We've had an ongoing struggle with having our son commit to his studies. He's a smart kid, probably around a B+ standard or higher, however, his results aren't reflecting this. He's the kind of kid that wants little effort for quick gain. Throughout all of Year 11 last year, and Year 12 so far, we've tried everything we can think of to encourage him to develop good study habits. We've always encouraged he spend time with his friends, continue with his part-time job, but he is completely unable to balance/prioritise this. His girlfriend and friends come first, work comes second, and study/school is allocated whatever time is remaining - of which there's not much. We've spoken gently to him about it. We've tried to put timetables in place to help him. We've bought calendars and tried to work out a weekly plan: i.e. time with friends, study, jobs. Every conversation ends up being positive and with him feeling motivated, until the next day when (a) he gets asked to work or (b) his girlfriend gets sooky that she's not spending time with her or (c) his friends are all meeting up after school, etcetera. We also have massive issues of distraction with mobile phones and internet/Netflix etc. It's difficult to monitor and really difficult to set boundaries with a 17yo who needs the internet for study (but then a text message comes through to the phone or laptop and it's all over.) It's a day by day thing. We make weekly plans for long-term goals with him, but by the next day it's all out the window, depending on what better offers have come up for him. He's quite sneaky about some things too - i.e. has plans for later in the week but doesn't mention them until the last minute in case it jeopardises his immediate intentions (e.g. "I'm just meeting up with friends for a while after school, but I'll be home straight after school tomorrow night," and not mentioned that he's been rostered to work for the next two nights and then has plans again on Friday, resulting in one night home for the week out of seven). His friends are doing better than he is at school. His girlfriend is not yet doing VCE, but she has extremely academically successful parents and I know she's doing well at school herself and next year her boyfriend isn't going to be her first priority, but by then that's too late for our son. It's affecting our family on a daily basis. It's been a daily struggle for all of last year and since school started this year, but it seems that we (his parents) are the only ones that care. But that's our job, right? We're burning out! We have a busy household and lots of other stressors - disability/illness in the immediate family - and we just want him to do the right thing and make the right choices. He's old enough to know better. I honestly believe that he has every intention to do the right thing, but it's always, "after this," or "tomorrow" or "next week." Before we know it, it will be too late. At what point is it ok to give up? Nobody wants to give up on their child, but we're running out of fuel. He's not 10 years old. We can't ground him or make him study (and with internet access, it's impossible anyway as he needs it for studying and access to school sites, etc). He's too old to monitor his every move and monitor what he's doing on his computer, but he just doesn't have the commitment (until "tomorrow" or "next week") to do this properly on his own. I feel like the only way he's going to realise that he needs to knuckle down and re-**bleep** his priorities is to when he has a pretty lowsy result at the end of the year, but I'm not going to be able to accept that as a possibility until I'm sure I've explored every option that I could, before we burn out whilst trying. Sorry for such a long post. It's a bit of a vent as well! (Edited to add - I didn't do well in school because I didn't have the motivation or inspiration to do well. I had more exciting things to worry about than school. I know I could have done so much better, which would put my family now in a better position to what we're currently in. This is probably adding to my frustration, as he's going down the same path as I did and I know that one day too he'll wish he tried harder).
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