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    It does though I hesitate to judge as I'm not there. Perhaps analysis of learning is key. Waiting to hear back from the teachers. I guess we'll see. This limbo is miserable though.

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    I can see how this path diverges

    - one version of me pulls him home to figure out a better way for him to learn. That could restore him to his happy calm self and open him up to a world of learning and confidence in taking a different path (or degenerate into arguments and power struggles).

    - another version of me keeps making him go - for his own good and for the development of his character. That could have him continue on this path of intentionally doing bad and going to bed super late so he can barely function so the school sucks thing becomes a reality he can hold on to to justify sub par performance. (or he could learn that he needs to face difficult things and become a better version of himself)

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    Would he work with you on discussing various paths, the things that each would require to ride out the current storm... find/create better (or least-worst) options... and be successful...?

    A diagram may be helpful. Drawing doodles, cartooning, or comics may also help him look ahead, plan, and express himself on these matters.

    It seems that he is at a crossroads... breakdown or breakthrough. Here's hoping for a breakthrough. You can guide him with a steady hand, but ultimately it is up to him to take ownership of his life, relationships, and education... and make things work to whatever degree possible.

    I would be quite frank in saying these things to him, and I believe these would be my answer to his every grumble, mood, complaint, etc from here on out.


    As an aside... considering his current level of stress, I would think that eating healthy would be of crucial importance. I would keep plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, cheese, etc on hand for quick, nutritious snacking.

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    Again, good ideas Indigo.

    I have discussed both options with him (staying and going) but we haven't talked through all the details for each path (the latter having more than one option).

    Unfortunately the way forward is tangled up with what each of his parents feel is the best for him (not always exactly the same) with both worried and uncertain. Also the current situation involves deciding whether he should tough out the program he's in or pulling him to do what? It's too late to start something else.

    When I look at it I would say pull him contingent on his mapping out (and us approving) a learning plan for the final 6 weeks of the school year.

    DH would definitely like him to finish the year where he is. I'm second guessing what I think is the best path because of my extra dose of mother empathy. Both parents perspectives are so important. How to reconcile?

    He eats voraciously and quite healthily but very good point.

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    Originally Posted by tillamook
    haven't talked through all the details for each path (the latter having more than one option)... the way forward is tangled up with what each of his parents feel is the best for him (not always exactly the same)... How to reconcile?
    Have you considered drawing decision trees? Each person would draw one or more versions. They can be great for discussion... keeping the discussion focused and on track... allowing each person's thoughts to be shared. The likelihood of each branch in the tree could be discussed and possibly labeled. Sketching decision trees could facilitate analysis of which paths would lead to the desired goals... it may be revealed that people have different goals. There are no right-or-wrong answers in this... doodling decision trees is just a tool... one more way to ensure everyone is heard, understood, has thought things through to the best of their ability with the information available to them at the present point in time. The family could then identify the "missing" information and conduct research, essentially forging new paths if needed. The key, I believe, is to keep communicating and maintain respect despite difference in viewpoint and/or knowledge base.

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    Interesting idea! I'm off to study decision trees now...

    Thanks again!

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    Originally Posted by tillamook
    trying to foster independence... it's causing stress
    Just in case it may apply in this case, and may be of help...
    - some thoughts on growth mindset,
    - what kids don't learn without an appropriate challenge.
    Take-away: Some leaps, risk, and therefore stress are necessary for growth and learning. These are important ideas to impart to our kids, to help them embrace an appropriate challenge and be willing to venture into the unknown. smile

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