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The Final Countdown

07 May

Spring and Summer seem to have come very early this year.  Hard to believe it’s only the beginning of May.

The kids are in their last weeks of school.  For the older kids, this is stressful for us.  Our 19 year old, the one who’s not sure what path he wants to take because he doesn’t know where he wants to end up, and who sits in his room when he’s not at work or school and edits videos into the wee hours of the night, who complains about working in the fast food industry but doesn’t make the effort to find a different job…. is by far our biggest stress. We’ve given him to the age of 20, although this may be pushed up, to either have a full time job, be in school full time, or be looking for a job full time (which means no computer sitting).  He knows if he wants to continue living with us, he will need to do pick one of these options – otherwise he’s on his own.

Our senior in high school graduates in a few weeks.  He seems to have a little inkling of what he wants to do.  He’s leaning towards the medical field and will begin taking college courses this summer at a local college.  We’re relieved that he is headed in some direction, but it’s been like pulling teeth to get him started on his way.

Then there’s our freshman in high school.  Without a doubt, he is our most intelligent kid.   This guy floors me with his knowledge and understanding of stuff – especially science related. He spends his free time in front of the history channel or other educational channels, and is constantly looking to learn and share his knowledge.  But he can’t pass his classes, because he can’t remember what he has for homework, or where he put it when he was done. This is something we’ve been struggling with since his grade school years.  We’ve tried to implement many different habits with him, and have worked constantly with his teachers, all to no avail.  We used to laugh it off and call him “The Absent-Minded Professor”, but now we’re really concerned.  He is too.  And he’s asked us to help him.  The thought has crossed my mind for many years now, that he may have ADD.  But I never followed through on it because I thought we could manage it on our own.  Now that he’s in high school and the work load has increased tremendously, and he’s going downhill fast, it’s starting to show.  The other day when he asked me if he could be tested for ADD, I was stunned.  I’d never mentioned my concern before, but he has been doing some research about why he can’t stay focused, and he’s wondering if that’s the reason.  So we have begun the testing process, and hopefully by the start of next year, we’ll have things worked out.

Finally, there’s our 7th grader.  Our only daughter.  Thank God she’s got it together. She’s heavily involved in cheerleading, volleyball, the school play, the community play, band… and she gets straight A’s and has her homework done, and keeps me posted about when and where she needs to be, and arranges rides if none of us can take her.  Part of me feels bad that she has taken on so many responsibilities, but part of me is greatly relieved that I have at least one child who I know will be able to manage on her own as an adult. Now if I could just get her to clean up her room, bathroom, and kitchen messes, she’d be perfect.  But at this point, I’ll happily walk around with sticky feet if it means having the comfort of knowing she’s got it together elsewhere.

Funny how we can raise such different children. It makes me wonder if what we do as parents really has an effect on what kind of adults they become, or if they are “wired” to be a certain way, and we’re just the steering wheel, fighting to keep them on track while they tug the wheel the other way.  (I think our oldest has won that battle – we’ve let him take the wheel, but we’re not going to continue paying for gas, so to speak.)

And here, I used to think keeping up with dirty bottles, and dirty diapers, and snotty noses, and whining toddlers was stressful….  if only I had known that was the easy part.

 

 

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13 Comments

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Everyday Living, Family

 

Tags: , , ,

13 responses to “The Final Countdown

  1. towardshealthylife

    May 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I often worry about the future and I understand how you feel even if my daughter is only 4 yet. She is so hard-headed! I can only hope her choice will be good. It’s a lot of worrying having 4 teenagers and like you said there just so much you can do to help. When I was 19 I trained at a culinary school and I liked it (got a full time chef job that I didn’t like that much)but I wish I would have gone to a proper “orientation proffessional” (the one at school wasn’t not very good)to help me find a carreer that would have been better money and more interesting in the long run because I was very confused and I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. Maybe your son is confused too, would he like something computer related? I am sure they will all find they’re place in life sooner or later and you will be able to relax 🙂

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Whenever I talk with him about finding a computer related job, or a video editing job, he immediately rejects the idea. In his mind, if it becomes his job, then he will no longer enjoy it. I can’t understand that rationalization. Why not get paid for what you enjoy doing????

       
  2. Abby

    May 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I’m sure this post will strike the nerves of many parents! It is strange how kids in the same family can be so different.

    Your oldest sounds creative and a bit non-conformist – about not wanting to “work” in video editing. Maybe the looming 20th birthday will inspire! I don’t know much about ADD. I do have a student now who sounds similar to your freshman. She’s getting C’s, D’s, and F’s, and I know she’s too smart for that. Good luck! Teen years can be a time of confusion, it helps me when I remember my own!

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks Abby! Luckily I remember my teen years very well, so I can relate to some of what they are going through. But when you’re the parent, you just want what’s best for them, and it’s aggravating when you don’t think they are trying. What gives me hope about my freshman, is that he WANTS to be better, and was brave enough to ask me about it. Keep your fingers crossed for us! 🙂

       
  3. territerri

    May 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Oh how I can relate!

    Our oldest has always done well in school and has been self motivated. He probably could have been a high achiever if he’d pushed himself a little harder. He was content to do well enough, which meant mostly As and Bs. He’s done fine in college on his own and will graduate this fall… after 5 1/2 years. But he’ll graduate!

    Child #2 is a mix of your first and third. He was in a private Catholic school through 6th grade and we KNEW something was wrong, but couldn’t get any assistance from the school. We moved him to public school, got him tested, got an ADD diagnosis. With the help of a case-worker in high school who was an ANGEL, he graduated on time. But finding his path after high school has been a challenge. He just turned 21 and promised me he was enrolling in an auto mechanics program this fall. He hasn’t. We’re going to start charging him rent, I think.

    Child #3, our daughter is very much as you’ve described your daughter. What a relief, because I had no energy left after seeing child #2 through high school. I’m very grateful for and proud of our daughter. She’s a dream and my biggest complaint is that she asks for spending money a lot. But she found herself a nice summer job, so even that complaint isn’t a big deal.

    I think you’re right. To some degree, kids are just wired to be who they are and as parents, there’s only so much you can do. They just have to figure some things out for themselves. But that doesn’t stop us from worrying, does it?

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 8, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      We worry ALL the time. And we wonder if we should be doing more (or less). So we just struggle along, hoping that what we are doing is right, and hoping that one day they will “get it”.
      It’s comforting to know that other families are dealing with similar issues. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been drawn to your post. Our kids seem to be so close in personalities. 🙂 I’m anxious to hear how you all deal with Jake, because we will be going down that road very soon with our 19 (almost 20) year old.

       
  4. agg79

    May 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I can relate to some of your angst as well. While we only had one kid, there were many sleepless nights we were worried about how well he will do or how he would turn out. We tried to steer/push him in what we felt was the right direction, but, eventually we let him choose his own path. I recall those teenage years as well and how stressful they can be (for kid and parents).

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      We were totally okay with our oldest choosing his own path. Unfortunately the path he chose was to sit in his room and “act” like he’s looking for a job. That’s what’s frustrating. Our next oldest didn’t have a clue where any of the paths led, so we worked with him for quite a while helping him to decide what he would like to do based on his strengths and interests. I’m hoping he’ll be off to a better start. It’s definitely stressful, but we’re trying to stay positive and get comfort from the fact that they will probably turn out okay despite our own parenting weaknesses. 🙂

       
  5. meleahrebeccah (@meleahrebeccah)

    May 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Oy vey, it’s very tough raising children. My son will be 16 this week, and we are already trying to figure out his college plans. And it’s incredibly stressful.

    I am in awe of ANYONE with FOUR kids, I can barely handle ONE! You’re a friggen rock star.

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      Four has been a definite challenge, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. They are great kids, and have really provided us no troubles at all. We’re not fighting with drug or alcohol problems. They obey curfew when they go out. They stay in contact with us when we ask. They just have no desire to get a job and move out. 🙂

       
  6. The Thin Lady Inside

    May 9, 2012 at 12:23 am

    It is hard being a parent… I have little ones and I can already see their own personalities and how different they are from each other… I can’t imagine how it will be later… I come from a very different culture so … many things about the “youth” and also about parenting here in USA or other places in the world are very strange to me…. But even when it’s all so different… the “common thing” is that most parents love their children and do what considered best for them… 🙂 Love never fails!

     
    • shadowrun300

      May 9, 2012 at 2:32 am

      You are absolutely right! What we do for our kids, and the reactions we have to the choices they make, are completely out of love for them. Hopefully someday they will realize we were nagging because we cared so much. 🙂

       
  7. Jules

    May 14, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Sounds like a very stressful part of life for you. Hope everything works out for the best for your kids and you! It’s so crazy how kids can grow up in the same household with the same parents and turn out so differently.

     

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