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17 yr old won't go to college, won't get a job

(37 Posts)
TuTru Sat 05-Sep-15 09:27:35

I've explained how poor we'll be if she doesn't do either. I've helped apply for jobs and apprenticeships but they don't want her as she failed maths. She needs to go to college and get that qualification but she just keeps saying no.
I just don't know what to do. Her father (who lives apart) has been helping to persuade her, and just when we think we've got through she just turns round & says no again. She's not even stupid, she's just obstinate.
There's been other problems with her this year, all the usual teenage crap, but this is really frustrating me. I can't afford for her to live here but do nothing. It's not like she ever helps round the house or watches the other 2 DC for me while I work.
So selfish!

OP’s posts: |
KissingFish Sat 05-Sep-15 09:30:26

Stop feeding her and don't give her any money. She'll soon do something.

StanSmithsChin Sat 05-Sep-15 09:31:21

Stop funding her.
No money at all, no new clothes. Just feed her. Stop doing her laundry.
Change the WIFI password and don't give her it. Stop paying/topping up her phone.
Ask her dad to support you on this and he does the same. She will soon realise how hard life is when you have no money.

MagpieCursedTea Sat 05-Sep-15 09:32:15

Does she know what she wants out of life? Any goals or talents that she could focus on?
I work in FE and it's usually the thought of having to do their maths or English that puts students off progressing but it's a small part of their programme of study. Could you convince her to go have a chat with someone at your local college? They might still be doing enrolment. Good luck!

LIZS Sat 05-Sep-15 09:34:04

Well legally she can't be out of education or training. Give her the options , tell her to pick one and let her get on with it. Otherwise she has to earn (does she have any qualifications) and do the jobs around the house.

Inim Sat 05-Sep-15 09:34:39

Do they have any young people's careers advice places near you? Maybe hearing it from someone else could help?

SanityClause Sat 05-Sep-15 09:35:54

Yes, if you can get her father onside (which it sounds like he is) then do what Stan says.

Give her the basics of food and shelter but nothing more.

(If her father is not onside, she might want to go and live with him. Then he can deal with it, can't he? wink)

YeOldeTrout Sat 05-Sep-15 09:37:40

How is she spending her time?

Elizabeth88 Sat 05-Sep-15 09:46:31

She's on the border of being an adult and finding her own 2 feet. As hard as it is you can't force her only guide her as you are doing at the moment.

My brother had 13 a* a levels could have been anything, he works in a kitchen and turns 30 next year. I on the other hand wagged school, got no qualifications, got pregnant at 17 and now 10 years later I'm a qualified accountant after some serious hard work as a single mum. With the best will in the world we find our own ways in life.

You can't blame yourself for her actions or lack of. It's a hard thing to balance between tough love and support but you've been honest with her about the situation and that you can't support her unless she has a job or education just maintain that although you love her, she's an adult and you can't fund her sofa bound voyage of self discovery.
She's 17 and soon she'll want nights out a car her independence she'll need an income for this so sooner or later something will have to give.
like others have said buy her the essentials, own brand at that and tell her anything else is out of the budget.
Good luck xxx

Lj8893 Sat 05-Sep-15 09:59:48

I agree with stopping funding her. Just give her the basics of shelter, bread and water. No luxuries, no phone, no internet, no going out, no TV, limit her bath/shower time, no laundry etc etc

Perfectlypurple Sat 05-Sep-15 10:09:04

I agree, stop funding her

If she has a phone you pay for cancel the contract.

Change the wifi password

No new clothes, make up etc - just basic toiletries

Don't do washing or ironing.

3 meals a day, no snacks.

She will soon get fed up

Kennington Sat 05-Sep-15 10:13:33

You have probably done this already. How about part time maths and perhaps something lighter just for interest plus a Saturday job
One of them might inspire her for the future.
Agree don't pay the phone nor Internet

LadyPenelope68 Sat 05-Sep-15 10:15:28

Sorry but I'd be telling her that legally now she doesn't have a choice! She has to be in some sort of education or an apprenticeship until she is 18 years old. If she's not registered for something and attending you'll have the local authority knocking on your door soon.

YouFargingIceHole Sat 05-Sep-15 10:18:21

I got fired from a job when I was 19. I was living in a shared house at the time and had obligations to my house mates. I went home and asked my mum for money and she said 'absolutely not, you made your bed, now lie in it'. It was the BEST thing that she could have done. She said she'd pay me for doing odd jobs around her house to help pay my rent. She would invite me for dinner once in a while to make sure I wasn't starving, but that was it.

I ended up having to go to our local food bank and applying for an emergency social services grant (this was in Canada - at the time you were entitled to a one time grant of a few hundred dollars in emergency circumstances). That was, without a doubt the single worst day of my life. I felt ashamed and humiliated and it gave me the motivation to do for myself.

I woke up every morning and I scoured the papers for jobs and pounded the pavements until I got a job in a deli. I was still broke for months because I had to pay back my very lovely housemates who carried the bills while I was unemployed.

Tough love OP! I thank my mum to this day because I now have a work ethic and a sense of responsibility that my 19 year old self didn't have.

greenfolder Sat 05-Sep-15 10:20:40

I worked with teens like this for a while. It's a difficult time. She probably doesn't want to do nothing. What are her friends doing? Did they all pass their GCSEs and know what they are doing? Has she been to college? With teens this age it's all about friends and being seen as a failure.

LadyPenelope68 Sat 05-Sep-15 10:20:50

In fact, I think since they have changed the legal obligation to attend some form of Education until you are 18, if she's not attending you'll find yourself being fined/prosecuted.

chinup2011 Sat 05-Sep-15 10:27:03

Have a very similar situation here. You mention 'legally' have to do something but when you investigate this there are actually NO consequences for actually doing nothing. I have contacted the LA to tell them I'm the embarrassed owner of a lazy NEET and have been told there are literally no consequences. I understood too young people had to be in employment or training until 18. Please can anyone tell me how or when will this ruling be enforced. DS is surviving on just food and shelter, he is happy with this. He got excellent GCSE results too despite not attending school. I'm in despair and financially in the same situation as OP.

goblinhat Sat 05-Sep-15 10:37:40

I agree with the others. I have explained to my kids ( and one is also 17).
no funding after full time education stops.
I will always give my kids free food and shelter- no matter their age, but unless they are studying then no other financial contribution.

So no internet, no phone, no clothes, no money for bus fares.

If they in full time training and not earning I will give them a small monthly allowance.

If they choose no neither work or study then they will have a bed and not starve, but that's it.

OP does your DD have a mobile phone? Who pays for it? I wouldn't even argue with her or force her to do jobs around the house.

A war of attrition will be easier on you and much more effective.

YeOldeTrout Sat 05-Sep-15 11:52:54

There is no legal penalty whatsoever, OP will not be prosecuted.
Law is a paper tiger.

AndNowItsSeven Sat 05-Sep-15 12:04:11

Tax credits and child benefit will continue for twenty weeks if you register you teen with connections.
That gives you some time.

chinup2011 Sat 05-Sep-15 13:28:23

*YeOldeTrout - that is right? I thought so too but they keep talking about under 18's in training/school, so basically nothing's changed?

RachelZoe Sat 05-Sep-15 13:35:48

Is she alright in herself? Sometimes when people are like that (sometimes not the majority obviously), it can because of depression/low self esteem etc? Just another angle to consider.

If not then agree with everyone else.

bigbluebus Sat 05-Sep-15 16:34:57

This is exactly the sort of thing that annoyed me when 'Dave' announced that young people would have to remain in education or training until 18 (phased in at 17). Q: Who the hell is responsible for policing this? A: Nobody.

I know of people who tried to get onto apprenticeships as they didn't want to stay on at school, but the apprenticeships were only short term (6 months) and the courses that were supoosed to happen alongside them didn't materialise due to lack of funding at college. Also, the insistence that they have to have Maths and English to do a FE course is ridiculous. Some people will never pass those GCSE's - it doesn't mean they can't be successful in their chosen course. I have a friend who is a teacher who actually failed Maths O Level - she doesn't teach Maths but she is good at teaching her subject - she doesn't need to do Algebra.

OP, I think you have to be cruel to be kind here and cut off the money supply as others have said. Are the colleges insisting she does GCSE Maths or just Functional skills? I'm not familiar with the content of the latter but it sounds more useful that a lot of what is covered in the GCSE.

OurBlanche Sat 05-Sep-15 16:48:42

The maths required for ALL students is GCSE. The rules now are that anyone with a D at English or maths MUST continue with until they achieve a C grade, or turn 19.

Functional Skills, and similar, are acceptable as a stepping stone towards that C grade at GCSE.

OP, she is probably utterly defeated by maths. I taught many who were. They were so bewildered by the teaching or the exam that they were convinced they would never ever pass. Stats seem to bear this out - far less than 10% of 16 - 19 year olds who retake maths gain that C grade.

I haven't seen stats for last year in FE (they are quite well hidden) but I do know that in 2 very good/outstanding local colleges the GCSE maths pass rate was less than 2%. I suspect that this will not be unusual nationally.

Basically the enforcement of GCSE is simply not suitable for the vast majority of students it is pushed upon. Imagine, they have had 5 years of hot housing by schools, 9 hours over 2 weeks, extra sessions etc. Now they are in FE, where there quite simply is neither the expertise, support nor time in the timetable to match the input in schools. So if, despite having been identified as a possible D grade achiever and hot housed by schools they do not get a C how will they achieve it in FE, given that their focus will be some other much more interesting subject/course?

If you can get her to open up ask her to tell you why she is so adament/scared. You may be horrified at her answer.

OurBlanche Sat 05-Sep-15 16:50:19

Oops, lost the end of a sentence
Functional Skills, and similar, are acceptable as a stepping stone towards that C grade at GCSE for students with lower than D grade in English and/or maths

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