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DawnM

What punishments or advice would you give in this situation (teen son) . UPDATE in first post

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6 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

I do not know where the link is but I know I saw within the last year a piece with photo after photo of people the day or few days before they committed suicide.  They look happy in those photos.  it was an attempt to educate the public that depressed people can either put on a good face or actually have good moments but they  are drowned out by bad ones.

 

A former classmate had smiling depression in 7th and 8th grade (public school gifted program). 

“The definition of smiling depression is: appearing happy to others, literally smiling, while internally suffering with depressive symptoms. Smiling depression often goes undetected. Those suffering from it often discount their own feelings and brush them aside. They might not even be aware of their depression or want to acknowledge their symptoms due to a fear of being considered “weak.”” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-guest-room/201411/the-secret-life-people-smiling-depression

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13 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

Same here. 

Four years of high school down the tubes because the kid flaked out a month before graduation?

Not on my watch!

I can only imagine how frantic those parents must be feeling right now. 

 

I’m still a couple of pages behind on this thread, but...
You don’t *suddenly fail classes. It takes some time to wind up with Fs this far in.  Depending on the grading scale, I’d estimate at least half of the course length for a kid who may have been pulling As in the beginning.  And it’d be pretty hard for parents not to realize it earlier, with the way modern schools update electronic records.

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14 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Maybe the parents need to take some annual leave so they can sit with the lad *during the day,*  and apply the same protein, water and snacks we've done with our littles.

 

That would not be a possibility in this case.  

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33 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I’m still a couple of pages behind on this thread, but...
You don’t *suddenly fail classes. It takes some time to wind up with Fs this far in.  Depending on the grading scale, I’d estimate at least half of the course length for a kid who may have been pulling As in the beginning.  And it’d be pretty hard for parents not to realize it earlier, with the way modern schools update electronic records.

 

They did.  They have been trying everything they know and she was just asking me if there was anything else she hadn't thought of yet.

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2 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

They did.  They have been trying everything they know and she was just asking me if there was anything else she hadn't thought of yet.

I figured as much.  I wasn’t trying to be critical, just pointing out that this was no overnight revelation.

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Just now, Carrie12345 said:

I figured as much.  I wasn’t trying to be critical, just pointing out that this was no overnight revelation.

 

They really are good parents.  They have two who have successfully launched.  One has graduated college and the other is graduating next month.   But many of us have at least one who may send us to an early grave!   This one is theirs.

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4 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

They really are good parents.  They have two who have successfully launched.  One has graduated college and the other is graduating next month.   But many of us have at least one who may send us to an early grave!   This one is theirs.

No need to defend them to me!  If I believed that good parenting has to result in “traditional” paths, I’d have to call myself a bad parent, lol. I’m one of the people saying that this doesn’t seem like it’s necessarily some great big deal.

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2 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

No need to defend them to me!  If I believed that good parenting has to result in “traditional” paths, I’d have to call myself a bad parent, lol. I’m one of the people saying that this doesn’t seem like it’s necessarily some great big deal.

 

I wasn't really thinking you were, it was more of just a general comment.  

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

They really are good parents.  They have two who have successfully launched.  One has graduated college and the other is graduating next month.   But many of us have at least one who may send us to an early grave!   This one is theirs.

 

For my aunt, it was the youngest son out of four kids. He just wasn’t into academics so he got Cs and Ds instead of As since 9th grade. He went to get his degree when he was stalled in the promotion path for his sales job. He is very good at sales but the sales manager job needed a degree if he wanted to stay at the company he worked for. For my this cousin it was a case of immaturity, he love spending money, his first marriage was a mess and he won’t listen to anyone’s advice/opinions.

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13 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

What does he earn?  $8-15 an hour would be the usual range. Say he’s earning ~$200 a week.  Some is going to FICA.  Some of his net is going to 1/2 of the car expenses and gas.  Whatever is left is not really enough to support much of a drug habit unless he’s got some other income.  IME with drugs you most often start to see other issues- like not paying his bills or missing work or selling things to pay for drugs. If he’s going out with friends and not being mindful of his money, he could easily blow that much on totally legal food and entertainment- hanging out at diners, seeing movies, going to concerts.  Nothing about spending that much money screams drugs to me.  I’ve seen more 18 year olds overspend than start a drug habit and I know a lot a frigging addicts.  

Yes, exactly.  My ds19 can spend a lot of money eating out and going to movies.  And he spends a lot of time with his friends.  None of them are doing drugs.  My dss18 does too, and he is currently not doing his high school course work.  He doesn’t want too.  I honestly don’t think he would care if he failed completely.  

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10 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

A former classmate had smiling depression in 7th and 8th grade (public school gifted program). 

“The definition of smiling depression is: appearing happy to others, literally smiling, while internally suffering with depressive symptoms. Smiling depression often goes undetected. Those suffering from it often discount their own feelings and brush them aside. They might not even be aware of their depression or want to acknowledge their symptoms due to a fear of being considered “weak.”” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-guest-room/201411/the-secret-life-people-smiling-depression

 

There’s also “cognitive behavioral avoidance”—

it can come into play with regard to anxiety or depression and can be specific toward a particular area of life rather than generalized 

for example, if he’s never had to bring up a low grade and doesn’t know how to do that it could result in avoidance of trying 

or if it takes a C to pass and he would not be able to get that, or doesn’t think he would be able to, even if he were to work very hard on school for the last 5 weeks

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8 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

They did.  They have been trying everything they know and she was just asking me if there was anything else she hadn't thought of yet.

 

Adhd medication + active adhd coaching (not talk therapy) might help if adhd is a part of this—and if he has add, it probably *is* relevant.  Especially since motivation issues are part of adhd. 

8 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

They really are good parents.  They have two who have successfully launched.  One has graduated college and the other is graduating next month.   But many of us have at least one who may send us to an early grave!   This one is theirs.

 

Perhaps the older kids would have better insight into what might help their brother.

 

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On 4/19/2019 at 7:15 AM, Farrar said:

This thread is a bit fascinating at how all over the place everyone's thinking is.

Assuming that there really isn't more at play here, he doesn't sound like he's got anything more than a case of, as Tanaqui called it, senioritis. Especially since he knows what he wants to do and he wants to get to his "real life" now.

 

The opening post said he has ADHD and EF troubles.  

“Finishing” is a very common ADHD problem.

it is possible that he may succeed in moving on with his trade school at community college idea.

it is also extremely likely that with ADHD he will be good at starting, but not completing such a program 

this isn’t an imposition of some other concept (like suggesting that maybe he’s doing drugs) that wasn’t stated by the op. Difficulty with finishing is an absolutely typical sort of manifestation of ADHD and executive function deficits —a problem the young man is known to have

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8 hours ago, Pen said:

 

The opening post said he has ADHD and EF troubles.  

“Finishing” is a very common ADHD problem.

it is possible that he may succeed in moving on with his trade school at community college idea.

it is also extremely likely that with ADHD he will be good at starting, but not completing such a program 

this isn’t an imposition of some other concept (like suggesting that maybe he’s doing drugs) that wasn’t stated by the op. Difficulty with finishing is an absolutely typical sort of manifestation of ADHD and executive function deficits —a problem the young man is known to have

I understand that. But I also think a student doesn’t get to senior year with those issues without having used supports. And the parents are providing supports and trying to provide more. But the OP says he has no sense of urgency or investment in passing these classes. That could be a cover for fear, but my hunch is that he’s not trying. All the supports in the world won’t work (and since he made it to spring of 12th grade, clearly supports did work in the past) if he doesn’t try or think it’s important.

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3 hours ago, Farrar said:

I understand that. But I also think a student doesn’t get to senior year with those issues without having used supports. And the parents are providing supports and trying to provide more. But the OP says he has no sense of urgency or investment in passing these classes. That could be a cover for fear, but my hunch is that he’s not trying. All the supports in the world won’t work (and since he made it to spring of 12th grade, clearly supports did work in the past) if he doesn’t try or think it’s important.

 

“Not trying” is a difficult thing in ADHD, because it can be a symptom of the brain glitch     For some people, if they get the right supports (such as a medication) the ability to try and the ability to think something is important can themselves change. 

Very little indication of supports were given in Op explanation.  He sees a therapist once per week who has “talked” to him.  

Did I miss other ADD supports being given?

Dawn wrote that the school would not give supports now because he made it in the past—pretty much your same way of thinking it seems.  And I get that.  

However, it may or may not be correct

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

“Not trying” is a difficult thing in ADHD, because it can be a symptom of the brain glitch     For some people, if they get the right supports (such as a medication) the ability to try and the ability to think something is important can themselves change. 

Very little indication of supports were given in Op explanation.  He sees a therapist once per week who has “talked” to him.  

Did I miss other ADD supports being given?

Dawn wrote that the school would not give supports now because he made it in the past—pretty much your same way of thinking it seems.  And I get that.  

However, it may or may not be correct. 

 

I agree. I mean, "lazy" is definitely a coded word when it comes to kids with ADHD. And I agree that talking to him isn't a particularly useful intervention in and of itself - though there are EF "therapists" who work with kids on strategies and do things like actually going through binders and work and organizing things with them that, from the outside, seem like talk therapy but are definitely effective for some kids with EF issues. But when a student with known ADHD makes it all the way through high school fine and suddenly can't pull it together in the last three months of senior year... I really think it's probably not the ADHD that is primarily at issue, even if it's contributing.

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5 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I agree. I mean, "lazy" is definitely a coded word when it comes to kids with ADHD. And I agree that talking to him isn't a particularly useful intervention in and of itself - though there are EF "therapists" who work with kids on strategies and do things like actually going through binders and work and organizing things with them that, from the outside, seem like talk therapy but are definitely effective for some kids with EF issues. But when a student with known ADHD makes it all the way through high school fine and suddenly can't pull it together in the last three months of senior year... I really think it's probably not the ADHD that is primarily at issue, even if it's contributing.

 

I don’t think we know enough to determine that.

We can all have our own guesses about when and why the young man’s school performance has deteriorated.  

I don’t know whether the current circumstances are or aren’t equivalent to the first 3 years of high school—for example, if he was managing to juggle work, friends, and even heavier course load successfully in past years.  Or if the work and perhaps friends are new and he cannot juggle 3 substantial demands on his brain. And decided that school is least important of the 3.

I’m not assuming.  I just don’t know. 

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2 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

I don’t think we know enough to determine that.

We can all have our own guesses about when and why the young man’s school performance has deteriorated.  

I don’t know whether the current circumstances are or aren’t equivalent to the first 3 years of high school—for example, if he was managing to juggle work, friends, and even heavier course load successfully in past years.  Or if the work and perhaps friends are new and he cannot juggle 3 substantial demands on his brain. And decided that school is least important of the 3.

I’m not assuming.  I just don’t know. 

Maybe. I guess I took from the things Dawn has said that the parents are aware of these issues and have been on top of them in the past and have been trying everything they can within the limits of their budgets and lives. I know ADHD can beat all that... but I do think if he made it all the way through only to trip up at the end, it's probably not just about his EF issues.

There's a huge amount of fear and stress (unrelated to EF issues) for some people in finishing things and this is the biggest finishing of things that a kid that age will have done to date in most cases. But also, the "I'm so done with this" mentality is so common at this point in school - especially for kids who are headed into trades and CC and know that some of the final hoops aren't as dire as all that. If they haven't given him good supports to manage his ADHD to this point, then that really is unfortunate because he's about to launch and will likely just go on to fail CC. 

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35 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Maybe. I guess I took from the things Dawn has said that the parents are aware of these issues and have been on top of them in the past and have been trying everything they can within the limits of their budgets and lives. I know ADHD can beat all that... but I do think if he made it all the way through only to trip up at the end, it's probably not just about his EF issues.

There's a huge amount of fear and stress (unrelated to EF issues) for some people in finishing things and this is the biggest finishing of things that a kid that age will have done to date in most cases. But also, the "I'm so done with this" mentality is so common at this point in school - especially for kids who are headed into trades and CC and know that some of the final hoops aren't as dire as all that. If they haven't given him good supports to manage his ADHD to this point, then that really is unfortunate because he's about to launch and will likely just go on to fail CC. 

 

Do you know what the 12th grade failure rate is for students who don’t have ADHD (or similar) and were doing well academically in the prior 3 years?

 

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Just now, Pen said:

 

Do you know what the 12th grade failure rate is for students who don’t have ADHD (or similar) and were doing well academically in the prior 3 years?

 

No... but my observation in the classroom was that kids with serious ADHD classroom issues didn't suddenly face stumbling blocks out of nowhere - at new levels of schooling, absolutely. A lot of kids with ADHD struggle in 4th/5th because the expectations rise. And then again in 6th/7th. And then again in 9th/10th (though it can be different if the school system breaks up the grades or introduces new elements like changing classes at different points). Teachers of seniors know how it is. It's not usually the case that senior year classes are that much harder or require that much more. Often, spring of senior year, classes are a step down in terms of bulk of work, just because... if you can't beat em, join em.

If you have stats that say otherwise, then please share.

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3 minutes ago, Farrar said:

No... but my observation in the classroom was that kids with serious ADHD classroom issues didn't suddenly face stumbling blocks out of nowhere - at new levels of schooling, absolutely. A lot of kids with ADHD struggle in 4th/5th because the expectations rise. And then again in 6th/7th. And then again in 9th/10th (though it can be different if the school system breaks up the grades or introduces new elements like changing classes at different points). Teachers of seniors know how it is. It's not usually the case that senior year classes are that much harder or require that much more. Often, spring of senior year, classes are a step down in terms of bulk of work, just because... if you can't beat em, join em.

If you have stats that say otherwise, then please share.

 

No I thought maybe you had stats.

When I tried to look it up, I kept being redirected to flunking out being common in 9th grade. 

I don’t know any neurotypical , healthy, not in an accident, and not depressed, or dealing with parental divorce or other issue kids who have flunked senior year.   

Slacked off, yes, most. 

Flunked, no. 

 

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Personally, I don’t think “normal” “senioritis” = flunking out

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I have known of some kids who had this happen. Also, the knowledge that CC would still be open to them fed into their lack of desire to finish in at least two cases I'm thinking of.

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48 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I have known of some kids who had this happen. Also, the knowledge that CC would still be open to them fed into their lack of desire to finish in at least two cases I'm thinking of.

 

I hope that’s all it is for this young man and that he’ll be fine in cc program.

 

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On 4/20/2019 at 5:08 AM, Carrie12345 said:

I’m still a couple of pages behind on this thread, but...
You don’t *suddenly fail classes. It takes some time to wind up with Fs this far in.  Depending on the grading scale, I’d estimate at least half of the course length for a kid who may have been pulling As in the beginning.  And it’d be pretty hard for parents not to realize it earlier, with the way modern schools update electronic records.

I’m behind reading this thread, too, but I wanted to comment on this. 

My daughter is a senior. She has had straight A’s her entire high school career, but I have seen that in some classes, there are few assignments and one missed quiz can completely tank a grade. 

My dd has mono. She has had a really hard month. Before mono she had knee surgery... it’s been a seriously tough year.

 She missed three days of school before spring break, and her online grades say she is failing two classes. It is going to take some work to make sure all of her missed assignments get turned in and the quizzes made up. She will need to do those things while also doing current assignments. It can all snowball into a giant mess very quickly.  

I am confident she will get those grades back up, but I can easily see how this could happen to the original posters friend. A couple missed days can take an A to a C and it can quickly become statistically impossible to bring the grades up.

I think a multi-pronged attack could help this young man. I would go in with him to talk to his counselor - the counselor could show how summer school will be required for graduation and could hopefully help find other options like talking to some teachers and finding a way to get some makeup work done and/or alternative high school options. 

This is so tough and such a crucial time! I think I would take away friend time and ask him to cut back work hours dramatically. But that depends on parenting styles and patterns - it might work for my son, but not for others...

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On 4/19/2019 at 9:59 PM, Arcadia said:

 

A former classmate had smiling depression in 7th and 8th grade (public school gifted program). 

“The definition of smiling depression is: appearing happy to others, literally smiling, while internally suffering with depressive symptoms. Smiling depression often goes undetected. Those suffering from it often discount their own feelings and brush them aside. They might not even be aware of their depression or want to acknowledge their symptoms due to a fear of being considered “weak.”” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-guest-room/201411/the-secret-life-people-smiling-depression

Some people have a tendency to cope with stress by smiling; I agree that you can't take public demeanor as an indication of a person's internal state.

I have a child who is really struggling these past few months, lots of sobbing melt downs at home. But when we met with her teacher to talk about what they can do at school to support her she pasted a smile on her face for the discussion. Fortunately this teacher is the sort who can see beyond the smile.

And males especially do tend towards irritability as a symptom of depression.

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4 hours ago, Pen said:

 

No I thought maybe you had stats.

When I tried to look it up, I kept being redirected to flunking out being common in 9th grade. 

I don’t know any neurotypical , healthy, not in an accident, and not depressed, or dealing with parental divorce or other issue kids who have flunked senior year.   

Slacked off, yes, most. 

Flunked, no. 

 

I do. And then want on to complete community college, college, and graduate school.

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1 hour ago, Frances said:

I do. And then want on to complete community college, college, and graduate school.

 

You do what? Have statistics?

Or yourself flunked senior year and then went to cc, college and grad school with no further troubles? 

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4 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

You do what? Have statistics?

Or yourself flunked senior year and then went to cc, college and grad school with no further troubles? 

I personally know two people who had this path.

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UPDATE:

1. Drug test was negative

2. Parents have clamped down, told him he can keep his phone if he keeps the Life 360 APP on at all times and isn't allowed to go anywhere but school and home without permission.

3. Paycheck auto deposit and controlled by parents for now, until grades come up

4. He made up a lot of work over break 

5. If he doesn't pass, he loses all privileges of car and phone until he takes summer school

6. Best news is that his friends have started telling him his parents are right and he needs to finish high school and get it together......peer pressure can be awesome!

 

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16 hours ago, DawnM said:

UPDATE:

1. Drug test was negative

2. Parents have clamped down, told him he can keep his phone if he keeps the Life 360 APP on at all times and isn't allowed to go anywhere but school and home without permission.

3. Paycheck auto deposit and controlled by parents for now, until grades come up

4. He made up a lot of work over break 

5. If he doesn't pass, he loses all privileges of car and phone until he takes summer school

6. Best news is that his friends have started telling him his parents are right and he needs to finish high school and get it together......peer pressure can be awesome!

 

Wow, that is a fantastic update!  Thank you for letting us know.  

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On 4/29/2019 at 7:51 PM, DawnM said:

UPDATE:

1. Drug test was negative

2. Parents have clamped down, told him he can keep his phone if he keeps the Life 360 APP on at all times and isn't allowed to go anywhere but school and home without permission.

3. Paycheck auto deposit and controlled by parents for now, until grades come up

4. He made up a lot of work over break 

5. If he doesn't pass, he loses all privileges of car and phone until he takes summer school

6. Best news is that his friends have started telling him his parents are right and he needs to finish high school and get it together......peer pressure can be awesome!

 

Please tell me this kid got his diploma.

😀😀

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5 hours ago, unsinkable said:

Please tell me this kid got his diploma.

😀😀

 

Graduation isn't for another 2.5 weeks, so I will have to get back to you.

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I'm very glad to hear this! Our school district has 3 diploma options: Honors, Regular, Core. We call the Core diploma the "I warmed a seat so I get a diploma". They do school work, but it is the minimal amount to graduate.  I figure at least they are getting a diploma. A lot of these kids are on drugs, or just don't want to be there. When they turn their lives around at least they have a diploma.

Kelly

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32 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I'm very glad to hear this! Our school district has 3 diploma options: Honors, Regular, Core. We call the Core diploma the "I warmed a seat so I get a diploma". They do school work, but it is the minimal amount to graduate.  I figure at least they are getting a diploma. A lot of these kids are on drugs, or just don't want to be there. When they turn their lives around at least they have a diploma.

Kelly

 

Are you sure that isn't a State required diploma system and not a district option?  In the 2 states I have worked in, a district can't choose how to issue diplomas, it is state based.

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

Are you sure that isn't a State required diploma system and not a district option?  In the 2 states I have worked in, a district can't choose how to issue diplomas, it is state based.

It might be, it wasn't like that when I was in school in this same state. I haven't dealt with other districts so I have no idea how they work. It is possible that they have  just given names to levels of credits. 

 

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