Losing sleep over exams while DCs obliviously enjoying copious sleep

(25 Posts)
AnyFucker Sun 14-Apr-13 17:22:26

I tried everything FP

it made no difference at all

predicted grades ended up being the grades my dd got

so all our relationship-risking arguments, misguided threats and punishments, futile appeals to common sense, money paid for extra tuition, self blame, attacks on my own well being and lack of sleep got us....

precisely nowhere

dd is now happily settled at college doing something she enjoys, getting distinctions, and thankfully our relationship has survived intact and is actually something I relish instead of the continual pressure (it was me risking it...not her, by pushing too hard and making it about my disappointment)

this has happened under her own steam, since I stepped back and although showing lots of encouragement and interest, have done nothing whatsoever to push her

glaurung Sun 14-Apr-13 17:11:52

Have some wine and try to relax. There's plenty of us in the same boat and very little we can do as parents if their hearts aren't in it.

festivelyPlump Sun 14-Apr-13 15:26:42

destined to repeat your summer AnyFucker despite the futility- maybe if I had the courage of Karonski's convictions I would have passed on the necessary genes...

AnyFucker Sun 14-Apr-13 14:44:37

I was a mental wreck this time last year

It didn't make a blind bit of difference to the outcome

Look after yourself, love

festivelyPlump Sun 14-Apr-13 14:39:56

I know you're right Karonski but having encouraged/interfered/coerced already that if I pull out now my sons will just be thrilled with the prospect of serious nag-free gaming time. It's tricky probably got ourselves to a bit of an impasse: boys not mature enough to be trusted free rein vs without freedom to take responsibility .....
I'm fine with the rhetoric. Just not brave enough

CoffeeShoppe Fri 12-Apr-13 07:50:03

I have resorted to sending mine to revision days. Costs extra, but guaranteed head in a book for 6 hours!

havenlady Thu 11-Apr-13 20:57:17

Karonski, I do agree with you in theory. I have 2 daughters neither of which have any difficulties studying or motivating themselves, and they are responsible for their own studies. My DS however has had problems throughout school with concentration and self esteem, and frankly, is very immature. This it is just our way of supporting him as best we can until he has grown up a bit.

karonski Thu 11-Apr-13 13:21:52

I think it's important for parents not to "own" the process of studying and passing exams. It's their process and their life. I have 3 children, one now working as a lawyer, 1 graduating this summer in Sports Science and 1 still at uni reading Law. We always encouraged working hard at school but they have always known that if they chose not to do so then they would need to accept the future lifestyle they would then have. I get fed up with other mothers saying how stressed they are that their children won't study/revise, etc.....create the environment where they can study and of course be helpful and supportive but for goodness sake stop acting like burning martyrs!! If they don't achieve the exams the first time round then they'll usually sort themselves out once reality hits! A colleague once asked me why I wasn't stressing out the day of my youngest's Higher English exam (she had been sitting at her desk in tears because her son was sitting the same exam)...I replied that I already had my Higher English and he had the brains, the schooling and the home environment to enable him to pass...if he didn't, that was his choice! I suspect it's more to do with parental competitiveness.....

havenlady Thu 11-Apr-13 08:52:42

We tried bribing him with money for his GCSE results - which made no difference whatsoever (and didn't cost us much because he didn't do very well!). So we are rewarding him for input. As I say not perfect by any means but better than nothing.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Wed 10-Apr-13 22:50:52

hevanlady. I used to think your style approach was a bad idea but now I think some DC's actually find it helpful to be forced to do their work. If your son truely didn't want to work then I bet you wouldn't be able to make him do it.

I never nagged with DC1 but my naggy'ness has increased with each child. I try. Not to overdo it but I think a 'bit' of nagging can be helpful.

Having an end goal really helps.

bigbluebus Wed 10-Apr-13 21:14:50

Another one here with a DS supposed to be studying for GCSEs. Told him school had advised 1-2 hrs revision in evenings (school days) and 3-4 hrs at weekends/holidays.
Although he has done some he is refusing to use the effective techniques that he has been advised to use and consequently we have no evidence that he is not spending his revision time on Facebook. He didn't see the point in drawing up a timetable either - which was probably wise really as he wouldn't have stuck to it. |

So today, he announces that he is not doing any revision at all - he is having a day off. So he has spent 10 hours playing mindless games on the computer. I think next week I will be hiding the mouse/keyboard the PS3 controller and not funding any further MB for internet access on the phone until after the exams. I have spent a fortune on revision guides - he does not need the computer to revise!

He drew up a 'cash incentive' scheme for top grades. Looks like I am going to be hanging on to my cash in August!

havenlady Wed 10-Apr-13 18:48:46

My DS has been doing nothing for his AS levels - failed 2 in Jan. He has never been a studious child, suffers from poor concentration but has little motivation either. We tried the "he has to learn for himself, so will have to deal with the consequences of not working"?
However, our nerve failed as he clearly cannot think further than tomorrow night, let alone to the consequences of being chucked out of 6th form college.
This is what we have done:
Stopped his allowance (he does have a p-t job which pays about £65/ mth). Set out what we expect from him (min 1.5 hrs a night, plus 4 hrs a day in holidays / study leave. Work needs to be done downstairs , with evidence to show for it, no phone or Facebook.
If he sticks to this til the end of his exams, we will pay him the allowance he has missed so he can go to a music festival. If he doesn't stick to it, no allowance, no driving lessons etc.
So far it has gone OK. Not sure about the quality of the work, but is way better than before. TBH I think he was quite relieved for someone to lay down the law. He really has no self - motivation, but this is as good as we are going to get.
Also traded one of his hour's work to looking at uni courses in the hope that it might inspire him... He has even been setting an alarm to get up at 7am so he can be finished by 12 and then spend the rest of the day doing f* all hanging round town with grungy girlfriend (but that's a whole other story)...

GCSES are doable on little revision of your son is quite able.. I watched my lot (three..one year after another..groan) wing it very sucessfully.

However AS levels are a different ball game, and both of my girls nearly came unstuck, thinking they could just do the minimum (DS didn't do A levels but chose Btec ) DD2 in particular did quite badly at AS , particularly in biology and had to beg to be allowed to continue! Massive wake up call...

She did however then get her butt in gear and passed A2s with flying colours and now at a RG university, as is DD1.

A LOT of students come unstuck at AS as they don't realise how much more work is needed until results day:/

I did a lot of nagging initially til I realised that at the end of the day it is up to them (sadly..!)

festivelyPlump Tue 09-Apr-13 16:17:29

Foot bath while watching TV!- I thought my son knew how to procrastinate in style!

SarahLundKicksAss Tue 09-Apr-13 16:00:38

Stepping in - my DD is now having a foot bath whilst watching TV - after having done a scant hour or so of revision today. I woke up in a cold sweat last night; think I am feeing these GCSEs looming far more than she is!

DS tended to lock himself away in his room, and I don't think he did much more work, but he was able to sail through them easier that I think DD will.

She assures me that she has a revision timetable - but I don't see a great deal of evidence that she is actually following it!

BeadyBagsaTella Tue 09-Apr-13 15:55:32

Definitely not just you FP, two DSs here busy playing games, despite exams looming in May. I'm not sure whether to step back ... nagging certainly isn't working!

CoffeeShoppe Tue 09-Apr-13 14:44:46

It's funny how one worries so much when dc are tiny, but I reckon it gets worse as they grow older, Exams, Uni or a job, driving, drinking, which slippery slope might they go down. Nightmare!

festivelyPlump Tue 09-Apr-13 14:36:41

- the mythical "wake-up call" - the pitch must be outside the teen-aged boy hearing range!

CoffeeShoppe Tue 09-Apr-13 14:30:42

I lost copious amounts of sleep last year whilst mine languished in bed. I was right to lose sleep because the results were pretty horrendous! I still don't think it was the wake-up call, because this year seems to be going the same way!

festivelyPlump Tue 09-Apr-13 14:22:40

Glad to see they're not the only ones doing bugger all! - DH convinced everyone else's offspring are putting in hours and hours of intense meaningful revision; while our 2 pick fluff out of their bellybuttons!
Was a bit worried after searching in vain for a similar thread- the only one that rang a bell was one from 2011 "how much revision....... Absolutely fuck all!" slightly anxious to see nothing more recent!

frazmum- tried all the usual bribes/support/timetables/stationary(could re stock Staples!)/resources(shelves of mint condition books +disks)/coaxing out of bed with cooked breakfast! He did well for GCSEs last summer but not as good as he expected- I blame it on straight A* in the first science modules- it confirmed to him that he had genius and need never trouble himself with the misery of revision again! Unfortunately never regained the stellar heights!

thanks all

specialsubject Tue 09-Apr-13 13:05:14

if they are wasting their time at school, all you can do is point out the consequences - and remind them that you aren't providing free board and lodging for ever. This is not 'pass or we throw you out' this is 'get off your backsides and start taking responsibility for yourselves'. I remember the same talking-to and it was much needed.

Muchbrighternow: it's true that none of these exam results matter years down the line, except that each one is a path to the next.

It's a tough one isn't it. You don't want to be the exam police 24/7 but you don't want to stand by and watch them fail.
GCSEs are easier I think for a bright but lazy DC to pass with good grades and minimal effort.
AS require hard work even from the most able.
I'd go unashamedly with bribery.

I have DS1 doing AS levels, his revision for GCSEs made me very anxious but he got top grades. However he has been working his socks off so far in Y12.
DS2 has always needed more nagging supervision but he only has two GCSEs this year in Y10. Next year I will have A levels and GCSEs in this house.

MuchBrighterNow Tue 09-Apr-13 10:56:45

My ds are exactly the same... It helps me to remember that, although I have passed O levels, A levels and a degree, no one on my chosen career path has ever given a toss what my results were grin

frazmum Tue 09-Apr-13 10:20:12

I don't envy you having two doing exams at same time. Last 3 years had oldest DD doing GCSE's, then A levels. This year DD2 doing GCSE's. DD2 needs a lot more poking, I feel like too many conversations are about exams.

What worked with your oldest to get him to study before? I've just sat down with DD2 and wrote up for each subject what needed to be studied, how (mind maps, cue cards etc) and the hours needed for each that we then put into a calendar. Also a tick list of things like get extra old exam papers.

My DH tends to take a back seat and just says "that your mum is so much better @ studying than I was". Not helpful.

festivelyPlump Tue 09-Apr-13 08:34:02

Is it just me? My 2 sons(16 + 17) are taking AS and GCSEs this summer. Both able but lazy buggers. Only effort is in avoidance!
Naively thought a very careful heart to heart about 'the future' etc. with the eldest had done the trick - not so - apparently just taking the the piss in what he seemed to think was quite a mature and sophisticated way!
Terrible January module results don't seem to have produced the fabled 'wake up call'.
DH apoplectic which unsurprisingly doesn't help!

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