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DS 17 refusing to go to school

(16 Posts)
fairydustandpixies Mon 10-Oct-16 13:03:31

Just that really. After taking his AS levels in the summer, he stopped going to school for a couple of weeks until the school contacted me and I managed to convince him to go (after looking at lots of other options including apprenticeships or changing college/course). He decided to stick it out until the end of A levels and then apply for an apprenticeship. We had to make all sorts of promises to the school for them to let him go back in September because his AS results were pretty appalling (he did really well in his GSCEs).

The school copied me into an email they sent him today telling him to attend a meeting with the head of sixth form at lunchtime today to discuss his continued absence. I called the school ask what was going on and apparently he's not been there for two weeks. I get him out of bed every morning and post him out of the door, turns out he's been waiting for me to go to work and then coming back home!

I left work this morning to see if he was at home following the conversation with the school. There he is, fast asleep in bed. He is point blank refusing to go back, refuses to attend the meeting, refuses to discuss options. All he says is that he's going to work full time at McDonalds (!!!!).

I'm so frustrated! He's a really bright boy who originally planned to go to uni, now he's giving up on everything. I've tried to reason with him but he literally just hid under his duvet.

I called the school again from home when he was there, he refused to speak to them. They were actually very understanding and said there is nothing I can personally do and to let him make his own mistakes, they're very disappointed but he will still need to go in if he's determined to leave in order to fill out leavers forms. But he won't even go and do that, saying if it was that important to them, they'd come to see him at home!!

I know legally they have to be in some form of education until they're 18 (he'll be 18 at the end of January), but what can I do? Does anyone have any advice or have been in a similar situation? It was easier when he was a toddler, at least I could physically pick him up and put him in the car or put him on the naughty step!

pregnantat50 Mon 10-Oct-16 13:09:05

It sounds like something has happened for him to drastically change his mind about his future.

Was he upset by his results? Is he being bullied, or perhaps had a relationship end that is making him want to take to his bed? It sounds deeper than just avoiding school.

JennyOnAPlate Mon 10-Oct-16 13:09:28

What's he doing with himself at home all day? Personally I would take the router to work with you (or change the password) along with the plug off the tv. Presumably his friends are all at school/college during the day?

pregnantat50 Mon 10-Oct-16 13:09:51

sorry, just read the results bit above. It is probably that that has affected him

fairydustandpixies Mon 10-Oct-16 13:34:53

Thank you for your replies. He said he was expecting bad results because he knew he hadn't been working hard enough.

No relationship end, Pregnant, he's been with his GF for 18 months and she's a lovely girl. Funnily enough, she failed her AS levels too but has now started an apprenticeship which I had hoped would motivate my DS.

As for what he's doing all day, I think sleeping! He works part time at McDonalds and has three shifts (Tues, Fri, Sat) that finish at midnight so he comes home, winds down and goes to bed at silly o'clock in the morning.

Great idea about the router, Jenny! And yes, all his friends are at school and college.

I'm so frustrated. I wish he could see the bigger picture rather than just this moment but then I remember those teenage years when the world revolves around yourself.

MrsJayy Mon 10-Oct-16 13:42:51

He sounds like something has happened to him i know it is frustrating but tbh you really cant force him to school i would just tell him fine son but you need more shifts and let him work in mcdonaldsfor a while see where he goes from there a motivated happy 17yr old doesnt hide under his Duvet. Im not sure how it works in England but does he need his leavers certificate?

noblegiraffe Mon 10-Oct-16 13:45:35

I think he needs some choices. Either he goes to the doctor about depression with a view to going back to school (although if he is working it doesn't sound like depression)
Or he actively applies for apprenticeships/different college courses (might be a bit late for this)
Or he starts working full time at McDonald's and starts paying you rent.
I'd take tomorrow off work if you can to get the ball rolling. Staying in bed all day and taking the piss by lying is not on the table. I'd be tempted to take his house key if he does that again!

JenLindleyShitMom Mon 10-Oct-16 13:48:23

Well he sounds determined so let him. Remove all financial support, charge him his keep and he'll soon realise he had a better deal whilst at school.

pregnantat50 Mon 10-Oct-16 13:49:46

I know this is an anxious time for you OP but try not to worry too much, Op is still the same son he was before and this will be resolved, he is having a teen-life crisis moment. The only thing you can do is tell him you are there for him to talk when he is ready and then you can work together to help him find a way forward. The other thought I had is maybe you could enlist the support of his girlfriend, see if she can get through to him. x

fairydustandpixies Mon 10-Oct-16 14:39:38

Thank you all so very much. He's changed since he got his part time job, I think he's got a bit carried away with the whole independence thing, having his own money, friends getting cars and him going out with them and finding more freedom. Seeing what it could be like to be an adult, I suppose.

Great advice from you all. Mrs, we don't have leavers certificates here but he would still need to go to school to sign leavers paperwork so they can take him off roll.

Noble and Jen, I think that's what I'm going to have to do. Good idea about taking tomorrow off to get him motivated and things in place.

Pregnant, you're right. My adorable little boy has suddenly turned into a stubborn almost-man and won't listen to advice or have a sensible conversation. Good idea about speaking to his girlfriend!

I really appreciate you all taking the time to offer advice. I'm a single parent so I'm handling this by myself - with the help of you lovely ladies, of course!

MrsJayy Mon 10-Oct-16 15:23:31

Sorry if this isnt you did you havea thread abput him working till midnight and getting home? Just reminds me of that thread. I think he needs to come out of the duvet though its easy for him to say i dont wanna but if he wants to be more grown up he is going to have to take some responsibility for himself and do something if he wants more shifts let him but the more he earns the more he has to buy for himself/pay for he might get a clearer idea once he actually has to live in the real world but I dont think school is for him now

fairydustandpixies Mon 10-Oct-16 15:52:00

No, that wasn't me, Mrs, but I did read that post myself because of the similarities. The only difference is that my DS only has to walk ten minutes to and from work and I think the OP's DS had to walk considerably further if I remember correctly?

And you're right. He needs to take responsibility, 'grow up', man up and contribute at home. I'm almost finished at work for the day now, I've booked tomorrow off and I'll spend the time with DS to work out a way forward that works for everyone.

Thank you again!

MrsJayy Mon 10-Oct-16 16:01:11

Think that post was middle of blackpool anyway good luck with him . They are a bit of a pain at 17 thinking they are bloody invincible and know it all

Sofres Mon 10-Oct-16 16:43:49

If he doesn't want to go to college then tell him he has a set amount of time to find himself a job or he'll have to go back or be homeless. That's what I did with my 17 year old a few months ago.

fairydustandpixies Wed 12-Oct-16 13:26:07

I just thought I'd update you all on the latest following yesterday.

Well, he's adamant that he's not going back to school but has agreed to go in today to sign the necessary paperwork. We looked at the possibility of apprenticeships and found a couple of vacancies that he was interested in so he's going to apply for those. In the meantime, he's going to work full time at MacDonalds and I've told him he'll have to pay me the money I'll lose in tax credits which he is happy to do - although, he did ask if that would be just until he's 18 as those credits will stop then anyway but I said he was sadly mistaken if he thought he could live at home rent free!

Sofres, I'm sorry you've been in the same position as me and I pretty much said exactly what you suggested to him. It's so frustrating and I'm beyond disappointed as he had so many opportunities available to him but I guess he has to make his own mistakes and learn from them.

Thank you all for your kind words and advice flowers

JenLindleyShitMom Wed 12-Oct-16 13:30:13

he did ask if that would be just until he's 18 as those credits will stop then anyway

Yes, he maybe should stay in school as he doesn't seem very bright wink the reason the tax credits stop paying you money for him when he turns 18 (if in full time education) is that he is then an adult at 18 and expected to support himself. He takes over their payment to you at 18. As he has chosen to opt out of school before 18 then he has chosen to take over that payment earlier.

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