With my 9 year old son(18 Posts)
I am totally expecting to get flamed for this but I need someone to tell me I am being unreasonable (though I know I am, deep down)
On Monday, after a lovely weekend. I received a call from the children in need services (social services) saying a referral had been made by my 9 year old sons school, regarding an incident that had happened over the weekend..
I was asked what had gone on the weekend and explained day by day what had, including a lovely BBQ which had been thrown by my husbands boss in Surrey, it's an annual thing and all the colleagues & family are invited.
My son had gone in to school and wrote in his 'weekend news book' all about his weekend and said daddy had got drunk, he was tipsy but I didn't drink and nor did my mother in law, who also attended the BBQ.
My son said that his dad had punched him in the face at the BBQ and so his teacher phoned social services immediately.
This is all fine so far, the school did their job and this is protocol.
The social worker wanted to visit my son that day at school and have a half hour chat with him on his own and asked if this was okay, I said of course and told her how shocked I was, and explained my husband is over 6ft tall, does boxing twice a week and if he had hit his son, then he would have inadvertently knocked his head off, but I understood they had to investigate it. The social worker wanted to meet me after the school after she had spoken to my son, on his own.
I met the social worker at the school, she immediately said there were no concerns, she said my son explained that he thought he would be able to read out his weekend news book to the class, (as some are chosen to do this) and he thought the class would laugh, she could see he didn't have any marks on him and was happy when she had asked him her questions, regarding how he is punished at home (screen time taken away) and he had used nice words, when he was asked to describe each of us in the family using only 3 words, she said it was probably the end of their investigation but she had to go back to the office, wrote everything up officially and they might want to visit our home, again I have no worries about that.
I got the call yesterday to say that would be visiting us after all and that's taking place tonight.
Me and my husband both have a DBS certificate as part of our jobs and wouldn't be able to work without one, at all. If this rumbles on then I would have to declare it at my next DBS check and this could result in my career ending.
I haven't been able to eat or sleep properly since Monday, we have nothing to hide, but the fact this is going on at all, makes me really upset.
I've tried chatting with my son but he just said sorry and said he thought it would be a funny story, he said he doesn't know what social services are and I've explained they look after children who are in danger or need and the fact they are involved in our family now is very serious.
The thing I know I'm being unreasonable about is, I can barely look at him. I am here physically, I take him to school and pick him up, but all the comfortable chat is gone.
I let him kiss me on the cheek at the gate at school but instead of standing and waving like I usually would when he goes in, I just walk away and then I get home and feel disgusting as I should be just pretending everything is normal, but it's not.
Instead of reading with him at night, he is doing that with my husband.
My husband is hurt too but he said it's all going to be fine and I know that too, but it's a bit raw now and I'm worried I'm doing long term damage to him by not pretending everything is normal or carrying on with the normal chit chat about school, who he played with etc.
I just can't bring myself to do it. I feel like a detached robot with him, I'm not doing it on purpose, I just can't switch my normal 'mum' phase on. How do I do this and stop being a complete cow? As I am sure he is worried and scared too.
Fake it till you make it. One incident doesn't stop you loving your son.
It was a silly mistake by him
He was obviously writing fiction that has come back to bite him in the butt
You need to get over it. He didn't do it to purposely upset you
It is just a formality by SS and one i am glad they are following up on. If one child gets saved by them acting on things like this, it's a good thing
God, how awful. I can completely understand why you feel angry. This is all very recent. Allow the situation to resolve itself, as it surely will, and you can start to get over a pretty horrible shock.
DBS have a customer services department, so presumably they will be able to explain their policy in situations where allegations are found to be groundless and completely set aside which should reassure you.
Ultimately, everybody is still the same person they were before this happened - the only difference is a silly attention seeking mistake. Nothing will take away your son's happy, nurturing childhood or your relationship with him.
Be kind to yourself
I know you talked to him, but did you tell your son how he made you feel when he did this? Did you make it very clear what the consequences for you and his dad will be? If not I think you should and it might even be cathartic.
He's 9. That's old enough to know that his actions have repercussions.
Another one for fake it till you make it.
And since you have already explained about social services and not to say things that aren't true, I would not go into any further attempts to make him feel what you feel: he could not foresee that and it is too much for him to handle.
Believe me (as somebody who has been repeatedly investigated by SS), the experience of hearing your child cry out "if you didn't have me you wouldn't have to go through all this" is one you will be better without.
He needs to be told off as if he had told any other untruth that did not (because of your particular situation) cause as much unhappiness as this one has done. He is responsible for the silly joke, he is not responsible for the potential repercussions.
Thank you for your replies, they are all very helpful. I will try and fake it till I make it, I am just waiting on this home visit to be over then I think I will be able to look ahead. He is trying to keep things normal, bless him but he can tell I am very very upset. I have't stopped loving him at all, just in a bit of shock I think.
You will get over it, it will pass. It's the shock. As toffeenose said, everybody is still the same person they were. And a time will come when you can all laugh about this.
It is the stress of worrying over your jobs/DBS issue that is making you feel like this and once it is resolved it will be a tale in 10 years time of remember the time when DS said Dad got drunk and punched him in his news .....
What a confusing, upsetting thing this must be for him as well. Snap out of it, OP -- your child knew nothing of the government and social services, and has learned a valuable lesson about how complicated and difficult lying can make life. It seems like a good time to focus on how good you have it compared to other parents and children.
TBH the only parents I've seen get resentful and strange over their children's inadvertent messes like this were parents who have been emotionally or physically abusive and are desperate to cover it up. I've just discussed this thread with a friend in social services, and she says much the same. If you continue carrying on like this, resenting your son for a mistake that cascaded in ways he had no way to predict, please know that many people will believe you "doth protest too much" and are covering up for your own bad behavior. If this is not the case, perhaps being cold and robot-like with your child -- withdrawing your love -- is not the best way to respond to an accusation of abuse.
Hope it goes ok op. I'm a social worker. When we complete an assessment you have to say whether you have seen the child alone but also if you have seen their home/bedroom so they are probably just coming to cross the t's and dot the i's. If she's already told you she's not worried from her intial visit then it should not be too much longer until the assessment is written up and finished.
School sounds a bit mad...couldn't they see he didn't have a black eye?
Wtf womb - people react in different ways. I hope social services apply a slightly more nuanced approach to guilt/innocence than that - you sound like you run a ducking stool
I wouldn't worry too much, tho easier said than done. Social workers have to look into each referral, I am one, but lots get looked into and then closed. It is understandable that your relationship with son has taken a knock but He wouldn't have understood what he was doing and I am sure you can get over this.
I agree with fake it and make it but also make sure you talk over all your feelings and fears with an adult (friend or your DH or whatever), talk about it more than once if you need to, just to get it all out there and deal with it. Maybe you could even write a letter to your son about how upset you are by the whole thing but then don't give it to him.
Don't let this become a block between you and him, if it continues to be so, maybe seek counselling as it could be that his actions have triggered a strong reaction in you for a particular reason (maybe you have some deep seated fear that somehow relates to these events or something).
What an awful thing for you to go through, so scary. Really hope all goes well for you
WombOfOnesOwn Wed 21-Sep-16 18:54:39
"TBH the only parents I've seen get resentful and strange over their children's inadvertent messes like this were parents who have been emotionally or physically abusive and are desperate to cover it up. I've just discussed this thread with a friend in social services, and she says much the same. If you continue carrying on like this, resenting your son for a mistake that cascaded in ways he had no way to predict, please know that many people will believe you "doth protest too much" and are covering up for your own bad behavior."
This attitude has been the background to some false accusations of Munchausen's by proxy: the belief among some health/SS professionals that you can gauge exactly what has been going on from seeing whether the parent is either stressed or not stressed. As a parent who had to fight for years to get appropriate medical treatment for my child in the face of suspicion, I know what an enormous extra burden this attitude lays on both families and children- knowing that you have to send off exactly the right vibes at every turn, knowing that this knowledge makes you more stressed, knowing that being more stressed will make you seem more suspicious. Some professionals could do with a little education on different causes of stress in parents.
OP, I would absolutely try to fake calm- but do it for your ds who made a silly mistake.
Thank you for your support, visit went well. The case is going to be closed after some last checks with my eldest child's (teenager) school and their doctors surgery, which I gave permission for.
I wasn't stressed because I was guilty?! I was stressed because I sent my son off to school on Monday happy and with no blacks eyes (!) but then received a call that turned our family upside down.
I would be more worried if everyone had told me I was wrong to be stressed, as it was, everyone rallied round and gave our family the support we needed, which I'm grateful for.
I have to say, regardless of how horrible it felt to have social services involved by this silly comment (which I do hope is true, that one day we will laugh about it) the social workers I met, were professional, polite, calm and reassuring and I support their hard work wholeheartedly.
Thank you once again for the supportive replies, you lot are amazing and I'm looking forward to a peaceful weekend with my children.
Oh gosh I can't imagine how worrying this all must have been.
Just remember he's only a little boy, he could have had no idea about the repercussions. I have an 8 year old boy and I could imagine him and half his friends writing or saying something silly to make their friends laugh.
I'm sure one day you will all laugh about it.
At least the school are taking child protection seriously.
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