View Full Version : Talk about stubborn men...

02-27-2004, 05:45 PM
I have a man-in-training at home! He's 17 going on "I know everything"

Yesterday, I get a call from his English teacher telling me that he's failing her class, that he has not handed in anything this week. She announced over the loud-speaker for him to come see her after school... he didn't show up. His sister told him he was paged and he told her that he was not going to see the teacher. I asked him about the class and its quite a bit different story, so I call the teacher back; she was willing to meet with my husband last night:eek: LOL... BTW: I met with this teacher earlier in the year.

Well, my son knew he was caught in his little lie abot the teacher and when my husband met with her, he found out the truth and what was necessary to pass. So, all the boy has to do is write this paper that was due today. We were willing to help, but he refused. He typed it on the spare computer (slow as a slug) because he knew if he used ours, we would be hovering and helping.:D

He only put a disk in our computer to print it and called it a night. His mistake was leaving the disk in my computer. OMG! He used spell check, but did not proof read. There was mistake after mistake because spell-check replaced a word but he didn't verify that the replacement made sense... ie: state instead of star. life instead of love. Not to mention Tense Confusion - was / is / will all in the same paragraph.

We wake him up so that he can repair the paper. He refuses:eek: He starts to fight, then leaves the house... not returning til 1:30!!!! And he ended up handing in the un-proof-read paper. I don't want him to fail, but I wish he would get the grade he truly deserves just to learn a lesson.

If you've read this far... either you understand or are really bored:D Any suggestions on what we can do?

02-27-2004, 05:50 PM
Generally I do good with writing papers because I LOVE to write...
But from experience on the other side, bribes always work for me. :p :p

02-27-2004, 05:53 PM
Goodness, he just doesn't seem motivated at all. I'm not sure how much you can do at this point that you haven't already tried. It may be has to just face the consequences of failing. I think there comes a point when you have done all you really can. It's not like at 17 you can make him go to his room without supper :p.

I'd say you really have tried, and he'll have to just face the consequences of his actions..

But I don't have any children myself so perhaps someone else will have better advice for you. I know it has to be tough for you!

02-27-2004, 06:04 PM
well i don't think i'm going to be much help here...it's not like yuo can give him a good old fashioned spanking like in the old days:p

02-27-2004, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by G.P.girl
well i don't think i'm going to be much help here...it's not like yuo can give him a good old fashioned spanking like in the old days:p

You can try that to someone taller than you!:D

and if we send him to his room without supper, we might save $100 on our weekly food bills!:D

02-27-2004, 06:14 PM

Stubborn men???

Woman: Just stop and ask....

Man: No, I know where we are..

W: But we have passed that same building three times

M: I like the art deco style of the front door..

W: We are going to be late....

M: The tickets say 8:00 p.m......It's only 7:58...we still have time....

W: We are almost out of gas...

M: The needle says "ONE MORE LINE"- We can go 15 MORE blocks....

W: Pull over, He just turned on the roof lights....

M: I'll just pull over to let him by.....

M: Officer, It's all her fault she INSISTED we get to the place on time.......

Talk about stubborn...;)

02-27-2004, 07:04 PM
personally I would be pretty upset if my parents read my paper, I am a very privat person, and being as stubbern as I am there is no way I would fix it if my parents invaded my privacy and read it, yes it would hurt me in the long run, but being your sons age I can understand his point of veiw. just some insight from the other side lol personally if I notice things myself I will fix them myself, but if my mom read my essay and started complaining about mistakes I personally would be rather pissed.

02-27-2004, 07:11 PM
That's actually a good point too cali, and something to consider. I probably would have been upset as well. I also understand from a concerned parent's point of view too, but at his age he is probably not going to look at it from a parent's point of view at all.

02-27-2004, 07:29 PM
I can relate!

My brother who is 17 is in the I-dont-care-anymore stage....yeesh

02-27-2004, 07:31 PM
Originally posted by cali
personally I would be pretty upset if my parents read my paper, I am a very privat person, and being as stubbern as I am there is no way I would fix it if my parents invaded my privacy and read it, yes it would hurt me in the long run, but being your sons age I can understand his point of veiw. just some insight from the other side lol personally if I notice things myself I will fix them myself, but if my mom read my essay and started complaining about mistakes I personally would be rather pissed.

True, but he is failing the class. When a teacher is concerned enough to call home and alert the parents, the time is now for action. One thing I didn't mention was that my son is very dyslexic. This is his first main-stream english class... last year his class had 7 (including him) kids and it was a remedial english class. He knows he needs us to help him. He knows that his vocabulary & sentence structure is far below what he should have. He knows that I am more than willing to help him revise and rework the paper so that it is in his own words, yet clean and ... well... readable.

He also knows that if he fails this class, then he will not be running track this season. This kid is a track superstar. He runs 6 to 10K marathons every other weekned and running is his life. Failing = no running. I think he's so upset at knowing this is IT. I think he thinks that his grade is so far gone that he won't be able to pull it up. I think that he'd embarassed that he's not "getting it". So, with that said, why the fighting us? You'd think he'd be begging for help... not leaving the house at midnight to sit in the cold.:rolleyes: I tell you, he's just like his father!:D

02-27-2004, 07:37 PM
PS Cali, I totally agree with you... I'd be on fire if my parents did that. However, the kids all know that the policy of the house is that schoolwork comes first and we are going to do whatever neccessary to help. My parents never had that policy and never ever once tried to help me with a project or paper... this is the difference between my angry reaction from my own kids. The girls basically kiss us when we help them. They ask for our help proofreading all the time.

We also told him earlier that we would be reading it and helping him. He blew us off. We told his teacher (with him there) that we would be helping him. So now, with him handing this paper in looking like it did, the teacher must think we're complete idiots.

02-27-2004, 09:23 PM

When I was growing up, I didn't have my parents help. I feel for you really. 17 is a very tough age. Hormones are raging, tempers flaring and opinions VERY different!! When I was young, my parents grounded me. Nowadays, you send a kid to their room, they've got a computer, video games, tv, you name it!! It's like their own personal arcade!

I also know what it's like to have a child with a "limitation" (I hate the word disability). My daughter had a malignant brain tumor (Pineal Blastoma) on her brain stem at the age of 16. The tumor was removed and she is now 27 and has limitations (like her brain processing things), although she is living on her own, working, doing well. But when I try to explain things to her (like my Mom used to do to me) about dating, letting the guy call you, HIM making the first move, she thinks she knows EVERYTHING. I try to tell her MY life experiences in the dating scene, but she doesn't seem to get it. So I just sit there and say "Whatever!!" I swear I'm gonna get a teeshirt with that on it!

I've since decided it's best to let her learn on her own. If it hurts, too bad. That's what life is all about.

I've been there, done that. I only hope that you find the strength and wisdom to keep your sanity in tact, long enough to see the moving truck pull away!!! ;)

The old saying is "Live Long Enough to be a Problem to your Children!!"

02-27-2004, 11:14 PM
Once you said he was dyslexic, I could see your problem. I've had to deal with that all my life, so I can understand your feelings and his.

So I'm going to throw a few things out to you, if you don't mind.

You asked his to proff read his paper, not a problem except that he might not be able to. You have to remember that the words might have looked right to him, they will and can change on him as he reads. I'm sure you know that already. So did you ask him if he already proof read it or did you assume he didn't? How you picked your words when you woke him up, might have something to do with the fight. You can't image what it like to try hard on something and be told that it is not accectable. Just because a person knows they have a problem, does not take away from the embarrassment that still comes with it. Like you said he might have been embarassed that he's not "getting it" and that the reson he left. But being a 17 year old man, as he most likely thinks of himself, he didn't want to deal with it. It's easier to get up and leave. He knows you want to help, but he's 17 and getting help from his parents, could be hard for him, male ego and all.

My Father and I still to this day talk about my spelling lessons with him or as we call them "The Crying game" One minute I get them right, 5 minutes later they where all wrong. A lot of hard words where sproken between the both of us, from my embarrassment to his frustration in me. They were some bad times that still hurt to this day. I so wished that he had choice a different way. If he had just told me he understood that I had a problem but it was not my fault that he knew even with my problem I was still a intelligent girl and would make it. Even now at 40+ years of age, I'm still get embarrassed when someone catches my mistakes.

I do know your frustrated with him and you have a right, but what I'm saying is choise your words right with him, just in case he feels that embarrassment, that most of us feel with this problem. He will never amit to it, but I have a feeling it's there. Tell him you read his paper sense it happen to still be on the putter and it was a great paper, he did a good job, but there are just a few mistakes that the both of you might want to look at real quick, if he likes. Make the problems look small, give him some hope that he is "getting it".

Let him know how proud of him you are and offer to help if he wants it, make him feel he has a say in it. If he doesn't take it then he learned from his own mistakes. Maybe next time he will take the offer of help, the lose of his track, could be the wake up call he needs. Knowing you need help is one thing, asking for it is another and thats come with maturity and time. How do most people learn to ask for help, by making mistakes and learning from them. If he's off the track team, then as hard as it might be, thats life in the real world, for ever action there is a reaction.

I'm only going by what little you said here and my own childhood, so I could be off, who knows. Does his teacher know he has this problem? I was lucky mine did and worked with me with out anyone knowing. Thats was the most important thing for me, that noone knew. She also graded me with the knowledge that I had a problem and so some of the little mistakes were over looked. Maybe that was wrong, but I made it through college with a B.A. because of the confidence she instilled in me. That and have a good friend the proff read my papers for me. :D

02-27-2004, 11:44 PM
Fox-Gal, thank you for your input!:) Lets see if I hit all of your points...

First off, I honestly do know how he feels - I'm great with letters & words, but put numbers in front of me and everything swims. I've never been tested, & I don't know if there is even dyslexia of numbers - but I'm soooo very bad. I was fired from a job because I kept making the same mistakes... not good when you're responsible for quotes and ordering products. I would tell the customer one price and be off by hundreds od dollars or order an item from a numerical ordering system and get a blue lunchroom chair when I wanted a green desk chair. Its frustrating because no matter how hard you try, no matter how many times you look at something, no matter how slow or fast you work: the math/numbers are still wrong.:(

As for the paper, he admited he didn't proof it. He was peeved that he had to do the paper in the first place. When we woke him, it was my husband saying, "Son, you need to sit with us and go over this. We proofed it for you and it needs a little work before tomorrow." He said he wouldn't and that it wasn't fair... he wanted to sleep.

His teacher is more than aware of his dyslexia. He has a formal IEP written up that all of the teachers must follow. The IEP outlines accomodations the teachers must follow... they must give him preferencial seating, allow extra time for tests, he can take tests in the resource room, can have something read to him, books can be on tape rather than read, etc.

His "crying game" comes from my frsutration with him and his handwriting. His handwriting is worse than a doctors! I can't read it, and neither can any of his teachers. He refuses to type his homework. And even though he's had years of typing and computer clases, he's absolutely terrible on the computer. Its painstaking to watch him type. And for some rason, he has a knack of completely destroying a computer! He has ruined three computers in three years! I don't know how!!! Seriously, he just touches it and *poof* the thing shuts down! We bought a brand new computer in August (spent a fortune) and I got it all set up, all virus proofed, and he sat at this brand spanking new computer for two minutes before FATAL ERROR showed up on the monitor! We had to return it! So I try to help him by typing for him. This is where my fighting starts with him because I can't make heads or tails of the writing, he won't dictate to me. Then he just sits there while I struggle to read his work. The sentences are incomplete or non-sensical... but I know that is because he thinking ahead of what he has written.

I don't know what to do for him anymore. He's too proud to admit that he's frustrated. He thinks that anytime I help him, that he's not pulling his own weight since the work isn't his... at least thats my take on it.

02-28-2004, 01:16 AM
Sounds like you are trying and do understand, thats great, more then I got.

I had to laugh about the hand writting being worse then a Dr., I heard that so many times about mine too. I don't know about your son, but I started writting that way so no one could read my mistakes, I guess I thought I was fooling people. :rolleyes:

I think you are right, pride has a lot to do with it. Pride can be a down fall in some cases, as you know.

Could his problem also be the reason he doesn't want to read his papers to you? Just wondering. He might not feel confident enough in his reading, with those letters moving and all. ;)

I wish I knew what to say to help you out, your stuck between a rock and a hard place. Wanting the best for him but fighting with his pride, embarrassment, age and dyslexic. Thats a hard battle. He has to get over his embarrassment and pride first before anything else. It took me a long time not to be embarrassed about it, as much, you just have to keep telling your self that it's not your fault, it makes you no less of a person then anyone else, just special. It takes a special person to turn a word around so well. :D ;) ;) LOL

Have you done the tutor route, trained to teach children with dyslexia? I so wish they had that back in my day, but back then you where just thought of a dumb, it wasn't as well known. Even now my husband said I sould have not put my problem out on the forum. He feels I opened myself up to get hurt by others. There are still people that look at you as if theres something wrong with you.

I know you said he's not good at typing, but thats is what has helped me, the more I write and or type, the less mistakes I make, use or lose it. One of the main reasons after I retired that I got online. Once I didn't have to do paper work any more I saw a decline in my skills, so I starting chatting and going to forums like this one. I'm still not great at it but a he$^ of a lot better then I was.

BTW: numbers are no different then words, they can swim around too. Dyslexia does not limit its self to just words, so I have been told.

02-28-2004, 08:07 AM
Thanks Fox-Gal. I had a loooonnng talk with his favorite Aunt last night and she is peeved beyond recognition.. she's a teacher and has dyslexia herself. She said, and I quote, "He needs to get over himself." In our family, when we say that, we mean: stop whining, no more woe-is-me, what makes you think that you're so special that you're the only one with this problem, etc.

I had never thought of him using his handwriting to disguise his bad spelling, etc. I have noticed its been getting worse lately, but I thought it was because he didn't care and just wrote something to write it, or wrote too fast.

As for people thinking less of you because you admitted your problem, thats not going to happen. People are so well informed of this today that its just one more thing about a person. People would most likely react the same way if they were told that you were color blind. Its just one more thing people can also relate to.

02-28-2004, 10:14 AM
lol well he is not alone with the bad hand writing thats for sure! in grades when we were forced to handwrite, no printing no typing allowed, the teachers took me into the all and told me to print, no matter how hard they tried my handwriting never did improve lol computer and typing classes did not get me anywhere either, we had to take these speed typing tests etc.. never could do those! however message boards are what improved my typing, they are somthing that I enjoy, AND I have to type to use them. it sounds like your son is quite a bit like me. i dont get anywhere with something i dont enjoy, for example my english teacher last semester made class fun, and everyone enjoyed going to his classes, my english mark went up 8% because I had fun in the class I enjoyed it. also a teacher calling home concerned got me REALLY mad. my bio teacher called my mom because I was not doing very well in the class, I could have killed both my teacher and my mom I was so angry. let your son learn from his own mistakes, do you know what goes through a teens brain? parents so one thing we will do the opposite. for example parents say dont smoke, or dont do drugs, or dont drink, and party all night. guess what the teen is going to do? exactly the opposite, because we want to learn for ourselves we do NOT want to be told what to do, everyone I know who does the kind of things I mentioned above, there parents forbid it. my mom and one of my friends moms, have a little rule "keep it out of sight of them and they dont care" I am a good girl you could say lol and my brother although he does drink and party, he does not let it get out of hand. my friend is also a good girl type although you wouldent know it by looking at her! lol. my point is just let your son figer things out for himself.

02-28-2004, 10:15 AM
catnapper....the number thing is called dysgraphia...I know someone who has that (along with dyslexia)...talk about frustrating.

It sounds like he's a 17 year old to me. Perhaps not running track because he didn't pass, might just wake him up. I assume he won't get the credit for the class either and will be repeating it? I don't me to be nasty, but, they have to learn somehow. I am not a parent, but, like your husband, am a teacher, so I am fully aware of the IEPs and such, so, as long as the teacher is following it and he uses the resource room, he should be able to pass. I'm sure he is frustrated too. Why not suggest (stongly ;) ) that you guys sit down at the table and work through it together. Tell him about how numbers are for you and that you have to get help with those...maybe that would help. I always tell my students that until they're 18, their rights are limited, so get over it. (They of course tell me I'm mean...as they laugh with me) Perhaps the favorite aunt might be able to help too.(sorry if you already said that...I'm still not totally awake).

02-28-2004, 11:07 AM
Mugsy, thanks for letting me know the name of the numbers thing... I just might get tested... I'm still really mad about losing my job and there was a ton of harassment (sexual, emotional, and otherwise) going on there... I'm better being out of the situation, but another ex-coworker and I were thinking about a lawsuit. It would greatly help my case to prove that my numbers thing wasn't just me being a lazy, ditzy employee.:D But thats another whole post.

As for my son, we have tried to sit down with him. He just is so frustrated hmself that his attitude is getting unbearable. And yes, I agree with you about failing the class as a life lesson learned. My husband is against it because it would ruin his chances for college. But know what? He's not ready. He will be in for a major shock the first semester. My husband doesn't think so, but I do because I see his study skills and how he reacts to stress. Freshman year can be a wonderful learning experience, it can also overwhelm you.

Then the problem with college is that my son is a great runner. We have division I schools (if that means anything to you) lining up to talk to him. So, he'll go to school and run, but what about outside running? Will he be able to handle the pressures of class, a professor that expects YOU to take note instead of handing them pre-typed to you? How about the pressure of being handed a book on Monday and being expected to finish it by next monday's class? Or a paper assigned Tuesday due wednesday - 2000 words typed. He'll absolutely flounder.

Cali, I do know what goes through a teenager's brain as I was one not too long ago. He's my step son and there's only a 13 year difference between my son and I. I know that he doesn't drink, smoke, party with drugs... that would all affect his running. The last thing in the world he would ever do is engage in something that could potentially keep him from running. His excuse for not doing yard work is that he might strain something while pulling weeds :rolleyes: :D

Thanks all of you guys! I seriously appreciate the advice. It makes me feel better that I'm not screwing up (too much:D ) and that he's just being a normal stubborn 17 year old man-in-training.

02-28-2004, 02:21 PM
I don't have anything to help, but I hope you can come to some agreement to help your son.

As for college, have you heard of Wright State in Dayton, Ohio? They have a lot of wonderful programs to admit students with a more difficult time learning. I don't kow if there is a similar school closer tohome, but it may be worth looking into when he is ready.

Good luck!

02-28-2004, 04:45 PM
I also have 'learning issues.' When I was 10 years old I was in a very bad car accident that almost took my life. Before the accident I was a stright A student. After the accident my grades dropped down to C's and maybe a B every now and then. When ever my mom tried to help me with writing papers or anything like that I got so embarrassed and I refused just like your son. Or I wouldn't do the work at all. My teachers never called my house to let my parents know what was going on. Even still I don't post alot because I am afraid of making mistakes in gammer, spelling and so on. The last thing I want is for 'strangers' to see how bad my problem can be. My spelling is the worse. I have tried to get better at spelling and every now and then I learn a new word but for the most part I forget the word a few minutes after I tried to remember it. Before my accident my worst class was math, which I kept an A- average. After my accident, I kept a C+ and my worst class became english and reading. Which was my best class before. With me the more my parents tried to help me the more I got mad and would refuse to do the work. At school the teacher would tell us that we had to write a paper and stand up in front of the class and read it out loud. I always stayed home on those days. In class if I would refuse to read out loud it was an automatic fail. No questions about it. At least if I didn't show up I could just hand in the paper.

I have no clue where I'm going with this. Just please try to take it easy on him. I understand now how improtant school and school work really is. Some times school with set up a time for them to have someone tutor them. I had that as well it worked for the short while that they did it. Maybe you can talk to the school and see if they can set something like that up.


02-28-2004, 05:04 PM
I didn't think I had problems till I hit algibra in 7th grade then they determint I had a "mathblock" I did ok till high school My math teacher had 2 students (brainyacks) and brother and sister of my best freind sit on either side of me. Mom hired a tudor plus the teachers help. Got out alive with a D. After getting out of school and started teaching literacy to adults,(had a brother and sister ) who were dislexic . I started reading up on ways to teach them I discovered I was dislexic in numbers.DUH I read well cuz I love to read and have been since I was 2. Spelling and numbers are a problem. I just had to teach myself how to triple check thinks. Thats why I some times have weird sentences here,but you know what no one here cares.
The book I think helps any one with any learning disabilyty is from England I think it may be out of print but if you can frind a copy is "I can't read or Takl too good. " The brits were the first to discover and try treating dislexics .