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swimmermom3

Letting your teen "fail"...

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No matter what, you cannot force your child to be successful. It has taken every fiber of my being to reassure myself that I am not a bad parent. My son, in academic terms, is a failure. One week he has As and Bs, the next Ds and Fs. It means nothing to him. He knows he will be kicked off swim team if he does not make grades. He is smart, funny, very social. He is surrounded by the top students in school. They try to encourage him, offer to tutor him, but it makes no difference. He will continue to be his own self.

 

Yes, he had consequences when he was younger. Yes, he saw me study and sacrifice to graduate at the top of my class. Yes, he has had structure for homework, study skills, etc. It just does not matter to him.

 

Unfortunately, I think he will wake up when all of his friends are off at college, and he will be left wondering why no one told him this would happen. :glare:

 

He is not a trouble maker, does not engage in any questionable behavior. Teachers love him. He is my lovable underachiever, as much as it pains me to admit it.

 

 

I sympathize. I assume you've confessed your fears to him? What does he say? Is he just so grounded that he knows that grades and school are small in the grand scheme of things? Or is he fooling himself? I have a live-in-the-moment child, too. It is incredibly frustrating. I think there is only but so much you can do in situations like that. You can repeat things like "always have a plan B" and "business first" and "just do it", in an effort to build in the framework for damage control after the disaster occurs and in an effort to emphasize self-discipline and work ethic. You can work to make him aware of other options, like perhaps talking about attractive programs at lesser state colleges or community college transfer programs. You can try to do a bit of brainwashing now so that when he realizes he's being left behind, a few comforting phrases pop into his head and he can produce a face-saving plan B. In other words, you can plan some damage control now. Just having you talk about the less desirable plan B's might make him pay attention. Personally, I am finding that damage control until they grow up is the best approach for my child like this, that and trying to make home a safe place and trying to keep our relationship good and uncoloured by frustration so that the sweetness isn't lost.

 

Hugs,

Nan

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Wow- I sure struggle with this on a daily basis. DS has serious LD's but is incredibly intelligent. We pulled him out of the PS because in HS all he did was fail. The school's position was "he is in HS, time to take responsibility" They passed him along and accomodated and coddled him until he got to HS and then expected him to be ok. Well, as you can imagine he failed multiple classes his 1st semester because he couldn't pull out the grades with a last minute save and he was devastated. We ended up at a hospital after he made some suicide threats. Fortunately he is fine but sometimes kids aren't ready for the consequences of their actions. That being said-homeschooling has shown me the areas where he has developed a lot of bad habits about how school works. We spend one day arguing about how lazy he is and the next day I feel guilty and overcompensate by making life super easy. I don't know where the line is and it changes daily with my mood:( I do know that LD's affect his executive function skills so he needs help with that, but I also know if it is something he thinks is important, it will get done. If he is making chicken nuggets in the oven he may still not understand the directions after performing this task 10 times or more but he will ask for help because he likes those chicken nuggets. If it is an English paper or Science assignment, and he didn't understand the task he won't ask for help because he "didn't want to bother me." Right now I am simply doing my best to teach him to do better and work harder each day. Will he graduate on time? Probably not. Will he graduate? I think so. Will he function well in life on his own? I don't know but as long as he is changing for the better each day, I am willing to keep trying.

 

Hugs. I've been on that rollercoaster. School is incredibly bad at dealing with this sort of student. Home is better but not perfect. You just sort of do the best you can from day to day and try to buy them as much time to grow up as you can while at the same time trying to help them to do so. Mine seemed to have an incredible amount of inertia. I had to really push to get him over some of the academic humps. Trying to distinguish I-don't-want-to from I-can't is difficult. I think you have a much better chance of doing this successfully at home than the school does but every time you mis-judge you want to kill yourself. It is a horrible thing when you reduce your 16yo to tears.

 

Nan

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Personally, I am finding that damage control until they grow up is the best approach for my child like this, that and trying to make home a safe place and trying to keep our relationship good and uncoloured by frustration so that the sweetness isn't lost.

 

Hugs,

Nan

 

Thanks! That's where I am at, also.

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Nan, Regentrude, Miss Marple, Jane....very wise.

 

Parenting is hard...darn hard work. It has great rewards, but to successfully parent takes courage and perseverance. I wish more people took it seriously.

 

The hardest aspect for the parents, like those here because really - no one would be on this board if they didn't care about giving their kids the best leg up in life that they can possibly manage - is that "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". We worry about doing it right, getting the right curriculum, motivating them, balancing letting them grow up with not making them pay the rest of their lives for an impulsive choice, co-op or not, dual enrollment or not, AP or not, SAT or ACT, or both, or none, or CC or Uni, or have a paying job in high school or not, or this extracurricular over that one, or life skills training balanced with academics, and the list goes on and on and on. What we'd like to hear is that all of this effort will produce 100% good product. Unfortunately, we can keep offering "Evian and Perrier" and imported spring water all we want, but ultimately, can't control whether or not they drink it. ARGH!!!!! That's the rub and probably, more than anything, that is the heart of this discussion. We can talk a lot about "allowing them to fail" in order to help them mature. But, what we really worry about is how hard we've labored to help them succeed and not having the assurance that it will work. For most, it will come to fruition. It's those hard nosed ones that just seem to be determined to go the other way that get us, and then we have to decide when they've crossed the point of no return and have to be allowed to deal with the circumstances they've created.

<snip>

That line is going to be different for each family. Safety of everyone else, finite resources that must be shared, etc. There is a lot to consider. But, I know that if it weren't for grace and compassion in my life, with firm, committed parenting, I'd be just like a lot of people I went to school with...lost. So, I'm pretty committed to extending a lot of grace and compassion to my kids, even if I have to put on my stern face while doing it and mete out a natural consequence as part of the lesson. It's not an easy balancing act.

<snip>

These are the kinds of conversations that make me wish we all lived close and could meet for some good parent indulgence in excellent chocolate! That would be so welcome at this point in time. :grouphug:

 

Faith

 

Thank you for the lovely post, Faith.

 

The day before I started this thread, I had two difficult conversations. The first was with our family counselor who suggested that I may need to let the oldest son "fail" with regards to school and the second one was with my poor mother, who I think is suffering from grandchild envy. All her friends are talking about the wonderful things their grandchildren are doing, namely college, and my kids? Well, they still march to their own distinctive drumbeats. It probably wasn't the time to let her know that ds the younger was now homeschooling part-time. She wanted to know where I thought "everything went wrong." Sigh. I usually have a thick skin, but I have felt pretty raw the last few days.

 

All of your posts are helping me to regain my sense of perspective and to try to sort out the proper place for that "F" word, whether it is in regard to a child or in dealing with my own parental limitations.

 

Also, could someone please tell me how to print this thread. I find it much easier to formulate my thoughts if I can see all of the posts and mark up the paper with questions.

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I sympathize. I assume you've confessed your fears to him? What does he say? Is he just so grounded that he knows that grades and school are small in the grand scheme of things? Or is he fooling himself? I have a live-in-the-moment child, too. It is incredibly frustrating. I think there is only but so much you can do in situations like that. You can repeat things like "always have a plan B" and "business first" and "just do it", in an effort to build in the framework for damage control after the disaster occurs and in an effort to emphasize self-discipline and work ethic. You can work to make him aware of other options, like perhaps talking about attractive programs at lesser state colleges or community college transfer programs. You can try to do a bit of brainwashing now so that when he realizes he's being left behind, a few comforting phrases pop into his head and he can produce a face-saving plan B. In other words, you can plan some damage control now. Just having you talk about the less desirable plan B's might make him pay attention. Personally, I am finding that damage control until they grow up is the best approach for my child like this, that and trying to make home a safe place and trying to keep our relationship good and uncoloured by frustration so that the sweetness isn't lost.

 

Hugs,

Nan

 

Oh Nan, thank you so much for this. My oldest ds has only one plan: the US Coast Guard Academy. That is the only school he applied to. He just dumped his GPA for the year to a 2.85. He dreams of glory, but skips out on the last couple of sets at swim practice routinely to the annoyance of his teammates and younger brother. He would be the one that did not have all his papers to study from for finals because he cleaned his room and threw out all of the misc. papers. He is impetuous and lives mostly in the moment. He also has a mile-wide smile and good heart. This one will try to buy the Brooklyn Bridge if Sailor Dude were to offer it to him for sale. He has no "plan B."

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All her friends are talking about the wonderful things their grandchildren are doing, namely college, and my kids? Well, they still march to their own distinctive drumbeats. It probably wasn't the time to let her know that ds the younger was now homeschooling part-time. She wanted to know where I thought "everything went wrong." Sigh. I usually have a thick skin, but I have felt pretty raw the last few days.

:grouphug: Hugs from me, too. I have those days.

 

The thing I try to remember is that, 10 years from now, the family that looks a mess and the family that looks oh-so-perfect may be in totally opposite positions. I've seen it happen more than once; maybe even more-often-than-not. I try to have the courage to just do the best thing I know at any given moment, so at least I won't have regrets.

 

Julie

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Oh Nan, thank you so much for this. My oldest ds has only one plan: the US Coast Guard Academy. That is the only school he applied to. He just dumped his GPA for the year to a 2.85. He dreams of glory, but skips out on the last couple of sets at swim practice routinely to the annoyance of his teammates and younger brother. He would be the one that did not have all his papers to study from for finals because he cleaned his room and threw out all of the misc. papers. He is impetuous and lives mostly in the moment. He also has a mile-wide smile and good heart. This one will try to buy the Brooklyn Bridge if Sailor Dude were to offer it to him for sale. He has no "plan B."

 

 

He sounds wonderful. Kids with big hearts and easy smiles need a place in the world too.

 

My mom drives me crazy with grandkid comparing. I remember she used to do the same thing with my sibilings which contributed to a lot of hard feelings. My youngest has reading problems in a family of very early readers, and my mother lives here most of the year. It is awful. My youngest won't read to her at all (or anywhere near her). She constantly goes on about how my nephew, that is two years younger, was reading such-and-such a book this summer when she was there. She doesn't understand why I tell her to please not compare the kids because it is unkind.

 

 

:grouphug: Parenting is hard. Keep up the good work.

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Hugs, Lisa.

By all means, if you can keep him from failing, keep him from failing. He's no where near grown-up yet. But (and this is probably where the problems come) if you can't keep him from failing without doing irrepairable damage to your relationship, forget it. Concentrate on damage control, form some plan B's and talk about them in a "you know - if you don't get into the coast guard academy you might like to become a professional pilot - the community college has a program for that" sort of way, and try to remember that these kids are probably going to be the best off of any of us. It's funny. My bil's are Buddhist and their description of being enlightened sounds just like my "in the moment" child. Whenever they try to explain their religion, I have to resist the impulse to point out all the problems with being the way they are so desperately trying to be. I think it is just the way they are describing it, not really what they are talking about. But I still think there is something to be said for the sort of person our now children are. We just have to help them to survive their teens with their sweetness and their optimism in tact.

 

Nan

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She wanted to know where I thought "everything went wrong."

 

 

Wait a minute... You rescued your DD from a crushing PS experience, helped her survive severe depression, graduated her from high school, and now she's in school studying for a career she loves. Seems to me like you did everything right.

 

As for middle son — does he have a criminal record? Does he sit around smoking weed and playing video games all day? Is he surly and rude? Does he bully other people? No? He's an honest, good-hearted, well-liked kid with average grades and a little more growing up to do? How is that a "fail"???

 

And Sailor Dude... well Sailor Dude is just made of win, lol.

 

You are an awesome mom, you have three awesome kids who love you, and your mom is being a twit. Sorry about your mom!

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Jackie

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You are an awesome mom, you have have three awesome kids who love you, and your mom is a twit. Sorry about the mom part.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Jackie

 

I try to be a bit more respectful of moms in general. Instead of mom being a twit, how about mom was having a twit moment? We all do. ;)

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She wanted to know where I thought "everything went wrong." Sigh.

 

Feeling the pain on that one. I've cried my share of sleepless nights wondering where I went wrong. My ds is the square peg meeting the round hole.

 

Maybe one day he will "wake up" and get with it. Whatever "it" is supposed to be.

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Give me strength! This is so helpful. Kerenlynne I could have written your post. I fluctuate between feeling sorry for DS and being frustrated with him. DS is only 12 but we're headed the same way. He is egocentric, so pleasing anyone else isn't very important to him, and he has some learning issues. I am trying to let go for this week in an attempt to show him how much we do help him and that we deserve more respect than we're getting. He is already destroying his math grade. It has been good in some ways...he CAN get himself up on time, get dressed, shower, get to classes on time...all without being told! That's actually a surprise! He is looking forward to "having me back" on Monday so perhaps he is gaining a little appreciation as well. I was just saying to dh last night, how can I work so hard to coach him through life and have it not work, whereas my parents never really seemed to coach me (not that they weren't good parents) and yet it all turned out really well? We talk about marriage, relationships, hard work, faith, etc...every day. We discuss study skills, organization, literature, and so on...and yet I think I could have been raised by wolves and been fine! Brownie

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There's nobody to bail him out anymore, and you know what? He's rising to the occasion. I'm amazed by the transformation. I love my gma and miss her a ton, but my cousin was never going to straighten out as long as she stood between him and his consequences.

 

 

 

I am glad your cousin is doing well. It is just as possible, however, that your Grandmom's help and support helped him develop into a person able to take responsibility for his life as well as he has. I have two young male family members who have made some poor choices and gone to jail. No one bailed them out. One spent 12 years in prison and the other is homeless. It is possible that if family members had been there to help them through rough times (in both cases their immediate family was not financially able to help them), they would both be better off now. We just don't know.

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As for middle son — does he have a criminal record? Does he sit around smoking weed and playing video games all day? Is he surly and rude? Does he bully other people? No? He's an honest, good-hearted, well-liked kid with average grades and a little more growing up to do? How is that a "fail"???

 

 

This touches on an important distinction that I think doesn't get made a lot. When parents talk about letting our kids fail at things, we are talking about finite things.

 

Fail to get up on time, you may lose your job or miss a test window.

Fail to practice you may not get on the team or get a lower orchestra chair.

Fail to study you may fail the test or not get the scholarship.

ETC

 

We are not talking about letting them fail at life.

 

We let them fail at finite things so that they can have the experience (both of feeling the failure then getting over it, and of figuring out what they did wrong and making a plan for recovery) and so that, eventually, they can succeed. The goal is never to let them BE a failure.

 

And if you ever are worried that the kid is going to be a failure, or that you are a failure as a parent, then I think you need to hit the breaks, pause, and come up with what your definition of success is. You have to know where you are going before you can figure out the route to get there.

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He sounds like a great kid! I wonder if there's any part of him is afraid of failure/success. If he doesn't come in first in a meet, he can blame it on not having done the full practice and if he doesn't get into the CG Academy he can blame it on his sluggish year. May be way off base, but I'd talk with him about why he seems to stop short of doing the things which will lead to success. No BTDT, just a thought.

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He sounds like a great kid! I wonder if there's any part of him is afraid of failure/success. If he doesn't come in first in a meet, he can blame it on not having done the full practice and if he doesn't get into the CG Academy he can blame it on his sluggish year. May be way off base, but I'd talk with him about why he seems to stop short of doing the things which will lead to success. No BTDT, just a thought.

 

 

A good thought. I've seen my children do this from time to time. And I've seen them fail just by not paying attention or by having a low energy day (or week or year) or by wanting to do something else right now or by having trouble making themselves do something they knew they needed to do or by sheer ignorance or ... Definately something to keep in mind, though, especially if anybody in your family has perfectionist tendencies. I had to point out to my perfectionist that he did this. He was older by the time I learned about this (thank you accelerated board) and all I had to do was give it a label and point it out. Then we reminded him from time to time to check and see if that was what he had done in this particular case. It was actually really simple and effective.

Nan

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Lisa - I hope now you are feeling like you have plenty of company when it comes to kids failing, considering how many people have contributed to your thread. Happy Valentine's Day!

Hugs,

Nan

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so much good advice here. thanks for sharing.

 

My own son is 11 but you can see that he's not college material right now. He loathes school. It's ruining our relationship. Even he is asking about alternatives to college b/c he truly doesn't have that interest. I always said I would educate him so he could go do anything he ever wanted to do. But I am seriously considering a trial run in the fall of letting him choose what to study or build or do as a job to see if his own interest will motivate him to a level of becoming an adult that our current schooling situation isn't. When he puts his mind to something he wants he does great. Unfortunately school is my idea ;-) So he hates it LOL I realize now college is not the end goal. Raising a young man with values who can do for himself is most important. And our school situation isn't necessarily going to bring him to that goal and I have to be open to alternative courses for him.

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My own son is 11 but you can see that he's not college material right now. He loathes school. It's ruining our relationship. Even he is asking about alternatives to college b/c he truly doesn't have that interest

 

Tess, I don't think that is unusual for 11 year old boys. Not one of my boys had a vision of their future other than that they wanted to be rich and famous when they grew up. When they mentioned doing something other than college, I just went with that and told them that we would come to that decision later when they were older and it wasn't something we needed to decide upon at the moment. However, the moment *did* require that they do their school to their best ability because *that* was their job at the moment (mentioning that we all have jobs - even toddlers :p) Eventually they matured enough to see college as an option, but probably not before age 15 or 16. I just want to encourage you that these fellas do mature eventually and once they start on that path, it can be very quick so hang on for the ride :) Don't let it affect your relationship. He really doesn't know what he wants yet :D He thinks he does so you just have to validate his opinions. I found that when I would agree with my boys about something totally off the wall (like a profession of world class body builder :p) they often moved on to another often equally absurd idea. Eventually they find something that is more plausible.

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He sounds like a great kid! I wonder if there's any part of him is afraid of failure/success. If he doesn't come in first in a meet, he can blame it on not having done the full practice and if he doesn't get into the CG Academy he can blame it on his sluggish year. May be way off base, but I'd talk with him about why he seems to stop short of doing the things which will lead to success. No BTDT, just a thought.

 

 

I hadn't really thought of this for my son, but it definitely was a part of my dd's depression. What we observed was a form of self-sabotage.

 

This is something I need to talk over with my dh and possibly ds's counselor. I do know that my son puts more faith in "gifts" or "talents" than he does for a strong work ethic.

 

 

A good thought. I've seen my children do this from time to time. And I've seen them fail just by not paying attention or by having a low energy day (or week or year) or by wanting to do something else right now or by having trouble making themselves do something they knew they needed to do or by sheer ignorance or ... Definately something to keep in mind, though, especially if anybody in your family has perfectionist tendencies. I had to point out to my perfectionist that he did this. He was older by the time I learned about this (thank you accelerated board) and all I had to do was give it a label and point it out. Then we reminded him from time to time to check and see if that was what he had done in this particular case. It was actually really simple and effective.

Nan

 

 

There's no one here with any perfectionist tendencies, Nan. No way. :tongue_smilie:

 

Lisa - I hope now you are feeling like you have plenty of company when it comes to kids failing, considering how many people have contributed to your thread. Happy Valentine's Day!

Hugs,

Nan

 

 

 

:grouphug: And a very Happy Valentine's Day to you too.

 

I do feel like I am in good company on this board, and not because we share a bond of kids that occasionally fail, but because we all have experiences with kids who are uniquely human and singularly themselves.

 

There are times I find it too easy to be caught up in the poor report card, the missed deadline, or my own pride as a parent to keep an even perspective.

 

I do want you all to know that I have read every post and thought about them. When I am stressed, I find it difficult to write clearly especially in responding to posts that touch me deeply. Please don't think your posts haven't mattered (I don't mean just you, Nan), they really have. It has been a bit more difficult than I anticipated in starting back up with Sailor Dude, but we are on our way and I am sure that we will come up with some ideas to help his older brother figure out a plan. I am just grateful that you all have kept this conversation going and taken it places I had not thought of before.

 

For those that have shared your stories, :grouphug:

 

For those who are currently struggling, you are not alone, :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Speaking of being alone, I am hoping for some quiet time tomorrow for the first time in a while and the opportunity to talk a bit more about this idea that has been rolling around in my head.

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:grouphug: I wonder if his swim coach emphasizes mostly results, or if he praises hard work and effort. I think it's common in competitive sports to place the importance on the results rather than the effort as winning is what gets the attention. The coach could be a good ally in helping to change your son's thinking on this.

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I would say if that's really the case, he is staying up too late. Teens need a lot of sleep. My son gets up at 6, on his own. He goes to bed at 8 and can read for an hour. Lights out at nine. I can always tell when he's been reading later, because he's tired the next day.

 

your teen goes to bed at 8pm? 1/2 of our extra curriculars don't even end that early. Cadets goes until 930, then we eat dinner around 10pm. youth group goes until 830 and we eat dinner around 9pm (both of those are after dance lessons so no time for dinner before) I could not imagine my teens in bed at 8, even my youngers are not necessarily in bed that early.

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With my teens I prefer to think of it as controlled failure at this point. I'm not prepared to stand by while they dig a hole they can't get out of (at least as long as they are receptive to my help). I am willing to let them forget a piece of equipment for sports practice, get a lower grade if they fail to finish their homework or give it due attention, suffer through a camping trip if they forget to check the packing list. Would I let them sleep past their SAT, go winter camping without gloves, miss a big meet or forget something critical they needed for the big game? No. That is why they still have mom asking questions as they go out the door. I'm still supposed to be training them to think of all these things. Working hard, trying, and risking are all important life steps. They do need to learn how to not always be the best and what it means to work for improvement and personal success.

 

As adults that will change. Having parents who help is a natural part of life and I plan to be there for my kids, as my parents and in-laws have been for us and their parents were for them. That is not the same as having freeloaders who have no intent to mature and be responsible. I try to be very honest with them about what they need to do to live the lives they want as adults and how to get there and I try not to sugar coat how difficult some of their goals may be to attain. They try to formulate real world plans to get there with our help.

 

I wish there were a magic formula to create mature, responsible, successful kids but there doesn't seem to be-now I know why my parents used to say my teen years were so much harder on them than on me. :)

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I cannot recommend Dr. Michael Whitley's 'Bright Minds, Poor Grades' highly enough. This book helped us understand why our son was underachieving and seemed driven to fail. It helps you to help them set goals and hold them accountable in very specific ways that puts it all entirely on them. It helped us to see why the typical punishments weren't working. The 'letting them fail' strategy doesn't work for all kids because there are certain types of underachievers who are very motivated to fail. The book describes the different types of underachievers, what it is that is motivating them to be this way, and how to help them. His website used to have some great video podcasts, but I can't access them at the moment.

 

The really challenging part was having to look hard at myself and see how I was contributing. We had gotten locked in to some very difficult power struggles and once I changed my part of it, it really gave him nowhere else to go but right back to himself. He is doing great now. This time last year I couldn't have imagined anything but a very dim future.

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I cannot recommend Dr. Michael Whitley's 'Bright Minds, Poor Grades' highly enough. This book helped us understand why our son was underachieving and seemed driven to fail. It helps you to help them set goals and hold them accountable in very specific ways that puts it all entirely on them. It helped us to see why the typical punishments weren't working. The 'letting them fail' strategy doesn't work for all kids because there are certain types of underachievers who are very motivated to fail. The book describes the different types of underachievers, what it is that is motivating them to be this way, and how to help them. His website used to have some great video podcasts, but I can't access them at the moment.

 

The really challenging part was having to look hard at myself and see how I was contributing. We had gotten locked in to some very difficult power struggles and once I changed my part of it, it really gave him nowhere else to go but right back to himself. He is doing great now. This time last year I couldn't have imagined anything but a very dim future.

 

I have had this book in my "save for later" area in Amazon for ages. Thank you for reminding to go back and have another look at it.

 

I have realized that I have a very different mind-set from my kdis about "success" and "failure" and what motivates an individual towards one or the other. My dh and I talked about how embarrassed we would have been to get poor grades and for me, good grades and a path to college was the means to leave home which was at the top of my priority list. My kids don't think that way and in hindsight, maybe it is not so bad that they don't.

 

Lisa, Have you seen this?

 

http://marcyaxness.c...-teens-need-us/

 

Nicole, fantastic article and enough stuff there to chat for about for ages.

 

Not to mention how great it is to see you back on the boards.

 

I think dh and I are feeling the aftermath of dealing with our dd's depression. Life is so much better for her now and she is definitely on her way up, but I suspect dh and I are some of the walking wounded left in the aftermath. We bring less optimism, less faith, and less trust to the table when it comes to dealing with our younger kids. I am not sure how to recover that; I just know that we need to do so.

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I have realized that I have a very different mind-set from my kdis about "success" and "failure" and what motivates an individual towards one or the other. My dh and I talked about how embarrassed we would have been to get poor grades and for me, good grades and a path to college was the means to leave home which was at the top of my priority list. My kids don't think that way and in hindsight, maybe it is not so bad that they don't.

:iagree:

 

I think dh and I are feeling the aftermath of dealing with our dd's depression. Life is so much better for her now and she is definitely on her way up, but I suspect dh and I are some of the walking wounded left in the aftermath. We bring less optimism, less faith, and less trust to the table when it comes to dealing with our younger kids. I am not sure how to recover that; I just know that we need to do so.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Jackie

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II think dh and I are feeling the aftermath of dealing with our dd's depression. Life is so much better for her now and she is definitely on her way up, but I suspect dh and I are some of the walking wounded left in the aftermath. We bring less optimism, less faith, and less trust to the table when it comes to dealing with our younger kids. I am not sure how to recover that; I just know that we need to do so.

 

 

I suspected you might be. Mine all definately have to deal with the results of what their brothers did and how that changed me. Our children each change us in their own way. I finally just started telling them this was what was going on when I could feel that we were in a situation when it was true. Most of the time I manage to say, "I'm sorry. After your brother, this is how I tend to react" rather than "Well you can blame your brother for that." Most of the time. Sigh. My children are pretty perceptive. I found it was better to be honest, no matter how uncomfortable we all were with critisizing any one of us to another of us. That is firmly against the family rules, naturally, but there are times when it becomes necessary. Nobody wants to do it or hear it, so I keep it really brief, but we all live together so it isn't as though we don't all know. The occasional acknowledgement helps to keep anyone from wondering what they have done wrong.

 

Nan

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your teen goes to bed at 8pm? 1/2 of our extra curriculars don't even end that early. Cadets goes until 930, then we eat dinner around 10pm. youth group goes until 830 and we eat dinner around 9pm (both of those are after dance lessons so no time for dinner before) I could not imagine my teens in bed at 8, even my youngers are not necessarily in bed that early.

 

Yes. 8pm, lights out at nine (reading only, no electronics in the bedrooms, ever).

 

He gets up at 6am, on his own without a problem. That's only 9 hours, which isn't that much for a teen.

 

Children need more sleep than adults and teens need MORE sleep than children. They are growing fast and that growth happens in their sleep.

 

On Thur night he has orchestra and is often not in bed until 10p. I can always tell the difference on Friday morning.

 

Most people have an unrealistic expectation of the amount of sleep that teens need. I constantly hear people complain about their kids getting up in the morning and I'm certain it's because most of them aren't getting enough sleep, not because the kid is inherently lazy.

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I think dh and I are feeling the aftermath of dealing with our dd's depression. Life is so much better for her now and she is definitely on her way up, but I suspect dh and I are some of the walking wounded left in the aftermath. We bring less optimism, less faith, and less trust to the table when it comes to dealing with our younger kids. I am not sure how to recover that; I just know that we need to do so.

 

 

:grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Pondering the word recover: Cover means to obscure or hide something right? Recover in a sense means to put it back in its proper place. I don't know that you can "recover" in that sense. You (rhetorical) wouldn't want to go back to hiding depression or not acknowledging it or dealing with it. It's dealt with, even with the pain, it's dealt with. Perhaps there needs to be a better word to re-form ourselves after Chaos (yes with the capital C) has been allowed to stomp all over our lives.

 

A restoration maybe? I love old furniture. I love old furniture that has knicks and mark, dents in the wood from years of use. My dh refinished our original hardwood floors before we moved into this house. There is a burn mark on the floor that shows even through the dark stain. I love it, it's character. It shows that this house has lived. The antique chest that was a wedding gift has lost one of tiny wooden wheels that made it easier to move. It's a beautiful piece, you just have to lift it up to move it now.

 

I don't know, I'd rather be restored than recovered. Restoring recognizes there is a past and a story to go with it. Recovering is something that is done when you can't stand to look at something anymore.

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I don't know, I'd rather be restored than recovered. Restoring recognizes there is a past and a story to go with it. Recovering is something that is done when you can't stand to look at something anymore.

My advice on aging is to wear one's scars well.

 

Nice post, Paula.

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