"I never thought I'd be a high school drop-out!"

It's been a while since I blogged so this might be a long one. Sorry! :)

Parent-teacher conferences were last week.  The day before D made a point to tell me that he had several poor grades but had plans to bring them up.  I think he was pretty nervous.  My husband went with D; normally I take him but I figured that Brian ought to have a turn and honestly I knew that if there were problems he would have a better idea of how to handle them and how to handle D as well.  My husband is a brilliant man, you know. :)

Well, he had a couple D's, some C's, and I think one A+ (science, his favorite class - go figure!).  Brian and I have been talking about not focusing on grades so much as effort level - if  child is truly trying their hardest, doing all their homework, studying, and the best they can manage is a D, well then good on them for passing their class.

D never brings homework home. If he does have to work on homework on the computer (like a presentation or something like that) he gets on Facebook, he turns a movie on on Netflix, and then he flips back and forth between chatting with friends on Facebook, watching his movie, and working on his project.  Seriously.  Other than that I have not seen him crack a school book even one time this year.  He doesn't even bring his back pack home or anything; just leaves it all at school.

Basically several teachers said he is flirting too much with girls, not following directions (example: if they are supposed to write a 5-sentence paragraph, he'll write 2 sentences...thus failing the assignment), rushing through his work.  Obviously it could definitely be worse but we aren't too happy with his unwillingness to put more effort into his school work.  In one class all he had to do was turn in a piece of paper which I signed over a month ago and it would bring his grade up by like 10%.  He still hasn't turned it in!  Several teachers are willing to let him re-take tests, correct homework, etc. to help get his grades up.

So we have blocked Facebook and Netflix and Pandora at our house until his effort level increases. This was effective a week ago today.  On Sunday (after less than 3 days of blockage!) he completely fell apart. He wants concrete goals; he says he is happy with a C and he thinks that if he gets a C then he isn't going to do anything more to improve it. To which we responded that that is OK; we certainly can't make him work harder at school.  All we can control is what we allow him to do on our computer at our house.  After several back and forth arguments (him arguing, us mostly just saying "That's fine; we can't make you do that!") he stormed out of the room saying "I never thought I'd be a high school drop out!"  Once he went to bed we had a pretty good giggle over that.  We have talked with D since and I think he knows how silly he was.
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Our caseworker lady finally came over last Saturday. Note that this was AFTER parent teacher conferences, and after we had blocked the various entertainment sites on the web.  She didn't have too much to say to us. She did ask to speak to D alone, which everybody that comes over asks that and usually he says he doesn't want to or else if he does go then he'll only give yes/no answers and it takes them about 60 seconds to finish their talk.

Well apparently that day he was in a chatty mood.  They came back in and she said that D didn't want to be adopted (big surprise there!) and he wants to have a guardianship instead, and that he doesn't want to change his last name.  So we talked about that a little bit, and about how guardianship basically takes away some of the rights we'd like to have as parents and it really doesn't change much for him...in fact he couldn't think of one thing that would be different between adoption and guardianship.  He said when he becomes an adult he wants our relationship with him to be "over". I didn't say anything but to myself I thought, even if he is adopted once he is an adult what are we going to do? Get him arrested because he doesn't come visit us? No! He doesn't have to talk to us ever again once he is an adult. I mean it would be nice if he did, but he certainly doesn't have to.

Then with regards to the last name. Brian and I have talked about this so much, and how we really want him to have our last name. I'm afraid it's one of those situations where we are damned if you do and damned if you don't.  If we don't give it to him then he can and probably will use that against us at a later date, accusing us maybe of not wanting him in the family or who knows what else; loving the other kids more or whatever.  If we do give it to him against his will then of course he'll be mad at us too.

I feel like his whole resistance to us is based on his loyalty to his bio family.  It is amazing to me that with how "great" and very, very big his family is not one single family member has stepped up to try to take him. I wonder if he has thought about that at all.

At any rate, we did explain to him that we had thought about it long and hard, and wanted to offer to let him keep his last name as his second middle name so it would still be a part of his name.  He seemed pleasantly surprised about that.  He hasn't really mentioned it again and he doesn't seem to be holding a big grudge toward us so maybe our peace offering was accepted.

Caseworker lady also wants him to get back into therapy. The problem we have is that he won't open up and talk to his therapists; the one therapist he had that he liked had absolutely no effect on him whatsoever and wouldn't communicate with us about anything that was going on.  Anyway, so caseworker lady was supposed to send me some therapists that she thought would be good; however it has now been 1 week and I haven't received anything of course.  And also she was supposed to send me some other paperwork to fill out and I haven't gotten that yet either! Shocking.
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Brian has been gone a few nights this week for work and a class. When he is gone D is my little buddy, just chatting my ear off about random things.  I think it's probably a good thing; just a little strange that it only happens when Brian is gone.  I guess when Brian is here D would rather talk to him than me. Can't say I blame him. ;)  We've had some good talks about purchasing first cars, renting apartments, roommates, and all the important things that 13-year-olds need to talk about.  I think he is finally convinced that nobody is going to buy him his first car (we've said we'll match him with whatever he saves up; so if he saves up $1,000 then he can get a $2,000 car, etc.)  So I think he really has his sights set on that.
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This is getting really long and ridiculous so I'll quit for now. I'm 14 weeks along as of yesterday, still not really showing just looking and feeling "thick".  I go to the doctor again on Tuesday just for a check up so I'm excited about that. It's always nice to hear that little heart beat and know that everything is OK.  I did end up passing my Geology class with a B; I think my percentage grade was like 80.8% and I worked my little booty off for every single one of those points!  I'm glad it's over though.

Comments

  1. I know he is going to have a tough time with the transition, but you guys are doing really well with him I think. Taking away his contact with the outside world is a big deal! Guess I won't be FBooking you guys for a while! Keep up the good work.

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