My heart is breaking with college age son

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2011
My heart is breaking with college age son
32
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 12:27am

I am so sad...I am a mom of 3 boys but my oldest is 18, almost 19.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2008
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 1:06am

Maybe he loves the freedom of being away from home rather than college itself. Perhaps he isn't interested in the academic life, I don't know him, but maybe he'd like to go to a technical school and learn something specific. There's nothing wrong with that, and it doesn't mean he's not bright. It would just mean he could focus on something he's good at. My cousin went to college and flunked out, he also got into all kinds of trouble as a teen (drinking and fighting), but deep down he was a good kid. After working in a restaurant (after getting kicked out on his own) he realized that he enjoyed cooking and then went to school for it. He has a little diner now. He's not rich, but he's happy. Maybe it's just the matter of finding the right fit.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2011
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 1:15am

I think you are right about the enjoying the freedom of being out of the home more than the academics themselves.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2008
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 1:27am

You know, I worry about this with my daughter. She will be going away to college in the Fall of '12. She's smart and has good grades (now), but sometimes I have to keep on her to make sure she gets things done. I fear that that she will follow the same path your son is on. i think we , as parents, worry too much about what we think is good

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2011
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 1:36am

He always said he wanted to be a doctor...personally I don't know if I ever saw him as one.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 1:38am

You stated that you "set him up with a psychologist". Has he been to see the psychologist at all?

Have you ever had your son examined by a doctor to see if his problems (other than his hearing) could be caused by medical/neurological problems?

The first year of college is a very hard transition for many kids. Many let their new found freedom go to their heads, and tank their grades.

You said you son is very smart. If that is true, then he knows that his family does not want him around any more. He has the fact that he no longer has a home to add to his quest for freedom at school.

If you truly want to help your son, get him to counseling, and get him examined by a good doctor.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2008
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 1:56am

My daughter had some acting out issues in the past, she was very moody even hostile at times. She started sleeping a lot and being neglectful of things. One night out of the blue, she admitted that she'd been cutting (or bruising) herself since she was 11. She was diagnosed with depression, and is on medication now. She's like a different kid. I'd never considered depression, because I thought it just meant crying all the time. It really has changed her behavior. The doctor recommended couseling as well, but she balked at that. I didn't want to force it. That may not be your son's problem, but it's worth checking on. (The only thing is IDK how he would take it, my daughter came to me with it. He might be defensive or feel like he's being accused of something)

http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2011
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 8:02am

He has been examined thoroughly by a doctor so I don't think there is a medical basis to his behavior.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 9:54am

Many gentle hugs to you. My younger ds is much like your oldest. Did great academically until about 8th grade or so, then when he actually had to start exerting an effort to get the grades in high school they started slipping. Starteed high school involved in several extra-curriculars but by senior year was just involved in church youth group and nothing else. Smart as a whip, just didn't want to bother to do the work. Completely different than his older brother who always did well academically, was involved in 2-3 extra-curricular activities in high school and even managed to work 15-20 hours a week his senior year. We thought Justin would probably start out at the community college but he desperately wanted to go away. We told him that unless he proved himself senior year we weren't going to pay for him to go away. So what did he do but pull pretty much straight A's that year (I think he got one B). So it was obvious he could do the work. Anyway, away he went in the fall of 2008 - about 3 hours away. Did better than we expected 1st semester - got a 3.0 so we kind of breathed a sigh of relief. But he was coming home at least once a month to see his girl friend of over a year that was still in high school. Then her folks forced them to break up over Christmas. That was the beginning of his downward spiral. He met another girl in Feb., stopped going to classes, so flunked every class except the one that he had with her. Didn't bother to withdraw but just wasted our money. She got pregnant, he got a job and they got married in Sept. 2009, he lost his job in October, their baby was born in Feb. 2010 and died 12 hours later. They separated in the summer and divorced in October. Justin is now living at home going to the community college. Because he was still married with a dependent when he applied, he's getting financial aid so we've not had to pay anything. You'd think he would have learned, right? He's already on academic probation there as he failed 2 classes first semester. Again - didn't withdraw, just failed them. This time he went to class but those 2 classes actually required regular reading and written assignments. I think (hope) it finally shook him up enough and he seems to be really working hard this semester. We've made it clear that we aren't going to pay for him to continue after this semester if he doesn't get at least a 3.0 (which he's more than capable of). We've also told him repeatedly that if he just wants to work for awhile we're fine with that, too but at this point he really seems to want the degree to have more options down the road. Don't get me wrong - everything he went through has made him much more appreciative of all we have done for him and for the first time last semester he finally seemed to take responsibility for screwing up in school. He was really down on himself for quite awhile.

I think you are doing the right thing by not paying for him to live away from home next year -

Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 10:07am

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2011
Mon, 02-28-2011 - 10:30am

Thank you for all of the great advice and thoughts of my situation.

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