Dylan Finds Ways Around All the Stuff He’s Missing.

The New Arrangement, thus far, is no fun. With no cell phone at school, Dylan has had to come up with more creative ways to ignore his class work.

His biology teacher informed me that he was on someone else’s cell phone during class last week. Dylan assured me that it was because they were working together on a project, and they were going to figure out how to complete the project via cell phone over the weekend.

As far as I can tell, he never contacted his partner – and still hasn’t finished his project.

Just when I started to believe Dylan, though, his Geometry teacher emailed me and mentioned that, in the middle of Geometry class, Dylan had been taking out his Chromebook – the laptop computer we got to help Dylan because of his writing issues. Dylan assured us that he was only using it to check his grades (in the middle of Geometry).

I didn’t believe him this time.

So we’ve had to take away his Chromebook and his cell phone, during school. He has three missing assignments in Spanish, and three missing assignments in English. He got a D on his last Geometry test.

He has a huge test in Biology on Friday and, while he assures me that he’s been “studying” using quizlets on the computer, I have no faith that Dylan has been doing any quizlets at all. If he doesn’t get a solid A on the test, he will end up with a C in Biology.

Yet this doesn’t change his behavior. It just changes my behavior. I am furious that this kid screams that he wants to be responsible for himself, yet isn’t responsible enough to do the incredibly simple things we have asked him to do.

We are now talking about taking away other privileges: electronics on the weekends, concerts in the summer, Driver’s Ed class. I’m considering not allowing him to work at Field of Screams in the fall, which might be his favorite thing in the world – but it takes a lot of time away from school. And if he already isn’t paying attention to his classwork, adding another distraction isn’t going to help.

We take away and take away and take away, and yet Dylan finds ways around all the “stuff” he’s missing and doesn’t realize that his primary purpose is to do school work. We could take away everything he has, everything he does, and everything he wants, and he would still find a way to do absolutely nothing that he’s supposed to do.

I’m watching as he falls and falls and falls. And while I can take away the pretty things to look at on the way down, it is his choice to continue falling.

I can only watch him go into the abyss.

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