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Ok, so my 14 year-old nephew wants to drop out of school.

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Ok, so my 14 year-old nephew wants to drop out of school.

Old 09-28-05, 02:31 AM
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Ok, so my 14 year-old nephew wants to drop out of school.

I know there's not really anything I can do about it, but I'd still like some advice, thoughts, and opinions on this one. Here is the back story:

-When he was 7-9 years old, he was placed into a foster home.
-He now lives with his mom, her new husband, and his two brothers and sister in another state.
-His father still lives near us, and no longer has any sort of permission to see him or anything like that. I don't want to get into that, but just trust me, that's the way it should be.

He's never cared too much for school, but he's always passed and moved on to the next grade, and right now he is in the 8th. There was one year that his mom held him back, which did help. Up until the start of this past Summer, he was like any average kid. He had a few friends, he watched wrestling, liked different types of music, and so on. However, a few months ago he did a total 180, he totally changed in every way.

He started talking about killing himself, and saying he didn't care if he lived or not. He started listening to Eminem, and from there got into harder and harder rap music. Not that I think music itself can change the average person, but for him it REALLY has affected his personality as a whole. He even dyed his hair to be like Eminem, he talks like a "thug", he has started talking about gangs and how he sees that they are perfectly fine now, and all kinds of stuff. He says that he doesn't do any drugs, but that they do appeal to him. I'm not even sure what that totally means.

Anyway, he has now just stopped trying in school. I mean, seriously, he doesn't care at all. He'll bring home a 15 on a test and he laughs about it. He's failing pretty much every class, and even skips gym...GYM!!! I asked him why he skipped that class, and of course he said he did it just to do it.

He also says that it doesn't matter if he does good in school or not, because what he wants to do with his life doesn't require any school. Would you care to guess what he wants to do now? It's two things:

1) Professional Wrestler

2) A Rap Star

Ugh.

He reads a lot about Eminem, saying that he dropped out of school in the 9th grade, yet went on to make a ton of money. He talks about that a lot, so that's got to have something to do with it.

I've told him why he should finish school, trust me on this, I've told him over and over again. I've told him that even the majority of the wrestlers got a diploma, and that a ton of them even finished college, but that doesn't matter to him. I keep asking him what he'd do if he couldn't "rap" or what if he got hurt and couldn't wrestle...or just couldn't make it as a wrestler, and he says he'll just live in a ghetto and work at McDonalds forever then.

I've told him that he should finish school, have a backup plan, then he could still try out for his dreams, but he wont have it. I told him that by his plan, it would be equal to someone having their "plan" to just buy lottery tickets all the time, and hope to win at that one day, and he just laughs.

This is just frustrating me, but more than anything I'm concerned. He told me tonight that he is purposely going to fail the 8th grade over and over again, and then when he's 17 he'll just drop out and move out on his own. His friends he has now are also bad news I believe. He goes on and on talking about how he now doesn't care what ANYONE thinks about him, and that his new friends are the same way, in that they act however they want whenever they want.

It's jus so weird, I've never seen someone change so quick (a few months ago he wasn't like this at all) in such a short time. While he has had troubles in his life, he's always lived in better than average conditions. But now he's talking about being a thug and living in the ghetto...because he wants to?

I just sense bad things here, I really do, and I don't know what to do. His mom and step dad do not seem all that worried either. I've told them over and over again about the emails he sends me (about dropping out and killing himself) but nothing seems to get through to them. My sister "punished" him the other day by taking away his CDs, which resulted in him running away from home right then, as well as swinging at his mom (although he says he wasn't really trying to hit her, but instead just trying to get his music back). He returned later that evening, and his mom gave him everything back and told him that she did that just to see what he'd do.

Again, I am not one to blame the entertainment industry for the way people act. I do however think there are special circumstances where people can get so obsessed over certain music, movies, etc... that they ALLOW it to affect their personality. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I don't know how else to put it.

When I talk to him, all he does is laugh and then go off on some speech about I shouldn't be "dissin'" or "hatin'" on what he wants to do with his own life, and how he doesn't care about the world or what anyone thinks about him, and on and on and on.

Should I say anything else to anyone? Nothing I've said seems to help, so I don't know what to do by this point. I don't know what to make of such an extreme change in such a short period of time. He went from an average student, just a normal kid to way over the edge. I'm also worried that this is going to affect his two younger brothers.

I guess this is more venting than anything else, because to be honest, I don't know what more can really be said.
Old 09-28-05, 02:38 AM
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Military School
Old 09-28-05, 02:51 AM
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A Beating...maybe two
Old 09-28-05, 03:10 AM
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Hes right. School really doesnt effect how far youll go in life.
Old 09-28-05, 03:13 AM
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Eminem, good rapper, but poor role model.

I think for the modern age and culture, a lot of teenage boys go through the "thug" phase, but most of the time, it isn't anything serious. I would think that he has some serious discipline problems, boarding school might not be a bad idea.

I think you need to keep asking him about his "plans" and try keep the conversation going, which might require you to be a bit open-minded and patient. I would think that calmly asking a series of simple, reasonable questions from time to time about his future plans might eventually sink in and he will come to his senses.
Old 09-28-05, 03:31 AM
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Never take Ecstasy, beer, Bacardi, weed, Pepto Bismol, Vivarin, Tums, Tagamet, Xanax, and Valium in the same day, it makes it difficult to sleep at night. - Eminem


Bad role model? I think not.
Old 09-28-05, 03:33 AM
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he should get a feel for the real world.
Old 09-28-05, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mole177
he should get a feel for the real world.

Yes because balls and brains NEVER trump a good education.
Old 09-28-05, 03:46 AM
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pay for him to go to pro wrestling school

most wrestling schools are kind of like the military, they won't take any crap and will beat some sence into him.
Old 09-28-05, 03:49 AM
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Well, McDonalds does need people to feed me my chicken nuggets.

Try a boarding school of some type. Although, if he doesn't want to try, that may not help either.
Old 09-28-05, 04:08 AM
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i say the only way to get through to him,...

STEEL CAGE MATCH

YOU VS HIM

WINNER GETS HIS WAY
Old 09-28-05, 05:21 AM
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He's a 14 year old boy; you can't be rational with him, he's all emotion and fury. He doesn't have his own best interest in mind, in fact, he has nothing much at all in mind other than hormones. Almost all kids around this age will have swings away from normalcy and start exploring other options; some kids have bigger swings than others. Music, television, movies and the rest of pop culture will weigh heavy on him, but it is normal. It is the age of rebellion.

If he is really serious about killing himself, then you need to get him to a shrink. My guess is he is just acting out a bit, and it sounds like his parents aren't interested in curbing that much. They definitely need to be clued in to his suicidal ideas, but otherwise it sounds like they are just letting him be who he wants to be right now.
Old 09-28-05, 05:33 AM
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Make him get a part time job at McDonald's. Then he might learn a little about how much the real world sucks.
Old 09-28-05, 05:57 AM
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Make him go to school until he's 25, and proudly pat him on the back as he receives his 4-year degree, and then explain to him why he will probably still work at McDonalds.
Old 09-28-05, 06:30 AM
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Print out your post and show it to him.

"Here. I made this post to a group of on-line friends. Figured you should see it too."

I guess the overriding message to get across is that you care about him and his future and you'd like the opportunity to help if you have the chance.

(I wouldn't necessarily show him the responses, at least not without mentioning that you weren't really expecting any revelations from this crowd....)

Last edited by Big Quasimodo; 09-28-05 at 06:32 AM.
Old 09-28-05, 07:53 AM
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Disown him.
Old 09-28-05, 08:31 AM
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I think it's pretty amazing that you talk about his parents that don't seem to care about him -- his mother takes away his CDs, the kid swings at her, and then she gives them right back -- I mean, this kid was placed in a foster home for two years, which speaks volumes, by the way...

... and you blame rap music??? Dude... you've gotta be smoking something. This boy's mother is the direct cause of all of this. Essentially, this kid hit puberty and turned into a typical teenager, albeit one with piss-poor parents, and now what he's doing is basically crying out for attention and affection.

Why the hell aren't you railing against your sister? If I were to hazard a guess as to why she lost her kid for two years... drugs? Maybe a jail term? If you care about this kid at all, you have got to confront her. It's great that you have such a rapport with your nephew, and I can tell you really care about him... but ultimately, unless you sue for custody (and good luck there), this kid is her responsibility. She needs to take everything away -- no CDs, no PS2, no cell phone, no going out, no nothing -- and make him earn it all back. She needs to get her husband involved as well -- if the boy's into macho rap stars and professional wrestlers, clearly it speaks to the lack of a positive male influence in his life.

It's tough being a parent, especially in a society where we have such godawful role models. But that's part of the job description, and ultimately, that's what your sister signed up for when she got pregnant and decided to keep her kid. As the child's uncle, I'm sorry, but your job is just to offer support wherever you can, not try and be a surrogate dad.
Old 09-28-05, 08:50 AM
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DVD Talk Poll In The Making

1) Kill The Mother

2) Let The Kid Become A Rap Star

3) All Of The Above
Old 09-28-05, 08:57 AM
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Well said Mojo.

I would also suggest taking the kid down to the local jail and getting the shit scared out of him by some of the inmates, so he can see what's in his future if he continues on his self destructive path.
Old 09-28-05, 09:14 AM
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Yeah rap music isn't the problem. The parents are the problem. This boy is desperate for love and attention.
Old 09-28-05, 09:34 AM
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I agree with you guys that the music (though it sucks as much as the whiny angsty alterna rock my own teen listens to) is not the problem, it's the parenting. Our daughter started with the skipping and the running away and such BS when she hit 13. A hard line, constant supervision, enforced curfews and chores, close watch on grades, immediate and consistent punishment for infractions, and a few overnights for the little girl at youth services... Anywhy, she's now 17 (and a half!) and has a job, is shakily on track to graduate with her peers, and is much better behaved.

That all being said, the "desperate for love" thing is not correct IMHO. The kid is rebelling, and you could dunk the kid in a vat of love and affection with no effect other than he would probably run away again. I think he is desparate for parenting. As I said, a hard line. Call it tough love if you want, but the kid needs strong and constant instruction in the value of a certain minimum level of conformity to social standards. Take his toys (CDs, XBOX, bong) away and put him on lock-down. Talk to him. Listen to his BS, then calmly explain why his worldview is incorrect. Repeat.

Last edited by AGuyNamedMike; 09-28-05 at 09:40 AM.
Old 09-28-05, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by joltaddict
Hes right. School really doesnt effect how far youll go in life.
Going to school will, however, AFFECT how far you'll go in life and teach you the proper use of apostrophes.
Old 09-28-05, 09:39 AM
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Tell him to stay in school until summer. Make a rap song and send it to a record producer, if he doesn't hear back in 6 weeks (or roughly when summer ends) then he has to stay in school.

Have him try out for American Idol with the same rules, if he doesn't win then he has to stay in school
Old 09-28-05, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
DVD Talk Poll In The Making

1) Kill The Mother

2) Let The Kid Become A Rap Star

3) All Of The Above Work At McDonald's With Twikoff
...
Old 09-28-05, 09:45 AM
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Remind him daily that most people consider Eminem a talentless tool. Like Fred Durst, but cuter (that is to say, if I had to choose between them for a cellmate to make my bitch, I'd rather it be Eminem).

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