17 yr old dd - what do I do?

(20 Posts)

get her to register with connexions, do you still get family allowance for her? that will continue for I think 20weeks if she is registered with them, well that's what happened when my son dropped out after a year. She might take advice better coming from them rather than yourselves, they can help her with training courses ect. Once the summer holidays are over I would get her up with the younger ones, so she can spend all day job hunting.

specialsubject Sun 25-Aug-13 16:12:26

BTW to contact her, all she needs is a £10 PAYG text and call phones, not internet access. So take the smartphone away and replace with that.

could be an incentive...

MissMarplesBloomers Sun 25-Aug-13 09:32:36

The thing is, our education system, for all it's faults, is very flexible. She may do better having a job at Burger King for a year & seeing how hard it is lving on NMW before choosing to study somwthing for a better qualification.

Must be very worrying but don't write her off yet!

sashh Sun 25-Aug-13 09:17:22

Thinks a job in Burger King will give her loads of cash to spend- is that really the height of her ambition??

At 17 why not?

I got crap A Levels because I didn't want to be in education, my first priority was to have my own cash.

Then I changed jobs and got a career, I finally went to uni 30+.

Her life is not ruined, it is just starting. Nothing wrong in doing a few minimum wage jobs for a year or two before she decides what she wants.

flow4 Sun 25-Aug-13 08:39:52

It makes me sad to see her waste her life ... I thought this too, Kansas... But with hindsight , I think it was something else... I think my vision of DS's future was just that - mine. He didn't have his yet, and he didn't want mine, so he just sort of waited until he had some ideas of his own. As soon as something captured his attention, he started doing things again - and a whole load of things changed positively for him.

Personally, I think school has this effect on quite a lot of kids: it does not suit them at all, and they become very used to boredom and very passive - because that's what people seem to want of them, and they get into trouble if they start taking the initiative... And after school, it takes them a year or two to re-learn how to re-engage. I certainly think that's what happened with my son... Could it be true for your DD too...?

bunchoffives Sat 24-Aug-13 19:24:50

Oh Kansas, I really sympathise. I thought I was facing this with DS but he decided to go back to 6th form in the end. Phew.

I echo the advice about looking after yourself. It can really get you down, you literally get worried sick.

I think keep suggesting stuff. Try not to be too critical (easier said, I know) and try to remain upbeat. I'm sure she will come out the other side, so try to just hold on to that.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sat 24-Aug-13 19:17:23

If she's not in education then she needs to be paying her way and contributing to tge home.

kansasmum Sat 24-Aug-13 19:12:19

Thanks for all your responses.
Flow- glad there is some light at the end of the tunnel- its been a really crap 12-18months with dd.
I lost my darling Dad 2 months ago too so its been very stressful- DD was playing up way before my dad got ill so that's NOT the reason for her choices etc.
Dh and I have decided we will provide a roof and food and will pay for her phone (so we can contact her) but that's its- allowance has stopped and I'm not paying her to help her out at home. I am hoping that once her friends have returned to college, work etc she will get bored and want to do something.

However as you suggest, Optimist, we need to sit down and have a good discussion about where she goes from here. Last time we tried this it didn't go well. She lost the plot and I ended up screaming at her in frustrationsad

So I think your idea of setting ground rules will help.

Surely if she has ZERO money and no one to hang around with she will do something??

So frustrating cos she is a smart kid who with a BIT of effort could have got great grades and really one something. It makes me sad to see her waste her lifesad

chocoluvva Sat 24-Aug-13 08:48:02

At this stage they usually have no idea about money and still often can't look ahead.

It's difficult when they don't appreciate being told how much things cost - they won't listen as they want to make their own choices.

I constantly tell my DC that I'm delighted to support them practically and financially with anything they do that's constructive but they can't expect me to run around after them or fund them to do nothing/live extravagantly etc - we can't afford to waste money and won't anyway as it means DH and I have to go without things we'd like to do.

The novelty of her situation will wear off and then she'll hopefully feel differently about her plans as other posters have said.

Another thought: is it possible that she lacks the confidence to pursue finding out about college/training etc?

Optimist1 Sat 24-Aug-13 05:56:52

Flow makes some good very points, but in your position I'd be anxious to be doing something about the situation.

Perhaps tell her that you, your husband and she need to have a conversation about the future. Whilst she's been in full-time education the deal has been that you will be responsible for her, but now it's time to re-negotiate the contract. Before you have the conversation ask her to think about where she would like to be in a year's time and five years' time. Set some ground rules - no negative comments (from either side), no raised voices, each person promising to listen etc.

When you do have the conversation, make it clear that you see your job now as helping her take steps to being an independent adult doing something that makes her happy and achieving her goals for the future.

I appreciate that my plan probably won't make everything right immediately, but it should help you and your husband to make your position clear and to understand hers a little more. I feel your pain!

flow4 Sat 24-Aug-13 05:14:01

You may be in for a tough year, kansas, but there is hope!

My DS1 was very like this a year or two ago. He under-achieved in his GCSEs even more badly than your DD, and ended up on a level 1 bricklaying course he didn't really want to do, and which bored him after a few weeks. His attendance dropped, he became very disengaged, he hung out only with other disengaged YP, took drugs, got himself arrested a couple of times... His attitude was terrible and his self-esteem was worse... sad

Imo, it is a vicious circle: the less they do, they less they think they can do. They end up losing all their aspirations and believing they can't achieve anything worthwhile, so they might as well not bother at all.

However, if they're bright, and there is some self-respect buried somewhere under all the bravado, then I think for most of them, it's just an age/stage thing.

Three things happened with my DS to break the vicious circle... Firstly, he got really bored. Summer (last year) was truly awful from my point of view - just dossing about, taking drugs and awful attitude - and at first there were plenty of other people around to keep him company. But when the new term approached, the people around him had plans, and that made him think...

Secondly, I reached my limit. I had barely managed to hang on in there for 9 months, and I realised I simply could not stand another year of it. So when he announced he wasn't planning to get a job OR enrol in college last Sept, I gave him an ultimatum, and told him that if he wasn't in a job or on a course - not just talking about it but actually doing it - by X date, I would throw him out. And I meant it.

Thirdly, he just grew up a bit! grin

Now, a year on, he is on a course he likes, volunteering too, and talking about university...

It'll happen with your DD too, OP, I am almost certain! At some point in the next year, she'll get bored, or you'll reach your limit, or she'll grow up, or all three... And she'll be back on track. smile

Meanwhile, you need to look after yourself, because it's incredibly stressful dealing with a teen like this, and you need to still be alive, sane and well when she comes out the other side!

Good luck smile

Smartiepants79 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:43:53

No experience as mine are only little but I was wondering how much you are paying for her. Phone? Allowance? Etc
All I can suggest is that if you are stop. It might give her some reason to do something.

kansasmum Fri 23-Aug-13 21:50:43

I haven't done her laundry since she was 15 but you're right. I think it's time home became a little less comfy!
How do I force a 17 year old out of bed cos the lying around all day in bed drives me nuts! I have a 6 yr old as well so we are out and about cos it's the summer hols and I'm not staying in all day just to continually tell her to get up!
I have told Dh( who is a big softie) to cut off her allowance and no more handouts.
She had a job p/t at local pub, waitressing for past 2 years but isn't working there now apart from the very occasional shift- long story but its better she isn't working there much.

She really thinks everything will be fine with no job etc- she doesn't seem concerned at all. She is very self centred.

As Dh asked me tonight- " what does someone with a few GCSE's, no A levels, no extra curricular stuff and no job or training do?"

He is worried sick about her.

Chanatan Fri 23-Aug-13 21:48:58

Havent been in your situation but only through good luck and having a few contacts,otherwise it could have been me writing your OP.
This may be a crap suggestion but could you get her down the job centre and let her see the alternative to college,what a heartless,soul depressing place it is,it may spur her in to thinking again about college,good luck.

Ds1(17) is exactly the same, although he didn't last anywhere as long in 6th firm as your dd.

He has been doing some voluntary work (2 afternoons a week, so hardly onerous), but just doesn't go if he doesn't feel like it.

I suggested he might like to do some voluntary work at the local food bank. He asked me why?

It's just constant arguments with him atm. I ask him to do something, he always asks why and then gives me a crap reason why he can't do it, or wants to do it differently, but in his own time.

I'm afraid I don't have the answers, and he has lost touch with friends who are continuing in education and just hangs out with new friends who are also NEETs. At least I know where he is and what he's doing (or usually not doing) as he has no money, and we don't have any money coming in for him either.

I think it helps to know that there are others in the same boat as you and your dd.

Good luckgrin

specialsubject Fri 23-Aug-13 21:41:15

also, if you aren't already, sounds like it is time to turn down the hotel services. She should be pulling her weight regarding washing, housework etc etc.

Fiona24 Fri 23-Aug-13 21:35:36

Honestly, your DD needs time. Maybe she's not immature, she's just very young - I am trying to grasp the difference re my 17 year old!

Try to get her to go to an advisor - she needs to hear it from someone other than mum, perhaps, that jobs are scarce, especially good ones for that age.

A thought, though - some jobs offer training and education - McD, for example, has a foundation degree programme for anyone working there and many other employers support young workers to combine work with training and education.

Good luck - have you though of posting on the Education - secondary thread as well - lots of helpful advice about next steps ..

kansasmum Fri 23-Aug-13 21:30:37

Thanks for your reply. I hope you're right. She is INCREDIBLY immature for 17 and really doesn't give a crap. Thinks a job in Burger King will give her loads of cash to spend- is that really the height of her ambition??

She really doesn't get that you can't just walk into a job these days. She can be very 'gobby' ( to quote her older sister) and thinks she is Queen Bee- she just thinks entitled to a job and everything should be done her way.

She isn't doing much stall about finding a proper job and would say she doesn't need career advice! She flat out refuses to consider any college courses at all.

Fiona24 Fri 23-Aug-13 20:59:38

First - don't despair. Really, don't. What you're experiencing round now is pretty common, in one way or another, to a lot of us - and our DCs.

The GCSEs aren't a bad lot - they seem rather good to me and certainly something to build on.

Sounds like some robust advice would be a very good idea - this Skills Group set up or some other careers/education service - perhaps a local college careers centre? Has she explored the wide range of courses open to her at this stage?

For many students, the gap between GCSEs and AS levels is massive - she could put this past year down to a) experience b) a year that has, in fact, given her a head start because she's had a year of studying at this level, however it turned out. My situation isn't a million miles different from yours and after a few unhappy days, we're all trying to be fairly upbeat. My guess is that your DD's morale has taken a battering - probably since some point last year when attendance dropped so much. She is only 17 - time is very much on her side but then again, she is 17 - and of course you're right not to accept aggressive etc behaviour. Here's hoping that a fresh start will make a positive difference.

kansasmum Fri 23-Aug-13 20:49:06

Well Dd has failed her AS levels as we expected and after an attendance rate of roughly 60%, 6th form and her agreed to part company. She wasn't kicked out but it was more 'jump before she was pushed' scenario I think. Spent hours on phone to school and in and out last year trying to get her back on track but obviously failed.

Anyway what do you do with a 17yr old with 8 mediocre Gcse's
( couple of B's, the rest C's and one D in maths) who has no extra curricular activities to put on her CV (despite much encouragement from us), has no motivation and refuses to go to any college? She has applied for a couple of hairdressing apprenticeships but according to her as heard nothing despite having an interview with Skills Group people.
She can be lovely (usually when she wants something) but to be honest she is mostly lazy and it's hard to get her out of bed.
She seems to think a great job is going to land in her lap. She can be truly vile, aggressive and nasty and is quite frankly the most awful judge of character and majority of her friends are like her. She used to be bright funny and really enthusiastic girl.
I am at a loss as what to do?

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