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The Deal...
Old 04-15-2017, 08:11 AM   #1
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The Deal...

He gets up around noon; I have no idea when he goes to sleep because I walk the pooch around 9:30 - 10:00 and I am asleep ten minutes later. His three day a week, parent inflicted job to get off the computer, has morphed into 4 days. The Mrs just informed me that the scheduled him for 6 days this week and he is very unhappy. I'd like to think he works when he gets there but the reality is I have no idea. There have been a number of token awards for being quick on the cash register. He's off from school this week and unknown to the Mrs and I he asked for off from work which oddly did not happen. He comes home from work and jumps on that computer without fail. His two giant monitor gamer setup is quite fancy and sits in the living room. We won't let him move it to his room because we need to monitor his addiction. Yes I know we are his enablers - video card, power unit, and lots of stuff.

I've only seen him open a book once for an advanced math class but to me it was a perfunctory effort. A half hour or so at best. Last week he retreated to his room to study for midterms- Im not too sure how much studying went on? He's a solid B or B+ student so I limit my comments.

I have in my mind that the rigor required for his first semester at big name university is going to be quite a shock to 'Sack Time Connor'. I also was thinking that if he took a course of two over the summer he'd could ease into this whole college thing. Yes it will be costly but as I understand it Hearses don't have luggage racks. So I took the initiative and got a copy of the computer science undergraduate handbook. Did you know comp science is part of the school of engineering (red flag #1) ? First semester calculus, English - his Achilles heal, comp sci I, and 6 credits of electives. Second semester includes physics I (red flag #2) and to top it all off you aren't admitted to the college of computer science until you have taken a host of challenging classes (40 credits) with a minimum GPA of 2.6.

I've discussed the deal: quit the job and take 2 courses over the summer and 'Sack Time' is all in.. I hope I haven't made a dreadful mistake. His older sister is graduating college in a few days - my threat to not pay for unless you get good grades worked. Good grades, a job and a big financial award for all the volunteering shes done... a tuff act to follow.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:18 AM   #2
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:47 AM   #3
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I had some similar experiences with my sons, and I can't offer you a magic bullet. People are not going to do things if they are not internally motivated and it is very hard to generate that in someone else. Another way to put it is - you can't push on a string. My sons eventually found that they could not get what they want if they do not put any effort into anything. I think you will have to withdraw some of the enabling, as hard as that is.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:58 AM   #4
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Boy I am SOOOOO lucky...

My son would complain if we stayed out too long to eat so he could get home to do homework...

He is now in his first year at university and doing very well... he is a bit in shock with all the work he needs to do, but he is studying architecture and we told him up front that it was a LOT of work...
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:09 AM   #5
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Good luck, Rayinpenn - I know what you are going through as I have a similar case in my own home
Yes, enabling is bad, and yes, stopping it is difficult. What's most frustrating about such a situation is that in the end, you have very little control of the outcome. He is going to have to decide what he wants/needs and put in the effort to get there. You can try to encourage, support, etc, but HE has to commit to the EFFORT.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:11 AM   #6
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You know your son best. But I never offered to give any money for any grade. But I did fly my helicopter reasonably close. Every year I get to see their grades for best car insurance rate. I'm sure they like to have that kind of discount.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:19 AM   #7
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Best advice I ever heard for College:

You go to school on student loans! When you graduate I will repay them. If you don't graduate they are yours!

Friend of mine used this. His son went two years dropped out for four. Loan bills came due. He ask his dad if the deal was still there. He is now a productive college graduate.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:22 AM   #8
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Just another thought....

You have to start early to not let this happen IMO.... my DD (young teen) is prone to not want to practice on all the stuff she says she wants to do... and she does a lot of things... but it is more social for her instead of her wanted to be good at soccer or basketball etc....

She also can be a bit lazy when it comes to homework... but I am not one to use a 'carrot' or bribe to get her to make good grades... I use a 'stick' when she does bad.... now, her mom is always there to 'protect' her so the stick does not work as well as it should... instead of losing her phone for a few days it turns into one....


But in the end, everybody is different... I just would not enable.... if he does not cut it at college, then cut him off.... there are plenty of kids who go to party and waste mom and dads money.... I would not support one of those...
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:08 AM   #9
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A part-time job has nothing to do with lack of studying. Lack of studying has everything to do with priorities.

I agree a summer course at the local junior college will be a good way to prep what college expectations are. College will be a big shock, you can't get by on just smarts. It also requires effort and dedication to an end goal. Since son does not really like the current job, ask him if he wants to do similar for rest of his life. Obviously his answer is no, wants to do the computer sci. That requires college degree and means getting serious about priorities and achieving an end goal of graduation.

My suggestion, do not throw the life preserver, make son become responsible for his actions. Sounds harsh, but seems up to now he is getting by enough to not have the pain of failure.

I also rarely studied in high school. Worked 15-20 hours/week during school and full time summers since freshman in high school; rode my bicycle to work until I had driver's license. I got nearly all A's, high school was a joke simple for me. Went to college and I can firmly say high school did nothing to prepare me for college. I had to learn how to study. By third year I was on Dean's List for good grades. Never on academic probation, or less than a C when I first started college, but brought that up considerably by third year. All while working part-time during school and full time during summers still.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:46 PM   #10
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Some summer classes are super accelerated meaning they squeeze a quarter/semester worth of studies into 1/2 the time.
I personally would hate that.
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:00 PM   #11
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I think Computer Science is a lot more time consuming then engineering. My kid's school has computer science in engineering school too, so she has to take a lot of engineering classes too. But she spent most of her time in a computer lab. Somehow, she managed to graduate in 4 years, no summer school whatsoever, that's time for internships and study abroad, but her class schedule is usually less than 14 units. Only two quarters where she took 18 units. Only 2 AP classes really counts toward her degree. This quarter she only has 10 units.
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