Am I being a big meany. Ill child(50 Posts)
Background- DS 10. Is saying (again) that he feels so sick he can't go to school. He's done this a few times now. I have previously just sent him in, but more often than not, I'll get a call aroud 11am asking that I come and get him. I've spoken to the school about it before and they've said it's not up for them to judge how ill he is. If they feel he's not eating etc. and complaining of feeling sick. Then they will send him home.
Luckily DS and I are pretty close and he absolutely assures me there is no issue with school. So either he does feel so sick so frequently or he just literally can't be arsed with school. Just to avoid drip feeding, we've been backwards and forwards to docs and they have found so far that there is nothing wrong.
So today he's got up white faced, crying saying he feels sick and hasn't eaten. So he's having a day off. I work full time, but luckily Dsis works shifts and she will have him today. Now traditionally if he goes there he lounges on her sofa watching TV and netflix playing on his phone. I have cracked a bit today and said if he is so poorly he can't be at school he can spend the day in bed, without a TV, his phone, but he can take some books. Dsis thinks this is a bit harsh but I think it's reasonable. What do you think?
Tricky but I think YANBU. If there's a chance he's not malingering I wouldn't present it as a punishment (it would be harsh if he was genuinely sick to be told off for it) but it does sound worthwhile making a sick day a bit less appealing.
Totally reasonable. In fact, if it were ds1, there would be no books.
Completely agree. When he was younger my DS went through a phase of doing this. However school were very good and kept him going, I could speak to him over the phone to see how ill he actually was. However on the days I kept him home or had to pick him up, rule was normal tv or books, no phone, Xbox etc. Boring food, toast and the like. It might seem mean but I feel it discourages sick days!! And when he's genuinely poorly, he doesn't want to eat, talk etc and I honestly am a very sympathetic mum!!
I think you need to get to the bottom of the problem. If he is genuinely sick then no electronics and a day in bed is what he needs. If he's exaggerating then he may think twice next time if he knows being home won't be much fun.
I would say that I was very sickly as a child, lots of non-descript pains, fatigue, tiredness and bad nausea. It seemed strange but it was very real. I was a high achiever at school so it didn't affect my education but there was no diagnosis but I seemed to grow out of most of it.
It might be worth a visit to the doctor to rule out any defences etc.
I don't think you've been harsh at all though. Good luck.
Thank you all. He has been to the docs. Had all the blood tests etc and he's healthy. I think I'll take him back but it's so bloody frustrating
If you're too poorly for school you need to be in a bed in a darkened quiet room IMO. My kids rarely get sick since I implemented this rule.
YNBU if you think he's trying it.
If he's genuinely ill he'll snatch at the chance for a proper rest. If not he'll be bored senseless come 3pm today and ready for school no problem tomorrow.
Could it be nerves/anxiety? I had a lot of sick tummy days when I was little and it was anxiety
that's never gone away.
Does he ever feel too sick to play on weekends and holidays? I'd be using that as a judgement for how poorly he is I think. But yes a day of no TV / phone and very plain food if he's too sick for school.
Depends what's wrong with him doesn't it?
I was expected to go back to bed & sleep, but was then allowed to be downstairs again for company, probably back for a sleep after lunch.
Mind you, no mobile, netflix, tv in room or probably much on in the daytime for kids anyway in my day!
I wondered about anxiety too.
Schools put kids under such unecessary pressure now.
The complication is that your Dsis had to police this.
If I were doing a childcare favour I wouldn't want to be playing baddie.
I would be looking into ways to help him with anxiety.
YANBU. I had this when my dd was 11-13,, a general anxiety about school that manifested in physical symptoms such as being sick and headaches.
Think back to when we were off school, there was not much stimulation. The educational programmes on BBC2 were about as exciting as it got.
Nerves and anxiety could be a thing, I agree.
I used to vomit before or after every oral exam in lawschool. And once even during an exam (I was allowed to repeat that one).
But I do agree, if you're too sick for school you don't need your phone or a tv.
Books are awesome!
Is he is year 6 and preparing for SATS? As I'd assume that was a source of anxiety that he was worrying about.
Yanbu to want to limit him to less pleasurable activities. But if you can't do that yourself, then your sil should care for him as she sees fit.
You say he is white and not eating, so it does sound like genuine illness. Just because the docs have not found anything so far does not mean he is healthy, GPs are not infallible and do miss things which are a bit unusual or not in the expected age group. Blood tests are a bit of a fob off in this case as they wouldn't nail down a myriad of stomach problems.
I had similar problems as a teenager and it was fobbed off and not dealt with. Turns out I had excess acid and a hiatus hernia and ended up with a throat full of pre cancerous cells and unable to swallow at the age of 23 and had to have major surgery to correct it.
If I was you I would push and push for more tests. For example there is one where you can wear a monitor for a day with sensors going to your stomach which give readings which show what's going on down there, and they can put a camera down too. If he is malingering these are unpleasant and he will soon miraculously recover when faced with them.
I would be careful about viewing time off as 'punishment time' too. If he's genuinely ill (and it sounds to me like he is) how do you think he will feel about you if you punish him for being ill?
YANBU were having the same with our 13 year old not so dear Daughter at the moment.
Her poor Dad has already driven for over an hour doing the school run and now he has to do another 30 minutes of driving to get our Daughter to school.
She's ranted and raved at us both but she's bloody going to school!
She was fine yesterday when she was out all day with her friend being spoiled by us and her BF's Mum and she was fine last night messing around with me and her Dad,she's not ill and she loves school she's just being a lazy little sod!
Totally reasonable. My mum always said if I was too ill for school I was too ill for tv and playing. I had to be quiet and resting in my room reading a book or doing quiet gentle play. The only time I could watch TV or play normally if ill was for obvious stuff like chicken pox.
This tactic worked as I have had very very few sick days both in school and since as an adult. I huffed at the time but I now feel a total commitment to going to work unless I'm too ill to function and then I will go home and lay in bed.
Children get stomach ache from stress and tension. I know you said school is ok for him but maybe he's finding some of the work hard in general?
My DC school will only send them home (for nausea) once they've actually vomited. I think that's a pretty sound policy though appreciate some unlucky children will be made to stay at school even if they feel genuinely rubbish
I used to pretend I was ill at school as I was bullied so badly but didn't want to tell my parents for fear of what the bullies would do if my parents did anything about it.
Nothing unreasonable about sending kid to bed. If you are that Ill then you sleep most of the time anyway. Sounds like there may be more going on to be honest.
We tend to do bedroom and books until lunchtime, then sofa and tv in the afternoon.
But if you are going to crack down and change the rules, I think you (or your DP if you have one) probably need to take time off.
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