Son excluded from school right before GCSEs :((24 Posts)
My DS, 16, has given me a lot of grief since we moved in with my boyfriend a few years ago, he has sold and used drugs, come home drunk, been violent, gone missing, been arrested amongst others and this makes me quite ashamed as although I do my best he never cares what I say any more.
To the point, he got excluded from his first school, rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted for a fight which ended quite badly, but his new school which is an academy in special measures has been hell. He has gotten into about 5 or 6 fights but as there is very little supervision during break and lunch this has gone on without the school knowing. He has had countless detentions and days of isolation, mostly for smoking in the toilets (and by the way I regularly search and confiscate any sort of tobacco or drug related items I find from him and drop conversations about health risks regularly too).
This is the final tether though, him and his mates were messing about in the toilets and each dared the other to boot a cubicle door in and my son got the blame for it being smashed although he won't talk and is currently missing again (he'll be back tomorrow though and I have notified the local police).
Mostly wanted to vent, but has anyone got any suggestions on how I can help my son see that he has more to live for than acting like a prat to spite me?
Sorry to hear about this it sounds like things are really tough at the moment. I think it is fairly common for boys of this age to be excluded fro school but they are usually allowed back in to do GCSEs. You don't say whether or not you think there is any chance of your DS passing some GCSEs but I would urge him to try and take some exams even if if is just funtional english for example.
It sounds to me that he has clearly come to the end of the road at this school and he needs time out to grow up a bit and gain some maturity. Have you looked at any sixth form colleges, it may be that a new adult environment will suit him better. I know someone whose DS had similar problems but started to thrive once he had left school and started doing media studies and IT at college. It is important to try and keep lines of communication open during this difficult period - your DS will come out of this.
I feel for you. My DD is 16 too and has been excluded from school too. She is allowed to sit her exams (in seclusion). I daren't even mention college- god knows what shes going to do.
So it all went badly after you moved in with your boyfriend .......have you tried family therapy?
Your first sentence is very telling.
How does your Ds get on with your boyfriend?
Yes what's his relationship like with your boyfriend and his bio Dad?
To be honest, I don't think there is anything you can do to change his behaviour. Honestly, I suspect treating him like a child (punishments etc) will probably make matters worse.
Is there any possibility for alternatives? Near me there is a housing unit for young people estranged from their families, and if there is somewhere similar he can go, this might be the answer. Just say, that whilst the door is always open for him, as he is so unhappy at home you will help him find somewhere he would prefer to live. Officially, you will probably have to refuse to have him back, but as long as he knows that this the line taken to help him achieve what he wants, then it should be fine. I know two people who have done this, and having experienced the responsibility this means for their lives, have returned home and had better family relationships because of it. Where I live, you can access supported housing via the Youth Service, it might be different where you live.
Rather than stressing over his GCSEs, which in the current position he is not likely to take seriously, just ask him what his plans are as he has to stay in education. What ever he says he will do, accept it, and support him to achieve it. It is always possible to catch up with qualifications when you are ready to study.
Poor you, this is my worst imaginary nightmare.
Could you move to another area, away from the trouble and "friends"?
Could you send him to his biological father?
Does your son and your bf get along? Look into reasons.
Not much of advice, but I do feel your pain.
Oh dear I have to agree that GCSEs seem to be the least of his problems.
How is he actually doing in mocks? If he's on target to get some good grades I'd go all out to help him do it. Is there a PRU? A relative he could stay with? His dad?
If he's not expected to get the GCSEs anyway, then I would concentrate on sorting everything else out and think about going to a FE college to do his GCSEs later when he is ready.
Has he been permanently excluded?
The LA has a legal duty to find him a school place. Don't be fobbed off with 'early study leave', every second of learning counts at this stage.
Since he has been permanently excluded twice(?), his case is likely to go to the Fair Access Panel, where they will place him. It is likely to be alternative or PRU provision at this stage in Y11.
As others say, he should have been entered for his GCSE subjects by now, so he needs to know that he can take them. Speak to the school to find out what arrangements they are willing to make for him to sit his exams; it may be that he has to sit them elsewhere.
FWIW, I taught for many years in alternative provision, and have seen teenagers with significant behavioural issues pull themselves together in year 12 or 13. It does not mean he will be this way forever.
What are the issues at home? What are the problems with your DP? How does your DP behave around him?
I wouldn't advise asking him to move out at this stage in his education. He will need your support.
It's likely to be a permanent exclusion but I'm seeing what can be done by way of appeal (not that I like the school).
Biological father walked out when DS was 4 and haven't seen or heard from him since. It was a good relationship and it was all happy families but he just disappeared.
My relationship with OH is good but as hard as he tries to build a bond with DS but he just gets it thrown back in his face.
Whenever I book an appointment for GP to try and get DS therapy or anything like that he tends to go missing or sit there and refuse to talk to the doctor.
Anyway, he's back now, he knocked on the door at 1 in the morning, drunk and smelling of cannabis and went to sleep. He woke up at about 12 mid-day, hangover in full swing and is currently in his room refusing to talk to anyone and occasionally punching the walls.
This isn't unusual for me but it still obviously upsets me, I don't know what to do anymore
I haven't got any advice, but wanted to send you a hug. What a nightmare for you! I hope things begin to settle down xxx
God that's so stressful for you. You must be beside yourself with worry about it all. Do you think that the drink and drugs is his way of self-medicating?
Thank you for your support everyone
OH's pub night tonight and DS has calmed down so I gave him some paracetamol for the hangover headache and we've had a heart to heart. He keeps saying sorry and saying that OH being around just annoys him (as he misses his dad). I have wondered for a long time whether different living arrangements would be a good temporary solution, until DS matures.
Unfortunately he has also come clean to me about some very worrying things. Apparently some older boys (about 17 and 18) have been getting him to 'peddle' drugs for them with the threat of violence - one of these boys used to bully him when they were in the year above. He has had 2 fights at school with this boy's younger brother who is 16.
He really doesn't want me to go to the police but I want to, I could then send him to his nan's for a while so he is away from trouble while we try and sort this out.
So much to take in
I would caution against going to the Police. If it is his word against theirs, with no other evidence, the chances are he will be prosecuted for admitting to dealing drugs, and they will deny all knowledge and get off (especially if they have bullied other people into holding the drugs for them).
Getting away from the situation sounds positive, but please don't 'send' him anywhere. Ask him whether it will help.
Sending him to his nan's for a spell is the best idea in there.
Sorry I can't offer more than
If he is permanently excluded at this point, he will probably be allowed back just to sit his exams. Whether this is the best thing you will need to judge, and you may well need to escort him to and from the exams.
I would suggest discussing with him about going to stay with his Nan, with promises about his behaviour if he goes (no drink or drugs as a minimum, plus respect). I am assuming this will take him out of your local area?
I would also find out a) what he wants to do with his life
b) schools or colleges he can go to next year or apprentice opportunities, preferably out of the local area.
You might not like what I'm going to say here. I have a good friend whose son could have been your son. He was smoking way too much dope and eventually failed all bar one of his GCSEs. He was hanging around with bad influences and would often disappear and stay at his mates house where he later admitted taking drugs with the friend's parents!! Terrible situation and my poor friend was regularly on the phone to me in tears. Her son would apologise and then in the next breath would swear at her and punch holes in walls.
Here's the bit that sounds much better. My friend's son is now 22 and last October he started at university. He only had one job during the previous five years which didn't last very long. Last year he was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. His GP prescribed medication which after years of taking illegal drugs was the last thing my friend's son wanted. So instead he went the local university open day and got a place on a music technology degree and gained the place because of the experience he already had from making beats in his bedroom. He is one smashing young man and feels terrible for what he put his mum through but doesn't blame her. He was angry at his absent father and now sees things with more mature eyes.
Maybe it's something some have to go through? Maybe you son is one of these youngsters? If you've given your child good values they generally will return to these. My friend's son did. Hope this will give you some hope because I really feel for you.
A 16 year old is very young and very vulnerable.
He sounds very unhappy. You say he became unhappy when you moved in with your boyfriend. I'm afraid that is when I would have taken action. If it was not working as a family unit then i would have asked the boyfriend to move out.
Sorry if it's not what you want to hear, but if it's a toss up between my children and my boyfriend then it's a no contest.
Adults have failed this young man.Firstly his own father, then his mother by insisting that another partner come into the mix even though it clearly wasn't working.
This 16 year old is hurting and probably feels very angry and let down by those that should be taking care of his best interests.
Well as you know what has caused your DS's problems, then you know what the remedy (or best chance of a remedy) is
Can I add to this conversation as a man and a dad? I too came from a broken home where my parents separated by the time I was 4 or so. When a parent brings home a new partner/husband it is likely to throw up lots of conundrums. I work in the criminal justice system and for many of the young single parented men, there are a lot of anger issues. I am sorry to say but many of our prisons are (mainly) filled with young men who lacked their biologically fathers. What I have often found is that either unintentionally and sometimes deliberate some Mothers rightly or wrongly throughout the young boys years, constantly criticise the childs dads. Some Mothers criticise the errant dad because they feel that criticism will prevent the son acting like dad when he gets older. There has been many times when I have visited prisons and young dads will say to me ‘im not going to be like me dad’ yet they are sitting in a cell with pregnant girlfriends outside or with baby. Also a boy/man who hears his mother critise his dad in the years can grow to resent his mother. a boy/man may become weary of his mother for the same reasons as his dad, idealise his missing dad and follow the same pattern as missing dad. Now your son is a young man, you have to decide what is most important to your family. It seems as if your sons father did not have the emotional maturity for parenthood, but you did. you need to think whether you put aside your own needs in front of your sons, or wait until your son matures then build a relationship with someone.
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