to move my daughter to a local school because she won't get out of bed in the morning?(158 Posts)
She loves school and has lots of friends there. We decided to send her to a village school which is 11 miles away. It's a lovely small high school with excellent results and reputation, unlike the large local high school. She has to get a school bus just before 8 in the morning. She just won't get up though without constant nagging, bribing, cajoling, arguing and then screaming. She calls me names and is generally horrible. (Her behaviour lately is shocking: name calling, mean to her sisters and zero respect)
If she misses the bus, there's no other way to get to school. So I end up driving her. It's a 60 minute round trip! I work from home, but have seen a few tempting jobs recently and not bothered applying because I know that the regular occasions I have to drive a stroppy 14 year old to school will piss off any employer as it will make me late for work.
She's in year 9, so I could move her to our local school, which is a 10 minute walk from home. If she refuses to get up, she'll be late. But no need to drive her in. (she's not bothered on the occasions I can't or won't drive her in, attendance doesn't bother her)
Do I move her? Would that be unreasonable? I'm sick of the impact that her screaming and refusing to be up in time has on the rest of us. It's averaging at about 3 times a week. Every week. I'm drained. She doesn't want to move to the new school, but I'm not sure I can cope with another 2.5 years of this before and finishes school and year 9 is the last opportunity to move her before GCSEs.
I've threatened to move her and she just says that she'll refuse to go and we can't make her!
How late is she if she has to get the next bus?
there's only that one bus. No other bus. It's that one bus or I drive her!
Moving her sounds a bit dramatic! Dealing with her behaviour appropriately (with consequences) and not driving her yourself would be a better option surely.
Yep. I would.
Actually, I would give her the option. Sort herself out or move after Easter.
I'd move her. I'd tell next time she misses the bus you'll move her.
It's not fair on you. And you count too. You don't just exist for her benefit.
If she doesn't want to move its up to her to be ready on time.
Can you enlist the help of the school? They can be very good at dealing with this kind of thing (I am a teacher and this kind of thing comes up sometimes).
I wouldn't move her for this reason, lots of kids have to leave the house early, my dc have to leave at 07.30 to get school bus, I drive them sometimes on my days off and like you it's a 60 min round trip.
What time does she go bed? Does she have phone etc? I personally take phones off them.
The stroppiness sounds normal unfortunately
Does she have a mobile phone, or pocket money? I'd take away her phone and charge a 'taxi' fee every time you have to drive her.
is there a public bus later or is the only bus that goes there all day?
If there's a public bus then let her be late a few times, maybe once school starts giving her detentions for lateness she'll learn. if not tell her she has til Easter to improve or she will be moving schools and then if no improvement, she's had fair warning.
Before you tell her that though, are you sure the closer school has space?
Deal with her ridiculous behaviour. Give her consequences if she's late for the bus-let her be late for school and face the sanction from school. At the moment her behaviour has no consequences
Tough love is hard work, but it's so worth it in the long run
Yes, if that's the only reason for moving. When I was younger, I used to miss my bus a lot, but my mum one day decided she wouldn't drive me any more. I thought she was bluffing when I couldn't be bothered to get out of bed in time one morning. She stuck her ground, and I had to pay for my own taxi. I was never late out of laziness again. At 14 she's got a set group of friends and moving schools will disrupt that. If you do change though, it's now or never: once the GCSEs start, you're stuck
I work from home, but have seen a few tempting jobs recently and not bothered applying because I know that the regular occasions I have to drive a stroppy 14 year old to school will piss off any employer as it will make me late for work.
She only misses the bus because she knows you will drive her!
Say if she misses the bus you will not drive her. If she misses it once more she is moving to the local school after Easter. Do not drive her, let her get an unauthorized absence and deal with the consequences.
had to pay for my own taxi
That is better actually - she can pay for her own taxi out of her pocket money.
It seems a bit drastic without trying other things first. It sounds like you are happy with the school and she is happy there. Personally (and I know it wouldn't be easy) I would try ignoring her in the morning and leaving it entirely to her. Make it very clear you are not driving her. Go out for a run or something if need be. It doesn't sound as though she wants to be late for school. But also tell her that if she is late for school more than x times next term then you will move her. At 14 she really shouldn't need you to get her out of the house and it doesn't sound like there are school refusal issues as such.
And yes I'm afraid we do still often have to remind my 13 yr old out of bed in time to leave the house at 7am (14 yr old is fine) but he doesn't turn it into a battle so I don't really mind.
I've thought of just letting her be late and have an unauthorised absence but am scared of being fined for truancy. I think it's time to talk to the school to see if they can help. (There's no public bus near the school, just one school bus first thing)
My son is 14 (year 9) he goes to school in the next town and has to leave the house by 7:15, he has never missed the bus or lost his bus pass, even though he is very unorganised, because he knows there will be consequences. I can't drive him to school, because I work 40 minutes in the opposite direction, nor am I willing to pay for his bus fare on the public bus when I've already forked out for a termly pass.
DD starts the same school in September and the same will apply to her, although she's a nightmare to get out of bed I. The morning, so it could be a struggle.
I would warn her that next time she doesn't get up then she'd be moving schools. Seems unfair to do it without prior warning.
I've had to issue a similar ultimatum to ds after a disastrous start to y11. He thinks he's brilliant for only being late once this year. 🤔Prior to starting year 11, he'd never been late 😡
What other punishments have you put in place for this appalling behaviour?
They won't fine you for a one-off (or a few one-offs). Definitely talk to the school and let her know you won't be driving her any more. Then you need to stick to it and bear the consequences a few times.
I agree with the phone or electronics (wifi?) removal.
If my kids (now kid) misses the school bus they pay me in chores for the time I spend driving there and back because "I'm tired". They get one "get out jail free card" a year where I'll bring a lunch, drive them to school or bring a project that they have missed. Everyone gets to make a mistake, but a habitual one isn't a mistake. If they miss the bus I ask "would you like to use your get out of jail card or do you want to make up my time?" they usually choose to save the card for an important project. If they refuse to do chores to make up my time 1) electronics/wifi go away until it is done, even if it is days+ until they do and 2) I am not available as a car driver for them socially until it is done.
My younger one was also highly unpleasant in the morning and had to be woken up. We bought him a fitbit which has a silent vibration alarm which wakes him much better and more gently than traditional alarms and it revolutionised mornings. Now he gets to set his own alarms and he likes that he can get up slowly with multiple alarms. If he isn't up by a certain time Dad goes in, if Dad can't get him up then he tells him that I will go in. He knows I have no patience for that and it will be unpleasant.
What time does she go to bed?
Does she have access to phone / social media / electronic games at night time?
Sounds like she's got you wrapped round her little finger.
I've no real advice but I think moving her would 'reward' her and I'm not sure that's wise. I'd talk to the school.
Most of my friends with kids that age, have kids who are commuting at least an hour and half each way to grammar schools. I've never heard of a missed bus or tantrumn in the morning - in fact would go as far as to say your daughter's problems prob have nothing to do with the commute. Is she being bullied? Is she getting to bed early enough? Do you ensure she isn't playing on phones/gadgets until the wee hours? Does she have friends?
So you move her, she just gets up even later, misses school - all you have done is move the problem closer to home!
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