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On Being a Grown-Up ...

I just got off the phone with my stepson. Actually, he hung up on me.

I knew there was trouble brewing, but I was minding my own business. He called me to complain. He has to meet with his parents and the guidance counselor in the morning because he hasn't shoed up to the last class of the school day for a couple of weeks now. His excuse is that he doesn't like the class, he doesn't want to go, and he's starving by that time in the afternoon. He'd rather go home and eat. He never has cared to eat breakfast, and the food at school is gross, so he won't eat lunch. By seventh period, he's too hungry to stay in class. I suggested he could carry a granola bar in his pocket and eat it before seventh period. Then he fell back on, he didn't want to go. So I said that the difference between being a kid and a grown-up is that when you're a kid, adults make you do things you don't want to do. When you're a grown-up, you have to make yourself do things you don't want to do because you know what will be best for you in the end. Finishing school means going to class, and finishing school will be best because it means getting a job ... *Click.*

Did I say the wrong thing? If so, what would have been a better approach?

 
Ballad

Asked by Ballad at 11:40 PM on Nov. 7, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • Of the three adults in his life, you are saying the most reasonable things. And, when he is alone and thinking about it, he'll realize that. He wants to be treated like a man, but he doesn't know how to be a man yet because he's still a kid. You were level with him, treated him with respect and dignity, laid out straight for him, and he knows that.

    He hung up because that action allowed him to hold on to a bit of the power in the conversation. Do not take it personally. He will reach out to you again. Be ready for it.
    May-20

    Answer by May-20 at 9:07 AM on Nov. 8, 2013

  • You said precisely the right thing. The fact that he hung up on you proves it. He doesn't want to hear it but that's his tough luck.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:42 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • Yes, you said the right thing. It's nice reached out to you and good for you for answering with sound advice. He knows you're right, too.
    tessiedawg

    Answer by tessiedawg at 11:47 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • Why doesn't he pack a lunch? No kid should go all day without eating. And how is he allowed to leave school before the end of the day? I hope they can get him back on track & do what is necessary to help him graduate. You said the right thing, but like the others have said, he just didn't want to hear it. Hang in there.
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 6:39 AM on Nov. 8, 2013

  • There was nothing wrong with your advice. He hung up on you because he didn't want to hear it, but it'll be there in the back of his mind now, and he'll be thinking about what you said.
    SWasson

    Answer by SWasson at 7:35 AM on Nov. 8, 2013

  • You did just the right thing.
    PartyGalAnne

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 11:45 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • No it sounds like the right thing to say to me. What does he want to-do after school/ graduation. That was my approach. My dgs went through a bad patch at school. Thing is he wants to be a chef and eventually own his own restaurant. I told him that we watch these shows where people are unprepared for the business of running a restaurant, they just want to cook, and the business is failing. He has dreams but the only way to the dream is through education. That approach reached him. He also found out that I would come and sit in every class if I had to and he didn't think he liked that idea.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:48 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • That conversation sounded so familiar. My aspie son also had problems in high school. I had the "How do you plan to support yourself if you don't graduate" talk, over and over and over. His goal was to go to college to study what he was really interested in, music and math. What finally got through( during his junior year) was when I informed him that he could either get good grades and choose what college he WANTED to go to, or he could barley get by, and go to what ever college would be willing to take him, if any.  He ended up graduating with honors. When aspies put their mind to something there is no stopping them.

    musicmaker

    Answer by musicmaker at 12:16 AM on Nov. 8, 2013

  • He needs someone (adult) that is not a part of the family to help guide him and it's never to late.
    I've learned that kids tend to learn more from someone who gets down to there level in respect to talking to them and trying to understand them.
    Not saying no one is trying to but we seem to listen to "people outside of the family" more so than those in it.
    Is there ANYONE you trust that can befriend him and help guide him?
    KTElite

    Answer by KTElite at 11:51 PM on Nov. 7, 2013

  • It's hard to know what to say to a kid. Thinking back on all the things I thought I knew as a teen but REALLY know now I still can't think of one thing I'd say to myself that would have made me listen. He will learn. I don't think you said anything wrong. He probably just wanted someone to validate his feelings, but that's not always he right thing to do.
    maecntpntz219

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 12:07 AM on Nov. 8, 2013

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