Help! Underachieving 16 year old boy!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-1999
Help! Underachieving 16 year old boy!
10
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 8:00pm

But he's not mine.....

I'm dating

Avatar for anotherheartmum
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2002
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 8:39pm

aww, it sounds to me that this boy just needs to be loved first and the motivation will follow. he sounds depressed due to his family situation.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 10:28pm

When this boy is sitting alone at his father's house, who is cooking for him, doing his laundry, cleaning up after him, taking care of him when he is sick?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-1999
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 11:22pm
I have been with the father for a year. And yes, I often question the relationship I have with this man. The boy is very smart when he wants to be. He is left alone 20 days straight and then his father is home for 10 days. Besides me going out to the house (which is located on a farm) once a week....nobody cooks, cleans or does anything for him other than his father leaving money for him. He doesn't need glasses and doesn't have a learning disability. I'm not sure what his academic background is like....I know he did very poorly last school year but that may have been because his parents had split (summer of 2010) and she already had a new man.

Over the past year, I have been able to get the boy to help on the farm when his father hasn't been able to......we respect eachother and therefore have a great relationship. The mother has said to me, "I'm glad you're around once a week therefore I don't have to worry about him when I leave for England in 2 weeks". Really? Both parents are at fault and I hope that I can help this poor boy, I just need a little guidance.

Thank you all soooooo much.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 12:20am
I applaud your desire, but you aren't really going to be able to accomplish much by parenting just one day a week. What would YOU have done when you were 16, if adults only dropped by once a week, for 3 out of every four weeks, and didn't particularly care what you did when they WERE there, during the 4th week? This kid needs PARENTS who care, educate, supervise, set boundaries, enforce consequences, and treat his mental and physical health.

BTW, learning disabilities can be subtle, and even intermittent. Processing disorders, and disorders like ADD can sometimes be compensated for by intelligence, up to a point, usually in HS, where the demands finally outstrip the ability to compensate. Both my kids have ADD. One was diagnosed in 10th grade--she'd been in honors classes till then! My younger dd was diagnosed in 7th grade, but we still missed the fact that she had an intermittent visual processing disorder. We didn't identify that till she was between 9th and 10th grade. It took $5000 worth of visual therapy, and tutoring to get her to re-learn those things she hadn't really grasped when she couldn't see them clearly--like spelling, punctuation, fractions, and how to tell time on an analog clock. She was in speech and visual therapy once a week, tutoring 3X's a week, and saw a Pdoc every other week. Who's going to do that for this kid--even if someone did manage to get a proper diagnosis?

This kids may have WAY more difficult problems that just a lack of supervision.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 8:03am

I'm wondering if it is even legal to leave the boy alone like that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 9:10am
I'm with ekmama - I'd check out the laws in your state to see if it's even legal to be leaving a 16 year old alone for 20 days in a row. This poor kid needs more than his dad's gf coming out once a week - he needs his parents to be there for him to love him, guide him, etc.
Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-1999
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 10:37am
I wondered the exact same thing. I'm in Canada. If you can legally drop out of school at 16, then why couldn't you be by yourself? But then my mom said that even though you can drop out, wouldn't his parents be legally responsible for him until he's 18? 18 is the legal age in my province. I think I'll look into this.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 12:12pm

I have a 16 yr old son & I can't imagine leaving him home overnight EVER--and it's not because he's irresponsible, it's because I'd be worried about him.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 7:45pm

I agree with the others that you should investigate the laws in your province regarding the legality of this boy being left on his own at 16. You knowing about the situation and not notifying the authorities could give you some liability if it is illegal. A case could be made that he has been abandoned.

There are some 16yo's who are mature enough to be on their own but this boy does not sound like one of them. And he needs more physical and emotional support than anyone can provide in a few hours one day a week. I would encourage the father to somehow alter the situation so someone, preferably dad, is with the boy on a regular basis.

My dd used to date a guy whose teen years had some parallels with this boy's situation, most notedly the mother "throwing away" the son at 16yo for her new bf. That guy had some deep psychological scars that prevented him from having truly adult relationships. It would be nice if your bf's son could get some intervention now so he doesn't end up like my dd's xbf.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-1999
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 8:34pm

The boy's father will never get a different job. He's an oil rig manager and makes a 6 figure income....something he won't give up for the sake of anyone (including his son) until he makes enough money to become a full-time farmer. I have also talked to my boyfriend and told him it's not a good idea to leave the boy alone all the time but he only says things like, "There are 16 year olds who move out and live on their own, he'll be fine", "I can't do anything about it, he has no choice", "If he doesn't like it then he can go live with his mom". After talking with his mom, she doesn't want the boy, she just wants to live happily ever after in England with her new man and not worry about her old life back in Canada.

With the help of everyone here (Thank you!), I have come to the conclusion that I cannot step in as a parent for this boy but it's not going to do any harm for me to continue to go out and see him once a week....cook him supper, do his laundry, tidy the house and help him with homework. Something is better than nothing. I have been trying to convince my boyfriend (and his parents who live up the road and do NOTHING) that something has to be done.....after a year, nobody is listening to me and nobody seems to care.

I do have plans on talking to the Principal of the boy's school and maybe Child Services to see if any laws are being broken.

Thank you all again. I know that this boy is probably going to grow up into a messed up adult but there's only so much I can do for him. I tried.