I’m having an issue with my son that I wouldn’t mind getting your advice on. I know it’s early in the school term, but I see the signs already. My son has just started his Leaving Cert year and I can’t get him to take it seriously at all.
I gave him a good warning before he went back to school about putting the head down and doing a bit of study, but it seems to have fallen on deaf years.
He hasn’t a notion of doing a tap, I’d say. I enrolled him in evening study after school, but he’s refusing to go.
I told him then there was to be no milking, only at the weekends
The first day he was supposed to be in study, one of his friends dropped him to the gate after school had ended and he was in the parlour with his father an hour later.
I told him then there was to be no milking, only at the weekends, but he’s still out every evening doing the cows. This has created a lot of tension between my husband and myself, because I think he should be doing more to encourage the young fella in school. He’s happy out with the help around, I think.
I feel like the more I encourage him, the further he goes from what I say
Obviously, my son sees his future in farming, and that’s fine, but I still want him to get a good education and apply himself. I think he should go to third level, but it seems I’m the only one who thinks that.
I feel like the more I encourage him, the further he goes from what I say.
How can I get him to do a bit of work, Miriam?
Dear Mad Mammy,
Thank you very much for your email. It is clear from what you have written that you have your son’s best interests at heart, but I do think a big change of tact is needed on this issue.
You seem to have very much laid down the law for him with regard to study and he’s gone against that. Your response then was to tighten the reins even further. Not to be in anyway disrespectful, but they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Loosen the rein completely, while also making him aware of the consequences of not studying
I know it might seem counterproductive to you, but the best thing you can do is just let your son do his own thing. Loosen the rein completely, while also making him aware of the consequences of not studying. Calmly tell him that it’s up to him what he does and it will be on him what he gets.
I am a very big believer that the Leaving Cert doesn’t suit everyone
If you wish, you can also make him aware of the positives of going to university, but don’t push him on this. Pass the responsibility to him. Say it is his choice how he treats the Leaving Cert, but he will also have to face up to the results in 12 months’ time.
At the end of the day, I am a very big believer that the Leaving Cert doesn’t suit everyone. It only tests one form of intelligence. Your son will find his way after the Leaving Cert, regardless of how he does. Also, it seems like he has taken quite an interest in the farm, which in itself is an education.
Show your son you are giving him a bit more freedom and responsibility, and let things run their course.
Wishing you all the best,