Monday, November 25, 2013

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can't Make Him Drink

This morning my son refused to get up for school.  Actually, he refused to get up for school yesterday too.  I have to admit that I remember having those days as a teen, so I try to have patience with him.  We have consequences for him not attending school, and usually those work.  But when day two came, and he still refused to get up, I began to panic just a little.

I'm not sure what precipitated this in him, but he said he was done with school, and didn't want to go anymore.  I'm not the most patient mother, and I told him I was not going to have a 30 year old son some day sitting in my house watching television because he didn't want to have to do anything in life.  He said, "I'm leaving your house when I turn 18."  I asked him if he was going to work at McDonalds, or at Walmart, because without an education, those would be his only options.  And I reminded him that if he worked there, and one day decided he was tired of working every day, and decided to stay home, they would fire him.  His reply was that he didn't care.

I took some parenting classes in college, and the one thing they stressed is that you have to give consequences.  Apparently, the normal consequences I have employed were not working, so I upped the ante.  I also reminded him that one of the main reasons we would return to the U.S. in the coming year would be for his education.  If he isn't interested in going to school, we have no reason to return quickly.  My husband makes better money here, we might as well just stay here.  I also reminded him that he has been doing well in school, and that he shouldn't quit now, so close to the end of the semester!  He said he didn't care, and went back to bed.

Before he left the room, I made sure to turn on the computer and started playing a game.  This happens to be one of his favorite pasttimes, and also happens to be one of the things we take away if he doesn't attend school.  I just wanted to sort of wave the carrot in front of his nose to remind him what he was missing.  But he left the room and went back to bed.

About a half an hour passed and he came out of his room and looked at the clock.  He said that if we hurried, he could still make his first class.  I didn't make a big deal about it, I just got my shoes on and we left.  I don't know what changed his mind, but I do believe that consequences work.  But pray for me.....

12 comments:

Looney said...

Will keep you and him in prayer.

Mike Goad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Goad said...

I know an individual whose parents "enabled" him after to not work unless he found a job in his degree field, journalism. He's never been employed except for a short stint in a very small local weekly paper, is in his early 40s now and, for several years, had the role of house-husband while his wife worked. While I was uncomfortable with that, I could accept it..., except, now, she's been out of work for over a year other than temporary holiday work.

I hope you have success in getting your son past this phase.

Grannymar said...

Dealing with youngsters as they grow and stretch themselves to move boundaries, seems to grow more difficult every year.

I wonder if you are familiar with Ken Robinson who has spoken at many Ted Talks and written widely about Education & creativity. I am frantically trying to remember one of his books that I thought was wonderful. I have passed it on to several friends with school going children. Ramana will know the book I mean - I am sure he still has his copy.

Here is a link to one of Ken's Ted Talks: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

I hope it helps.

Amber said...

I think you're doing all the right things, teenagers aren't easy. Thankfully though, if you keep doing all the right things, they will love you for it and you will have a good relationship once they finally get all the brat out of their system LOL.

Grannymar said...

Delores, this is the Ted Talk I wanted, although the other one is excellent too. http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html

Delirious said...

Great talk Grannymar! I wish my son would grasp this concept!

Delirious said...

I should explain a little more, that my son doesn't grasp the idea that he can learn independently. I tried to have him do home study last year. He simply doesn't grasp the importance of education, no matter if it is self directed, or directed from a school system. He can't see how his education now will pay off in the future. He also doesn't appreciate his own talents and abilities. I wish I could light a fire under him!

Rummuser said...

We simply have to experiment and keep going. It all works out in the end. And you have got a powerful ally working overtime for you!

Liz said...

I wish I had words of comfort or wisdom to offer. All I can say is I feel for you. Sometimes all you can do is pray for your child and hope, that some day, they'll figure it out.
I will keep you in my prayers and add you and your son to the temple rolls.

On another note, Happy Thanksgiving!

Delirious said...

Thanks Liz and Looney, every prayer is appreciated. And I do believe they have a big impact. You are right Rummy, I have a big ally on my side. I do feel His help.

Maria Perry Mohan said...

It's very difficult. Praying for you. But I often do that myself. What you did I mean. When my teenage daughter starts giving me shocks, I just leave the room. After a while, she gets up and does exactly what she said she wouldn't do...