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Uncles Birthday Present
xlmwg2 posted:
My nephew is flunking 7th grade. Should my surprise birthday gift trip be used as a motiviational tool to make him to better? His parents want me to tell him where he's going as a motivation. When I said "no" that it is their responsability as parents to do the motivating instead of me they are not going to let me take him.
mountainmom48 responded:
This is kind of a complicated situation. Why is the boy's school performance poor? Does he have a learning disability? Is he depressed and his grades failing? Is he spending too much time with extracurricular activities? Does he have an outlet such as extracurricular activities? Is he active in school, get high regards for attitude but academics are difficult? Does he have friends? Are they good enough kiddos who have involved parents? Does he have too little structure? Are parents working with him and the teachers everyday? I mean, who is quizzing him at night to prepare him for a test? Who is making certain he gets to the public library to find additional info for a project?

I'm with you that you shouldn't be dangling the carrot. If the parents are concerned to the point that they are looking for an outsider to help them, which they are doing by suggesting you be the heavy, then I think they need to find a qualified counselor to help THEM come up with constructive ways to help their son.

I hope your nephew gets to spend time with you. Maybe he needs an opportunity to get away and reflect in a safe environment and be better able to go home, redirect, reapply himself.

Hope you update.
cjpxx responded:
Well, no wonder he's flunking! It sounds to be like his parents are still babies. They should not get so defensive! you don't deserve that at all, especially if you are taking him on a trip as you as his uncle! how many uncle's take their nephew's on a special trip or treat for their birthday, and how often? Or aunts and nieces? Uncle/nephew and Aunt/niece relationships from my experience are seeing them and encouraging them at family get togethers, buying them Christmas presents, and telling them if they want to die their hair blue, they have your permission. (Playfully making it out to be like the kid can go to you if they have problems at home). But it stops there! Here - you are willing to give him birthday gifts - that's more than normal in my book... and you are taking him on a trip?

Two sides to every story - I think you are wrong in saying that motivating him for school is only their job. They may just be trying to get help and trying to reach out to you.

He's probably flunking because:
- He doesn't care
- He's depressed
- He's stressed out over something that's going on either at school, home, or work
- He's on drugs or in the wrong group of friends
- Maybe he's really hurting about something. Something he's insecure about that he's getting picked on at school about and he doesn't want to say anything to the family?

It could be anything - and not at all any of those reasons, but mentor-ship is important - always. Maybe his parents are desperate for someone to mentor him right now, and they are upset with you that if they ask something of you - you would not just trust them and do it.

Still, they should not get their feelings hurt so bad that they turn around and hinder that opportunity for you to mentor their kid - especially if they want him to be motivated to do better.

You need to take the kid out and do things with him. If the trip falls through, do something else. And something else. Do not allow the parents to step in between you and the kid - because that's controlling him and that's only going to make him worse. If you already want to do something for him - do whatever you want to do. You don't have to be asking his parents permission for things to do for him, and if you do - you got a bigger issue to tackle than just this.

They need to chill! They are being over defensive little babies. This is not complicated. Parents - grow up! they don't need to be cancel a trip just because you don't do exactly what they want you to do. They can either communicate with you better or you can communicate with them better - but at the heart of it - you're not some creep - you're not like somebody that needs to not be around the kid - at least so far from what we know right here - so if you're not a creep - if you are a normal uncle and this is a normal uncle nephew relationship, then the parents can't micromanage it. It will only cause the kid to push back even more and not care about his grades even more.
cjpxx replied to mountainmom48's response:
I don't think it is dangling a carrot. Life is not fair, and my goodness... the parents need to mature some, and so does the kid. Too much coddling going around in this household.

I agree with what mountainmom48 says - that maybe he needs an opportunity to get away. I agree big style with that. He probably needs to be able to get out of the house and breathe a little bit, long enough to be able to relax and figure out how to do his own life without whatever he has going on at home, too. Maybe spending time with him - you can find out if he is just pure lazy and the parents are not doing anything to contribute to this - that he's just doing this to himself - or if he just needed some fresh air so he could redirect and apply himself.

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