As kak as it may be.
Thank you all so much for your comments and prayers and concern around my last post. I said in the comment section that I would expand on the situation- as much to get it out of my own head as to let you all know what’s going on- so here goes.
When my darling Damien started school back in 1998, I had these soft focus visions of an all round athlete (even though I already knew he wasn’t much on ball skills or running), a dux scholar, an “A” student, a prefect, colours in sport, colours in academics, a doctor, a lawyer, a marine biologist… you know what I mean? I know it’s a cliché, but if you’re a parent you will understand what I am saying.
We dream for our children. We dream big.
We imagine them making a fortune and living in luxury and having successful careers in their preferred line of work and loving what they do and marrying a gorgeous woman (or man) and having happy healthy children…
When Damien started school I knew very quickly that we were in some serious trouble.
He had done school readiness testing, and against the woman’s advice I had started him in grade one. She actually said to me that she thought Damien had ADD, and I lost my temper with her and told her (an OT) that she just didn’t know how to handle my highly intelligent and spirited child and clearly didn’t know what she was talking about.
The poor kid battled his backside off from day one.
By the time Damien finished primary school (grade 1 through 7) he had run the gamut of doctors, shrinks, neurologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, extra classes, re-doing grade one and almost failing grade six before I put him in a small private school which catered for above average intelligence kids who couldn’t cope in a mainstream school (mostly ADHDers).
When he started high school we attempted a mainstream art school, but I shoulda known better. In grade 9 we switched to his current school- also small and catering for ADHDers.
I knew at the end of grade 7 already, and started making peace with the possibility, that Damien would not finish school at all, let alone be an “A” student. I knew he would probably have to go to a private school if only for the small classes… and so I also knew his schooling would cost more than my rent until he was finished.
But I also decided long ago with Damien that a “pick your battles” strategy would work better than anything else and that if it came to it and school was a total disaster, I would take him out and let him start working.
Well. School isn’t really a total disaster right now. He likes his school and he has a lot of friends and his teachers think he’s fantastic- but when it comes to studying and revision he’s just not pulling finger. His class work and portfolio work is great. “As” and “Bs”. But that’s only 25% of his final mark, and right now he’s failing because he’s not working hard enough.
I can also only do so much.
When I attempt to help him with revision his attitude makes me want to hit him because he insists he can do it himself. He’s obnoxious and argumentative and his tone of voice is totally antagonistic. But if I leave him to do it alone he simply doesn’t.
A rock and a hard place.
After mulling it over for several days and reading all your comments and ideas, I came to a decision.
My Glugs and I sat him down in the living room and stated that he’s failing this year and he knows it. He nodded his head yes.
I then said that I had decided he had two options. Either he could stay on next year and try and get his grade 10 qualification since it’s a minimal high school and he MAY be able to find work with it. If he passes grade 10, he can perhaps stay on and get his grade 11 and matric, if he works for it. Or he could leave at the end of this year and start working.
It’s a shitty thing to say, but it comes down to money right now.
He has the best doctors. He’s on medication and it’s carefully monitored to make sure its working as it should. He goes to a small private school specially catering for ADHDers and LD kids. But he’s not doing his part.
His school fees are astronomical and I will not continue to pay them if he’s not working.
He likes school, so this “threat” was a big one…
I’m hoping he took me seriously when I said I would take him out and make him start working (which is a whole ‘nother kettle of bananas and a post on its own).
Hold thumbs bunnies… there’s still a long road ahead.
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.