it's his future that gets screwed up, not mine? At the moment, have decided to back off completely and let him get on with it (or not, as the case will undoubtedly be). But it's so hard to keep biting my tongue ...

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11952
Has he got any ideas about what he want to do after school?

You could look together at University courses and see what grades are needed - remind him that when he applies they will have his module grades and scores!!

I think [as a teacher] that motivation in Year 12 can be difficult but it is so much more important these days!!

Good Luck


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 Post subject: Rebellious teenager
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:02 pm 
Hi Guest 55,

Thank you for the quick reply - guess neither of us has anything better to do on a Bank Holiday Monday!

Unfortunately son has no idea what he wants to do, although he doesn't want uni (worried about workload and student debt, though I suspect more the former than the latter).

If he had a goal, no doubt his motivation would improve. Unfortunately I fear it is a case of no matter how able, if not prepared to put the work in, underachievement will inevitably result. Incidentally, I am also a teacher, albeit at primary, and I see time and time again children like my son who are able but 'not boverred'.

Guess I need to stick with my 'lay off' plan and hope that he has an inspirational teacher who will help him see the light!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11952
Yes - I'm stuck here writing an essay!

Has he got a teacher he gets on well with? I know sometimes a teacher can encourage without seeming to 'interfere' - Have you had parents evening? If so, was there someone you thought might be able to get through to your son?

I know I have often helped when a parent is at the end of their tether ... has he no idea what he wants to do? Perhaps good careers advice [yes I know it's hard to find!] might help.

Keep posting and let me know how it goes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Poole
thank goodness I am not alone!
My son managed to fail his Economics module quite spectacularly and then only got a D and an E in the other two. His economics was particularly annoying as both myself and my husband have a degree in the aforementioned subject. Whilst I concede a talent for Economics is by no means hereditary,if he didn't understand then why did he not ask?
Since this minor disaster I have taken a much keener interest in his studies and have had a meeting with his head of 6th. the study plan which was worked out less than 2 weeks ago is already ancient history and every time I comment all I get in return is "The more you nag the less I will do"
In view of this I have decided to leave him to it and remember they are his A levels and not mine and although I know he is making a huge error, he is after all 17 and responsible for his own actions now.
A frustrated Mum can only do so much!


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 Post subject: Rebellious sixth former
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:22 pm 
paula wrote:
In view of this I have decided to leave him to it and remember they are his A levels and not mine and although I know he is making a huge error, he is after all 17 and responsible for his own actions now.
A frustrated Mum can only do so much!


You are doing the only thing you can. We had exactly the same problem, maybe even worse, but he is doing really well now he is at university, although he ruled himself out of the very best ones by virtue of GCSE grades. There is no point in you doing or saying anything - he knows what you say is right, but it has to be his decision. Backing off is the only possible thing that might work, and if he doesn't want to go to university then isn't he really being more intelligent than those who just go through the system clocking up tens of thousands in debt when they could be working and earning? Ignoring him and just getting on with the things you want to do will be more pleasant for you as well. We also had an older son who we couldn't have stopped from working hard even if we'd tried! It has to be down to them, so give yourselves a break - he will ask if he wants help, and if he doesn't then he won't accept it anyway. Good luck![url][/url]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:59 am 
My son is in year 13 and he is proving extremely difficult when it comes to revision and taking his A levels seriously! He has always been so diligent and seems to think that he knows what he has to do to get the grades he needs. I am not so confident. When I nag I get "I know what I have to do so don't keep nagging - I am not stupid enough to mess it up and not get the grades I need" and "we all did really bad in our mocks as no-one revises for them". Complete rubbish of course!! He has offers from very good uni's - my worry is he won't make the grades and I know he will be devastated but it will be too late then. We can only hope he puts in the work needed - it would be a great shame for him to fail after 7 years of hard work.


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 Post subject: sixth formers...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:31 pm 
I'm quite convinced that nagging 17-18 year old boys is fruitless...

My middle son (currently in Yr 12 at a grammar school) is doing some work over the holidays (Maths revision and completing a Music composition) but also has a lot of other things to think about (driving lessons, girlfriend, social life, playing the piano, watching "Neighbours" ) - I generally trust him to plan his own timetable with the odd reminder such as "is there anything you need to finish before you go back to school???". He has already taken some AS modules in January with pretty good results so perhaps the pressure is somewhat reduced. The school have already started encouraging them to think about universities - seems like he's only been there a few months!

Older son (now 19) coasted rather through A Levels at a sixth form college - did not respond at all well to nagging and didn't achieve what he could have. But he was accepted for his first choice uni despite slipping one grade and (after a working gap year) is now completely responsible for his own organisation/ workload: he has to want to do it to put the effort in and I think seeing one or two of his friends who didn't get to uni and are now working in Tesco has spurred him to make the best use of his time at uni

What I'm trying to say is that with all children there comes a time when you have to step back gradually and let them make their own decisions and mistakes, however frustrating it is when they seem to be wasting opportunities

(Incidentally hasn't it been suggested that some private school pupils who may have been "spoon fed" more through their school life and made to work then end up, on average, with less good degrees thatn similarly qulaified state school pupils because they find it more difficult to cope with the more independent style of working requiring self-motivation at university...)

The bottom line for your son:

He may be right that he knows what he needs to do to achieve the appropriate grade: some exams are far less open ended thatn in the past

Even if he misses by a few points he may very well get offered a uni place, especially in a shortage subject (remember Unis now see the individual module marks)

A year off with a few selected retakes and some experience of more menial work may be just the incentive he needs to make the best choice of further study/training for the future: don't write him off just yet!


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 Post subject: Rebellious sixth former
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:48 pm 
Thank you everyone for your advice - if nothing else, it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one!

Away from this website, all the mums I speak to seem to enjoy telling me how hard working / brilliant / high achieving their children are, so it is easy to feel like the one and only.

I guess that I have to remind myself that over and above everything else, it is my relationship with my son that matters the most, so if he does bomb out, at least I will be in a position to pick up the pieces - though it will be soooo difficult not to say 'I told you so'.

Guest 55, if it makes you feel any better, I too was working today - on the dreaded planning - so as our thoughts return to going back to school, I think I will give it a week or two and then consider your advice of speaking to one of his teachers (assistant head of sixth form, who I sense has a soft spot for my 'rebellious teenager').

Keep posting everyone - we are not alone!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11952
Hi Fed up mum,

I suspect that some of those mums are not being very truthful ... at least on here people can be honest and share their worries - good luck!

I hope the planning went well ...


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