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DD's year 10 had a talk on divorce in school today There were tears

(23 Posts)
mamas12 Fri 02-Oct-09 23:48:04

Out of the blue, no warning to me to be able to prepare her.
Aparently the whole year were taken into the hall and someone from Relate spoke to them with a mumbly depressing voice about divorce and the effects in can have on families esp. children.
One her friends parents are going through right now and started crying and that started a few more off! Dd was not happy and it didn't sound like a valuable experience for her or the others there who have been though it.
Aparently when asked questions he couldn't answer them either.
What does anyone else think.

hambler Fri 02-Oct-09 23:51:15

I think it sounds like a useless depressing experience for all involved. Well meant , I have no doubt.
What a bummer

I would like to hear what the speaker had to say. What was the general pitch?

Sazisi Fri 02-Oct-09 23:52:01

Hmm, well I agree it would have been nice if you'd had some warning, but on the whole I'm impressed that it's being discussed. Divorce is upsetting for the children involved; I don't see how having it discussed can make it mmore so. Healthier to let it all out, in my view.

Sazisi Fri 02-Oct-09 23:52:39

Shite that the speaker couldn't answer q's though.

LauraIngallsWilder Fri 02-Oct-09 23:53:02

I think there should have been some sort of warning either to the kids or letter home for the parents

And the fool with the mumbly voice should have spoken more clearly (maybe he was nervous?) and made sure he knew the answer to likely questions

Silly of the school not to forewarn

mamas12 Sat 03-Oct-09 00:03:05

It wasn't a question of couldn't answer but wouldn't answer dd says. We haven't really discussed it at length been busy with other things tonight, but I will get more info by Sunday night.
I think some kids were asking things along the lines of trying to help, but he said you can't help, no one can in these situations!
His voice was a depressing tone.
I'm still trying to get my head round it tbh. Dhould I contact school and ask them what was it all about do you think?

Monty100 Sat 03-Oct-09 00:04:38


And a 'he' too. Is it a mixed school, just out of interest?

Preparation would have been better. Otherwise, if done properly it could have been useful.

vvv sad

mamas12 Sat 03-Oct-09 00:05:13

Saz I agree about talking and letting it out but it wasn't the right environment imo.
I think dd felt a bit ambushed and self consious, but if she was prepared then it might have been a totally different thing.

mamas12 Sat 03-Oct-09 00:06:15

Yes a mixed school.
Can't get it out of my head.

Monty100 Sat 03-Oct-09 00:07:50

Cross post there mama.

Monty100 Sat 03-Oct-09 00:09:21

And another cross post. Gawd poor dd.

Blardy dogooders - not!

How old is dd?

mamas12 Sat 03-Oct-09 00:19:18

DD has just turned 15 and she was 12 when we divorced ds was 10.
We haven't had a big talk about what happenned with us yet, never mind anyone else.

thesilverlining Sat 03-Oct-09 19:32:18

I teach and in the past have taught about divorce.....its an important topic and no tbh i have never "forewarned" parents either...

HOWEVER - I always made sure the kids were given a pep talk at the beginnning that it was a tricky topic and they were always treated with I never had a question I couldn't answer. I always did divorce in the contexst of relationships - so alongside it we also looked at homosexual relationships, inter racial/cultural ones, big families small families lone parents etc as well as the original "norm" of two parent families

Sorry you had a shitty experince - sounds like they just had a crap speaker - it should have been a forum for students to express their feelings in a safe envrionment and to ask the questiions they may not have felt comfortable asking mum or dad

Monty100 Sat 03-Oct-09 20:04:42

Hope they are ok Mamas. More or less same age as mine. smile I'm divorced too. (10 years though).

mamas12 Sat 03-Oct-09 23:13:44

Thanks monty She seems to be okay. Will be able to talk more when she comes back from her dads on Sunday.
Can I ask why you don't forewarn parents or the children, as I think that no one really talked about a positive side of divorce i.e. no more arguments, two happy homes instead of one awful existence.
I mean nobody died, I know we live a much happier life now even though it was hard to go through for them.
Do you offer a one to one after the session you do if children would like to talk more?

nooka Sat 03-Oct-09 23:32:59

I'm not sure why you would need to forewarn parents of 15 year olds. I would have been surprised if any of them had had no personal experience of divorce whether through family or friends, or that parents at some point hadn't talked to them about it. After all it's an aspect of relationships - sometimes they don't work out. So I wouldn't be complaining about the topic being on the agenda, or that I hadn't been told about it. I would however expect someone speaking about it to be fit for the job and sensitive to personal experiences. What a pity - it should have been much like silverlining has outlined. My dh and I separated when our children were 4 and 6, and we have talked about it lots since then, although in a way that they can understand, and with nothing about some of the fundamentals involved - that won't come for a few years yet, as they are still only 9 and 10.

Monty100 Sun 04-Oct-09 00:05:36

Nooka, the parents could then be prepared to answer any questions from their children (particularly as in this case the person giving the talk was not able to) or even prepare the children for the situation in which they find themselves - ie talking about something in public that is very very personal to them. Never mind someone they know or another family member. Something that happened to their family which was probably very painful and probably still is.

A 15 year old does not equal to a mature adult no matter what experience they have had.

That's why.

mamas12 Sun 04-Oct-09 00:27:41

Thank you Monty eloquently put.
That's exactly how I feel it was for the pupils that have gone through it. All focus on them and very uncomfortable to deal with in public.
I think a little sensitivity about giving a heads up on the topic for the next talk would be common decency imo. If only for the children to think about it and maybe bring something up with family first if they want to.
I mean would you herd all of one year in the hall to talk about children having free school meals and how that affects them? No.
Equally as sensitive a subject.

nooka Sun 04-Oct-09 00:38:12

I think the school hall setting was inappropriate, but not the subject matter per sey. I don't think that 15 year olds are grown up, I am just surprised at the idea that schools would be informing parents at this age, and I am afraid I think that relationship breakdowns are common enough for them to have been talked about in most homes by that age. But then my children are younger, and perhaps I am expecting too much maturity of a fifteen year old.

Monty100 Sun 04-Oct-09 01:28:52

Mamas I think its not on.

A fifteen year old, a mature adult does not make.

Far too personal.

mamas12 Sun 04-Oct-09 23:03:32

Still haven't been able to talk a lot to dd as when she got back from her dads she had food to eat bath and homework etc. Not the right time but I will try and get some more information.

Relationship breakdown are actually not as common round here as a city environment may be so it is a case of the conspicuous minority with everyone looking at them iyswim and I suspect that that was what got my dd back up too.

I agree that it was crassly handled and I might phone the school to enquire or is that ott.

Monty100 Sun 04-Oct-09 23:56:48

Hi mamas, it's prolly worth making the point, but I'm not sure they'll take it board really.

I am in a city environment and when my marriage broke up I though there'd be nothing unusual about. It was strange though as a lone parent it seemed everyone else was coupled up. Probably just my perspective.

If everyone else was looking at your dd and friend I'd be fuming but I really can't see the school doing much about it now.


Don't let it get to you.

nappyaddict Mon 05-Oct-09 02:09:52

I think it would have been better to have someone come and speak in a PSHE (do they still call it that?) lesson. More personal and informal. I would not feel comfortable in putting my hand up and asking a question in a hall full of people but would in a classroom setting.

Did they know what they were going to the hall for or did they literally not find out until they started speaking?

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