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School refusal - bed wetting becoming common knowledge at school

(41 Posts)
joeysapple Mon 17-Aug-20 14:52:09

DS is just about to go into year 9. Earlier this year he stayed at a friend's house and wet the bed. For some reason this has now, 7+ months later, become common knowledge amongst his peers.

We've had issues with him refusing school before but he is now saying he isn't going to return to school because he is so embarrassed. He's refusing to engage with trying on new uniform, shopping for shoes, a new bag, anything.

Does anyone have any ideas of how I can help this situation? I'm a single parent and last time this happened I had to reduce my working hours due to the stress of school refusal. Trying to avoid this situation again and nip in the bud.

OP’s posts: |
Sayitagainwhydontyou Mon 17-Aug-20 14:55:51

I highly doubt 7m later, after lockdown, anyone cares about his bedwetting.

You're the parent, it is your job to make him go to school, it is illegal for you to let him skip school. At 13 he's definitely old enough to understand that. Is there bullying, or SEN or MH issues? Could you get in touch with the school?

jolokoy Mon 17-Aug-20 14:58:40

Oh my goodness, how awful for him. Oh poor lad!

You know I only discovered that my friend from school wet the bed frequently at my house, in our 30s when he told me himself. My parents never said anything. No decent person would. I would feel so angry with that family.

I'm sorry, this isn't helpful because I have no wise advice. I just feel so badly for him.

joeysapple Mon 17-Aug-20 20:00:02

They do care, he is being teased via social media about it.

OP’s posts: |
Serenschintte Mon 17-Aug-20 20:03:13

Oh the poor boy. I’d be speaking to school about it and getting some support. He needs to go to school but it also seems like he could do with some extra support.

Sayitagainwhydontyou Mon 17-Aug-20 20:04:35

joeysapple

They do care, he is being teased via social media about it.

OK, so report them to the school and take him off social media. He still has to go, it's the law, and he's not 3, he should be able to grasp that.

ZooKeeper19 Mon 17-Aug-20 20:08:36

@joeysapple such a terrible situation for the young lad, sorry to hear he has met some fairly indecent people to make a fuss of it.

Personally I'd consider - can he change schools? It may sound extreme, but kids can be very cruel (so can some adults). Would that be an option?

Otherwise not much comes to mind, I sympathise though.

Hedgehog44 Mon 17-Aug-20 20:10:52

Oh bless him, the poor lad. Nothing helpful to say but I feel for him and hope you can sort it out.
The unsympathetic twats should think how they would feel in his shoes.

Bessica1970 Mon 17-Aug-20 20:17:22

I would contact school for help. They won’t want him to miss learning time so should be able to suggest solutions.
Does he regularly WTB (in which case I’d avoid sleepovers or send pyjama pants) or a one-off?

combatbarbie Mon 17-Aug-20 20:39:09

@Sayitagainwhydontyou seriously..... Like that attitude is going to help. I am fairly certain the OP knows her parental role..... But I'd love to see you physically get a 13yr old to school 🙄

OP, is it low level teasing in the friendship group (not that it justifies it) or on a bigger scale? Was it a one off or is it a medical issue? My DSD bedwetted til she was 12....she had the tests, alarms etc one night her brain just clicked. But I am imagine how cruel teens can be.

joeysapple Mon 17-Aug-20 20:42:27

He's had people he doesn't even know messaging him on Snapchat to ask whether it's true that he wet the bed at a sleepover sad Snapchat has gone but he is still terrified and refusing to even go out and meet his friends.

He does have some SEN and has struggled with anxiety in the past. He wet the bed regularly until he was about 10 but this was a very unfortunate one off after a long time. I suspect due to a late night.

OP’s posts: |
PenOrPencil Mon 17-Aug-20 20:49:21

Can you get in touch with school and work on a strategy to get him back to school? This should include definite consequences and safe spaces for if the bed wetting is brought up in school.

If your ds has been a school refuser in the past, how did school deal with this? Were they helpful and supportive? Maybe a new school is worth thinking about to give your ds a fresh start.

Sayitagainwhydontyou Mon 17-Aug-20 21:21:06

combatbarbie

*@Sayitagainwhydontyou* seriously..... Like that attitude is going to help. I am fairly certain the OP knows her parental role..... But I'd love to see you physically get a 13yr old to school 🙄

OP, is it low level teasing in the friendship group (not that it justifies it) or on a bigger scale? Was it a one off or is it a medical issue? My DSD bedwetted til she was 12....she had the tests, alarms etc one night her brain just clicked. But I am imagine how cruel teens can be.

Surprise surprise, i got all of mine to school every day. Bullying was dealt with by speaking to the school, or the other parents, or the kids themselves, but i was legally obliged to send them to school and they knew it, so off to school they went.

combatbarbie Mon 17-Aug-20 21:56:01

@Sayitagainwhydontyou it must be so tiring being perfect like you 🙄 as much as its a legal responsibility, I would never willingly drag my child into a situation where they would be bullied. Great parenting skills you have there.

OP, you have my sympathies, kids can be horrible at the best of times. I know moving schools is rather drastic but is an option, but it could follow him depending on how big/small the area is that you live in.

You can try and get him to brazen through it, laugh it off.... Easier said than done. Can you arrange for his circle to meet up at yours for pizza or something and keep an ear out for anything said about it, you will be able to judge it better in terms of what could happen next.

joeysapple Mon 17-Aug-20 22:20:12

PenOrPencil

Can you get in touch with school and work on a strategy to get him back to school? This should include definite consequences and safe spaces for if the bed wetting is brought up in school.

If your ds has been a school refuser in the past, how did school deal with this? Were they helpful and supportive? Maybe a new school is worth thinking about to give your ds a fresh start.


School were useless with the refusal in the past. They would occasionally send someone round to try to coax him to school.

Then they would send letters warning us about his attendance.

Senco is useless but his form tutor is incredible and she's been instrumental in us getting him to school consistently from about June 19-March 20 by being there as a support for him.

I think it's very hard to understand school refusal if it's not something you've been through with your own child. It's not a case of discipline, you can't discipline anxiety out of a child and hopefully no parent would try if they were actually in that situation themselves.

OP’s posts: |
joeysapple Mon 17-Aug-20 22:21:48

I have encouraged him to start texting a couple of friends as he has shut himself off from them for about 4 weeks now. Hopefully if he can see a few people before school goes back then that might help.

OP’s posts: |
Blackdog19 Mon 17-Aug-20 22:30:16

Is moving schools an option OP? Your poor ds

joeysapple Mon 17-Aug-20 22:37:35

Blackdog19

Is moving schools an option OP? Your poor ds


Potentially, but the secondary schools in our area are all quite intertwined socially and this rumour seems to have been quite the gossip, and has spread far sadso it's no guarantee that he wouldn't move schools just for the rumour to follow.

It seems a very extreme solution.

Add to that, he doesn't cope well with change AT ALL and before this he had just got quite settled at this school after a horrendous year 7/start of year 8. He is also able to drop a lot of subjects he doesn't like this year as current school offers a 3 year GCSE curriculum. I think in a couple of weeks it would (hopefully) be old news.

But if I can't get him back to school at all then that won't matter. Refusing to even go and try on school shoes / go shopping for a new school bag isn't a great sign. I just don't know how to make this better for him.

OP’s posts: |
latticechaos Mon 17-Aug-20 22:37:49

Gosh, some posters congratulate themselves a lot but clearly can't hear how unpleasant they sound.

OP your ds is lucky to have a thoughtful parent as this is a very awkward situation. School refusal is complicated. Start with the form tutor.

I really feel for your ds flowers. Sorry I don't know much helpful info.

Endofmytether2020 Mon 17-Aug-20 22:42:10

Ok, first he needs to lie and say he didn’t do it, unless it was actually witnessed by more than one person. He needs to make up some sort of line to deal with it. Has he fallen out with the friend whose house it was?

Lougle Mon 17-Aug-20 22:46:52

@Sayitagainwhydontyou
"Surprise surprise, i got all of mine to school every day. Bullying was dealt with by speaking to the school, or the other parents, or the kids themselves, but i was legally obliged to send them to school and they knew it, so off to school they went."

Small point, but no, it isn't a legal obligation to send them to school. It is a legal obligation to have your child educated, at school or otherwise.

@joeysapple that is the most awful thing. I'm not sure what to suggest. There is no solution that will take the embarrassment away. I guess it's a case of 'this too shall pass', but small consolation to a teenager.

joeysapple Mon 17-Aug-20 22:47:36

No he hasn't fallen out with the friend whose house it was. There were four of them there, one of them has blabbed to the school bully, a month or so ago, who has spread the news far and wide. sad I have encouraged him to laugh and deny it but he's just so emotional and upset about it that I don't think he's got it in him.

OP’s posts: |
Emeraldshamrock Mon 17-Aug-20 22:47:46

Poor kid. I don't know the answer I understand why he wants to avoid going back, moving schools wouldn't help with social media.
Has he wet the bed before? I guess the best thing he could from an adult's P.O.V is own it, say "yes so what I had a kidney infection"

Germolenequeen Mon 17-Aug-20 23:01:08

Please tread very carefully OP

My son was bullied very badly at a private school unbeknownst to us.

We removed him as soon as we found out as there were so many children involved.

The bullying followed him via
social media to his new school.

He was so traumatised by his experience that he was suicidal and in a CAMHS inpatient unit at 13.

He's now 23 and is still dealing with anxiety and depression and sometimes self harms.

Wholeholes Mon 17-Aug-20 23:12:42

Oh poor lad. I think you need to contact school and ask/demand that they put something in place for him. If you tell them how good the form tutor has been in the last they might be able to help now before he has to go back.
WRT not engaging with uniform etc could you just order a couple of different sizes and leave them in his room to try on when he’s ready?
Does he have a nice uncle/older cousin who could give him some support?
I have no idea how to deal with the social media situation apart from get him off it and try to get him to meet up with a select few friends in real life

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