Every year since I started blogging, I’ve written about my oldest son and his emotional issues with school. The heartache that he has which transfers onto me, of course. I’m his Mom. The frustrations he is not good as handling. His seasonal mood disorder (happy summer, miserable spring, fall and winter).
We are three days into the new school year, if you don’t count yesterday. He didn’t go to school due to Rosh Hashana. We are already starting to see a change in his personality from the laid back, happy 14 year old that hung out with his friends all summer to a sullen, brooding, depressed teen.
Because of a class.
He entered his freshman year of high school (I can’t believe my baby is in high school). Which, as we all know, is way, WAY different from elementary and middle schools. Especially in a school as heavily populated as the one he attends. It’s not as sheltered or nurturing. There are classes mixed with all grades. The puppies are thrown in with the lions.
He is beyond miserable because of this. BEYOND.
It’s his Spanish class. There are mostly seniors. For a shy, insecure 9th grader, this is the worst possible case scenario. Especially when he has been told how horrible seniors are. It’s causing him to be a nervous, unhappy wreck.
I had thought he matured over the summer. The way he acted, I thought we were going to be over his typical school year angst and moodiness. I hoped beyond hope.
It seems that we aren’t and this year, he started early. Sleep already isn’t coming easily for either of us. Worrying doesn’t make for good sleeping.
I’ve already contacted his counselor via email and voicemail. I’m hoping she gets back to me immediately. But one troubled freshman might be the least of their concerns. One of my biggest concerns, something so important and dire to me, in a school of this size, it probably a insignificant fleck on their radar.
I’m hoping I’m wrong.
I hope we are able to nip this particular and easily remedied problem in the proverbial bud. Although, with him, I’m sure there are more to come.
High school isn’t a time to mess around. There isn’t room to get turned off due to frustration. These next four years count, big time! I don’t know how to reach him, to make him understand. I don’t know anyone who has ever been able to reach him and make an impact, except the school Social Worker that spoke with him last year.
I think there is only so much that I can and should do for him, now that he is in high school. The babying and coddling and perhaps, enabling, should be at a minimum. Even though my heart wants to wrap itself around him and protect him.
I set the ball in motion by contacting the counselor. Hopefully she’ll call him to the office. I am thinking of calling the social worker who I believe is also at the high school.
What else? What more?
He is 14.
When will he grow out of this?
I don’t think I can stand another four years of this.
Tara R. says
You know my son’s high school experience did not go well. Does Mich. have opportunities for him to take some online classes for full high school credit?
I really hope he finds his niche and high school is not one constant frustration, and hope his counselor gets back with you very soon.
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Aunt Crazy says
I think it’s ridiculous that high school students are forced to take two years of a foreign language. Most of the students learn very, very little and they struggle with it and the teachers are not very good and it’s a constant worry of pass/fail for those two school years. My son is a senior. He took his two foreign language credits in summer school at a local private school. The school is accredited so the high school had to accept the transcripts. I highly recommend this for students that have a hard time in school and especially for students that are not college bound, like mine.
I could go on and on about the idiocy of the high school graduation requirements, but I won’t. I only wanted to say I’m sorry he’s struggling and offer a suggestion and how to get his foreign language credits without having to spend a total of 18 months in a class room being tortured.
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Michelle @ Mommy Loves Stilettos says
I only have one in school, and she’s only in 2nd grade so I have no idea what to say. I know it’s gotta be SO tough though. No mother wants to see their child struggling or unhappy. Hopefully the counselor can help him. *HUGS*
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I’m glad you contacted the couselor. It is SO wrong to have a 14 year old freshman in the same class as seniors! How is that even allowed? No way… it’s hard enough being in high school, as a freshman, to begin with! Sigh. Sorry. Hugs, and good luck.
Joni Golden says
It’s so hard to see your child in pain over something that’s such a big part of their lives. My daughter was miserable in high school, too. Finally, at 16, she decided on her own to set up an appointment with the principal of the local alternative high school, figured out a plan to finish school while she worked, and she ended up graduating less than a year later, at 17. She loved it, worked at her own pace, got lots of help when she needed it. I don’t know whether school districts still have those programs, but it worked miracles for my kid.
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Our classes were mixed in high school, but I don’t remember that huge of a difference. It was normally just a one year thing, like freshman and sophomores, sophomores with juniors, etc. That is kind of odd because you would think that seniors had already completed first year Spanish. I hope the counselor gets back to you and some changes can be made to help him feel more comfortable.
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You did the right thing. I can just imagine the emotions he had to deal with by having a mixed class. I know it’s a challenging time for both of you, and I am sincerely hoping that things will get better. I seriously am not prepared for my daughter to turn into a tween. Oh please stop the time.
I know how the seniors are just beginning to take their first year of Spanish – because they either didn’t take it as freshman, and most likely failed it as juniors. Either way, it’s not a good mix for a kid who has issues with school. No you can’t coddle him, but talking to the counselor and getting him out of that class and into another Spanish class may do the trick. Also – from the voice of experience, he probably won’t really hit his stride until the end of his sophomore year. That’s when it will probably kick in – that yeah, these are important years. Many hugs, it’s not easy, I know. But you’ll both get through it.
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Another Suburban Mom says
With guidance counselors, its the squeeky wheel! I would just talk your son through his anxieties and maybe have a conversation with his spanish teacher as well.
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My heart aches for both of you. I have dealt with issues similar to this and they got so horrible that I saw permanent damage being done to my son’s psyche and soul. We made the decision to homeschool…I know, not for everyone; however for us it worked. Please don’t stop advocating for your son…you are the only person who truly knows what is going on with him.
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Have you talked to the school psych? Is it possible to find him a “buddy” in the class to keep an eye on him? Or switch classes? Blargh, high school is so complicated.
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I don’t think my husband has out grown this yet.
High school was so difficult for me. I thank god I don’t have to do it all over again. I hate that we have to put our kids through it! I’m so sorry!
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