I now know that
Usually I'm of the mind that kids who aren't responsible don't get more freedom, but *sometimes* that freedom is necessary for their development and your own sanity.
Hi Conmama - I am a really new poster to this board, so I don't know your hx.
I tended to be more of a hands off parent than a lot of people here, I know--some of it is probably laziness and being a single working mother, I'm sure.
I don't know about a break from the board (its good to have someplace to vent) but maybe back off from controlling your ds? You've already taken away the phone so for the sake of consistency leave that as is. But maybe this is the time to institute the suggestions that Rose made, about making him more responsible for himself. I don't know how involved you are with the details of his existence, if you micro-manage him etc. but maybe you should put most of the responsibility on his shoulders?
I was a micro-manager because my kids seemed to need it, but in turn they took that to absolve them of personal responsibility to some degree. Somehow I got the idea to start making ds be responsible for himself when 12th grade started, which was pretty nerve-wracking at times, but if nothing else it was a good exercise in letting go for me.
I like Rose's suggestions about proving himself by meeting various goals, but I understand that you probably have to start making deposits on the dorm room etc before he will have a chance to prove himself. And I agree with the others who say that sending him away is a recipe for disaster. Maybe a question to consider is how much money you are willing to spend/possibly lose while determining whether to let him go?
I suggest contacting the U to ask about deferring entrance for a year. Some schools will allow it, others will require that he reapply for next year. IF they allow it, ask if they allow him to earn any credits at CC. Some allow it, some require that he be a "pure" freshman. IF they will allow him to defer, then I would have him take a "gap year" to grow up.
The truth is that if your college student is not living at home then you need to let go of the idea of controlling him, except through money. Yes you can require him to give you his log-in info for his student account. At my ds' U they only posted the final grade for each term so there was no way to monitor progress throughout the term; and even if you could see poor grades, what could you do about it, really? Drive to the school and watch him do his homework? There might be a form that allows his advisor to talk to you, but I'm pretty sure that s/he will NOT want to deal with mommy and daddy. They are used to treating the students as adults responsible for themselves. And the advisor will likely not be up on the details of how he's doing. College is sink or swim, unless he's going to a small private school where they are known for being closely involved with each student. If his grades are terrible at the end of first term the U will likely put him on academic probation and give him the next term to bring them up; however you could choose to pull him out at that point. (if that is a plan then check the dorm contract to see how it works if he leaves "voluntarily" rather than getting kicked out.) So a plan to "keep tabs" on an adult living 90 mins away is probably not very realistic.
My ds was an overall good kid with some maturity issues. I wasn't sure if he was ready to be on his own in the dorm, but at the same time I was going nuts with him at home. We knew that he needed the stimulation of a university academic environment, and his U did not allow deferred entrance, so we bit the bullet and let him go. The entire first year was rocky. First quarter the grades were terrible. He had so much fun with no adult supervision in a dorm where somebody was partying every night, that he didn't get around to studying enough. Whoops. When we saw those grades we made a contract that he had to maintain a certain GPA or else reimburse us for the tuition cost of the classes with bad grades. (He had to reimburse us for some low grades in second quarter, it was almost all of his earnings the summer after freshman year. I think that made an impact!) Third quarter he made the dean's list for high GPA, go figure. At least one of his friends was pulled from school by her parents after first quarter, and a few more didn't return after freshman year--I don't know if the parents pulled the plug or the school kicked them out. Ds told us that
LOL - yet another similarity between your ds and Justin! He recently had 6000 texts one month! Mostly to his gf, even during the day while she's at school. At our high school kids aren't supposed to text during class but it seems many teachers look the other way. I guess she did get her phone taken away once last year for the rest of the school day but that's it. My friends who have kids still in the high school say it's pretty common place these days.
I don't blame you for turning his phone off. I assume if he recently got the phone you had to sign a 2 year contract? I know you don't want to give up control on it but you might want to let him just go out and get his own plan and pay for it himself. Kind of like looking at his grades all the time - it just makes you frustrated but it doesn't change anything. I think that - no matter what he may agree to - when he gets his phone turned back on he is going to go right back to the constant texting.
I do hope you prove us all wrong and that your ds turns out to be like fullmom's and is able to go away and succeed but looking at your ds and at our experience with Justin - I just don't think your ds is ready to go away to school. You're not going to be able to keep as close tabs on him as you think, even if he's only 90 miles away. Sure, you can insist he give you access to his grades, but when you see he's doing poorly there's really not anything you can do about it. I'm not even sure making him sign a contract is going to make a difference. We made Justin sign a contract when dh agreed to co-sign for the apartment that he and Danielle moved into in April of his fiasco year at UW-P (don't even get me started on that one - I was furious at dh for days). The contract had things like that he would continue to go to class, give it one final 'best shot' and finish out that school year, that there would be absolutely no drugs or illegal activity in the apartment, etc. He signed it but it didn't mean a thing - I don't think he stepped foot into one of his classrooms after about February, I know he and Danielle were smoking pot A LOT - her uncles grow it on their farm up in WI so they had pretty easy access to it. The fact that your ds is rooming with a friend that is a decent student, unfortunately, doesn't mean anything. If they are friends/classmates in high school and the good study habits haven't influenced him, don't think it's going to magically kick in just because they share a room.
As I said - I do hope your ds proves us all wrong and that you're able to come back here and say I told you so! Hang in there!
Sabr, I'm either getting crankier and more hard nosed or you are getting softer, because I've been agreeing with you for the past few months!:smileywink:
I was doing a spot check of #1's cell yesterday (first time in about 3 or 4 months) and saw that she described me as a hard ass since I won't give her picture messages back after she misused it a year and a half ago.