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Aibu to want to run away due to my son's schools refusal.

(75 Posts)
Mum0fteens Tue 24-Sep-19 08:50:48

Please someone help. My 14 DS has never liked school from being very little. However has always attended and although not an A* student he does well. He's always been sociable and has lots of friends. He's also very sporty playing rugby league at top level. Anyway after the summer break he has turned into a boy I don't recognise. He refuses to go to school. In the 3 weeks they've been back he's attended 4 times. He won't get out of bed he won't shower he won't talk to me.
I have tried numerous ways to get him in.
Ive tried punishing him, removed his xbox, phone, TV , laptop.
I've tried yelling at him.
I've tried calmly talking to him about his feelings.
I've tried getting him to go to the dr's but he refuses.
I've got school involved who are offering different options.
I've spoke to his friends.
I've cried, begged, threatened.
I've got his rugby coach involved who he respects but nothing has changed.
I've offered to get up earlier with him so we can both go for an early morning run.
I bring him breakfast in bed I've even offered to wash and dress him.

He just lies there in bed duvet over his head refusing to move.
School are being really understanding so far and are only offering support. But I don't know how to break this habit.

The last thing I have to threaten him with is removing his rugby however at the moment that is the only thing that makes him leave the house. That's the only thing he will engage with and if this is mental health related I don't want to remove the only thing that makes him happy and motivated. I also don't want to damage his future opportunities by removing something he is very skilled at.

Also over the summer puberty has really surged within him. Is this hormone related?
Please don't mum shame me I already feel like a failure I need advice as I'm at breaking point.

TheVanguardSix Tue 24-Sep-19 08:55:04

Who are his friends, would be my first question?

Puberty comes with baggage but this is extreme.
Is there a possibility he's dabbling in drugs?
I ask because my brother was like this and in his case, drugs were the issue. This is only speculation though.

Is he able to articulate how he's feeling at the moment?

Belledan1 Tue 24-Sep-19 08:56:04

I have a similar situation but its a bit outing to post. Happy to talk if you want to pm me

SnuggyBuggy Tue 24-Sep-19 08:57:52

Does he otherwise seem healthy? I'd be tempted to take him to the GP

MeganTheVegan Tue 24-Sep-19 08:58:31

What do you think would happen if you said to him he doesn't have to go back to school?

sadlittleblondie Tue 24-Sep-19 08:59:16

There's a Facebook page called Not Fine In School - I'd recommend you post there for some advice.

formerbabe Tue 24-Sep-19 09:00:47

Poor you, that sounds like a nightmare.

I was also going to suggest taking him to see a doctor.

MustardScreams Tue 24-Sep-19 09:06:01

School just doesn’t work for some kids. That does not make you a bad mother in anyway.

Can you take him to the GP? There might be something making him feel this way.

If it was dd I would seriously consider taking her out of school and look into home education. But that depends entirely if you have the time, or if you think it’s something that will help or hinder.

NearlyGranny Tue 24-Sep-19 09:06:55

Is he on SM much? Stupid question, I know - 14 yo boy!

Is it possible that he was being cyber-bullied over the summer? Or perhaps the rapid changes to his body have simply overwhelmed him with self-consciousness?

You know he doesn't want to go to school, but has he been able to articulate what he DOES want? That might be a place to start . If his answers are along the lines of "Not to be here any more," and his thoughts are dark and frightening, you do need to get him to the doctor by hook or by crook. I hope it's not that bad though.

I do feel for you. A lad in our village went through this and school/the LA offered home tutoring for a bit but it was minimal hours. Some of the retired friends and neighbours came in to teach him their specialist subjects and he got through exams. He also got a job in a business run by friends, but of course it depends where you are and who you know.

Drogosnextwife Tue 24-Sep-19 09:09:37

Do you think there might be bullying going on? Does he ever talk to you about his friends? Does he socialise outwith school hours?

LinoleumBlownapart Tue 24-Sep-19 09:09:51

Have you looked into other options? Online schooling? You could remove the stress from both of you. Maybe get an incentive like an agreement from him that he'll maintain a certain grade level and dedicate a certain number of hours.

Drogosnextwife Tue 24-Sep-19 09:10:35

Sorry just realised you said he has lots of friends and is very sociable. Could that have changed? Perhaps something has happened.

wigglybeezer Tue 24-Sep-19 09:14:35

I had a similar issue with my rugby playing sociable son, that started at the same age, he did manage to keep going to school until he was 16 but he then left mid term and refused to go back ( 16 legal school leaving age in Scotland). He turned out to have anxiety that he couldn't control any longer. Anxiety usually has a cause but it can take ages to get to the bottom of it especially with inarticulate boys. My DS is being assessed for ADHD, missed because he didn't fit the " naughty kid" stereotype. DS couldn't cope when the level of self motivation and organisation ramped up when exam level work started, teachers kept going on about how important exams were and DS went from a B student to C/D. Puberty definitely made things worse as social things got more complicated too.

FamilyOfAliens Tue 24-Sep-19 09:16:24

The OP said he refuses to go to the GP, for all those suggesting it.

onyourway Tue 24-Sep-19 09:16:41

I would start at the GP. Like the PP, I suspect anxiety and possibly ADHD. We had similar at exactly the same age.
It's a long haul, but hopefully he might open up to a GP.

SallyWD Tue 24-Sep-19 09:18:59

I had a friend like this. It turned out she was being bullied but was too humiliated to tell her parents, her friends or the school. Could this be a possibility? I really feel for you and your son.

Mum0fteens Tue 24-Sep-19 09:19:58

Hi thank you so much for your non judgemental replies. I feel like such a bad mum right now.
He's always been so sociable but not anymore he literally doesn't leave the house unless it's for rugby.
He won't even visit family with us.

I know I need to get him into Drs but he just refuses to go I have another appointment booked in for Thursday morning and have decided that even if he refuses I will still attend and get some medical advice in his absence.

Home schooling is just not possible I don't know how I would manage that I work full-time .

I checked his phone which he's not had now for 3 weeks and there is nothing that I can see that raises any alarms. His friends are good kids typical sporty boys.

Waiting for his head of year and attendance officer to visit again today to discuss next steps.

Truly breaking my heart that he is spending his life in his room blinds down unmotivated to do anything.

Lunde Tue 24-Sep-19 09:21:19

Refusing to get out of bed and refusing to shower could indicate depression. I think that you need to get your GP involved to rule out a physical cause. Are there any issues with other pupils that could indicate bullying?

Thegrasscouldbegreener Tue 24-Sep-19 09:28:24

Op please ask for the head to put it in writing that they are giving you the time and space to get some medical help. This will cover if you if you end up in court for school non attendance. I can not tell how important it is to get that email or letter from them.

Secondly call the GP and ask them for a home appointment. If you can't get him there, they will have to come to you. The GP can do an assessment at your house, and will then also write to the school with her or his findings.

I would also look into whether you can find a teen counsellor come out for a home visit, some specialise in this area.

Home school with support might be your only option op. You need to consider how this could work. He needs support.

Tableclothing Tue 24-Sep-19 09:31:03

What is it that's stopping him? He used to go, what is different now? When you talked to him about his feelings, what was said?

LeahSMS Tue 24-Sep-19 09:33:58

Is he literally in bed all day or does he get up when you stop pressuring him to go to school?

WonderWomansSpin Tue 24-Sep-19 09:34:08

I think going to see his GP on your own (if he won't go) is a good first step. Then your GP could arrange a house call to see your DS.
There's so much that could be going on - depression; anxiety; bullying; drugs,etc. Have you discussed the possibility of him going to a different school? That might help to narrow down whether it's something in his own school and peer group that's making him want to stay home.
Does he do rugby at school? Could you work with the school on a phased return that starts with him attending rugby practice?

Span1elsRock Tue 24-Sep-19 09:34:17

If it's making him this unhappy, something is badly wrong.

We took our eldest out of the education system at 14. She had just over a year at home with me and a part time tutor, it just took all of the stress out of the situation and our lives. We had a fab advisor from the local Ed authority, (it was called Partnership with Parents), and she was so supportive. After around 18 months, she found DD a place on a year 11 course at a local college (they don't tend to be advertised but are available through the Ed dept) and DD thrived on it. She did a year of courses that were enough to get her into further Ed if she wanted to, and college was such a different ball game to school.

It was only a few years later that she told us how badly bullied she was at school. But don't be afraid of taking a child out of a system that isn't working for them. It's remarkably easy to do, and it's totally OK that your child doesn't fit the traditional school mold. There are lots of alternatives - home ed groups; tutors; we even found a very exceptional local Steiner school but just couldn't afford the fees.

RickOShay Tue 24-Sep-19 09:35:59

This is not your fault at all. I had this with dd, it was awful.
I was referred to Early Years, she saved me. Definitely go to your gp on your own, I did, and ask for help.
You will both come through this, though it seems impossible now.
Please pm me if you would like to chat, I understand what you are going

Mum0fteens Tue 24-Sep-19 09:39:01

At first it was excuses he didn't feel well, he had belly ache, he had spots, even said he can't go cos he has bad eye bags.
Now when he does slightly open up the most I can get out of him is it's embarrassing everyone will ask why I've not been in.
I've tried explaining to him that staying off will only make them more curious and getting the first day over with will make him feel loads better. His head of year has offered to let him sit in his office all day to get him used to being in the building. But he just won't accept any help.

I do think there's mental health issues, I definitely see anxiety on him when he has on occasion tried to get ready to go and my worry now is it's lead into depression.
I've requested to join the Facebook group mentioned and will speak to school about possible home tutoring or other options.
I don't know how home schooling would work as I have to work to pay the bills but in the same breathe I would give up everything for my kids. I just want my fun loving boy back no matter what it takes

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