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Just twigged why Dss has become so grumpy and foul, need to vent!

(28 Posts)
Readyisknitting Tue 04-Dec-12 07:56:12

I've posted about the thorny issue of secondary schools before, in brief, we are in catchment for 2 good schools, one of which Dss wants to go to. We live 100 yards from the primary. XW lives 3+ miles away, her choice, and is in catchment for one school, the academy, which is still living up to it's crap reputation. A while ago we suggested changing the child benefit over to dp's name so he could get into the local school, in our situation CB is the decider. She refused.

Now I've just twigged the reason Dss is being a grumpy,stroppy little sod, instead of his usual cheerful self. He is being hothoused for the 11+, evidently his mum has decided it is the solution to the problem. Dss is a plodder, and not grammer material. That's not me putting him down, he's just a sporty little boy, bright, but not esp academic. Apparently she tried this with Dsd, when dsd was that age, and dp stepped in, but of course that's not possible now they are divorced.

I'm bloody angry. We presented a solution on a plate, it would have been a paperwork change, that's all. Both parents work FT, the cb goes into a separate account to pay Dss' expenses, eg trampolining club, cubs. And instead she has to give him all this stress and pressure, unnecessarily. And because we are the safer secure option, he takes it out on us. <silent scream>

2blessed2bstressed Tue 04-Dec-12 08:05:57

Maybe his mum doesn't see him as a plodder, and thinks he could be grammar material. What does your dp think?

Readyisknitting Tue 04-Dec-12 08:15:09

both dp and xw have agreed with that assessment.

She did agree to the switch, and then changed her mind!!!

Readyisknitting Tue 04-Dec-12 09:19:48

Had an interesting chat with Dss. He is a lovely lad, and a pleasure (when not stroppy) Got a few ideas, but need to put them in place. He's asked ( at my suggestion, and recounting how his sister made decisions) to chat with a family friend, who is a very good base for bouncing ideas, and has his interests first. Dss has said he'd rather make here his base during the week, which will not go down well with his mum!!!

My next steps (to clarify my thoughts)

Get DP to take dss round all the schools in the area.
Get Dss to chat to the friend (who is also his Godmother, and reminding him of this fact will help slot his nose back into place, but that's another story!!!)

Once Dss has more clarity of thought, review situation...

How's that sound? Dss is terrified of telling his mother, as was dsd, so will need lots of hand holding. Poor boy.

TobyLerone Tue 04-Dec-12 09:27:17

I can't help but think you should keep out of it a bit and let his parents handle it. His mum might well think you are interfering and will probably question whether DSS' decisions actually came from him or from you.

CatchingMockingbirds Tue 04-Dec-12 09:38:21

I agree with toby, let his parents sort it out.

2blessed2bstressed Tue 04-Dec-12 09:42:54

As Toby and Catching have said, I don't think you should be taking next steps at all.

mummytime Tue 04-Dec-12 09:45:09

I would tell your DP your plan, and then get him to deal with the situation. Either following your advice or not.

You need to go back to being a sounding board. One who listens to DSS, but doesn't do much except sometimes tell his father what he has said.

I know you mean well, but the more you do the easier it is for you to become the scape goat and get the blame.

SnowWhiteWinter Tue 04-Dec-12 10:05:14

What school does DSS want to go to?

Readyisknitting Tue 04-Dec-12 10:54:06

That is what I plan to do. Dp is too very laid back, and so needs a doc marten up the bum occasionally. I have emailed him, we often communicate this way, often the kids think we can mind read or something as the other will know something even though they weren't present at the time!!!

Dss currently wants to go to school M. It is 1m from here, in Town and we are just on the edge of the catchment. Most of the kids from the village school go to school C, again a mile away, but in a tiny market town.

Dss' mum lives on the other side of Town, 4-5 miles away. She is in catchment for the academy, which is 1m from her, 4m from us. There are 3 Grammars in Town, and another secondary, G, which is about 2m from us, 3m from her. Does that make sense?

My ds, 1yr younger, will probably go to school C, it will suit his needs, and he likes the idea of catching a train to school!

Readyisknitting Tue 04-Dec-12 10:56:45

I spoke to Dss this morning. He told his mum he didn't have enough time to finish his homework. When asked why he said he was too scared of her reaction. The 11+ is the cause of this, he said he feels a lot of pressure to pass it.

This whole school thing is going to come to a head, and Dss will be stuck in the middle. I have told him about how Dsd had to make a decision when you spilt, and how she used X as a sounding board to help her face her mum and you. Dss has asked to use X, so I shall put that into place. I have spoken to X and asked her if that's ok- she's a bit surprised, but happy to help. She is his GM, and so by chatting to her will also put his nose back into place re GodParents!

I do think that if Dss is to make a full informed choice, and sadly he is in the position where he has to make a mammoth choice, he needs to visit all possible schools. The academy, new and current site, M, C, G and the 2 potential grammars. This is a job for you, as it's not my place. Get him to make notes, like I do with the Sunday school kids, of like, not like. I know that's going to be really tricky with work the way it is, but this morning showed he needs us to show we're there behind him, in actions.

During our chat this morning I did tell him that when he reaches the transfer stage he will have to make the big decision about where he lives during the week, and keep the weekends as they are now. He agrees, that that is more practical, in all ways. I said to him it's not fair that you're being put in such a position, but that's life, it's not fair, and then told him about how Dsd had to make that choice, albeit she was older.

And then wait and review. For him to be able to make the choice he has to feel that we will stand behind him, same as dd1 when she refused to go with her dad. I hope I have relieved the immediate pressure, as I said to him that if the school he currently has in mind doesn't need the 11+ then it's no biggie. I hope that will help him to relax short term, but we need to give him the information so he can relax for the rest of the school year, so that whether he passes or not, it won't be everything.


Readyisknitting Tue 04-Dec-12 10:57:15

Oops, copy of email sent to dp!!!!

CatchingMockingbirds Tue 04-Dec-12 11:21:08

So his dad isn't even that fussed about what school he goes to and isn't pushing for this? Neither is his mum who wants him to do 11+ instead? You're the only one pushing for this? As I said earlier, I think you should back off and let his parents deal with their child's education themselves.

YourHandInMyHand Tue 04-Dec-12 11:26:48

Why are you doing so much meddling here? This is up to his mum and dad isn't it.

I say this having had a step mum, having been a step mum, and my son now having a step mum. You need to stop interfering.

As a single mum and the resident parent no way would I chang the child benefit over to the NRP household to get my child into a school out of catchment, would be a complete minefield of potential problems!

YourHandInMyHand Tue 04-Dec-12 11:29:37

You've also got this kid's godmother involved, trying to pool you, your DSS, and her against the mums wishes. No wondered she was surprised! shock

Telling a child of this age they will have to decide where they want to live soon is way overstepping the mark too, and pointing this out will make him even more anxious and under pressure. hmm

zzzzz Tue 04-Dec-12 11:31:04

shock. Let his parents manage his education and where he lives.

2blessed2bstressed Tue 04-Dec-12 11:47:27

Bloody Norah! I'm a stepmum and would never dream of getting so, em, involved in things that are really none of my business!
I can't actually believe that you think this is an acceptable way to behave. And you're steamrollering ds's into saying to his mum that he's coming to live with you during the week? You've got some nerve!
No wonder your poor dss is "grumpy and foul", but I don't think that's necessarily down to his mum shock

TobyLerone Tue 04-Dec-12 17:21:03

Why on earth does he have to 'decide where he wants to live' when the furthest he will have to go to school is about 5 miles?

This sounds very much like you're meddling, and I would kick back against this in the most extreme way if my DCs' father's partner pulled this with me.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 04-Dec-12 17:28:29

During our chat this morning I did tell him that when he reaches the transfer stage he will have to make the big decision about where he lives during the week, and keep the weekends as they are now. He agrees, that that is more practical, in all ways. I said to him it's not fair that you're being put in such a position, but that's life, it's not fair, and then told him about how Dsd had to make that choice, albeit she was older.

Good grief! shock

You really said this to your Yr 6 DSS?

Perhaps ask yourself why you are becoming so involved? What worries you about allowing your DSS parents to do this without your interference help?

NatashaBee Tue 04-Dec-12 17:34:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WakeyCakey Tue 04-Dec-12 18:37:40

Crikey your poor dss.
I would never tell my dsd that she had to choose who she lived with!
dsd's mum came to me for advice on dsd going to secondary school because she is very bright.
I went to a private school and felt it didn't help me at all so I told her that and that was the end of my involvement and we get on really well and are quite close!
I wouldn't dream of undermining dp's ex like this, I think its cruel and it really isn't your place.

You definitely need to step back and realise that what is in dss' best interests is what his parents decide, not what you think at all!

purpleroses Tue 04-Dec-12 18:39:44

My DSD is in a similar position to your DSS in that her mother has decided (and DP has gone along with) that she will apply to a highly selective private secondary school, against the advice of her current school who say it is "unlikely" that she will get in. I've expressed my views to DP on this (that it's most likely setting her up to fail, either the entrance exam or to be at the bottom of the class struggling if she did get in) and although he agrees, he doesn't thinks it's his place to rule that she cannot apply to go there (her two older siblings, who are stronger academically are already there).

DSD said that she would like to come and live with us and go to the same school as my DS, which caused a few fireworks with her mum who was clearly not OK about this suggestion. DSD now she says very little about it and goes along with what her mum wants. I've concluded really that the best thing you can do in this situation is to offer help with practice papers, be supportive of her giving it a shot, and to reassure her that there are other good schools and she'll be fine wherever she ends up. The crazy thing is in our situation is that the state school near where her mum lives has a great reputation locally, but her mum won't even let her look round it. Instead she will sit on a bus for two hours a day (like her siblings do) travelling to the private school. DP feels he made a comitment to private education when they were younger, and needs to honour that (his ex has made it quite clear that that's how she sees it too) despite the increased travel they have as a result of where their mum's chosen to live.

But at the end of the day, it's her parents' decisions to make. I can express my opinions, but it's not my right to make the decision. I think you probably need to do the same with your DSS.

pinguthepenguin Tue 04-Dec-12 23:25:39

Sweet baby Jesus and the orphans.

What is going on today with overriding the parents? Seriously...i am flabbergasted that this is even real. angry

lunar1 Wed 05-Dec-12 07:09:49

Wow the 11+ is the least of his stress if you are telling him he has to chose where to live! Let him be a child and his parents parent him fgs!

EleanorGiftbasket Wed 05-Dec-12 07:31:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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