Thursday, 4 July 2013

XBox hatred and homework.

Having bathed in glory at my algebra bonding exercise with Son #2, this evening I can feel my eye muscles twitching involuntarily having been to Parent Teacher Consultations with Son #1.

Having tried to persuade me that talking to his teachers was a totally unnecessary exercise my son accompanied me, reluctantly, to the appointments as requested. The general consensus was that my son is a fine young man, but lacks focus, lacks organisation and needs to up his input to achieve his potential. Fair enough, I thought. Not too bad an evening's assessments.

One of the points they all raised was my son's dreaminess, almost his tiredness ... Tiredness? Would that have anything to do with him getting up at the crack of dawn to play the XBox? Xbox. I am reluctant to even sully my page with that word. I cannot tell you how much I hate the XBox.

It rules my son's life. He is obsessed with it ... football games, war games, ultimate football teams, levels ...

I remove the controllers so he is unable to play. I ban it for weeks on end, but still he wants to play. I feel utterly useless as a mother because I just don't know what to do. He and his brother saved up to buy the thing and their time on it is restricted, but he is always thinking about it and if he can't play he watches Youtube videos of other people playing.

Having spoken to his teachers tonight I have to do something. I know that other boys spend far longer on the stupid thing, but I just don't understand this obsession. And if it is going to affect his academic success then I have to act.

I don't want to ban it completely because I understand the enjoyment it gives him, but I do feel he has to earn his time on it. Why he cannot realise that by doing some school work as soon as he gets in he will be totally in my good books I just don't know. He talks a good game and it upsets me that every time I mention revision he gets angry, accusing me of nagging. He just sounds deluded, twisting my words and making me feel so angry. I just don't know how to make him realise how important his GCSEs are. He says he knows, says he knows exactly what he needs to do, says he will work .... but when he is ready to.

I just want to scream. It is exhausting. All I want is for him to achieve his potential and not throw away his future because he wants to spend his time watching rubbish Youtube videos and playing virtual football. I hate his aggression towards me, his disdain. I hate it. In this day and age all students are expected to do their homework on laptops so I cannot ban him from the internet. I don't think I should be expected to hover over my 15 year old as he does his homework, but I'm afraid it would appear that's the only way his work will get done.

Part of me just wants to say "Fine. You know what you're doing ... get on with it." and then leave him to sink or swim. But I am afraid that by the time he realises that he needs to start trying to swim it will be too late and he will drown in a deluge of work. And also, I am his mum ... I love him with all my heart and I so desperately want him to be happy, do well, achieve his potential, learn how to work and be organised. Its time like this when you just feel overwhelmed as a mum. I feel useless and frustrated. If I get to the stage where I post on here a set of wonderful results for my son's GCSEs .. well, I will just turn a somersault! I know he can do it ... I just want him to actually do it.


joy said...

I went through a similar situation with son no.3, who, at the tender age of 15 discovered alcohol and going out with his mates. It was a horrible time, and I really dont want to relive it, but basically he went from being an all As student in the top 5% of his school, to scraping through his GCSEs with just about sufficient grades to carry on into 6th form, where he was only present when he wanted to be. He got his A levels, 2 Ds and an E, which, surprisingly, was enough to gain him a place at UWE in Bristol on a computing course. He attended this for 18 months and then decided that he didn't wish to pursue it any longer, so left, and struggled through a succession of lowly paid jobs interspersed with mind numblingly boring unemployment. He is now 24 years old, working as a chef in a pub and has decided that its time he got his life back on track. He has enrolled in an OU 3 year degree course in computing which he is financing with yet more student loan and part-time work, but I have to admit that despite everything I am now extremely proud of the person he has become, he is kind and thoughtful, he still drinks but in moderation and not every day, he is vegan and has taken his car off the road to help in his small way to reduce the build-up of greenhouse gases, he is in a relationship with a very feisty young lady, whom I love dearly, and his future looks bright. I guess this isn't really all you wish to hear, but never-the-less potential wins through in the end. Hope your passage is easier than mine, I'll be watching with interest. Joy xx

sarah at secret housewife said...

Gosh Joy ... it sounds like you have had a time of it.I am glad he has come out the other side and is a young man to be proud of. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and as you say, I shall keep you posted on my son's progress. Sarah x