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A turnaround story (and a not so stealthy boast)

(12 Posts)
Wuldric Wed 12-Jun-13 20:16:13

18 months ago, DD (now 15) was a total nightmare.

She backchatted, argued and fought vociferously
She had more detentions than anyone else in her year - she deliberately violated every school rule in the book. She is at a good selective school but fell victim to the notion that it's cool to be a fool
We were talking about where she would go if/when they finally expelled her
She broke four solid oak doors with slamming them incredibly hard
She lied and stole. The biggy was using her Dad's credit card to buy an iphone, but there were other instances of appalling behaviour.

She has just returned from her Granny's where she did jobs to help out for two hours
She has not had a detention all year
She has just won four of the 12 academic prizes awarded in her year at a super-selective school (English, History, Art and ICT)

Don't give up. Really, just don't give up.

HidingUnderMyDuvet Wed 12-Jun-13 20:23:38

Thank you so much for posting this!

I'm a new secondary teacher and I had the worst day ever today with a 13 year old girl who is behaving appallingly! She had me in tears and I'm literally out of ideas of how to help her turn it all around. Unfortunately her mum is nowhere near as supportive as you sound so I feel like its all down to me.

I have no children so no idea what I'm doing, and this is all new to me! How am I supposed to teach someone else's child how to behave? And what is inappropriate?!

Is there any thing specific you did that you can say really helped her?

Leeds2 Wed 12-Jun-13 20:29:36

You have every right to boast. Well done to your DD, and you!

Wuldric Wed 12-Jun-13 20:42:42

Thank you both smile

Well it was incredibly hard, honestly. We were at school pretty well on a weekly basis. She had a very hardline head of year, who was good in that she expressed her shock and displeasure, but perhaps wasn't totally effective because DD thought she just laid down rules and wasn't necessarily prepared to listen. I was 100% on the side of the school because who wants to listen to the 'it's not fair' taradiddle anyway.

We talked a lot, and I do mean a lot. It really helped involving the extended family to let them know we were having a hard time and to get them engaged in talking DD round. Hard talking works if you present it to them as damaging to their own self-interest. When we explained to DD that she risked being expelled and got her to look at the alternatives - that was a good talk. When the school threatened to stop her playing in the netball team, not because she wasn't good enough and not because she had misbehaved at matches or anything but just because of her general conduct.

As a teacher, it must be enormously difficult. It helped that the hard-ass head of year talked to the other teachers and they all got involved in getting her back into line. DD paid no attention to any of her science teachers, but when the English teacher took her to one side, that had an impact as well.

There was no magic recipe - it took a lot of engagement on all sides.

sisterhood Wed 12-Jun-13 20:56:23

A nice story and hopefully will give others in a similar situation some hope! Well done and good luck for the future smile

lljkk Fri 14-Jun-13 16:41:06

Thx. smile

Hassled Fri 14-Jun-13 16:43:51

That's lovely, and I can only second or third it. Just don't give up. My DD's awfulness was the reason I joined MN many years ago - we still have our blips (we had a row today for the first time in ages) but those hideous dark days seem like a long way off.

1stime Fri 14-Jun-13 17:14:28

So good to read your post OP. Do you think there was anything in particular or was it the trials and tribulations of just being frustrated teen and not being able to do as you wish when you wish? Really wish I could understand why some youngsters go off the rails so badly. I see it nearly happening with my own and it make me so anxious.

Wonderful for you and DD. You must be such a strong mum.

Wuldric Fri 14-Jun-13 20:40:59

smile They were dark days. Really dark days tbh. Every single day we had an instance of hideous behaviour. There was no discernible cause. Just general willfulness.

1stime Fri 14-Jun-13 23:40:43

Glad you both got through it. Wonder sometimes if chats like these would be good for teens to read it must get scary for them too. Like I said before I get so anxious as there are times I can see us approaching really bad times.

BoffinMum Sat 15-Jun-13 00:37:23

Hiding, just be friendly and formal and don't take it home with you.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 15-Jun-13 07:30:12

Well done. It seems to me that the school handled it well and imposed sanctions and would have carried them through to permanent exclusion. Consequences work; excuses don't.

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