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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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Hello, I would love to hear your advice on my situation.

Resolved Question:


I would love to hear your advice on my situation. My son is in Year 12 and has always been a reluctant student. Last year, however, I guided him through the GCSE year and gave lots of help( not always wanted) with revision. I advised my son to choose subjects he liked and was prepared to work in for AS/A level (if indeed he wanted to carry on at school) and am now in a situation where he still does no work unless under duress. I'm not sure whether to leave it all to him in the hopes that he will eventually get down to work (or not as the case may be) or to insist that he spend some time on work each evening if he wants weekend freedom.

I find it hard not to appy pressure as I think A levels will give him a wider range of choices, both in the short-term and in the future. However, I don't want to be a permanent nag and ruin our relationship in the process.

Any advice/strategies welcome,

Many thanks,

A concerned parent
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. There comes a time in our children's lives when parents must start allowing them to make their own choices and suffer the consequences of the choices. Although it would be nice if we could hold our children by the hand and guide them along every journey in life,but that would not be beneficial because then they would never grow up to be responsible adults. Your son needs to realize that he is almost legally an adult. You can keep reminding him of what needs to be accomplished...just tell him once. He needs to take the reigns and start doing things on his own if he truly wants to be successful and wants to achieve. However if he wants to be lazy and not put forth the effort because that seems to be the "cool" thing to do, he is simply trying to assert his independence as he soon enters adulthood. Do not make it a battle or struggle. Tell him what you expect. If he cannot follow through, he will suffer consequences at school and you may want to enforce consequences at home as well.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your advice, which I think is pretty spot-on and made me realise that I don't really regard my son as almost an adult and need to treat him as so. He did really well in last year's exams and, in the end, was pleased that I had helped him. My original plan was to carry on to A-level, but perhaps he needs to learn these lessons now. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the English system but having A levels definitely gives more choices. If I tell him what I expect (that he does hw and revises each evening for 2 hours - from Mon to Thurs, and also on Sunday) that he gets a pocket money allowance - otherwise he gets no allowance and has to try to find a part-time job, do you think that is reasonable for a 17 year old. Your adviced about just telling him once also resonates. Also, do you think it's reasonable to limit computer game time, as that is wht he prefers to do. I'm tempted to take the game away - but then am treating him like a child again? Also, I'm interested to know what you would do in the same circumstances.







Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Giving him a monetary reward for compliance is an excellent idea. Decreasing the reward is also beneficial when he does not comply. Additionally, limiting computer time, cell phone usage, and time with friends are all appropriate consequences to enforce for his age. I have a 16 year old son and have had to take away his i touch and X box for failing grades. Also, he was not able to visit friends on weekends. Take away things that your son enjoys and he will shape up!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for that. I have one final question - When I suggest that he can't go out, his response is, 'Try and stop me'. Do you have any successful strategies to deal with that one? Otherwise, all advice received so far is good and I will act on it.






Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Has he ever just walked out when you have said that in the past?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No, but as he will be 17 in May, he says that this is what he would do and I don't have a ready response and am not sure what would be best to do in this situation.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
As the saying goes, "Don't cross that line until you get there," because your son may just be making threats out of frustration of limits that you are imposing on him now. If he does just walk out, do not take it personal. As he leaves, you might say , "You are crossing the line and we will address the situation when you return.". Just leave it at that. He would want you to get mad and act all crazy as he exits. But flip the script and remain calm. But if you want him to respect you, then you must model respect as well. When he does act disobediently by walking out and then returns, talk with him in a calm manner. Try to get a sense of why he did what he did. Ask him what HE thinks should be a consequence for his disobedience. Let him feel like he has some control of his consequence. But it should be a consequence that you both agree upon. Tell him that out in the real world when he breaks the laws, he does not get second and third chances. It will make things much more peaceful if you can communicate without attacking each other.
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