Anyone else's teen not made it to school/college today?

(56 Posts)
flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 09:22:47

I'm feeling a bit fed up and frustrated. My DS hasn't made it to college this morning. He overdid it at the weekend, basically. sad When I checked to see why he wasn't up at 7:15 he said he was "feeling ill". hmm Of course he is bloody feeling ill: that's what happens when you get wrecked at the weekend and don't get enough sleep! To my mind, you just have to push on through...

This is the first time he has done this since he started his course in Sept. But he did it often last year, so I am fretting a bit about him slipping back into bad habits. I'm guessing this is quite normal teenage behaviour, and colleges must be used to it and not at all convinced by teenagers who are coincidentally always poorly on Mondays but it would be reassuring to hear from other parents whose teens are also still in bed!

flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 12:05:28

Just mine then... sad

Myliferocks Mon 19-Nov-12 12:07:32

My 16 yr old DD only has lessons at college in the afternoon on Monday but she hasn't made it in today.
She's laid out on the sofa struggling with her endometriosis.

flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 13:16:31

Thanks for replying, Mylife smile
Endometriosis is real poorliness, not hungover-poorliness sad
I hope your DD feels better soon.

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Mon 19-Nov-12 13:18:11

MaryZ has a support thread going for people with teenagers.


Myliferocks Mon 19-Nov-12 13:45:21

I'm lucky in that DD doesn't drink alcohol.
On the other hand she will stay up until goodness knows what time on the computer and reading her Kindle.
I dread to think what time she goes to sleep most nights.
She gets up for college just fine but when she comes home she falls asleep for a couple of hours and then is wide awake and the vicious circle continues.
Kids! grin

flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 13:47:30

Yeah, thanks Exit, I'm already on it smile It's getting long though, and since this whole board is called 'Teenagers' I thought I'd post separately...

That sounds like me, Mylife! grin

Myliferocks Mon 19-Nov-12 13:49:56

I seem to worry more about her more now than when she was younger!
I wouldn't mind but she is the eldest of 5 so I will be going through all this again!
At least I know where the younger ones are most of the time!

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Mon 19-Nov-12 13:51:21

Sorry Flow4 - I only dipped in during the early days and haven't been back since - though it is usually near the top of my Threads I'm On.

flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 14:21:28

smile Exit. Yes, it's busy!
Mylife - Five? FIVE?! > swoons <

Myliferocks Mon 19-Nov-12 17:54:24

How's your DS feeling now flow4?


brighterfuture Mon 19-Nov-12 18:39:50

I got a text from the school to say my DS didn't turn up for his first lesson of the day. I'd almost rather he was lying on the sofa playing ill ... at least that way I'd know where he was !

MaureenMLove Mon 19-Nov-12 18:47:47

Mine tried to avoid school! She text me to say, 'I'm really hurting and I don't think I can make it up that hill.' She does have a hip problem, so I'm sure she was hurting a lot, but she just needs to learn to take tablets and walk on it and it eases up!

I suggested, she smiled sweetly at DH to give her a lift! She arrived at school, albeit grumpy, but she made it! grin

Monday sickness, is NOT an option in my house. Especially if you've had a heavy weekend!

AtiaoftheJulii Mon 19-Nov-12 18:57:22

Haven't been on here all day, but my dd2 didn't go to school. She "felt sick" - I.e. was even more miserable than usual. I, can't argue with her when she seems so fragile. Have emailed her school today to ask if she can drop her 13th (! Rolls eyes) GCSE and persuaded her to email this local free teen-counselling service, so that's positive, I guess.

BackforGood Mon 19-Nov-12 23:21:08

Mine does make it out of the house, just never on time sad.
We wake him, but I can't physically shift him - he's bigger and heavier than me. I'd love to know what the answer is.

flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 23:30:10

Yup, that's exactly the problem I have Backfor - he is 6 inches taller than me and much stronger... There is no way I can get him out of bed if he doesn't want to get out.

Mylife, so kind of you to ask... grin DS 'recovered' around 11:30 am and went to his mate's house. His last comments to me before he left were "What's your problem?" hmm and when I told him I was annoyed and disappointed he hadn't made it to college, he said "Look, I did overdo it at the weekend. It's no big deal. It's one day in half a term. It doesn't mean I'm gonna drop out or anything". hmm

Little so-and-so has an answer for everything!

brighterfuture Tue 20-Nov-12 07:57:21

flow your Ds's comments could have come straight out of my Ds's mouth. I hope he got up and out ok this morning !

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 20-Nov-12 08:02:17

'We wake him, but I can't physically shift him - he's bigger and heavier than me. I'd love to know what the answer is.'

Recovery position. Start rolling him and keep rolling until he's on the floor in a heap.
Occasionally I go back and he's asleep on the floor, but that usually wakes him
He makes it to college on time, usually with a lump of something for breakfast in his fist.

Ungratefulchild Tue 20-Nov-12 08:07:19

Mine went in yesterday (well I think he did, I dropped him off outside the college) but that was the first Monday in 5 weeks! Same issue, always ill on a Monday. Not convinced he'll get there today, not sure what time he got in last night. He doesn't start until 11 this morning so here's hoping....

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 08:07:55

He's in the shower right now, brighter, so the outlook is good smile

Nebulous, I'm pretty sure that approach would provoke physical violence... sad

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 09:42:18

Morning all.

ds missed two days last week because he decided to stay at home and "catch up".

He just went out and got stoned. He has postponed all his assignments and tomorrow is the last day. He went in today, but I don't see how he can get everything finished tonight.

It's so depressing. I want so much to give him a kick up the arse, but I know he wants me to, so he can lose his temper, stamp out, and blame me. Either way, it will be all my fault - either for not reminding him, or for nagging him.

I think I'll go back to bed and get up on Monday.

Ungratefulchild Tue 20-Nov-12 09:47:49

I so get you Mary, that is exactly what it is like in this house.

Just about to go upstairs and wake him up....

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:27:44

My DS got up and went out on time this morning, but I got a call an hour later to say he was on his way home because he'd forgotten he didn't have to be in this morning! He's just come in and he's stomped upstairs in a terrible mood. sad

Do you know what the worst thing is, from my point of view? Tuesday is the only day in the week when he's in college and I'm not at work - it is the one day when I don't have to deal with him or work. There have only been half-a-dozen of these 'free' days in the past 2 years, but ohhh I like them. I feel cheated now.

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:31:54

How did you get on, Ungrateful? > crosses fingers <

Maryz, when my DS says "It's your fault", I tend to say "I know, I'm dreadful aren't I? I think you should see if you can get someone else to be your mum..." Have you tried that one?! grin

Ungratefulchild Tue 20-Nov-12 10:50:30

I understand that feeling too flow

Well I got on spectacularly badly. Cajoled etc but then it turns out he's been chucked off his course. Nothing wrong with his work but his attendance was poor and he missed an assignment. He was told about it yesterday but it actually happened a couple of weeks ago. That's a year of funding lost.

I'm not sure that they've followed correct procedures as he's had no letters etc?

mumeeee Tue 20-Nov-12 11:08:15

Uncratefulchild, The college haben't followes corect ptocedure, Yhey have to warn him and send out leters before chucking him off the course, If he is under 18 they should also contact you, Do you think he has had some le7ters but not let you know?

Ungratefulchild Tue 20-Nov-12 11:16:33

He's 19 mumeee so they wouldn't let me know. I generally see everything that comes into the house so I don't think he's hidden anything and genuinely didn't know he'd been chucked off.

A letter did come in from the funding authority yesterday which said he withdrew on the 30th of October. He said he didn't withdraw but maybe the college assumed this? Dunno, have emailled the college asking for a copy of the procedures. Not sure that there is any point to appealing but we'll see?

He seems genuinely upset about it.

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 11:30:45

Oh no, I'm sorry Ungrateful sad

Just be a little bit careful about believing he has had no letters... Or perhaps even that he has actually been thrown off the course... I'm sure you know they don't always tell their mums the truth! I had an embarrassing experience at Connexions in the summer, when I went in to complain about the terrible advice DS said they had given him, only to discover he hadn't been to see them at all. blush That wasn't the only outrageous lie he told me about college/courses/etc... And I probably didn't discover them all. angry sad

If your DS is under 18, 'phone the college and talk to them directly. That way at least you have reliable facts when you try to decide what to do.

Are you in England? If so, there are all sorts of schemes and support to help prevent young people from becoming 'NEETs' (not in education, employment or training). There will be another course that will take him, maybe at another college - especially since this is quite early in the year.

It is frustrating and upsetting, especially if you can see your DS is underachieving and wasting his potential. My DS did this last year, and wasted a year on a basic building/labouring skills course that he didn't bother to attend most of the time because he was bored. But eventually he worked out he actually wanted to be re-engaged in learning, and things are much better - not perfect, as this thread proves, but better!

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 11:32:25

It's terrible this business of once they are 18 there is no parental input, isn't it?

I mean, I know for most kids they are adults at 18 and therefore they should be able to manage, but some kids just can't.

ds still hasn't managed to organise any sort of financial support. Because when he goes to the office, they won't fill in form A until he has got form B filled in by his tutor and form C filled in by his school. But he wasn't at school, so he doesn't know where to go, so gives up. And if we ring to say that he needs help, they won't talk to us (and ds has a fit anyway). So he will never get any form of grant, and here we have to pay fees up front and claim it back. Since he hasn't claimed it back, guess who is footing the bill hmm.

And I really understand that "cheated" feeling Flow. I hate it when I have plans and he doesn't go in.

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 11:32:47

Oops, sorry, cross-post. That's a bit different then. sad I'd still be careful about believing he hasn't had any letters - in fact, it will have been easier for him to hide them/avoid facing reality, since they will have come direct to him not you. sad

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 11:40:40

I really don't know how you do it. I found it so so sooooooo stressful last year. I told him if he dropped out again after 18, I'd throw him out... And I'm pretty sure I mean it.
confused hmm
It's not that I think my responsibilities to him finish when he turns 18, but rather that I will have to admit defeat...

Myliferocks Tue 20-Nov-12 11:45:44

That's just it flow4.

There comes a stage and an age where you can only do so much for them!
They have to want to do it themselves!

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 11:47:17

Yes, but flow, what do you do when you admit defeat?

I don't know about where you are, but here there would be nowhere for him to live if I threw him out. His only option would be a homeless hostel, and if I did that I think he would die (he would certainly get more heavily involved in drugs).

There is nowhere I/he could go to try to find him a flat. And there is no prospect of him earning enough or getting benefits to find somewhere to live. He could theoretically stay on a friends floor, but that wouldn't last.

I don't know. I really don't. I think I might have to build a shed in the back garden self-contained extension or something confused. If only I could afford it.

Ungratefulchild Tue 20-Nov-12 11:49:45

We're in Scotland and it was the first year of a 2 year HND so it means he's used up 1 year of his higher education funding. He's very very talented (was doing graphic design with a view to moving to Art school after the 2 years) but just not managed to get in enough.

Paradoxically he's just started a job (temp over Christmas) and has been doing really well and I can really see a difference in his confidence/motivation etc.

Yes well I know that he can be economical with the truth but I do tend to see all letters etc I kind of know when he is lying. I am just cautiously enquiring atm so we'll see where it goes. I would be happier if a year of funding wasn't lost so he could go back later when more able to cope.

Ungratefulchild Tue 20-Nov-12 11:52:04

That's our situation too MaryZ. i know that everything would totally deteriorate if I chucked him out. I just can't do it (although I've felt like it on numerous occasions).

I'm dreading telling Dp later sad He will go apeshit.

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 11:58:02

Yes, I know. I do realise it's impossible. I have no idea when you admit defeat, really - it must be when you just cannot do it any more. I thought I got to that point once or twice last year, but it turned out I could still 'hang on in there'.

BackforGood Tue 20-Nov-12 17:00:55

Thanks Nebulous, but he used to fall out of bed all the time when he was younger, and just carry on sleeping. He'd just go off to sleep again on the floor if I did roll him out without him getting angry. That just wouldn't work for us.
I've asked his 6th form tutors to get on his back about it, and told them we would support any consequences they could think of from their end, but you could tell they were looking at me like this --> hmm as if to say "You are the parent, we can't come round and get him out of bed for you"

cory Tue 20-Nov-12 19:19:51

No school today though slightly different situation. Dd has been doing a part-time staggered return to school after losing the best part of a year due to chronic pain and anxiety/depression. Was meant to be upping her hours after half-term. Fell ill with a kidney infection just over two weeks ago, the week of her maths GCSE, was really ill for two weeks, bit better on Sunday, went in on Monday and is quite ill again today. Third course of antibiotics runs out tomorrow, so suppose we'll be back at the doctor's. Is on permanent painkillers and anti-depressants, which helps her to deal with her chronic pain, but doesn't stop her from catching anything that is going and being ill for twice as long as anybody else. Has been like this since Yr 3. Becoming increasingly hard to be upbeat about any kind of future.

cory Tue 20-Nov-12 19:23:32

sorry, I didn't mean that last bit

I do believe in a future for her- she has everything going for her, bright, mature, conscientious- I'm just so bloody tired of taking one step forward and two back sad

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 22:18:23

That sounds sad and stressful for you both, cory. sad Do the docs know what's causing the chronic pain?

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 16:37:54

Yes, she was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome 8 years ago, flow. Is actually doing a little better since she started regular doses of painkillers and anti-depressants last year. But 8 years is a hell of a long time to have to pretend that everything is just about to take a turn for the better.

flow4 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:57:55

I've just Googled Ehlers Danlos syndrome cory, because I didn't know what it was. It sounds very difficult to live with sad I have arthritis and hypermobility, so I understand how debilitating constant pain can be. I'm glad the painkillers and ADs are helping.

8 years is a long time to pretend anything. It must be very hard to stay positive. I saw another post of yours about DD being part-time at school... Does that work well for her?

cory Sun 25-Nov-12 10:55:44

Thanks for your supporting messages, flow. Part-time should have worked well- with a plan for gradually upping her hours until she went full-time in the New Year- if it hadn't been for this wretched kidney infection which has kept her off for 3 weeks and counting. Spent yesterday evening in A&E with dd hooked up to a drip, after she had been found to be drifting in and out of consciousness during the afternoon. Hard to believe in the plan atm, but her HOY was very supportive and positive.

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 05:03:41

Oh good grief. sad That must be awful for her and incredibly stressful for you. Are you getting any breaks/respite/stress relief?

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:35:05

Here's a little bit of good news for a change!

My DS got himself up and out this morning. smile Then his termly report arrived from college: his attendance so far is 93% and his punctuality is 98%... smile Which means that when he said to me last week that bunking off was "just a one-off", he was telling the truth. Phew!

Also, his attainment is on target and his attitude to learning is 'good'. smile This is very definitely the best report he has had since year 4! grin

Magwat Mon 26-Nov-12 20:43:27

This is an almost regular occurence in our house. She did make it today :D Daughter with depression....not good tonight so I won't be too surprised if she doesn't make it tomorrow.

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:47:09

My son averaged 2 days per week Oct-Dec last year, then 1 day per week Jan-May, then was out of college entirely from beginning of May 'til Sept... So 93% attendance is bloody marvellous! grin

Dammit, I'm starting to count those bloomin' chickens, aren't I?!

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:48:44

Magwat, I'm glad your daughter made it in today... Fingers crossed for tomorrow smile

brighterfuture Mon 26-Nov-12 20:54:19

flow I am very happy for you and your Ds. It's so good to hear of dc who have turned it around. It must be such a relief for you. smile I shall live in hope for my ds.

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:56:20

Thanks brighter. smile It is a HUGE relief, but I can't help feeling it is too soon to relax and assume it's all going to be plain sailing from now on... I am just daring to hope again... confused smile

doublecakeplease Mon 26-Nov-12 21:10:40

I teach in FE and it drives me mad when our teens don't make it in because of hangovers then they (or their parents) demand 1:1 help / complain when EMA payments are stopped. BUT I remember being a nightmare teen who skived college too and you sound like you care (so many don't which makes me sad). Not looking forward to that stage - already threatening that my DS will be sleeping on the floor if he refuses to get out of bed - we'll see though! ;-)

Do the college keep you informed of absences? I had a student was late most days - I offered him a choice - unauthorised absence (and no payment) or he gave me Mum's number - I rang home and she was really shocked by his punctuality record. She explained that she really couldn't afford to send him if his money was stopped. Words were obviously had and he's been on time every day! Good luck!

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 23:34:30

I spent over an hour composing a long reply to you double, but have lost it somehow. angry sad > sigh < I'm tired.

Just to say... Parents of teens this age are generally entirely powerless. They can try all sorts of incentives, bribes, sanctions, etc. to get their DC to go to college, but if the DC does not want to go, then there is nothing the parent can do.

(Most of my post was about what I tried, and how it didn't work hmm ).

Please, next time you catch yourself thinking that a parent "doesn't care", consider that they may in fact care very much - and has quite likely tried everything you can think of suggesting they try, and more.

doublecakeplease Tue 27-Nov-12 10:37:44

Flow - I think you've homed in on a 'negative' vibe from my post - if you re-read it it's not. I understand and remember being a teen whose Mum had to fight to get me to college. However I do have experience of being on th eother side now and many parents don't actually care (lots do but many don't) - and have told me so - quote 'it's not my problem anymore - she's old enough to get herself in' from 1 parent this week where I work. Please don't misread / put emphasis on what's not there.

flow4 Tue 27-Nov-12 10:55:20

Not particularly, double smile You are probably picking up on the irritation I felt because I'd spent an hour answering and discussing the issue in detail, and then lost what I wrote!

I also taught for 4 years in FE and 3 in HE, so I have some understanding of where you're coming from.

However, IMO when a parent says 'it's not my problem anymore - she's old enough to get herself in', it is (a) literally true and (b) probably a reflection of the frustration and hopelessness that parent feels, after years of trying. I am suggesting that rather than 'not caring', that parent is admitting defeat.

BTW, you are obviously much more conscientious about engaging with parents than most college tutors. I have only ever heard from one, and that was after I had spent several weeks trying to contact him! And when I was a tutor myself, I never spoke to any parents at all, although I taught 600 or 700 students - but that was about 15 years ago, so maybe expectations have changed...

cory Wed 28-Nov-12 19:33:33

good to hear about your ds, flow- I think we owe it to ourselves to enjoy any positive bit to the full to make up for the rest! smile

fwiw we spent the morning at the children's mental health clinic and as far as I can make out a substantial part of the treatment consists of pointing out to dd that, actually, I can't take responsibility for her life any more; she has to take ownership of her own problems. I think there is a lot of truth in that.

(we've now had the all clear from physical medics re her kidneys, but her counsellor confirmed that this latest trouble has tipped her back into depression, so we're going to have to start all over again with getting her back into school, aiming at not earlier than end of next week for her first attempt)

flow4 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:49:02

Thanks cory smile

I'm glad your DD's kidney infection is sorted... But sorry to hear she's depressed again. I guess it's hardly surprising, poor girl.

How are you? Have you got counselling or other support for yourself?

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