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To think DSS may be telling more porkies?

(85 Posts)

I'll keep this as brief as poss

My DHs son is 15. Since knowing him from around 11 he's been a bit of a fibber and fantasist. He tells wildly untrue stories and essentially lies just about everything. He's also quite maipulative, and uses his fibs to get his own way. I make him sound like a monster. He's not, he's actually a lovely polite timid boy, apart from this issue. We just put it down to him being a kid and using separated parents to his advantage, and hoped he'd grow of it.

But now we've just discovered he's no longer attending school and will be privately tutored at home, for free (his mum's on benefits). When asked why he said because he was depressed and had attempted to cut himself because school won't "let him be who he wants to be". When I asked what he meant by that, he said its because school "keep getting on at him" for not sticking to the uniform and personal appearance policy and keep disciplining him for his piercings and his long hair that he regularly dyes bright colours.

Now, I find this hard to believe. Not that he's depressed, I believe that. He's become even more withdrawn and shuts himself away in his room overy the lastronomical few months. But again we put that down to puberty/hormones/teen angst. But for a school to say "ok, you can have private tutoring so you can wear your piercings and have your hair how your want it"... is that really a done thing these days? Surely all teens would be getting private tutoring if they all complained they were depressed because they don't like uniform rules?!

I feel there's more to this that my DH isn't being told. Because as well as DSS being a fiber, so is his mother. And sometimes they lie as a pact to hide things from DH.

What do you think? DH seems to have swallowed all this, but I don't buy it. I haven't said anything, but I don't think it's fair that DH is constantly lied to and kept in the dark about things concerning his son.

Lastronomical??? Dunno where autocorrect got that one from!

* last few months

ohdearlord Sat 09-Jan-16 13:44:31

Can DH get the full story from the school?

antimatter Sat 09-Jan-16 13:46:06

His dad can contact school to find out what is the situation.
I would if I was him.

theycallmemellojello Sat 09-Jan-16 13:46:22

I don't think approaching this from the perspective of whether or not the boy is lying is at all a useful approach, and it's one that's liable to make him feel attacked. If you can't get the story from his dm then your dh needs to make an appointment with the school and/or social services if they are involved. See what they say and take it from there, see what support your dh can offer. But picking apart a depressed teenager's "porkies" is not the right way to deal with this.

somewheresomehow Sat 09-Jan-16 13:48:28

I think your DH needs to go to school and try and find out the truth from them not his lad or the ex as they will no doubt spin a story as to why hes been allowed to leave school and be home ed

But the lying is an issue. DH is lied to constantly about everything, by both DSS and DSSs mum. He never knows what's going on. I have said I believe he's depressed, but I don't think the reason is because school won't allow him to have piercings and dyed hair. It surely has to be something more serious. And if it is, then DH has a rights to know, instead of being fed yet more bullshit. DH loves his son, as do I. But how can we possibly help if we aren't given the facts.

I've told DH he has rights, that he can contact the school regarding his son. But he's frightened to. Whenever DH tries to get too involved he's shut out. He gets grief and arguments from his ex and DSS won't speak to him or see him. So now they lie to him to stop him wanting to get imvolved So DH has just taken the attitude that in order to see his son he has to have no actual involvement in his welfare, other than when he stays with us.

It's so frustrating

Emmalouise2babies Sat 09-Jan-16 13:57:28

If your DH contacts the school
They are not obligated to inform the mother nor should they if asked not to. As his father he has a legal right to be kept in the loop and as professionals the school or any other authorities involved should not effectively 'gossip' with the other party

WorraLiberty Sat 09-Jan-16 13:59:48

But for a school to say "ok, you can have private tutoring so you can wear your piercings and have your hair how your want it"... is that really a done thing these days?

Of course it isn't.

But the school isn't saying that, is it?

A child has stated he doesn't want to go to school, and that he's attempted to cut himself.

Add depression into the mix and I think you'll find that's why he's being tutored.

Either way, if your DH wants to know then he can ask the school.

CakeFail Sat 09-Jan-16 14:05:17

Well, having had someone close to me who suffered badly with depression, I would guess that you are right to think there might be more to it than the piercings etc. But you can't expect your DSS to divulge that to you I don't think. If that's what he feels comfortable sharing with you that's probably all you should expect or ask for for now. He's 15 and he has told you he has cut himself and has depression. How much more detail do you expect a 15 yo with MH problems to divulge?

Though, I agree with pps that your DH should probably ask the school for the full details from their perspective.

aprilanne Sat 09-Jan-16 14:12:01

dont know where you live but in scotland you get 3 hrs a week with an interupted learner tutor for a year if u ill or sn like my child .thats it 3hs is not a lot .

Thanks EmmaLouise, this is good to know. We've had many conversations about him speaking with his school. As we've had concerns for some time.

We used to tell DSS to bring his homework when he stayed with us, and we would both actively get involved in helping him. But it was hard work. DSS would complain constantly but DH wouldn't allow him to get away with not doing it. But then all of a sudden he stopped bringing his homework. When asked why he just said he was now doing it in his lunch break and wpupdnt be bringing his homework to us anymore... we didn't believe that, so DH text his mum and asked if it that was right. She ignored him. And this is what always happens. Whenever DH questions anything he either gets the phone put down on him or just ignored.

DSS's bipolar grandad lives with them in their two bed flat. He's let slip that he's aggressive and has attacked his mum and nan. And as grandad sleeps on the sofa DSS spends his time on his room. Again, when DH raised concerns about this his ex refused to speak to him.

I've told DH if something's going on that's being hidden, something serious, then as his father he SHOULD be getting involved. But he argues that she won't allow him, and that DSS won't come anymore.

We're stuck between a rock and a hard olace

WorraLiberty Sat 09-Jan-16 14:19:41

But your DH gets school reports sent to him, yes?

I'm not saying DSS has to divulge why to ME. I'm concerned about my DH. I think HE should know. I don't think he should be constantly lied to and shut out when he's concerned for his son.

It doesn't matter, I should have known the MN wolves would be out to eat me alive with this. It's actually quite upsetting, seeing my DH be treated like he doesn't matter, and seeing my DH be hurt and upset for his son and being lied to to prevent him from getting involved... It's really unfair

Worraliberty - no he gets nothing. Not even school photos or invitations to parents evenings. Nothing

littleleftie Sat 09-Jan-16 14:26:17

Re the home schooling, if school is too stressful for DSS then it's great he has a home tutor and can continue his studies.

I am a bit confused as to why you are so set on finding out why DSS is depressed. Maybe it isn't a condition you have suffered from yourself, but you need to be aware that it can be a medical condition that often has no underlying cause. If he was diagnosed epileptic or asthmatic would you be looking for a sinister cause?

On the other hand, the situation with his grandfather does sound dodgy, but if he is such a liar, none of what he has said might be true?

I honestly think you should back off and let DH deal with it. He can make enquiries about DSS at this stage, although I believe that once he turns 16, DH cannot access any info from CAMHS/GP etc ( happy to be told I am wrong on that score but worth OP thinking about the time issue if DSS is 16 soon.)

WorraLiberty Sat 09-Jan-16 14:26:18

Well then I hate to say this, but it just doesn't sound as though your DH is as bothered about his son's schooling as you are.

If his ex won't talk to him, it's a no brainer that he should be attending parent's evenings and receiving school reports.

It's not nice that his ex and his son won't involve him, but he hasn't actually attempted to involve himself either by the sound of it.

OohMavis Sat 09-Jan-16 14:27:54

MN wolves? I think that's an overreaction. Nobody's laying into you confused

The best thing for your DH to do would be to contact the school and set up some pathways of communication, he shouldn't be in the dark regarding his son's education. But that will only change if he attempts to change it.

littleleftie Sat 09-Jan-16 14:29:24

Hmmmm, so you are worried about DH because he is so upset and concerned about DSS. But he isn't so upset or concerned that he actually talks to the school/GP/XW about DSS?

He is telling you he doesn't want to take it further.

You just aren't listening.

CakeFail Sat 09-Jan-16 14:32:48

I should have known the MN wolves would be out to eat me alive with this

Eh? I don't think you've exactly had a roasting on here.

It's awful your DH feels frozen out and he should absolutely ask for more details from the school. It's very hard to pressure a teenager into divulging much to their parents, less so when it involves feelings, emotions and depression. I can totally relate, as I have been in a similar position to you and DH with someone close to me. It is very frustrating trying to understand why someone is the way they are, but it's often a losing battle (IME at least).

Your post regarding the other issues with your DH's ex and DSS's home life is another issue I think. I understand why you think something is being kept from you and DH. The violence you described is worrying. Have SS ever been involved with the family?

WorraLiberty Sat 09-Jan-16 14:33:59

Eat you alive?

Blimey, no-one's had so much as a nibble confused

cannotlogin Sat 09-Jan-16 14:38:35

So...your DH needs to actually step up, be a parent, contact the school, get himself on mailing lists (there is not a school in the land that doesn't know they are obliged to include both parents on their mailing lists and provide reports if requested) and actually speak to the school himself and the teachers.

I am a teacher. I also have an ex husband. His expectation is that I am still his secretary in relation to all things school. I am not. Consequently, he receives no information from the schools whatsoever, never attends a parent's evening and never receives a report. Professionally, I took a phone call from a grandmother a few days ago about an appointment for parent's evening. The father was sat next to her. If you can't actually be bothered to pick up the phone yourself, then frankly, you're not doing a very good job of being a parent, are you?

It is NOT the mother's job to parent her ex. End of.

Littleleftie - I actually suffer from clinical depression myself. Spent many years under a psychiatrist. I am still on ADs 12 yrs on from diagnosis. I KNOW about depression. And I agree, there may be NO cause. It may be just thats a condition he suffers from. And if thats right, thats fine by us and it would all make sense. It would make far more sense than what we've been told. The issue is not ehy hes depressed, the issue is why DH keeos being told lies as to why. The rrason of "because im depressed about the unform policy" sounds like a story to keep us from the real readon. There's such secrecy surrounding his home life, with only little bits being drip fed to us. Bits that are somewhat worrying.

And as for telling me to back off, I have never stepped forward. I have ALWAYS let DH do what he feels best as I'm fully aware I'm not the boys mum. But as his loving wife who feels for my DH, I will discuss it with him. I'm in no way forcing him to do anything. Hence the reason for posting here, as I've nobody else to talk to about it. I'm stuck in the middle watching my heartbroken husband get pushed out constantly.

Worraliberty - I agree he should take more initiative to get involved. But it's not that he doesn't want to. It's that he's frightened of his son not coming to see him any more. It's happened before. Last time he tried to get involved his son wouldn't answer his phone and didn't see DH for over 2 months. It really hurt DH.

WorraLiberty Sat 09-Jan-16 14:41:34

Spot on cannotlogin

OP, his son wouldn't even know if his Dad was being sent school reports.

rosebiggs Sat 09-Jan-16 14:44:20

He probably isn't able to verbalise exactly why he's depressed/anxious and nor should he have to. The uniform story is probably just a confused teen trying to make sense of the situation for himself. Presumably he will be under CAMHS who can communicate directly with you and dh.

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