My stepson is driving me out of my mind. What happens in the brains of teenage boys? Do they just melt down, for heaven's sake?
He is a senior in high school, barely. He's had issues in the past, but he was finally on the right track, excited about graduating in the spring. He even got a couple of A's last semester, which was nothing short of monumental for him. He has to pass a civics course. If he fails, he won't graduate on time, end of story. Well, it came to light yesterday through a phone call from the civics teacher that he has only turned in one assignment all year--and that was thanks to me riding his ass about it. He has nine assignments--count them, nine--that have to be completed and handed in by tomorrow. The teacher isn't willing to budge on that deadline, and I can't say I blame her. It's not like my stepson is making an effort. I do wonder why she didn't call before the crisis reached this point, but maybe she figures by the time a kid is almost eighteen, he should be able to keep track of his own crap. Still, he has special needs, so I think she could have intervened a little sooner. Should we push for an extension, or will that just be enabling my stepson's irresponsibility?
Now partly, I blame his parents, because he lives with his mom and if I were her, I would have been checking every single day to make sure he did his homework, and I would have locked up his damn video games till he finished It all. His mom seems more interested in keeping the kid happy than she does in pushing him for anything. His dad asks about it by phone, but he often isn't given the truth. Then again, a couple of weekends when my stepson has come over, he's 'forgotten' his homework at his mom's house, and if I were his dad, I'd be driving his butt right back there to get it even if it is thirty or forty minutes on the road each way. That excuse wouldn't fly. But as the non-parent and someone who doesn't drive, I have very little power in the situation.
When asked if he wants to graduate, my stepson says yes. When asked if he understands that he won't graduate without passing civics, he says yes. When asked why he hasn't done the civics assignments, he shrugs and says he doesn't want to. He's being offered a year or two of tech school for free because of his special needs, and he says he doesn't want to go. His dad has suggested that they drive down to the tech school and check it out, and the kid just says he doesn't want to be in school anymore. I'd be inclined to push the issue and take him to check out the tech school anyway, in the hopes that something there would spark his interest, but his dad says if he isn't on board with it, sending him there will be a waste of everybody's time. The kid wants to get a job at Wal-Mart, which his dad and I agree shouldn't happen if he's behind on his schoolwork.
I'm pulling my freaking hair out. I don't know what else to say or do. I see a train wreck ahead. Well, what I really see is my stepson living in his mom's basement indefinitely, playing Mindcraft and Grand Theft Auto and watching Youtube videos in his boxers. It could be said that none of it is my business, but indirectly, I'll still end up supporting his lifestyle if that's what he chooses because every dollar my boyfriend has to send to the other household is a dollar I don't see around here. I've borne the brunt of the family expenses here for the last six years, but I guess I had this crazy idea that my stepson would grow up, finish school, find a job, become reasonably self-sufficient, and then the finances could be rearranged so that my boyfriend was contributing to his second family, not just living here and supporting the first household.
Thanks to anyone who has managed to read all of this. Any ideas are welcome. What else can I say or do with my stepson? Why is he seeming to throw his future away just when he was starting to pull it all together? And please, say what you have to say gently. I've already been awake all night wrestling with this--and I seem to be the only one. My stepson and his parents slept just fine, thank you.
I had to come to terms that the world would not end if my son failed. I actually went to see a therapist about this because it was stressing me out so much. He did fail biology, and almost failed English. He ended up having to take biology in the summer. Maybe you SS can take the class again in the summer. When he turns 18, unless he goes to college, your SO is probably not financially responsible for him. You might have your SO talk to your SS, and his mother, and tell them this. He will have a hard time making enough money without a high school diploma. If your SS and his mom can decide to not put the effort in to graduate, your SO can decide not to support them.
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