Monday, February 14, 2005

Parenting is Not For Sissies.

Blah.

That's how I've been feeling. That's why I can't seem to write. That's why I can't seem to do much of anything. I think much of this blah-ness has to do with dealing with symptoms of my son's testosterone poisoning, (puberty/adolescence.)

Great kid. Never in trouble. Very smart. And often very smart-mouthed these days. He was accepted into the best public magnet high school in the state, one of the best in the country. It's a highly selective school (and the work standards are more like college than high school, from what I've seen) and he made it when many of his friends did not. This is a great opportunity for him and it will give him many more options when it comes time for college.

But...

...now he's become a world-class slacker. (He's never been an overachiever, but at least he kept his head above the waterline of underachiever.) He will work to the level that is sufficient for C's in most classes, at least if he likes the class and the teacher. If not, he's decided it's more important to do other things than to do the work he's assigned or to study for tests. So, in his three most loathed classes, he's dropping into the D/F zone. This school has strict retention policies that do not include a GPA of under 2.0. He wants to be left alone ("don't bother me!") and I dare not press the issue of doing his work, much less monitor him when he is allegedly doing it lest he fly into a unmitigated RAGE about it, often causing damage and destruction in his wake. (Punched walls, doors, computer screens, hurled objects, etc.) I cannot handle this behavior, especially with no real parenting help to offer relief from it when it gets to be too intense.

My son has expressed that he doesn't like having to do what other people tell him he must do. (Other people = me and his teachers.) For some reason, he thinks this will magically change one day without him having to do anything. (If anyone out there knows of a job where one can do whatever one wants without ever having to dance to the tune of the people signing the paychecks, please let me know where to apply.) He doesn't seem to get it- that this is how life works. Nor does he understand that it is possible to eventually be in a position to stop working and spend the rest of your life having fun. He's having real problems accepting the consequences created by his own actions and has firmly attached himself to the position of victim. But what he doesn't realize us that he is the victim of circumstances that he, himself, created. He's a victim of his own decisions and choices. It's so hard getting him to accept this simple truth.

He's a sophomore now. I've asked him if he wants to stay at this school (as have his ADHD doctor and the psychologist I have begun taking him to see) and his answer is always yes. Yet he will NOT do the work necessary for this. I've tried everything but I can't seem to motivate him. Not at all. I know he's got a lot of anger inside (and we've been dealing with the source of that for a while now) and I think he's also depressed. He says he's frustrated. He can't possibly be more frustrated than I am.

All of this business with him has been taking up a lot of my time and so much of my energy. Now I've been having a hard time mustering up the energy and enthusiasm to do much more than the minimum, myself. Sounds like we're both depressed.

I remember hearing friends who I thought were great parents saying that they were counting the days until their teens were old enough to move out or go off to college. I understand how they felt. You just want the pain to end, for everyone.

This is no easy gig, no matter how well you think you've prepared for it.

Pray for me. (:-0

2 Comments:

Blogger Claypot said...

Sounds like hell. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. How about showing him this blog post, maybe he will appreciate that it's not all about HIM and that he is affecting others by his behaviour. A teenager is old enough to be rational, hormones raging or not. Once he finishes school/turns legal or whatever he can do what he likes, but he has to live by your rules now. What you say is so true. No matter how free we are there are always rules, whether in employment, the laws of your country or whatever. Yeah, if you find that life where you don't have to do anything ever but still manage to feed and house yourself and party all day long, sign me up do. I'd like a piece of that! Chin up :)

6:31 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

I am offering up a prayer that sounds something like, "please dear G-d don't let this be an early indication of what my life is going to be like (though I know it is and will be, as Ryan is already exceptionally bright, and has every indication of ADD even at age three, please G-d when can we start ridilan)." I feel for you, you are still a good parent. We're trying a sticker chart for Ryan, have you tried that??(j/k) Whatever you do, don't let him do what my parents let me do, which is take a bunch of tests and go to community college (I "dropped out" of High School in the middle of my sophomore year) I never really recovered, took eleven years, six institutions and nine majors to eventually graduate.

11:16 AM  

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