to be annoyed another parent has lied for my DD?(43 Posts)
A long story trying to cut it short but don't want to drip feed.
DD(14) and her friend 'Kate' (and their sibling) skipped school one day last week...and Kate's dad has covered for them ...and I'm furious...
Bad weather meant the school buses were very, very late but DD managed to get on one. Then she sent me a series of texts telling me there was no point going in, there was no-one on the bus (lots had given up but turns out a lot got lifts in), someone's dad was going to pick them up and take them home in case the weather got worse ...etc, etc. I told her the forecast was for the weather to improve -she was on the bus she should go into school.
A couple of hours later I got a text from the school asking where she was. I phoned them and was told it might be a mistake, she might be in then got another saying she definitely wasn't in and a friend had said they thought she was in a nearby shop.
The school said she was classed as 'missing' so I told them everything she had said in her texts inc 'Kate' and sibling (who live near us) had been on the bus.
(DD wasn't replying to texts or answering her phone at this point)
And I told them to throw the book at her, agreed to a detention for her this week - she should and could have been in school.
They called again - another friend had said she was at Kate's house (whose parents are both usually out in the day).
I was on my way round there when I got several of the same text saying she thought she should go back and go to Kate's to do some revision (she says it must have been delayed and on her phone it does say it was sent before 10am but I'm dubious...seems too convenient when her friends in school would have just messaged them that the school knew they were skiving ...and I had got the texts/calls from the school etc no problem)
Then I got a call from DD she told me they were scared to go into school so late so had got straight on a bus back. And Kate's dad had seen them and said it was fine. And Kate (and sibling) were scared they were now in trouble too.
It was just gone 1pm by now and I told her to get on the next bus into school... (it is over 10 miles away, takes the best part of an hour to get there but it was the principle). Then she phoned me and said Kate's dad had spoken to the school and it was all ok - and they had agreed there was no point going in then.
I was a bit pissed off and phoned the dad and he said I knew what they were like - they were just too nervous to go in (like I said all the buses were late, there would have a group of them from that bus going in, they would have known they wouldn't be in trouble). He had seen them coming home and not to worry the school were fine with everything .
Then in a series of texts with DD she said they had messed up, thought it was a bit exciting, wanted to be naughty for once (they are generally very good and well behaved).
I saw Kate's mother that evening and she said she really felt for them - how scared they must have been not to go in after going all the way there etc - I was and told her about what DD had said but she didn't want to know.
This weekend DD let slip that they knew about the forecast, had talked about it the day before, thought they probably wouldn't get to school that day - had more or less planned it...
I told DD as far as I was concerned she would get the detention and I wouldn't cover for her. She said but Kate would be in trouble too.
I said I'd let the school decide....
Then yesterday asking when her detention was, DD tells me Kate's dad has written to the school, said he told them to come home, told DD to come back with them as they couldn't contact me and thought I'd want her safe - basically as DD (gleefully) told me - he has lied for them...
I am friendly with the parents - and actually Kate is generally a good influence on DD. I know it is tricky as either they were both 'innocent' or both 'guilty' and we have different parenting approaches to this. (They are more laid back about attendance anyway - Kate and sibling have a day off sick every other week.)
And they seem to want to believe the 'too scared' story - I think they are being hoodwinked -not an easy thing to tell another parent.
I think it an important life lesson - you do something naughty/stupid and get caught, you take the consequences. (in this case one detention is pretty minor)
I think I just feel angry my feelings on this have been ignored. (Then I guess though they do have two DCs involved.)
Also if the school phone me what do I say? That the dad is lying?
So AIBU to be really annoyed?
(I have to say I know it is only one day and I might be overreacting -but I started school refusing at DD's age - I don't want her to realise how easy it is to do that etc - its why I am so hot on attendance...)
Oh this is tricky. I got a bit confused with the details but essentially your daughter skived off school and the dad covered?
The one and only time I ever skived school was the afternoon of a snow day- of course I got caught and in trouble. It still feels UNFAIR that loads of kids were off that day anyway, AND that my friend didn't get much of a bollocking from her parents whilst mine were really severe.
I spent the rest of my school life being a good little swot type. Got good GCSEs etc.
So I would say cut her some slack for this as a one off.
I would not bother the school with it anymore but there is nothing to stop you issuing a suitable punishment yourself. Your DD knows she was wrong regardless of what 'Kate' or her Dad subsequently said and a punishment from you might make her think twice next time.
Your DD has told you the truth, which is commendable. I would suggest she does the detention, but is also praised for owning up with the truth. This way she knows there are consequences and also knows it is not bad to tell the truth in a difficult situation.
I think this is about two very different parenting styles and two different attitudes to rules. And I am not sure that one is more right than the other - it probably depends on the child, to be honest. (Your DD clearly was fine, but maybe Kate was genuinely paralysed with anxiety at the thought of being in trouble, in which case I could see why the parents might react that way and feel she'd been punished enough already).
Agree with what Heavens said - you can assert your own values and your own authority at home with DD on her own. It sounds like half the problem is that you weren't able to convince her by text to go to school, which makes it a problem between you and her, and not really to do with the school.
I bunked off a LOT of school from her age - barely turning up to some courses at VI form - and it did me good, not harm. Sometimes rules are there to be broken.
She needs some sort of consequence to just remind her that not all people see bad behaviour as OK.
(I was caught the only time I skived too! It seemed perfectly alright to be punished for it, regardless of so many class mates getting away with it often. What I learnt from it was that I had to cover my back if I was going to do/was doing something iffy. On the whole I rarely did anyway, much easier to be truthful. When I did, I just took my lumps.)
If the school phone then no way would I cover for the other family or your DD - you pay your dues in this kind of situation and I am not in the habit of lying for no reason
I wouldn't kick up any more with Kates family directly but no way in hell would I actively encourage a friendship with a family whose values are so vastly different from my own. My DD would have that explained to her as well
Sorry I know its long! And a bit confusing but basically yep - she took the opportunity to skive, I dropped her friend in it by accident (cos I thought they might know where she was...)
I wasn't really that worried cos I knew she had been trying to get me to give her permission not to go ..but still the word 'missing' and if she was hanging around the town centre apparently on her own... maybe for hours ...
And I can see what you mean about the snow day - one of her friends just didn't bother trying to go...lots didn't go. (I'm also a bit hmm about the fact that after no bus for 30 mins she did come home - then someone phoned me and said the buses were coming and she went back out without a fuss...now I wonder if it was cos they had the 'plan')
But I am more angry with Kate's dad ...sending that letter without running it by me first ...but then I don't want to fall out over it and like I said all I could say really is I think they are being fooled...and that can't go down well..
And also slightly worried how readily they believed Kate's version...don't know if that bodes ill for the future...just thankful they are currently so well behaved...
And I will punish her but then I get the back lash (I already have had it) how unreasonable I am and mean and unfair... apparently her friends all think I'm 'irrational' (?) And I like trying to get them into trouble ...which is mildly irritating...
I think you sound a bit too strict on this which can often backfire. I remember when I was about 15 having a "snow" day and my mum let it go. I would give her a minor punishment like a couple of extra chores because it's not ok to miss school but she has been very truthful then I'd say no more about it. Protecting her honesty is important IMHO
Sod it. It doesn't really matter. If this was an oft-repeated offence then that's a different matter. You're worried about the future, but at present, it's not a huge deal.
Let DD know you are disappointed and why, but then praise her attendance levels up until now.
And it is a bit fun to break the rules just once.
I'd be very annoyed at Kate's dad. That said, it does sound like the text to you from your DD didn't come through when sent.
I'd leave it with the school this time, give your DD a negative consequence of your own devising and explain that if such a thing happens again you'll be telling the truth to school no matter what has already been said by anyone else.
I'd let it go (yay still remember the sheer joy of an unexpected Snow Day), on the understanding that she now knows you have her card marked and she's not to anything like that again.
And if you're friendly with the parents, just say you weren't too happy with what the dad did (not in a bossy way, but a WTF way) and you would prefer he didn't do anything like that again without asking you first as it made DD feel a bit worried.
So basically the Dad knew that you accepted the detention and rather than admit that he'd allowed his kids to skive off, he made up a cock and bull story that also included your DD.
So your options are to expose him to the school as a liar, punish your child separately or just let it go.
For relationship reasons, the first isn't currently an option but your eyes are now open. I'm hardcore. She was on the bus and deliberately got off knowing that she could make it to school under extenuating weather circumstances. In my world [I don't yet have teens] it would be the school detention or an all day grounding this weekend. No out, no phone and no TV/media.
She was dishonest with you, I would ask her how she intends to repair that.
The Dad squared it with the school on your behalf? . I'd be incandescent at that! And what's all the "scared to go in" nonsense?? What on earth were they scared of? Surely the consequences of taking an illicit day off would be greater than being a bit late?
I'd be more annoyed at Kates Dad than your DD. And 30 minutes is a longtime to wait for a bus tbf. Our local authority say that is the school bus is more than 15 minutes late, then the children should go home. And in bad weather they don't even have to wait that long.
Hang on, what is the school doing allowing the dad to make arrangements for other people's kids?
You could make a stand. But I think this is one of those times you'll have to let it go. I would be annoyed at the Dad but it's not worth falling out over. I don't think your DD should be grounded but should get a telling off from you saying it is not to happen again. If the friend was a bad influence that would be a bit different but it doesn't appear that she is usually.
I think you need to make your feelings clear to your daughter and the dad and move on. If you're daughter is normally good see this as a one off and progress with the punishment you deem fit.
I think you need to say to the Dad that you wouldn't have handled this in the same way, and that you never lie for your daught, and as your daughter and his daughter are good friends and a generally good influence on each other, if any other situations arises, please can he not involve your daughter.
I don't think you should involve the school anymore.
Don't think there much more you can do.
I don't understand fully why you are so upset with the dad rather than your DD. You told your DD to stay on the bus and go in to school, she disobeyed your instructions, go off and followed her friend back to her friend's house. It has nothing to do with what the dad did or did not say regarding it being ok to come back to their house. You had specifically told her to stay on the bus and go to school.
I personally would ground her or however you would normally deal with misbehaviour. I would not worry about the school or the dad/parent's of the friend. They dealt with the situation badly but I would just chalk that up to experience and if you deal with your DD properly she will hopefully listen to you and not other people next time.
* am and mean and unfair... apparently her friends all think I'm 'irrational' (?) And I like trying to get them into trouble*
Get used to hearing this!!
That's what they all say and what we all used to say when we were teens!!!
I don't think you can say anything to Kate's dad. He is an adult, it might be seen as controlling or patronising to impose your values on him. The real issue here is that your DD knew what was expected of her and broke the rules anyway. In itself it is no big deal, if that's the worst she does you will be a very lucky woman., but as others have said, you need to mark her card to ensure the behaviour does not escalate.
Talk to her, tell her you are disappointed that she went against your rules She is 14 and you expect her to know the right thing to do and want to be able to trust her to do it, regardless of what others, adults or peers, might say to her. Let her know that if anything like that recurs you would expect her to make a better choice. Then praise her for telling the truth.
Not sure about the detention, if Kate isn't doing it, it might be devisive or humiliating for DD to do it.
Oh dear this brings back the memory of the day I skived in senior year, thought I'd got away with it until my dad come home that night and went apoplectic! One of his work mates had seen me down the street, I was grounded, phone removed and he was very disappointed in me for a while afterwards (this always hit home hardest) never did it again
I'm not sure where you are now, vis a vis the school, but if they ring you to confirm what happened, I would block any questions regarding Kate's dad with 'I can't speak for him'. I'd be totally honest with the school, regarding the text communications with dd and your response. I'd also say that you would support the school if they gave your dd a detention because she had no excuse for not going in.
Then leave it up to them.
The school will draw their own conclusions. There might be an occasion where it's really important that the school believes you. You don't want a question mark over your credibility.
If there's a backlash from Kate's dad, say that he should have told you about the letter before he sent it and, although you wouldn't deliberately have dropped Kate in it, you would have told him then that you were not prepared to lie about it.
Breaking the rules is one thing, lying about it when you're caught is an entirely different matter and will have on-going consequences regarding your dd's reputation with the school.
Kate and DD are very different - but honestly I do know Kate is a good influence on DD, they have been friends for many years.
DD can be loud and impulsive and 'lazy' and Kate tends to be quieter and calmer and more dedicated. (Eg Kate will invite DD over to (seriously) revise...DD wouldn't really revise otherwise...definitely not encourage someone else to...)
And normally I think the mum (who I know best) is extremely sensible.
I think tread you are spot on -it is the Dad realising he had messed up and covering his own back to an extent...
and flogging and scared that's what I'm cross about...apparently in the letter (which I've only got DDs word for) as well as saying he couldn't contact me at the time -he apparently said there was a misunderstanding and DD thought he was going to tell me and he thought DD and Kate were going to let me know...
I haven't really had the opportunity to speak to the mum properly - I'll see what she says when I can...and wonder if the dad will say anything to me about it...
And I guess Kate is the kind of child who would be petrified about going into school knowing they are in trouble - so maybe that is a point. (Whereas DD I know wouldn't really care that much...)
And of them both DD has been the most truthful - it did take me telling her not to treat me like a fool and she'd get a lot further by being honest to get her to be ....but even so I should appreciate that.
The too scared thing ...I know ...they said they didn't know where to go and were too shy to ask - but then DD does know where to go because she missed the bus and had to go in late one day before. There was something else happening on that day they weren't looking forward to (I can't say what cos it is too outing) but they knew they were just postponing it for a week or so ...and all they gained by putting it off is more time to worry about it...
Will come up with a minor punishment and tell her there had better not be a next time...
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