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Can you tell when your child is trying to pull a sickie?

(18 Posts)
IsThisForReal Wed 06-Dec-17 09:43:48

DS is 15. He does have dyslexia, which I know means he can find school exhausting, but sometimes my gut reaction is that he's fibbing when he says he's feeling ill and should stay off school. But then I also feel guilty for not believing him sad.

He's in a school show this week and was late back last night. As soon as he came in he started saying 'he could feel a cold coming on/ had a sore throat etc' but I was a bit hmm as I think he always does this 'pre-empting' thing when he's decided he doesn't fancy school the next morning.

Then this morning he was making a big show of how ill he felt - dragging his feet, rubbing his head, putting his dressing gown hood up "I'm so cold" etc. My gut reaction was that it was all an act... something just seemed a bit fake about it.

DH took his temperature and it was fine. He wasn't sneezing and his nose didn't sound blocked. Although he seemed to be blowing his nose, it didn't sound necessary - again, almost for affect hmm.
So we dosed him with paracetamol and DH said he'd drop him off at school . DH says that in the car he was silent and grumpy and slammed the door shut. DH's view is that DS 'knows he's been rumbled!'
I tend to agree, but my more charitable side wonders if we are being a bit hard?

iggleypiggly Wed 06-Dec-17 09:46:30

No not being hard. That’s the reality of life. Schools are so hot on attendance. I send mine in dosed up and tell them to get office to call if they get really unwell... they never do! Colds come and go throughout the winter, imagine having lots of time off work for sniffles and snot! I think you are being realistic and not harsh smile

Haudyerwheesht Wed 06-Dec-17 09:49:20

Not being harsh and tbh at 15 he needs to learn that life goes on even if you do have a cold!

mrsBeverleyGoldberg Wed 06-Dec-17 09:50:09

This sounds like us. I'm always convinced the dcs are ill when they're faking. Dh can always tell. We send them to school with a cold and ibruprofen and a dose to have four hours later.

Seeline Wed 06-Dec-17 09:53:03

Mine go to school unless they have a temperature/been sick/they're missing a bit.
I give them paracetamol.
They know if it is worse during the day I can pick them up.

There has been the odd occasion when I have relaxed that rule - eg very end of term when obviously exhausted and under the weather and I know that lessons have eased down, or there is the talent contest etc (although funnily enough they often don't appear as ill in that situation grin )
I don't think you are being hard.

cakedup Wed 06-Dec-17 09:53:14

Sounds just like my ds (12) who, incidentally is also dyslexic! I swear mum mum was a master at spotting fake ailments when I was younger whereas I'm never sure. Add to that the fact that ds is a bit of a hypochondriac and overly sensitive (not your tough cookie type).

So unless he is very obviously ill, I will acknowledge his ailments and just tell him that unfortunately he still needs to go to school - unless he has a temperature is vomiting or actually needs to see a doctor.

IsThisForReal Wed 06-Dec-17 09:57:37

Sounds like we did the sensible thing!

I am too soft, but I can't help it - my mothering urge to protect and keep safe/well is too strong grin

The thing is I can spot all the 'faking it' signs, but I still try to ignore them:
- DS always saves his full 'I'm feeling ill' act for me, not DH
- it's always when he's had a run of late nights at school, or when there's something going on he doesn't fancy (e.g. sports day, school trip etc)

He does drama and I dread him being in end of term productions - I have to manage the 'drama queen' behaviour all week hmm to get him through it.

IsThisForReal Wed 06-Dec-17 10:02:02

cakedup - that's interesting. I do think the dyslexia means that sometimes he feels a bit overwhelmed when there has been a lot going on, and like your DS, mine isn't a very tough cookie. He's going to have to learn to manage it in real life though sad.

I can't help feeling his primary school didn't help by always telling them they could come in late the morning after a school show - it has created a sense of entitlement about this!

JufusMum Wed 06-Dec-17 11:10:21

DD pulls sickies when she has a big test or exam coming up, she has a large proportion of badly-behaved disruptive children in her (undersubscribed, financially in a mess) school.

I know she gets more revision done at home so I let her off. Most of their lesson time is spent dealing with disruption. Can't wait to get her out of there after GCSE's.

ifonly4 Wed 06-Dec-17 11:16:10

My daughter and her friends didn't want to take time off in their last year as she were totally focused on their exams.

I was very lucky with DD as I know she's ill just by looking at her. She always goes pale with a cold or onset of a tummy bug and then generally doesn't want her breakfast (she's not one to go without it normally).

If the cold is bad, he'll be suffering tonight not wanting to do much, have a stuffy nose and won't sleep very well. If it gets to that point, although most of us just have to continue, you can review whether he should go in tomorrow.

WhatHaveIFound Wed 06-Dec-17 11:16:44

My DC know there's no chance of pulling sickies with me/DH. We're both self employed so it makes them appreciate that there's no one to pick up the slack when you're ill and that life has to go on.

The only time it's backfired was when i packed DD off to school with 'a bit of a cold' and was called to pick her up a couple of hours later when she fainted in class!

RedSkyAtNight Wed 06-Dec-17 12:38:55

My DC go to school unless they are vomiting or have limbs falling off. Waking up in the morning (having been fine the previous night) and saying "I feel ill" would get short shrift and they would be packed off to school.

Granted on one occasion, we did have a call at 11am to say that DS was totally white, looked as though he was about to faint and was huddled in a corner wrapped in a coat and blanket shivering.

But 1 occasion in 10 years, 2 children is not bad!

noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 06-Dec-17 13:05:54

There is a middle ground though where they’re not really ill but are still feeling pretty crap. Yes, if they end up as self-employed adults they’d just have to soldier on but there are plenty of adults who take a day off at the drop of a hat (I work with loads of them hmm). I’ve always given mine the benefit of the doubt once per term and sometimes they’ve taken advantage of that and have stayed at home when they probably could have gone in but they know that it’s only going to happen once ... dd and ds1 have no trouble keeping up with work though. Ds2 on the other hand hasn’t made it into school since the first week of term - so if your ds is usually able to cope but just needs a bit of tlc every now and then I wouldn’t worry too much

FireCracker2 Wed 06-Dec-17 13:11:52

If they are not in a fit state to work and learn there is no point them going in.
I am sick of parents allowing children who are ill, to go to school and pass it round other pupils and teachers.

FireCracker2 Wed 06-Dec-17 13:13:07

RedSkyAt Night- that is terrible you are the sort of parent that makes everyone else sick.

FucksakeCuntingFuckingTwats Wed 06-Dec-17 13:15:47

My youngest daughter who was seven at the time kept pretending to have a sore tummy to get off school. By lunchtime she was jumping around hyper.

So my rule is now unless they have an upset tummy or a temperature they get a mouthful of medicine and go. At the end of the day an adult can't take a day off for a mild cold or headache.

FucksakeCuntingFuckingTwats Wed 06-Dec-17 13:21:52

Redskyatnight i don't really get your going to bed fine and waking up to say they are ill would get short shrift. Are you saying for someone to be ill in the morning they must of had to of felt ill the night before.

That's a crazy theory.

RedSkyAtNight Wed 06-Dec-17 13:36:50

Not sure why sending a child who says they feel ill but has no obvious symptoms makes me the awful parent that makes everyone else sick?

fucksake I am saying that a child that has no symptoms beyond "feeling ill" when they were perfectly fine the night before is probably not that ill. Which is kind of what this thread was about?
Of course people can get taken ill overnight, but I'd like them to look ill in the morning.

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