Imlisa's picture

Tired of the struggle

My son is 17 years old, Im a single parent. This school year has been horrific. Up until this year my son was an A-B student, wasnt thrilled to go to school in the mornings but would get up everyday and go. Over the summer I had some legal issues that were made public. We live in a very small town, you can imagine what that was like. So, ever since school started my son does NOT want to go, initially because of my situation. I understood that and so did the school. We all worked together to make things better for him at school. Its second semester, he fights me tooth and nail almost every morning and quite frankly Im sick of it. The school is reporting to me that none of the teachers have witnessed any thing going on, no kids giving him a hard time, he participates in class, socializes as usual. With all my other worries and struggles my fight is gone. The rest of my family has washed their hands of it, saying he's my son I need to deal with it. Im ready to let him drop out. My life would be easier without the arguments and drama every morning. He says he wants to go to college (!) and there is an adult ged program at out local JUCO.

I have tried to get him into counseling to deal with the issues but he refuses to go. I am in counseling but so far have not been able to overcome the school thing with him.

Im at my wits end. any suggestions?

acitez's picture

You and your boy could go get information from the guidance counselor at the school about whether there are drawbacks as far as college enrollment and scholarships for people with GEDs as opposed to high school diplomas. I don't know if there are any. If you can enroll him in the GED program now, and if there are no drawbacks that are significant to him, I don't see any reason why he should have to go to high school.

2xstepmom's picture

Check to see if there is an adult high school in your area. Your son would take high school classes and get a high school diploma instead of a GED. Students can attend the adult high school at age 16 in our area.

Imlisa's picture

Thank you both for validating my feelings. I havent formally checked into the GED programs but Im pretty sure he could enroll from what people have told me. I think we have an adult high school type program also, he would just need to be 18 I think to start. He turns 18 in March so that would be pretty quick. Hes such a bright kid and I feel like its my fault he has had such a hard time. I just hate to add to his anxiety by constantly fighting about school.

Thank you both for your input!

daelyn263's picture

If he can get his GED/go to college, let him. With certain rules in place, of course. Tell HIM to make a plan of action. What are his plans exactly? What is his forseable future? Make him do the legwork/research and bring it to you, with the understanding that you'll seriously consider it. He needs to have exact time frames, how long to get his GED? what's after that? How much is it going to cost? Is he paying or are you? Details, and make him work it out. I know it sounds harsh, but this is his life, make him figure it out.

Three years ago, I was in your place. A 16 year old who hated school with a passion. He decided he wanted out. He came up with a plan even without me saying anything. Brought me time tables, when he could do this, why he was doing it, his whole grand plan. It was because of this I let him follow through, and he did. Six weeks after dropping out, he had his GED. Two months later he was in the Army, bootcamp. Both things part of his plan. Bootcamp backfired, and it was a bit up and down for a few months.

Now, he'll be 20 in two months. He works full time at the local cable company(as in, cable TV), lives at home, but pays for his own vehicle(loan and insurance), pays his own cell phone and all other assundries. He's self-sufficient in all ways(except that he doesn't have his own place). He contributes to food/groceries, picks things up on the way home from work for me...basically though, he's only 'renting' a room for me, since we now get free cable! lol

My point is...he'll figure it out if you put the responsibility onto his shoulders. This is his life, let him start making some of the decisions...and the work.

SnglDad's picture

I am not asking what the legal issues were, nor do I wish to know, but this came to mind as I was reading your post. Since his attitude changed so drastically after your legal issues, and you say that he does not seem to be having issues with other kids at school; Is it possible he is acting this way to get back at you? It sounds as if he has lost the respect that from your description, was once there. Is it possible that he just wants to go to college because he will be able to get away for a while?

sandstorm's picture

You should see if they offer GED programs near you. Some of my friends had dropped out for several reasons and got their GED instead and finished in time with their class anyways!