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Post GCSE summer what to do with problem teen

(26 Posts)
Claybury Thu 12-Dec-13 20:18:26

My DS is a ( fairly ) hard worker who wants to do well at GCSE but at weekends he is mixing with a bad crowd and I fear that on the focus of exams is gone things could go quite wrong for him. Anyone got ideas of how to constructively occupy a 16 year old boy who would rather be a festivals getting high all summer ? Something CV enhancing like a trip / working holiday ?

Pointeshoes Fri 13-Dec-13 17:38:14

Really, just let him get it out of his system, let him have a certain amount of freedom but the trip away could be good as a focus too. Aslong as it's something he would be interested in doing I guess.

MrsBright Sat 14-Dec-13 10:59:40

Have a look at - 'woofers' work for food/accommodation on organic farms (some are just family smallholdings) as volunteers and usually have a great time. Physical work is usually a good way of burning off teenage male energy and dveeloping a bit of 'physique' something you might be able to use as a lever .....

Other than that, you'll need some other 'job' that includes accommodation if you want to physically remove him from the bad crowd. Holiday parks and some 'attractions' have this -

Catatonic Sat 14-Dec-13 21:43:46

My daughter did the Challenge project after GCSE's last year which is a government funded citizenship thing which involves personal challenges (they go away somewhere and do abseiling, walking,camping stuff), then a community based project. It is not expensive and well worth doing, getting the children out of their normal comfort zone and they end up doing something worthwhile. This is the link if I can manage ....!

MiniMonty Sun 15-Dec-13 02:57:17



MrsBright Sun 15-Dec-13 10:40:42

mini - perhaps you'd like to explain your own proven tactics here - instead of just shouting?

Claybury Sun 15-Dec-13 13:55:01

Mini -that Made me laugh! Just how does your post tally with the post you made on another thread - "So tread carefully I say and don't expect that you will manage the teens in your care. But ready to catch them when they fall (once)". ??!!!

My idea of 'being a parent ' is indeed finding something constructive for my DS to do to keep him out of trouble. Hence my post !

Thanks for the suggestions mrsbright and catatonic ! A friend also just suggested wwoof. Will have a look.

inncogneetow Sun 15-Dec-13 14:05:57

inncogneetow Sun 15-Dec-13 14:06:23

BackforGood Sun 15-Dec-13 14:15:30

Was going to post the same as Catatonic - The Challenge is excellent and very very cheap

FreeAtLastAtLongLast Sun 15-Dec-13 14:45:21

I'm reading this with interest, The Challenge sounds good. How much was it?

Elizabeththefirst Sun 15-Dec-13 14:50:27

it's £50 total.

KeziaK Sun 15-Dec-13 14:56:24

I had a post teen after GCSE for work experience we both thought it was great.

BackforGood Sun 15-Dec-13 16:09:59

The Challenge when ds did it was advertised at £50 but you only paid £35 if you could pay by credit card, by a certain date...... I ended up booking 4 of ds's mates as their parents didn't have credit cards grin I figured even if they all defaulted on me, that was still a bargain for ds to go to an Outward Bound type place for one week, followed by accommodation, food and activity the 2nd week, followed by activity the 3rd week - can't fault it!
It's because it was the "big idea" after some riots or some such and the govmnt decided to put lots of money into "supporting da yuoff" whilst simultaneously cutting the budgets of the Youth Service in all big Cities so they were seen to be doing something. However, as it's there, and paid for, we might as well take full advantage of it.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Mon 16-Dec-13 23:32:05

Look into the NCS (National Citizenship Challenge) programme for 16/17 year olds. It's a fantastic 4 week programme that my DD did last year, and completely changed her life (for the good!)

cory Tue 17-Dec-13 08:09:14

Does he have any particular interests?

Dd did a youth theatre thing after her GCSE's, great fun and very hard work physically, but you did have to audition, so it's something you have to be keen on from the start.

Claybury Tue 17-Dec-13 13:52:10

Lots of people talking about the Challenge. Can anyone provide more detail? When do you sign up for 2014? Anyone signed up a reluctant teen? He'll think we are making him do something in his holidays. £50 sounds too good to be true.

Cory, no real interests, am trying to fire him up! He's thinking about studying medicine ....

BackforGood Tue 17-Dec-13 21:57:13

They had people come into school and do an assembly about it - not really 100% sure when it was, but I'm going to guesstimate Januaryish.
However, you could contact them through the website.
I think it was aimed at certain Cities in the first place but nearer the time they were sending out e-mails asking if we knew anyone else who wanted to go!

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 18-Dec-13 13:52:27

Just Google National Citizenship Challenge, or NCS, or go here and look for programmes near to you.

The one my DD did was fantastic, and was £35, which was refundable on completion of the 4 week programme for full attendance.

My feedback to the programme was that it's marketed directly to kids via FB, Twitter etc etc, and sometimes presentations in schools. It should also be marketed to parents and teachers, and youth group leaders. I only got to find out about it by chance - received an email in my Guiding capacity which mentioned some places left.

DD was reluctant to do it, but I spoke to parents of her friends, and we took a few of them to meet the person organising it locally, and more or less forced them to sign up there and then.

DD REALLY didn't want to go, and only went on the proviso that I'd go and fetch her after 48 hours if she hated it, but I got a text at the end of the first day to tell me it was brilliant and she loved it!.

Best thing David Cameron has ever done, IMO.

Eastwickwitch Wed 18-Dec-13 20:11:30

Another vote here for NCS.
There was a lot of resistance at the idea but my DS had a great time.
The participants are all the same age, they do some fantastic challenges, valuable community work & it's free. Looks great on a CV too.

DalmationDots Sun 22-Dec-13 18:24:17

There is time to fit in a 'lads holiday' to newquay or whether he has his eyes on, a festival (say 3 days) and lots of other more valuable things.

I really would recommend letting him go and get it out of his system. For him it is probably so important to go and experience these things. Some of DCs friends had incredibly over protective parents and it only was when they fled to uni they then had their wild/rebellious streak! I'd much rather DC got it out thir system while they can still be protected to a degree and while their life is relatively responsibility free and at the time when it really matters to their self-esteem.

See another thread on here about extra curric for uni applications- all you need is things RELATING to the subject he is likely to do, a million different hobbies isn't much use to an application.

Claybury Mon 23-Dec-13 17:06:07

Just had a long talk with him. He is not interested in anything. Thinks a trip to Africa with British Exploring would be really boring , full of geeks, thinks a few weeks on a ranch in Canada would be really boring, doesn't want to do work experience or get a part time job. Scornful at the idea of the Challenge. Anything we suggest is met with scorn. He can't think if anything he would like to do. And yet he thinks he might want to apply to medical school after a levels !
Oh how I am looking forward to the summer!

moominleigh94 Mon 23-Dec-13 18:42:36

Suggest he volunteers at a festival? These places quite often look for volunteers to steward etc - it's a chance to hear the bands but also something to go on his CV. However if he's serious about medical school, make sure he knows that he needs work experience and needs to prove he's done things in the holidays that are seen as 'worthwhile' - I'm a personal statement helper at The Student Room and this is the biggest issue med applicants get, not enough experience.

Don't make him miss the whole summer and regret all of it though - let him let off some steam, let him go to a festival as a visitor rather than a worker, let him get away for a bit. Let him make the memories smile

Claybury Mon 23-Dec-13 18:54:23

Thanks moon that's what we are trying to tell him. Do something constructive and enjoyable ! He thinks we are making him do stuff he doesn't want to do but won't come up with any ideas of his own.

As to the festival thing. He's been going for the past 2 summers and I later found out he was using drugs there (aged 15) , speed and mdma, so although he may go to one next summer it's not something I am keen to encourage. AIBU?!!

moominleigh94 Mon 23-Dec-13 18:59:41

Oh bloody hell in that case I wouldn't let him go to a festival - tell him if he can't be trusted to be sensible there why should he be allowed to go?

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