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Unauthorised abscence of ‘sick’(169 Posts)
DS (age 10) has a residential trip at the end of this year. He doesn’t want to go. He’s just not ready for the sleep over aspect of it and I don’t think it’s right to force him into it. He’s the only one not going and he’ll have to go into the lower year for 3 days. I can imagine how humiliating that’ll feel for him. I don’t really want to pretend that he’s sick, it’s mean making him lie and throwing a sicky isn’t really something I want to teach him.
I thought a letter to the head explaining that we’re taking a short family break instead. It’ll be unauthorised and we’ll face a fine but I don’t mind that so much.
Just interested in other opinions.
Why would it be humiliating to join another class in the circumstances
It’s pretty self explanatory isn’t it?
I agree with honesty rather than phoning in sick.
Why doesn't he want to go on the trip? Could you go along as a parent helper to make it easier for him?
It will be a hard few days if there will be literally no other children of his year left behind. Are you sure he's absolutely the only one?
I would happily to what you are suggesting if I was sure there would be nobody in his year in the school.
I wouldn’t let him bunk off school personally.
Why is a 10 year old not ready for sleepovers with school trip, that’s unusual.
Could you not start building his independence and confidence now so that he can go on the trip?! So sleepovers at others and the. Reciprocating? It would be a real shame for him to miss it. DD1 has gone on resideintials since 8yo and has always had so much fun, as have all the others.
No I can’t go as a helper. He’s just not ready to sleep over yet. We’re a very small family, he’s never had the opportunity to sleep at grandparents/cousins etc and the few sleepovers with friends haven’t gone well. I’m sure he’ll get there eventually but he needs a few more years.
Going into the lower year for three days, whether humiliating or not, has absolutely no benefit for him so I can see why you wouldn't want that. But I would do everything I could to make it possible for him to go on the trip, and to prepare him for it.
Our ds didn’t go on his (he’s yr 8 now). He helped in reception and yr1/2 for the week. He had a great time. Really enjoyed helping out.
A 3 day residential isn't very long - it would be better for him to be part of the year group's activities and memories than feeling separated from them all. Most children are nervous before going but fine when there. Unless he has very specific medical needs (and even then, the school should be making adjustments to allow him to go) I don't understand why he's not going? He'll need a lot of independence at high school!
I don’t know how else to prepare him for it? If he’s not emotionally/developmentally ready then he’s not ready. I’d love any suggestions anyone might have? We’ve got a few more months but I can’t see him having a drastic personality change in that time.
I understand why some posters might have a hard time understanding why a 10 year old can’t sleep away, if your child’s confident it might seem completely alien but that’s just who he is.
Do I steam roller over him or listen to him saying ‘I don’t want to go’.
Sorry ok but I think you need to help him here, don't force but do strongly encourage him to go. In the long run this will probably do him a lot of good, at 10 he is old enough to give it a go. It's not going would be the humiliating thing. It's not just on the day, but all the chatter and activities based on the trip that he will also miss out on. I can see it must be really hard, but I do think you need to try and make it seem like a positive thing.
Is it possible for him to just go for the days or is it too far away.
Whilst he may feel the sleepover part is too much, and he may feel upset about going into a younger class, how will he feel when his friends are all talking about the trip before and after?
I've known schools that allow parents to drop off and pick up their child each day where it's been feasibly possible. Not loads but just 1 or 2 children where there's been a reason as to why sleepover may not work. But parents have been the ones who have done the travelling to make it work. They've had to pay the same amount generally too though.
The whole point of a residential trip is to encourage independence away from home and family. So "going along as a parent helper," as someone suggested, is an absolute no-no.
I’m sure he’s not the only one who’s not ready, but if everyone else is going, it seems a real shame not to persuade him to give it a try. If he gets used to avoiding difficult situations, it will only get harder as he gets older.
Crystal-I have no concerns over his ‘independence’ at high school and I don’t think forcing him to sleep over now will help in any way. I don’t see the link between sleeping away from home and being ready for secondary. He’ll be fine at secondary school. This is just about not wanting to sleep over.
Just take him out of school for 3 days.
Thanks for everyone’s replies. I’m going to leave the thread here. He’s 10, I really don’t have any concerns about his ability to be independent in the future. I’ll make a decision nearer the time.
To be honest he needs to sleep over at some point and this is the perfect opportunity before he goes to secondary school. Yes he hasn't done it before but I'm sure he isn't the only one. Rather than molly coddle him, give him two choices - the trip or the younger class.
Chat to the class teacher. There may be other dc not going.
IME, dc enjoy going to help out with younger year groups. Might be different if there’s only one dc not going on the trip, though. He’ll feel left out.
How far is it? Can he go in the daytime only, or stay for just one night? Will he have a residential in year 7? If so, that will be important for the social transition to secondary.
I don't think it's that unusual for children of that age not to want the overnight aspect. Certainly in my school there is always several children each year that don't go. They help out in younger classes, usually reception or year 1 and they have a fab time! I can't think of any that haven't enjoyed it to be honest.
If I were you op I wouldn't overly encourage him or force him to go! when I was 10 I went away with school for 5 days (I really didn't want to go) but my parents thought it was best for me to go and that I would realise when I was there that I was okay and enjoy myself! However they were very wrong! I still to this day remember exactly how awful and anxious I felt the whole time! I cried, had panic attack's.
I am now 25 and live independently with my OH, work and live my life confidently but I still do not like staying away from home! It's just my personality 😊 personally I would let this be his choice!
It’s not hugely unusual, or a cause for concern about confidence / independence, not to go on the primary residential. Some children go and love it, some go and hate it, some know they will hate it so just don’t go.
Your DS shouldn’t be made to feel bad about his choice by the school and they should provide him with work suitable for his age whichever class he goes in.