adoption, family, kids, parenting, society

Help Me…to Help Him

This parenting gig is exhausting me right now!

Recently my ten year old son has been wreaking havoc at school again. I have already made my way to the counselors office this year, to design some sort of behavior plan for my dear boy, so that I can stop getting phone calls everyday, and so that his teachers may get some reprieve!

Since moving in with us, his behavior has improved immensely, yet when we conquer one behavior, he starts another irritating one. He always wants to have control over something strange, even if it means he suffers because of it….He is so hard to figure out!

His new thing is to refuse to do his school work. His mid term grades show all D's and F's, which is not something we have had problems with in the past. Knowing fairly early what he was doing, we jumped quickly. We have been studying with him daily…every subject. Before a test he will be able to tell you every answer to your questions, so he can be free to play. Then, when he gets to school he will fail the test, and badly…like 40%!!! He won't even fill in the answers! It's infuriating!

In the last two weeks, we have really made it hard on him, by making him fix all of his D and F papers. He has to write all the questions out, and put the right answers. It consumes all of his afternoon time….and ours! He hates it, but he is very stubborn! I told him that I knew I couldn't make him get good grades, but that I COULD make his life miserable until he decided to do it on his own!

Again this week, I have made my way in to speak with a group of his teachers. I was met with crossed arms of agitation, and I felt a little as though I was being judged. I can't imagine how frustrating it is to teach him, but I don't think they realized or took into consideration how frustrating it is for us at home!

We realize that he can be annoying, that he can be disruptive, and that he can consume much of their time, but we are more than willing to do anything to help this child to succeed….and make their lives better…hopefully! I know they work hard, and I would never want to have to do a teachers job…especially with bratty kids, but I felt like they had already made their decision about him, and that they felt he was a lost cause. I refuse to believe that myself, and I was determined to get them on my side!

I think, or at least hope, that they were surprised by my plan. I told them of my plan to make the child miserable, until he chooses to do the work at school. None of his work will go through his hands, until it reaches mine! He will do his work in his free time, until I see his grades improve….. All of our lives are going to “bite” for awhile!

He is very hard headed, and I assured his teachers that he will not let this go quickly, but that eventually he will give. I don't understand what his plan is most of the time, and I'm not entirely sure that he does either.

This child is so smart, he has a giant heart, and he has so much to offer this world…..if only he could see that. It breaks my heart to see how he sabotages his own life constantly! He makes me crazy most of the time, but I love him and I know he can do it. I never intend to give up on him, but how do I keep others from doing just that?



12 thoughts on “Help Me…to Help Him

  1. I wish I could give you all hugs. You’re going through so much right now.

    I don’t know what your son went through before he became a part of your family, but I suspect he’s testing you. I’m sure my childhood doesn’t compare, but I was abused by my mother, and I often self-sabotage without really knowing why. It was confusing for me to not have love and stability in my life.

    For your son, you are providing him that unconditional love and he may be afraid of losing it. I know I sometimes tried to push people away so that I wouldn’t have to experience wht I was sure would be an inevitable loss.

    You seem to have a great plan, one of consistency and support. I’m sure he will respond to it.

    I hope you just haven’t pulled out all your hair by then!

    • Me too! He has DEFINATELY been a challenge…. I think he thinks he isn’t worth all of this, so he constantly wants to prove it to
      Himself and us. Thanks for your far away hugs:)

  2. We have a situation with a new boy in my older daughter’s class who is constantly teasing her and picking on her because she doesn’t have a traditional Croatian name. He acts up, doesn’t listen to his teachers, refuses to participate, etc. Supposedly he switched to our school because he was having problems in his former school. The sad part is that it seems that the school staff have given up on him. The counselor even said that he will not be allowed to attend the one week trip they have scheduled down to the coast next week. I feel bad for him because he is being completely isolated from his peers and the staff and his parents don’t know what to do, or, even worse, they seem to not care. It is so nice to see that you refuse to give up on your son. I wish there were more people like you out there. I think your plan is good and I hope that it works out. I’m sure that in time he will see why you are doing this and that you have only the best intentions in mind. Patience is all you need right now.

    • Its been five years now, and my patience has been tested ALOT. I feel like giving up on many occasions….I’m certainly no saint. However, if I give up…we will all suffer. It’s sad about the boy you speak of too. I wish more people could try and look at the other point of view. Not all of these children’s parents are bad…..sometimes there is underlying baggage that they carry. Thanks for seeing the other side:)

  3. I had as you know a difficult teenage life and I didn’t care about school. I hated to be told what to do, I hated schoolwork and I never did homework. Inside I was the most unhappy child. Maybe I was looking to push the world away but in reality I was crying out to be out of the situation I was in. I was so very very very angry, with no where to vent that anger. I recognize a lot of your sons behaviour as I think back. (and I’ve turned out ok!). Maybe your mamas illness has frightened him? We go through so many stages of testing our parents maybe this is just his. I don’t know, but I would say if you can try to separate the strict school work parent from the normal loving parent, so he has access to both and there is a break for all of you to see the lovely little boy he is.

    • Unfortunately all this behavior started before he moved in. He had a rough start to his young life. W do shower him with love, but also stay firm…because we love him. I know he can bring those grades up, and I know he doesn’t want to do it. Unfortunately, having to do things that we don’t want to do is just part of life! I’m so glad you turned out alright…that gives me great hope 🙂

  4. I totally feel for you and have been in your shoes more times than none. My son and my youngest daughter were such pains in my ass when they were in High school….son still is but it’s not bad yet. (crossing my fingers and toes)

    By the 3rd month of the new school year I was on a first name basis with all their teachers, emailing them constantly. Monitoring their grades on Power School ….. my kids HATED it. They knew that I knew what projects needed it be done, what books needed to be read and when they had homework……so none of this “i did it in class” because the teachers would email it to me. They had tutors and I would have the tutors sign off on a sheet of paper.

    Needless to say, my son is a junior and he now “gets it” he has A’s and B’s except for one F in English. Which isn’t his favorite subject but if he wants to continue playing football he needs to bring that up.

    But there IS hope….although it seemed that I was back in high school when my daughter Ann was having her issues with grades and slacking off. I swore if things didn’t improve I was going to attend every class with her in my pjs!!! embarrassment always helps right??

  5. Lisa says:

    Tia; I did not read all of the replies above and with that in mind…. here goes:

    Have him tested. I cannot remember the Marion Co resource but I think it is Rise Services. He probably does not have ADHD (in regards to your story) but I think he has a reading/comprehension disability. So while he is not listening….. his brain is going (blah blah blah, la la la). He is smart and distracted. Maybe bored. Not bored in general or how we, as adults, are bored. He knows the information, obviously. Somewhere, there is a loop hole. The teachers are frustrated BUT life is not easy and I picture these women sitting there, high and mighty, not stopping to converse beyond their petty complaints about your sons. Sometimes, I think they can be childish. I respect teachers, esp the good ones that make a difference, but they are part of the problem too. Your son knows the expectations yet misbehaves…. chaos for the classroom…. not good… cannot blame them for being frustrated. Encourage your son to believe in himself, explain why the teachers are mad, explain they will not be as forgiving as his mothers, or at least as fast/soon as his mothers. Ensure him he is very smart. Trust me!!! Something is not right. This is a learning issue that exploded on him, with his own decision to misbehave, that you need to explore. He cannot tell you he feels he something is wrong as we would see it. but maybe you can talk to him and help him discover, step by step, how this evolves. I have someone I would like to talk to you. Will get with Renee’ at work. I think boys need the pushing sometimes mentioned in prior replies…. but in addition to that… there is something more. No worries, it will be okay.

    • I appreciate your encouragement and advice. I don’t have a problem getting him tested, but he doesn’t have any problems learning. I’ve battled this before with him, on a subject he hates. With persistence, he will bring his grades up own his own. I think he just doesn’t think he’s worth anything, and likes to continue to prove that to himself and others. I talked to him like a grown up the other day. I asked him to do this for himself, because he is smart, and knows what he’s doing. He cried tears as he told me he would make it better. I made a list of assignments he is missing. There are about 15, most that were wadded under his bed. It’s trickier than people can see from the outside looking in. We have had so many conversations with him regarding what others may feel, but he’s sabotaging himself. This being said, Renee and I would gladly accept any help or ideas from the person you feel will be helpful. Thanks.

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