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Read the Room ET...

lieutenant_dad's picture

YSS had his first visit with ET in a few weeks. He forgot to share his grades. DH showed ET his grades.

Recap: YSS failed his first semester classes except one class. Like, hardcore failed. It's part of the reason why he nows lives with DH and I. This most recent semester, he managed to get a C- or higher in all his classes. Between an abrupt move, whacky schooling, therapy, depression/anxiety, his first real breakup with his GF, and moving a second time, I consider that a major success. Plus, he's taking two summer school courses to bring up two of his first semester grades so he passes those classes for credit (he'll still end up with a D).

Anyway, DH and I have been expressing how proud we are of YSS for making a comeback. We've worked with him to set realistic expectations for school. He'll never be an A/B student. He never has been. College is not something that is currently on the table for him. He know this, we're talking about trade schools for his future, etc. He's pleased with himself.

In waltzes ET. What were her glorious words of wisdom to her son?

"You're going to do better next semester, right, and get all A's and B's?"

This was not a question, by the way. This was a demand.

Way to go, ET! You've learned frack all of nothing. Your yelling and screaming didn't do sh*t to help him before. Why in the eff do you think it is helping now???

This is just a vent. We talked to YSS afterward about it. He knows that we're still proud of him and will keep working with him. He knows the expectations of summer school (which, BTW, ET also blew her top when she found out he had to take 2 sessions, both for classes during the semester that he was living with HER unemployed arse). Why ET can't critically think is beyond me. I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but I find myself bewildered every time.


Gimlet's picture

"You're going to do better next semester, right, and get all A's and B's?"

It's easy to make demands when you have to do none of the work of setting and enforcing consistent and realistic expectations.

That woman has a couple of limp leaves of cabbage in her skull where her brain should be.  She really is what you would expect from a kid in middle school who has to bring an egg home to learn what it's like to have a baby.

Great job to you, DH, and YSS by the way. 

P.S. I think it is GREAT that you recognize that college isn't for him and are helping him to set a trade school direction.  There are so many lucrative careers he can choose and won't have the burden of school debt and wasted time/frustration with it.

lieutenant_dad's picture

RIGHT?! I don't think it connects in her head that her behavior leads to the outcomes of her kids not wanting to spend much time with her. Or it does, but she doesn't bother to change her behavior.

I grew up with parents who expected A/B report cards. ET was the same. Yet, I've managed to learn that A/B report cards are great for a kid who cares about getting good grades and going to college. But for a kid who just needs to launch? Who likely needs time to figure out what he wants? Who isn't motivated by grades, or finds homework dumb? That requires a different path. That's the path we're on with YSS. But she can't see it, and won't change her mindset to see it.

IDontCare3117's picture

My next to youngest nephew had zero interest in college, but recognized he wanted independence and independence required money.  He and my sister sat down with the local technical college course guide and looked for things that interested him.  Long and short, he's now a certified HVAC tech making almost as much per year as I do, and he's not even 30.  I have advanced degrees, and so many professional designations my signature block looks like alphabet soup.

CLove's picture

Hes going to better because you have clear and consistent expectations. "your going to do better" isnt very clear...its a bandaid patch of someone who slides in at the end of the game...

SD15 B/M is telling her father that she is "doing the work and handed things in at the end". I had given him the parent portal print as of Friday June 4. Checked the classroom. Not much additional turned in, especially not in the classes of "F" and "D" status. And parent portal messages include some about summer school attendees. Although I wouldnt think that electives would need "credit recovery". Just retake new electives? Hmmmm. dunno, dont care.

Thats great that SS is doing better. Hopefully summer school helps.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Summer school is a means to an end, really. It's two classes he knows the material in but just didn't do the work. I think being in a classroom without distractions and a teacher looking over him will help him get the work done and turned in, which is what he needs to do.

His brain is much like DH's when it comes to school work. DH has taken the approach of allowing YSS to express that he hates it and doesn't want to do it, and I've been reframing it as "even the people you admire have their own version of busy work they have to do to make other people's lives easier". Those approaches seem to be helping.

And him not getting his license until he gets a C average or better for the Good Student discount on car insurance. That's a sticking point, too.

advice.only2's picture

Considering she's never done anything to truly parent short of keep the kids alive, it's laughable she makes any comments.

I'm glad that YSS can live with you guys where there is guidance and stability.

lieutenant_dad's picture

It has only been recently that I've realized just how much she didn't parent. I knew it wasn't much, but good god. Thinking back, it has been DH and I who have taught the boys a lot of the things they need to know in order to thrive and not just survive. I just can't understand what she does with her time since she's not parenting, barely working, etc.

Oh, right, she's taking guitar lessons using OSS's guitar. My bad.

Hesitant to try's picture

YSS sounds like my older son in terms of schooling. It was never his thing, he struggled to graduate at all, and college was never a likely path for him. And so many people (parents, teachers, community, societies) make these kids feel terrible about being "less than" when it comes to successfully completing school. We had a counselor once tell us that school is the only time in life where we expect people to be good at everything/pass everything. That helped my son remember that it was OK that he didn't excel in learning this way. He's now a young adult with a job that he loves and he's launching himself just fine. I hope the same happens for YSS.

I am sorry ET is in his life and doing him no good at all. When kids struggle in school, or with mental health, they need support and help building self esteem, not being torn down or ridiculed by an unsuccessful adult. What a sh!tty role model she is and as I said, I'm glad you guys have his back! Keep it up!

lieutenant_dad's picture

I like what that counsellor told you, and may have to relay that to YSS!

We had a discussion the other night about how not being good at school wasn't a failure. OSS and I are both good at school, but that's because we need to be taught something by someone else and then practice it. DH and YSS want to teach it to themselves, practice it, and then have an expert look over what they did to offer feedback. Traditional school doesn't work that way. Honestly, if YSS's teachers gave him homework first and then taught the lessons, he'd probably do so much better (and that's how we end up doing a lot of adult learning: read first, apply the material you read, then discuss it with faculty/peers).

I have no doubt that YSS can be successful as an adult, but school is going to be rough. We're hoping to get him into the technical/trade program so he has hands-on learning.

Hesitant to try's picture

my son only learns by doing. You can talk to him all day long, he could read and read and read, but none of that sinks in. He has to DO IT, EXPERIENCE IT and then he takes it all in just fine. Glad YSS is figuring out what works best for him! (or glad you're figuring it out for him)!

Gimlet's picture

Schools are biased to a certain learning style.  Many people learn better by doing, and not by lectures and tests, and it's not a reflection of their drive and/or intelligence when they don't do well in an environment that was never suited to them.

I applaud you for recognizing that and encouraging your son instead of treating it like a failure. 

CLove's picture

Feral Forger SD22 - shes taking a speech and communication class at a local community college. Just so she can keep her couch at the Gross Apartment (GA).

Sd15 Backstabber/Munchkin related a sad story to me (prior to the BS), about how the mother Toxic Troll was reading a paper FF had written for class and how no one could "understand it because it wasnt written logically". I had a visceral reation and was thinking to myself "this from a woman who barely graduated high school and is currently unemployed, and this also from a kiddo who is failing art and orchestra from simply not doing the work", sitting there judging instead of actually helping.

Actually made me feel sorry for FF. It just further demonstrates the Narcissistic Triangulation they have going on - Toxic Troll and Golden Child looking down at Scape Goat who cannot write coherent sentences...

Everyone has different skills. I recall when Feral Forger had graduated high school and started a math class during summer session, she said she got an -A. She was pretty good at math from what I was told. She told me she liked it. Of course it could all be a lie, but I do not think this was.

JRI's picture

First, BM.  She is so aggravating and clueless.  I can see why she drives you crazy.  But you must realize, she just doesn't possess the emotional depth you and DH have, thank God for your SS.  It's just not there.  So, when she said, "you're going to do better next semester and get all As and Bs", for her, that was a good "Mom" remark.  If you werent worried sick about YSS and so rightly concerned, you could see she is just incapable.  It's actually a pitiful thing.  

Second, that traditional education thing.  I have so many people in my family who are successful without the traditional higher education route.  Exhibit A is DH who didn't do well in school.  This man was a genius manager, oversaw over 100 employees,  ran 3 plants in 2 states that were operating 24/7, dealt with 2 unions, etc.   i worked with him, I saw it.   Exhibit B is my GS who DROPPED OUT of high school.  He saw the light, took an online degree and is now employed at a large firm in IT.   Just bought a house.  Exhibit C is a GS-in law who is an electrician trainee now earning good money with more to come.  He and SGD just sold their first house and are having a new one built.  None of these people did the traditional education but all are successful.  So will your SS.  Good luck!

lieutenant_dad's picture

I know she's incapable. I think I keep having hope that she won't continue to be for the boys' sake. I think I'd have a better time understanding it if she had been a straight-A student who went off to college and made something of herself career-wise. Instead, she's a part-time bartender on job #84 in 5 years living in her mom's house that she didn't pay for while contributing absolutely nothing of substance to her kids. If it's her way of telling them "don't be me", she's doing a crappy job of getting that message across. I have to let it go, and I typically do let it go (partially because I'm rarely exposed to it). This one just flabbergasted me, but I'm glad I heard it because it confirms what both boys have said about their mom that just sounded like them having teen angst.

Regarding the schooling part, DH took a non-traditional schooling path. Less than a decade ago, he was a server making minimum wage. He went to one of those IT schools you hear advertised on the radio, and now he makes nearly double what I do (and I don't make a bad wage). YSS has a good role model with DH on how to succeed; it's just getting YSS through school so he can succeed.

TheAccidentalSM's picture

Some boys mature later and pick up academics again later in life.  This was definitely the case for one of my uncles and a couple of my cousins.  

lieutenant_dad's picture

That is what we've been telling YSS. He doesn't have to graduate and immediately go off to college. It likely would be a bad idea, and I don't think he has the grades to do it anyway. With what he wants to do, I think he'd do better to get a trade job and then take courses in what he's interested in, then see if he wants to do that full-time or make it more a side gig that he can make money off of.

Gimlet's picture

Lt. Dad, I've said it before and I will say it again - your SSs are so lucky to have you.  I am glad your DH has stepped up and made this situation one that is workable for you and for his kids.

Also, good luck with your IVF! (I think that's where you are, I am not very knowledgeable about the process).

Aniki's picture

Gads, ET will never get it. Thankfully, you and your DH DO! *clapping*

BioHo effed up with SS18 over school and bad grades. He was failing some classes at the beginning of the year. 'Ho yelled at SS and threatened to take away his car and told him he'd have to be driven everywhere by her. SS18's response to 'Ho was to go ahead as "I'm 18yo and a legal adult. If you do that, I'll leave." 

DH discussed it with him, found out what was going on, asked for my 2 cents, and they had another discussion. SS pulled up his bootstraps, got to work, and graduated. Woo hoo! He is not college material. This young man wants to WORK. We took him out for a celebratory dinner. SS received a call while we were driving to the restaurant. He was offered a full-time job as MANAGER where he's been working! We are SO proud of how hard he's work and all that he has accomplished! 

Icing on the cake? SS is making more $ per hour than 'Ho. *yahoo*