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Anyone else's teen not made it to school/college today?

(56 Posts)
flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 09:22:47

I'm feeling a bit fed up and frustrated. My DS hasn't made it to college this morning. He overdid it at the weekend, basically. sad When I checked to see why he wasn't up at 7:15 he said he was "feeling ill". hmm Of course he is bloody feeling ill: that's what happens when you get wrecked at the weekend and don't get enough sleep! To my mind, you just have to push on through...

This is the first time he has done this since he started his course in Sept. But he did it often last year, so I am fretting a bit about him slipping back into bad habits. I'm guessing this is quite normal teenage behaviour, and colleges must be used to it and not at all convinced by teenagers who are coincidentally always poorly on Mondays but it would be reassuring to hear from other parents whose teens are also still in bed!

flow4 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:49:02

Thanks cory smile

I'm glad your DD's kidney infection is sorted... But sorry to hear she's depressed again. I guess it's hardly surprising, poor girl.

How are you? Have you got counselling or other support for yourself?

cory Wed 28-Nov-12 19:33:33

good to hear about your ds, flow- I think we owe it to ourselves to enjoy any positive bit to the full to make up for the rest! smile

fwiw we spent the morning at the children's mental health clinic and as far as I can make out a substantial part of the treatment consists of pointing out to dd that, actually, I can't take responsibility for her life any more; she has to take ownership of her own problems. I think there is a lot of truth in that.

(we've now had the all clear from physical medics re her kidneys, but her counsellor confirmed that this latest trouble has tipped her back into depression, so we're going to have to start all over again with getting her back into school, aiming at not earlier than end of next week for her first attempt)

flow4 Tue 27-Nov-12 10:55:20

Not particularly, double smile You are probably picking up on the irritation I felt because I'd spent an hour answering and discussing the issue in detail, and then lost what I wrote!

I also taught for 4 years in FE and 3 in HE, so I have some understanding of where you're coming from.

However, IMO when a parent says 'it's not my problem anymore - she's old enough to get herself in', it is (a) literally true and (b) probably a reflection of the frustration and hopelessness that parent feels, after years of trying. I am suggesting that rather than 'not caring', that parent is admitting defeat.

BTW, you are obviously much more conscientious about engaging with parents than most college tutors. I have only ever heard from one, and that was after I had spent several weeks trying to contact him! And when I was a tutor myself, I never spoke to any parents at all, although I taught 600 or 700 students - but that was about 15 years ago, so maybe expectations have changed...

doublecakeplease Tue 27-Nov-12 10:37:44

Flow - I think you've homed in on a 'negative' vibe from my post - if you re-read it it's not. I understand and remember being a teen whose Mum had to fight to get me to college. However I do have experience of being on th eother side now and many parents don't actually care (lots do but many don't) - and have told me so - quote 'it's not my problem anymore - she's old enough to get herself in' from 1 parent this week where I work. Please don't misread / put emphasis on what's not there.

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 23:34:30

I spent over an hour composing a long reply to you double, but have lost it somehow. angry sad > sigh < I'm tired.

Just to say... Parents of teens this age are generally entirely powerless. They can try all sorts of incentives, bribes, sanctions, etc. to get their DC to go to college, but if the DC does not want to go, then there is nothing the parent can do.

(Most of my post was about what I tried, and how it didn't work hmm ).

Please, next time you catch yourself thinking that a parent "doesn't care", consider that they may in fact care very much - and has quite likely tried everything you can think of suggesting they try, and more.

doublecakeplease Mon 26-Nov-12 21:10:40

I teach in FE and it drives me mad when our teens don't make it in because of hangovers then they (or their parents) demand 1:1 help / complain when EMA payments are stopped. BUT I remember being a nightmare teen who skived college too and you sound like you care (so many don't which makes me sad). Not looking forward to that stage - already threatening that my DS will be sleeping on the floor if he refuses to get out of bed - we'll see though! ;-)

Do the college keep you informed of absences? I had a student was late most days - I offered him a choice - unauthorised absence (and no payment) or he gave me Mum's number - I rang home and she was really shocked by his punctuality record. She explained that she really couldn't afford to send him if his money was stopped. Words were obviously had and he's been on time every day! Good luck!

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:56:20

Thanks brighter. smile It is a HUGE relief, but I can't help feeling it is too soon to relax and assume it's all going to be plain sailing from now on... I am just daring to hope again... confused smile

brighterfuture Mon 26-Nov-12 20:54:19

flow I am very happy for you and your Ds. It's so good to hear of dc who have turned it around. It must be such a relief for you. smile I shall live in hope for my ds.

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:48:44

Magwat, I'm glad your daughter made it in today... Fingers crossed for tomorrow smile

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:47:09

My son averaged 2 days per week Oct-Dec last year, then 1 day per week Jan-May, then was out of college entirely from beginning of May 'til Sept... So 93% attendance is bloody marvellous! grin

Dammit, I'm starting to count those bloomin' chickens, aren't I?!

Magwat Mon 26-Nov-12 20:43:27

This is an almost regular occurence in our house. She did make it today :D Daughter with depression....not good tonight so I won't be too surprised if she doesn't make it tomorrow.

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 16:35:05

Here's a little bit of good news for a change!

My DS got himself up and out this morning. smile Then his termly report arrived from college: his attendance so far is 93% and his punctuality is 98%... smile Which means that when he said to me last week that bunking off was "just a one-off", he was telling the truth. Phew!

Also, his attainment is on target and his attitude to learning is 'good'. smile This is very definitely the best report he has had since year 4! grin

flow4 Mon 26-Nov-12 05:03:41

Oh good grief. sad That must be awful for her and incredibly stressful for you. Are you getting any breaks/respite/stress relief?

cory Sun 25-Nov-12 10:55:44

Thanks for your supporting messages, flow. Part-time should have worked well- with a plan for gradually upping her hours until she went full-time in the New Year- if it hadn't been for this wretched kidney infection which has kept her off for 3 weeks and counting. Spent yesterday evening in A&E with dd hooked up to a drip, after she had been found to be drifting in and out of consciousness during the afternoon. Hard to believe in the plan atm, but her HOY was very supportive and positive.

flow4 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:57:55

I've just Googled Ehlers Danlos syndrome cory, because I didn't know what it was. It sounds very difficult to live with sad I have arthritis and hypermobility, so I understand how debilitating constant pain can be. I'm glad the painkillers and ADs are helping.

8 years is a long time to pretend anything. It must be very hard to stay positive. I saw another post of yours about DD being part-time at school... Does that work well for her?

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 16:37:54

Yes, she was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome 8 years ago, flow. Is actually doing a little better since she started regular doses of painkillers and anti-depressants last year. But 8 years is a hell of a long time to have to pretend that everything is just about to take a turn for the better.

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 22:18:23

That sounds sad and stressful for you both, cory. sad Do the docs know what's causing the chronic pain?

cory Tue 20-Nov-12 19:23:32

sorry, I didn't mean that last bit

I do believe in a future for her- she has everything going for her, bright, mature, conscientious- I'm just so bloody tired of taking one step forward and two back sad

cory Tue 20-Nov-12 19:19:51

No school today though slightly different situation. Dd has been doing a part-time staggered return to school after losing the best part of a year due to chronic pain and anxiety/depression. Was meant to be upping her hours after half-term. Fell ill with a kidney infection just over two weeks ago, the week of her maths GCSE, was really ill for two weeks, bit better on Sunday, went in on Monday and is quite ill again today. Third course of antibiotics runs out tomorrow, so suppose we'll be back at the doctor's. Is on permanent painkillers and anti-depressants, which helps her to deal with her chronic pain, but doesn't stop her from catching anything that is going and being ill for twice as long as anybody else. Has been like this since Yr 3. Becoming increasingly hard to be upbeat about any kind of future.

BackforGood Tue 20-Nov-12 17:00:55

Thanks Nebulous, but he used to fall out of bed all the time when he was younger, and just carry on sleeping. He'd just go off to sleep again on the floor if I did roll him out without him getting angry. That just wouldn't work for us.
I've asked his 6th form tutors to get on his back about it, and told them we would support any consequences they could think of from their end, but you could tell they were looking at me like this --> hmm as if to say "You are the parent, we can't come round and get him out of bed for you"

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 11:58:02

Yes, I know. I do realise it's impossible. I have no idea when you admit defeat, really - it must be when you just cannot do it any more. I thought I got to that point once or twice last year, but it turned out I could still 'hang on in there'.

Ungratefulchild Tue 20-Nov-12 11:52:04

That's our situation too MaryZ. i know that everything would totally deteriorate if I chucked him out. I just can't do it (although I've felt like it on numerous occasions).

I'm dreading telling Dp later sad He will go apeshit.

Ungratefulchild Tue 20-Nov-12 11:49:45

We're in Scotland and it was the first year of a 2 year HND so it means he's used up 1 year of his higher education funding. He's very very talented (was doing graphic design with a view to moving to Art school after the 2 years) but just not managed to get in enough.

Paradoxically he's just started a job (temp over Christmas) and has been doing really well and I can really see a difference in his confidence/motivation etc.

Yes well I know that he can be economical with the truth but I do tend to see all letters etc I kind of know when he is lying. I am just cautiously enquiring atm so we'll see where it goes. I would be happier if a year of funding wasn't lost so he could go back later when more able to cope.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 11:47:17

Yes, but flow, what do you do when you admit defeat?

I don't know about where you are, but here there would be nowhere for him to live if I threw him out. His only option would be a homeless hostel, and if I did that I think he would die (he would certainly get more heavily involved in drugs).

There is nowhere I/he could go to try to find him a flat. And there is no prospect of him earning enough or getting benefits to find somewhere to live. He could theoretically stay on a friends floor, but that wouldn't last.

I don't know. I really don't. I think I might have to build a shed in the back garden self-contained extension or something confused. If only I could afford it.

Myliferocks Tue 20-Nov-12 11:45:44

That's just it flow4.

There comes a stage and an age where you can only do so much for them!
They have to want to do it themselves!

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