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12-14-2010, 07:55 AM   #1
DustyKat
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Do I Push?

I am in a bit of a dilemma and not sure which way to go.

Matt seems to be doing okay and says he is feeling better physically but psychologically I'm not so sure. As it is the end of the school year here he would have expected to have been facing the holidays, our summer break, with no study to do but that is not the case and he can't seem to get his head around it. He has some school work to catch up on but more importantly he missed one of his university exams and will need to sit the exam in the next few weeks.

Do I back off for a while and see if he can sort things out himself or do I jump in and try and get him organised? I see merit in both sides and in many ways I don't want to push him but then again he seems to be floundering.

Any thoughts and suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Confused,
Dusty
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12-14-2010, 08:20 AM   #2
Rob
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Hey dusty

well myself I wouldn't push, I'd jus be supportive
maybe leave a hint or so somehow but yea pushing (or nagging as he'd call it lol) would jus makes things worse

I'm sure he knows what's at stake an what he needs to do
he prob jus wants a break from it all for a few days- recharge his batteries then he'll get back on with it all

hope it all works out
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12-14-2010, 09:35 AM   #3
Nica
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Hi Dusty,

Hard call, I know. I think it depends on how your son normally is. Does he normally do well in school and get his stuff done or is this all because of the new DX?

He has seen his sister suffer with CD and now he is looking at it. Mentally I am sure that is messing with him. I would try to give him a bit of time to sort it on his own, but not too long.

I know for me one of the hardest parts of being a mom is letting my son flounder when I see the mistakes he is making. I think part of growing up is learning how to deal with the bad things life throws at you or you throw at yourself.
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12-14-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
Entchen
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Alarm bells go off for me when I see that there is a deferred exam to be written. I've seen too many students accidently hurt their GPAs because of one difficult semester or even one difficult course -- they decide to "just let it go" and then discover that a single grade can affect their GPA (and scholarship applications, and graduate school applications, etc.) more than they expected. Many new university students do not understand the long-term effects of doing poorly in one or two courses. I agree that learning to deal with floundering is important, but there are ways to go about it that won't potentially have long-term implications. And I think this could be a chance to reinforce your constant and unwavering support -- so he can learn about not being all alone in trying to deal with difficult situations.

My vote as an instructor is to consider pushing him to take the responsibility of setting up the deferred exam and doing at least some level of preparation for it. You might suggest that you sit down together and look at his calendar and work out what would need to be done (and when) to finish his term work and still enjoy a bit of a holiday. You could also suggest that he do a bit of satisficing and calculate the mark on the final that he'll need to obtain his desired grade -- then, he can study toward that mark instead of aiming for his ideal mark (ex: needs 60% to obtain an A-, so study toward a 60% - 70% instead of studying toward a 100%).

Given that he is floundering, your help and a bit of a push could be just what he needs to get himself and his coursework sorted out. I'm 31 and a college prof and my mom still gives me a little push if she thinks I'm a bit overwhelmed and maybe not problem solving or getting things done to the level that she thinks is needed.
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Last edited by Entchen; 12-14-2010 at 01:48 PM.
12-14-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
crazycanuck
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The college prof is right to a point in my opinion. Im a university student in second year and a gentle push is good. I wouldnt sit him down and lecture him or have a big sit sown talk but maybe mentioning how are you feeling about your exam so far? And those sort of comments and its okay to offer him some help. If hes a good kid he'll study but I know when Im pushed to study when Im not up to it or not doing well I might as well be reading Shakespeare over my textbook because all my eyes are doing is skimming the page.
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12-14-2010, 02:23 PM   #6
Entchen
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I wouldnt sit him down and lecture him or have a big sit sown talk
Lol, I agree - that's not a push, that's an intervention!

ps: You're very wise to recognize that you have to be in the right frame of mind to study. It's important to honour your emotional state and study when you're ready and able to do so. When you aren't, you can be doing other things and preparing yourself to *be* ready. [end of lecture]
12-14-2010, 02:57 PM   #7
Jennifer
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That's like telling your what to do as a parent. Its really up to you.

When I was his age and was behind in school my parents never asked to see my work or even bother to ask how I was doing in school. Pushing hard might be too controlling and add more stress so I think its important to find a fine balance in between. For instance you can tell him, "I know you have a lot of work to do and I know that you're going through a stressful time and I want you to know that if you need anything whether its help with your work or tutoring or whatever, than I'm here for you and you can ask me anytime." If my parents had said at least something like that to me, then I would have at least thought about doing my work. Instead they had no problem with me getting D's in many of my classes (minus chemistry where my teacher's mother has Crohn's and he decided to not give me lower than a C). Talking about it the right way brings motivation for some people but everyone is different and what works for some doesn't work for everyone. You know him best.

Edit: Even though I did poorly all up till high school and even my first couple years of college (failing and dropping some classes), I still managed to get my GPA up to a 3.8 and graduate with a Masters in Fine Art. Point being, "floundering" isn't the end of the world and with enough drive, you can get it together and still succeed.
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Last edited by Jennifer; 12-14-2010 at 03:02 PM.
12-14-2010, 03:35 PM   #8
DustyKat
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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses, very much appreciated!

It seems the only thing I am good with at the moment is worry! When I think about it I know and feel his disappointment and frustration so keenly, he has not had a real break since May of this year and was no doubt looking forward to having these holidays as a respite. In the July holidays (2 weeks) he had a choice of going to a residential school at the university or on a school excursion to New Zealand, he chose the residential school. The university holidays in September do not line up with school holidays in October so he was at school when uni was on break and then in the school holidays he went to lectures at the university and did some tutoring. To cap it all off when he went to Port for all the medical tests he should have been in Sydney on a school Science excursion. He is also worried about the GI visit in January and I am trying to convince him that he certainly will be well enough to go to the Ashes cricket test in Sydney! It's with all this in mind that I have been floundering myself on how to tackle the issue.

I have been making discreet enquiries at school and university to try and lessen his load. I know he will want to sit the exam and not drop the unit so I think I will give him a little more time to think things over and then try to help to come to a decision as to when he wants to sit the exam, just a gentle push . He has always been very motivated but not necessarily the most well organised.

Thanks again,
Dusty
12-14-2010, 04:59 PM   #9
crazycanuck
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Great plan dusty and best of luck to him! So hard being pulled back and forth over and over with all your desicions. Hope it all goes well for you guys and your a great mom and from what I can tell Im sure you'll do whatever is best.
12-14-2010, 05:09 PM   #10
Nica
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I agree with your choice, maybe I wasn't clear in my response. A gentle nudge is one thing but a full out push is another.

It sounds like maybe he needs to cut back a bit for next semester while he learns to deal with this. The first year is always the hardest.
12-14-2010, 05:53 PM   #11
Astra
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Hiya Dusty

You're doing just great! Things will work out, they always do! A little chat with Matt will suffice, his cup is obviously full! You need to stop worrying, or you're gonna end up poorly yourself ya know!
Letting him know you're there for him is enough whatever he decides to do. It's finding a fine line between a rock and a hard place!
My son (16) was a flounderer, and totally disorganised, his head was in the clouds in class, so together we made a timetable of homework, one and a half hours a night, then he could go out with his mates, he's caught up now and doing well in college. Let Matt know that he can do both, and still enjoy his hols.
I wish you both lotsa luck!
take care now!
xxx
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12-15-2010, 01:29 AM   #12
Manimation
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Since I'm not even a parent I should totally give advice!

Psyche. Instead I'll just say this:

When I got crappy grades in highschool, my dad always told me he was disappointed because he knew I was capable of so much more. I too was dealing with crohns, and he and my mom also divorced. Hard line discipline melts once your parents separate. Once he sent me to college though, and it was what I truly wanted to do, I made it a mission to get my act together, build time management skills, get good grades, and not waste his money.

I wanted to contribute to this thread but yeah, I'm just 25 and I don't plan to have kids. I wish your son luck getting things under control again.
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12-15-2010, 02:08 AM   #13
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Well I don't have kids either, but I just wanted to say I agree with your plan. It would have worked for me when I was in school (alternatively, I might have been totally disagreeable, simply cause I was a teenager, but...?)

As for the Ashes, can he take my husband with him? It would be beneficial for them both, as Rob LOVES the cricket, and he's very good at pushing his way into a bathroom (even with long lines) and telling everyone that I simply can't wait - somebody get out NOW!!! Yes, even in the ladies bathroom...Plus, then I wouldn't have to sit thru 5 days of the world's most boring "sport"!
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12-16-2010, 06:31 AM   #14
DustyKat
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Thanks everyone for the vote of confidence!

I have planted a couple of seeds and left him to mull them over. I think the hardest thing at this point is not knowing how the Pred will affect him and how his recovery will go. Everything seems to be pointing to improvement - appetite, bowels, general appearance - the only hiccup is pain. It is not constant but he does have what he describes as muscle pain around his umbilical region and as a result he is guarding himself when he walks so I'm not sure if tensing up is helping. Any ideas with this?

I hadn't told Roo too much about how Matt was going as I didn't want to burden her with it. I didn't have to worry as she has been chatting with him anyway and has now taken him under her wing, she is such a sweetie.

As for the Ashes, can he take my husband with him? It would be beneficial for them both, as Rob LOVES the cricket, and he's very good at pushing his way into a bathroom (even with long lines) and telling everyone that I simply can't wait - somebody get out NOW!!! Yes, even in the ladies bathroom...Plus, then I wouldn't have to sit thru 5 days of the world's most boring "sport"!
Oh I hear you! I think it's more exciting to sit out the back and watch the grass grow! You have my sincere condolences if you have to sit through that...... As you can see I wont be at the match.

Dusty.
12-16-2010, 09:32 AM   #15
katiesue1506
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For what its worth, I would agree with Kelly here.

I was diagnosed in my first year of college (university) and my first semester was by far my worst semester because I didn't do as much as I could have to help myself out. Sure I was just diagnosed with Crohn's, but it didn't really give me an excuse to just not do anything. I was left the rest of my semesters trying to make up for that semester. I was able to graduate with a 3.5 out of 4.0 but I always imagine what I could've done without that horrible 2.7 semester.
12-16-2010, 11:38 AM   #16
Jennifer
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I had a 2.0 and still got into college where I was able to raise my GPA once I was feeling better and took college seriously and still managed to go to the grad school I wanted to (and when applying for jobs, most don't care what your GPA was, just that you have the degree and what school you went to). I honestly don't see what the big deal is about the GPA when its easy to raise it if you choose your courses wisely each semester/quarter. When you apply to college or another college/grad school, they don't look at what courses you took along the way, just the GPA and if you meet the requirements they want. You could ace a drawing/painting/sculpture etc. introductory (most introductory courses in art don't grade on artistic ability but your desire to create) course each semester (and you can take each of those courses twice at most colleges with credit) if you wanted to to help bring up your GPA. Basically take easy courses (easy to you or easy in general) along with the courses you need.

Glad the seeds are planted Dusty. As for the tensing up, I think that's more of an unconscious response because it does help with the pain a little even though it puts stress on other parts of the body which could cause them to hurt as well. I do it when I have pain. If it makes him more comfortable while he's getting treatment then I see it as a non issue for now.

Last edited by Jennifer; 12-16-2010 at 11:43 AM.
12-16-2010, 01:22 PM   #17
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...I hadn't told Roo too much about how Matt was going as I didn't want to burden her with it. I didn't have to worry as she has been chatting with him anyway and has now taken him under her wing, she is such a sweetie. ...

lol... didn't I mention something like this may happen? Even though there are MANY times I could slap my brother stupid (oops!! too late!!) ... there is still a special bond that develops between siblings when they have to deal with the same issues. Their diseases won't necessarily progress the same, but they will understand better than anyone else what each other may be going through......

Of course, it takes a very special and loving parent to instill these values into their kids in the first place......

Hang in there, Dusty. You have raised two extremely amazing kids... they are going to get through this.

HUGE squishy hugs from across the pond......
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12-24-2010, 07:12 PM   #18
DustyKat
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Haha, you are so right Silver! It has certainly brought them closer together. Thank you so much for your support and help.

Thanks katiesue and Crabby, it is so helpful to hear from those that have been there, done that!

Now that Matt is feeling better he is starting to think about his Maths again plus his lecturer came to visit him in hospital and set his mind at ease about the exam, giving him a few options as to how he can complete it, one being coming to the house and having him sit it here! Can't ask for more than that!

I appreciate all the help and advice,
Dusty
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