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This is a case of MYOB right?


DawnM
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My son came home from school and told me that his good friend is getting 4 fails out of 5 classes.  Apparently his friend says he hasn't done any classwork or homework for over 6 weeks and is getting all Fs.

 

We are friends with this family.  The family has told me several times that they have decided this is their son's responsibility and they aren't getting involved with monitoring him.  The son is 18 and in CC.

 

This is hard for me because:

 

1. I have a different take on my kids, just because they are in college, as long as I am paying, I feel like checking up on them every now and then is necessary.

 

2. If it were my kid, I would want to know.

 

However, I think since they have made it clear that they DON'T want to know, and because they will know soon enough, it isn't our place to say anything.

 

I told my son this is between his friend and the parents and even though the friend vented to him, we really should not get involved.

 

It is still eating at me though.  The child would still have some time to pull up his grades and perhaps at least pass most of his classes with C's if he caught up.

 

Do you agree with me about NOT saying anything?  

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If I were the parent I would want to know.

 

I think I'd give them a heads up on that basis in spite of their declared intent to stay of things.

 

Cause I would feel more wrong about not trying something to help than I would about going against their expressed attitude.

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Yes, it's not your business. I would encourage my son to encourage his friend. If the parents wanted to know, they'd know.

 

He has encouraged him.  He has talked to him at length.  The kid just shrugs and says he hates school and doesn't want to go anymore.

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It's hard for me to imagine parents that are so hands-off in that way.  I have to resist grilling my CC kid every time he comes home from class.  But, your son's friend is an adult and it sounds like you're pretty clear that the parents aren't interested in monitoring him.  I wouldn't tell the parents.   

 

ETA: could you have the opportunity to talk to the young man?   Maybe talking to you might help him?  

Edited by marbel
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He has encouraged him. He has talked to him at length. The kid just shrugs and says he hates school and doesn't want to go anymore.

I guarantee you his parents know that. But at 18, in college, with his parents telling you they don't want to know, it's just not your place to say anything.

 

I'd be venting to my dh, and I'd be talking about the poor choices to my son, but I wouldn't say anything​ to the parents.

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I guarantee you his parents know that. But at 18, in college, with his parents telling you they don't want to know, it's just not your place to say anything.

 

I'd be venting to my dh, and I'd be talking about the poor choices to my son, but I wouldn't say anything​ to the parents.

 

I was only addressing the comment you made about my son encouraging his to do his work.  I wasn't disagreeing with you.

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It's hard for me to imagine parents that are so hands-off in that way.  I have to resist grilling my CC kid every time he comes home from class.  But, your son's friend is an adult and it sounds like you're pretty clear that the parents aren't interested in monitoring him.  I wouldn't tell the parents.   

 

ETA: could you have the opportunity to talk to the young man?   Maybe talking to you might help him?  

 

 

Yeah, it is hard for me to imagine too, which is why this is so hard for me.

 

I don't have a lot of opportunity to talk to him, and most likely won't until it really is too late.

 

UGH.  Parenting is so hard.  

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He has encouraged him. He has talked to him at length. The kid just shrugs and says he hates school and doesn't want to go anymore.

So if he doesn't want to be in school, and his parents (who I assume are paying) still put him there yet don't want to be involved.....then to me it sounds like they're getting their due return on investment. Learning that you can't force kids into doing things they see no value in can be an expensive lesson. I agree with you on NOT saying anything. This is their rodeo. Better they learned it at CC though and having spent 10x more somewhere else. Maybe now they can have a real conversation with their son and see what he wants to do, as he's an adult now.

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So if he doesn't want to be in school, and his parents (who I assume are paying) still put him there yet don't want to be involved.....then to me it sounds like they're getting their due return on investment. Learning that you can't force kids into doing things they see no value in can be an expensive lesson. I agree with you on NOT saying anything. This is their rodeo. Better they learned it at CC though and having spent 10x more somewhere else. Maybe now they can have a real conversation with their son and see what he wants to do, as he's an adult now.

 

This.

 

Furthermore, frankly, it's a lot better in the long run that he get to quit now after having one terrible semester and really convincing his parents that they can't make him, than drag through multiple semesters of being in school because mom and dad want him to be there, while not really having anything he wants to study, and using up time, money, financial aid eligibility (lots of failed classes mess with your eligibility), and tanking his GPA when/if he finds something he DOES want to study. 

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I can tell you that I have a similar policy with my DS who is almost 18. Not because I don't care, but because there is not a darned thing I can do about it. You could tell me he was failing, but that doesn't mean I could make him catch up on the work. I can't make him do anything. He is at the point where he HAS to learn the lessons of life on his own, as he won't believe me about them. 

 

So it's very possible telling them wouldn't do a lick of good. And that they have good reasons for NOT getting involved. 

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I say MYOB.

 

I think lots of times parents know or partially know a lot of what they don't explicitly have facts on. They might have a very good idea of what is going on here. They might have their own reasons for handling it or not handling it this way. They might know he needs to fail or know they need to disengage or...something.

 

But they likely would not appreciate you stepping in and if a kid is that resistant there is probably little you could do to turn it around. I would feel differently if you had a kid who wanted to do well but had gotten in over his head and needed a little support and didn't know how to find help. But an 18 yo who doesn't have any interest or motivation is not likely to be persuaded.

 

Parenting these big kids is hard. I have seen so many people in my life have to take the long way around failing initially before ultimately regrouping and going back to school when they are ready. Not ideal but the path some need to take.

 

I've tried to drill in to my kids that once they start a semester they need to finish it and then they can transfer, take time off, etc. But to just quit on it without officially withdrawing and taking Fs is such a bad way to go about things. But some just can't see that. My ds has a roommate doing that now. He is going to leave school so he just quit going to class. It is one of those things where you see the brain development and maturity just isn't there. Not sure how to convince those kids but I doubt you or your son can make a difference here. Just be good and supportive to your friends during the fallout.

 

Growing up is just plain harder for some than for others.

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As a college prof, I want to reassure (?) you that this type of semester crash is normal for students who really are done with school. Whether or not somebody gets him to bring his grades up to Cs, or anything else... he's probably not coming back. The grades he leaves with aren't going to change his life. The attitude towards education that he leaves with probably will.

 

If he ever does want to try again at college, it will be to his benefit to re-take these courses and have the support of academic probation -- so it's probably best that his transcript reflects his experiences accurately.

 

When these are my students, I make sure they know that sometimes 'life gets in the way' and I'm sure they got all they could out of the semester -- and learned a lot.

 

It's frequently a pattern that's associated with depression, anxiety, or other fairly common mental health struggles. (Although just as often, it's a romance, a family quarrel or grief, or just a bad cold.) If you talk to the parents about anything, I'd suggest 'wondering about that' instead of talking about grades. Encourage your son to be a good friend regardless of whether his friends are good students or not.

Edited by bolt.
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He has encouraged him.  He has talked to him at length.  The kid just shrugs and says he hates school and doesn't want to go anymore.

 

The student is correct. He should not (at this time) be attending school, wasting his parents money. He has no desire to learn. He has no motivation.   Possibly in the future he will be motivated and when he is the one paying, he will (probably) have a lot more interest in learning.   Your son has tried. I think that was appropriate and good and that probably the boys parents are aware of his poor performance in school. He is too immature to take advantage of the opportunity his parents are paying for, at this time. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make the horse drink the water.  His parents provided the opportunity, but he has not taken advantage of the opportunity. 

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I think there are a lot of kids like that in CC.  My kids (one in his first year, one doing dual enrollment) often marvel at the number of people who are frequently absent from class, don't turn in homework, skip tests, etc.  Some I think are there because their parents said they have to go to college.  Some don't know what else to do: they have no job skills and everyone is screaming at them that a 4-year degree is the ticket to a decent life, so they go through the charade of going.

 

 

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I was only addressing the comment you made about my son encouraging his to do his work. I wasn't disagreeing with you.

I didn't intend to sound short. I actually thought I included that I was glad your son had talked to him. I shouldn't post while still drinking my first cup of coffee.

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For some parents CC may be like a Day Care for older children? How sad.  My Stepson graduated very young (15). They finish in 11th grade here. We paid for him to attend a school that our next door neighbors (doctors) sent a kid too. Good reputation. We even paid him a salary, so he could pay his expenses.  Turned out that in addition to enrolling in something he had no interest in (related to Computer Science as I recall) he was dancing and drinking Beer with his girlfriend, instead of being in class.  Fine. No more of that. Then, my SIL got him a position in a University where she lives. We sent him there. Paid for a Tutor and his other expenses. It was something he had no interest in. Electronic Technology. He was hanging out near the Medical School.  Someone from the school told my SIL he wasn't cut out for that, which was 100% true.  So, we paid for 2 years and that was wasted money. 

 

Now that he is older and more mature, and is working, he paid for 3 years of something he has interest in (Marketing related) and he completed 3 years, with very good grades.  I think he got partial Scholarships most of the 6 semesters.  He wants to continue, but now it is much more expensive and he didn't have the $ to go to school this school year.

 

As some others in this thread have mentioned, the student in question may have  problems with Mental Illness, Depression, Drugs, etc.  Simply not being prepared to be an Adult and not knowing what he wants to do for the next 50 years, may be overwhelming him.  Possibly it never occurred to him that he would eventually grow up and need to earn money. Many possibilities for his performance in that CC and probably as others have mentioned, he is not the only one.

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Since he's in college, I would not say anything at all. He's an adult. It's his responsibility to deal with his own grades. If they wanted to know, I'm sure they would be inquiring.

 

My parents were very supportive of me when I was in school; but once I was that age, they didn't meddle with that aspect.

Edited by magnificent_baby
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I think there are a lot of kids like that in CC. My kids (one in his first year, one doing dual enrollment) often marvel at the number of people who are frequently absent from class, don't turn in homework, skip tests, etc. Some I think are there because their parents said they have to go to college. Some don't know what else to do: they have no job skills and everyone is screaming at them that a 4-year degree is the ticket to a decent life, so they go through the charade of going.

Yep. My oldest was in a math class with a kid who showed up sometimes, only to leave early. It was his fourth time taking the class. He either had learning disability that needed to be addressed, or he was done with school but his parents insisted.

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MYOB. Sometimes people need to learn on their own what works for them in the adult world. One of my brothers failed the English composition class in CC twice simply because he couldn't stand his teacher. Funny thing is he eventually figured it out and went on to get his Master's degree. He now teaches that same class in the same CC.

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the parents don't want to be part of it - but you can if this kid knows and trusts you.  If this is especially new - I would be very concerned about depression.   (even if it's not new I would be concerned about that.)   the kid knows his parents don't give a rip, for a child who is not self-motivated, that is very depressing.  you can't change the parents because they don't want to give a rip.

poor kid.  this is going to really hurt him in the future.

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:grouphug:

 

I know this is hard but he doesn't want to be there.  I guess his parents pushed him into going but offered no support for him once he got there.  Maybe he is the type that would not have accepted support and the parents are tired of trying.  Maybe they really do feel he needs to learn how to survive on his own and it is no longer their responsibility.  Or whatever else may be going on behind the scenes.  The boy is done.  He does not want to be there.  His parents cajoling him into bringing up his grades will probably net very little in the long run.

 

What I would be more concerned about is if he might have some sort of underlying issue, either depression/anxiety or a learning difficulty or all three that was not properly recognized/addressed.  Is he saying he hates school because he really does just want to be done with school or is he saying that to save face because of an underlying struggle?  Issues with depression/anxiety/learning challenges could undermine his ability to function in the work force, not just in school.  This is why a totally hands off approach from the parents could be dangerous long term.

 

ETA:  I don't see what you could do about it, though.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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I could be wrong, but to me the fact that the parents have said they have no intention of monitoring him seems to indicate that they already suspected this would happen.  So I just doubt this will come as a shock to them.  They must have their reasons for choosing not to get involved, so I would respect that.   (ETA: I meant this to sound like "therefore I think you did the right thing" not trying to tell you what to do.)

 
I am curious, however, since he indicated to your son that he doesn't want to be in school, did he say what it is that he does want to be doing?  Does he have some other plan for his life that doesn't involve school, but he's going through the motions because his parents required it?  Or is he just coasting because he doesn't know what he wants?
Edited by Greta
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How do you know that they don't know? Or at least strongly suspect it? It seems like they want him to take responsibility for his own education. So even if they do suspect that he's failing, they won't intervene.

 

I do provide some scaffolding for my son in college. But he asks for the help because he wants to succeed. And he has some special needs. It's part of advocating for himself-not me pulling or pushing him towards the finish line.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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I would not talk to the parents, in fact I tend to support their view. 

 

He is 18.  If his parents call the school, they will not tell them the son's marks.  It is his responsibility and decision.  I certainly never told my parents about my marks in university.

 

It sounds like he is there because he was told he had to go, and it isn't a good fit for him.  It's even possible that if he'd been allowed to make a decision in the first place,  it would have prevented the whole scenario.  Perhaps he'll be able now to pursue something more appropriate.

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For some kids, they think it's a good way to prove to their parents that they shouldn't be in college.  Because they didn't want to be there in the first place, and they think their parents are forcing them.  I've seen this happen a lot.

 

Whether that's true or not is beside the point.

 

It's probably more important for his professors to be encouraging him not to totally crash and burn.  But if they're not getting through to him, it's even less likely his parents would.  

 

Whatever his reasons -- reasonable or silly -- college isn't working for him right now.  Your or your son's involvement isn't going to change that.  Don't make yourself crazy over it.  It's not your fault now and it won't be your fault if you stay out of it.

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I know they don't know because I go to dinner with them a couple of times per month and they both have said how N has said he is doing fine and they have decided to be hands off, so they are hoping he is actually following through, but that they aren't checking, just telling him, "if you need help, let us know."

 

I even make comments to them that we are far more hands on, and it may be partly because this is our oldest child, who has special needs, etc.....but we are putting a lot of money and energy and time into getting him there, paying the bills, etc... and have decided to be more involved.  But we don't argue about it, it is just making statements.

 

Anyway, they will find out soon enough.  The semester ends in about 5 weeks or so.

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MYOB.

 

1. The kid is an adult in college classes.

2. The parents have already said they are hands off on this situation.

3. The student vented to your son, a peer.  Not you.

4. Failing 4 classes is the student choosing to not do work.  If he were struggling in one class and needed tutoring that would be different.

 

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The family has told me several times that they have decided this is their son's responsibility and they aren't getting involved with monitoring him. The son is 18 and in CC.

My mom has always been hands off from preK to college. After a big quarrel, my dad agreed to be hands off from 7th grade. So it is hard to know what is going on behind the scenes. I did collect a few Fs but not when it matters. All my Fs have negligible consequences/impacts.

 

ETA:

My side of the family tend towards rebellious and highly independent.

Edited by Arcadia
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My son came home from school and told me that his good friend is getting 4 fails out of 5 classes.  Apparently his friend says he hasn't done any classwork or homework for over 6 weeks and is getting all Fs.

 

We are friends with this family.  The family has told me several times that they have decided this is their son's responsibility and they aren't getting involved with monitoring him.  The son is 18 and in CC.

 

This is hard for me because:

 

1. I have a different take on my kids, just because they are in college, as long as I am paying, I feel like checking up on them every now and then is necessary.

 

2. If it were my kid, I would want to know.

 

However, I think since they have made it clear that they DON'T want to know, and because they will know soon enough, it isn't our place to say anything.

 

I told my son this is between his friend and the parents and even though the friend vented to him, we really should not get involved.

 

It is still eating at me though.  The child would still have some time to pull up his grades and perhaps at least pass most of his classes with C's if he caught up.

 

Do you agree with me about NOT saying anything?  

You definitely should not say anything. They do not NEED to be told. And even if they did need to be told, you would not be the one to do it. 

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My mom has always been hands off from preK to college. After a big quarrel, my dad agreed to be hands off from 7th grade. So it is hard to know what is going on behind the scenes. I did collect a few Fs but not when it matters. All my Fs have negligible consequences/impacts.

 

ETA:

My side of the family tend towards rebellious and highly independent.

 

Families can just vary so widely in this regard.  Some young adults resist help at every turn.  Some 18 year olds just aren't ready for college.  Things will work out as they are meant to over time.  It sounds like he is choosing to squander this opportunity.   It's his life.  It doesn't mean he might not be successful in school later or find a better path for him. 

 

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I'd say something.

 

If I'm close enough to the mom, I'd call her and say something like, "my son said that "Bill" says he's failing his classes. I know you mentioned that he could ask you for help so maybe you already know. I know I'd like to be told if the roles were reversed."

 

If he gets thru this semester, he can still take a break or drop out forever. IMO, it'd be better to leave with the best grades possible and if his parents can or want to help him out of this tailspin, that would be the best thing.

 

18 is still very young and immature for some kids.

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They sound like my mom and my brother. My brother isn't in college, but he's made a lot of not-so-great life choices. My mom finally reached a point where she said she couldn't know anything else about his life because it's too stressful for her. So yeah, I agree that you should probably myob.

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I know they don't know because I go to dinner with them a couple of times per month and they both have said how N has said he is doing fine and they have decided to be hands off, so they are hoping he is actually following through, but that they aren't checking, just telling him, "if you need help, let us know."

 

 

 

 

Ah, okay, I misinterpreted.  I thought you were just casually acquainted with your son's friend's parents, I didn't realize you are friends with them.  I also thought they had thoughtfully chosen a "sink or swim" approach and were aware of the risk they were taking.  Sounds like I was wrong on both counts.  This makes things more complicated.  So I think I'm going to bow out and stop commenting!  So much of it just depends on the dynamic of your friendship with them, and their personalities.  Good luck, and I'm sorry I don't have any better wisdom to share than this:  trust your gut.  You know them far better than any of us do, so I think you should do whatever you think is best.  Chances are, you're right.

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I can tell you that I have a similar policy with my DS who is almost 18. Not because I don't care, but because there is not a darned thing I can do about it. You could tell me he was failing, but that doesn't mean I could make him catch up on the work. I can't make him do anything. He is at the point where he HAS to learn the lessons of life on his own, as he won't believe me about them. 

 

So it's very possible telling them wouldn't do a lick of good. And that they have good reasons for NOT getting involved. 

 

This.

 

Not saying you would do it, OP, but it's so frustrating when you have a child like that. Well-meaning people think you should be doing more and make what are, really, quite reasonable suggestions. Except THEY DON'T WORK WITH YOUR KID. Sometimes I honestly want to scream, "Don't you think I've already done that!" Hard as it is, sometimes you really do have the let the chips fall where they may and then be prepared to help pick up the pieces.

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Ah, okay, I misinterpreted.  I thought you were just casually acquainted with your son's friend's parents, I didn't realize you are friends with them.  I also thought they had thoughtfully chosen a "sink or swim" approach and were aware of the risk they were taking.  Sounds like I was wrong on both counts.  This makes things more complicated.  So I think I'm going to bow out and stop commenting!  So much of it just depends on the dynamic of your friendship with them, and their personalities.  Good luck, and I'm sorry I don't have any better wisdom to share than this:  trust your gut.  You know them far better than any of us do, so I think you should do whatever you think is best.  Chances are, you're right.

 

No, you aren't wrong on the sink or swim.  that seems to be their approach now that he is no longer in high school.

 

There is a lot more but it  would get too personal, so I have been somewhat intentionally vague.

 

In the OP I told my son we shouldn't say anything.  It just kills me.  This isn't what we have done, but this is our philosophy and I realize others do things differently.

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I'd say something.

If I'm close enough to the mom, I'd call her and say something like, "my son said that "Bill" says he's failing his classes. I know you mentioned that he could ask you for help so maybe you already know. I know I'd like to be told if the roles were reversed."

If he gets thru this semester, he can still take a break or drop out forever. IMO, it'd be better to leave with the best grades possible and if his parents can or want to help him out of this tailspin, that would be the best thing.

18 is still very young and immature for some kids.

:iagree:

 

If I was the mom, I would want to know. If I was the friend of the mom, I would tell her, even if I suspected she wouldn't try to do anything about it. I would be hoping that if she took an interest, she might be able to encourage the kid to make enough of an effort to pass his classes.

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Um, my parents never knew any of my grades in college. Why would it be a relative's business if an adult taking classes fails them? I mean, unless he has cognitive disabilities?

 

I would definitely say nothing. He needs to learn to figure stuff out on his own or quit college and find something productive to do. and I think that's what his parents want him to realize too, hence the hands-off approach.

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Um, my parents never knew any of my grades in college. Why would it be a relative's business if an adult taking classes fails them? I mean, unless he has cognitive disabilities?

 

I would definitely say nothing. He needs to learn to figure stuff out on his own or quit college and find something productive to do. and I think that's what his parents want him to realize too, hence the hands-off approach.

 

I feel like if I am PAYING for them, I have a right to know.

 

Thankfully, my kids are pretty transparent about these things.

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