Monday, 11 October 2010

Speedos, attitude, and mumping

I read lots of blogs about parents with teenagers. I love the camaraderie, the shared angst, the low slung underpant tale and the what time did you call this story. I always seem to find though that these are parents of children who know when to buckle down, who know when the boundary has been pushed too far and that they are now prepared to put some effort in. This is where our similarities end. And my anguish begins.

My son, who I love so much, can charm the birds out of the trees is Difficult with a capital D. If he has a last warning he has to go for it. If he has to apply himself he just doesn't bother. The laziness is in the extreme just like the partying. Always the last to leave, the latest to return home. Now we have got into 6th form, just, he is already kicking back. he clearly doesn't want to be there. This infuriates me. I knew this would happen yet he refused all my offers of help - let's look at alternatives etc. Now he's there he hates it despite all his earlier claims of wanting to settle down and prove all and sundry that he is capable. That was short lived. The teachers have gone from "wow he's great " to "oops he's slipping into bad habits again. "Although a recent meeting with them was really positive and they do seem genuinely want to help him. Even the Lesbian PE teacher with size 14 feet as he-man puts it wants to help him, much to my surprise.Course it doesn't help that a recent letter from Mr X caused He-man to go off the deep end just when he needs stability in his life.

I despair. At what point is he going to wake up and smell the coffee. We dropped off a CV tonight at a big chain DIY store. Just a part time job filling shelves. Over 500 applicants for 5 posts. He did pass comment but as if the fierce competition was nothing to do with him.

I worry about him . I worry about what will happen to him. I worry how he will feel if he doesn't realise his full potential and is stuck in crap jobs. Intellectually he could run rings round you and that would kill him in a crap job. He toys with you like a cat with a spider and has had great fun goading me tonight watching me laugh uncontrollably as his twaddle.

The mumping I can cope with. The biting my head off by asking the wrong question at the wrong time too. As long as I know he is working and studying as the pay off. The feeling is that raising teenagers is like having a jigsaw without the picture and all the pieces are scattered everywhere - just where do you begin to fit it all together?

The offers to help him with his career to make an informed choice falls on deaf ears. A suggestion to look at apprenticeships meets with a sneer. Yet the previous week he was going to be an engineer cum plasterer. Now he is talking about becoming a lifeguard and leaving to live in the south of France in pair of red Speedos. I know most 16 year old don't know what they want to do but at least they apply themselves in the meantime.

So what do I do? There isn't much left in reserves to help him through. I am nearing the end of my tether as my son looks like he is about to go off into the sunset in a pair of speedos and a massive attitude and 0 qualifications.


  1. but he will have the rest of his life to realise this! put it to rights and adjust the attitude - I have a son who is making his choices for college and his future right now and worry too but have to stand back and say 'it's his future and he has a lifetime to shape it'... don't worry Mrs W it will all work out.

  2. We went through almost the same thing with my eldest son. At 14 he had the chance of a lifetime to study engineering (well the very begining of it)as a boarder, in a school that specialised in rugby - they produce players for the best teams, and what did he do? - had a good old joly. He came back home, went back a year in school and ended up doing the only course that would accept him - a sales course. But -- In his last year he got a job at McDonalds, stuck it out for 7 months - that's not easy when you are studying for your BAC. He passed this and is now in University studying sports and he has another job as a pizza delivery boy. he asks for help now with his CV, interviews etc and I hope he has turned the corner but it was not easy.
    I think you just have to trust them. We kept saying - you are responsible for yourself we are here if you need help. I do understand how frustrating it is but try and keep positive


  3. Mrs Yappy Dog - I guess it's a case of not wanting them to miss opportunities and education is so important even if you don't realise it at the time

    Sue - This blog was written out of despair! I feel school realise he needs extra support depending on where we are with his father but I just wish he would put more effort in and start thinking past the end of the week.

  4. I do understand that. I did not go into details on my comment but I do understand. The only advice I would give is to let him getthrough it. I have spoken to lots of different people over the last 4 years trying to find a solution or to do something that would help him to
    understand the importance of working now for the future.
    Here are some of the ideas we tried:
    See if he could do a short 'stage' with a few companies in the holidays, maybe for apprenticeships etc,
    Try to get him toa pply for as many holiday or weekend jobs as he can and help him with the CV, interview practise etc.
    I know people that have incentivised their children with money of they passed their exams or certain tests etc. This did not work for us.
    Stop pocket money until he finds a job?
    What ever you do I hope you have success and that your son listens to you. I think the personable ones can be the most difficult to tie down!!

  5. Sue - thanks for the extra advice. I wrote this post last week. Things have improved since then and I am going to make a concerted effort to spend some one on one time with him (without his sister)and hopefully where we don't end up at each others throats.I'm sure this is a mantra of many mums of teenage boys but my point was that they still made an effort to get the grades where as mine doesn't appear to care.
    Jobs we apply for in their masses
    Maybe just I need to stop stressing and keep remembering that underneath all the mumping n bravado I have a lovely boy who is probably a bit scared right now as he gets closer to the adult world of responsibility.