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Daughter going off rails(70 Posts)
I tried posting in another section but not many replies so trying here.
Until recently my 15 yr old daughter was helpful, polite, well-mannered and doing really well at school.
Couple months ago it all started going wrong.
Disobedient, confrontational, etc
Main thing I'm dealing with at the moment is struggling to get her to attend school, when she is there she's skipping classes, not doing homework, not making the effort in class.
I'm at my wits end and worried sick. School have tried to help but she's not engaging with them. At first she made out she was sorry, would try better etc now no such pretence. I try and talk to her about it she just loses her temper.
Dad not on the scene hasn't been for years.
I just don't know what to do.
No bullying going on, seems to mostly get on OK with friends, moans about teachers but no real issues as far as I can tell just the usual gripes but that hasn't stopped her before.
She just seems to have given up! Yet she claims to want to go to uni and have a career (in what changes periodically).
I'm stuck, I've tried tough love, listening and talking, school have talked to her...
Do you reckon she's meeting a boyfriend when she's meant to be in school?
No, no boyfriend. Her friends are starting to get boyfriends but she's not had any take a serious interest yet. This is making her a little bit down/insecure.
She's not the easiest to get to know I don't think which is why boys aren't asking her out. She can also be quiet/shy around people she doesn't know well.
As long as your sure. I was exactly the same at her age, shy and quiet but I met an older boy and bunker off school a lot to see him. I wasnt the type to act like that either, I blame the hormones!
Do the teachers have any idea if anything is bothering her? Is there any theme of when she bunks off, I.e is she mainly bunking off on p.e days or something like that?
I am sure on that score. She's not missing particular lessons but I'll check with school if there's any other pattern.
I'm equally worried and furious if that makes sense. She is an intelligent kid who is sabotaging herself for no apparent good reason.
It's so frustrating!
What punishments are in place when she skips school?
That's the frustrating thing the only punishment she reacts to at all is being grounded. Which leaves me no room for a progression of punishments aside from length of punishment. Plus she's been grounded most of the last 2 months! So it's losing impact.
What does she do when she's skiving?
I'd take her phone off her as well, I'd also give her a small reward if she goes a month without bunking off. Anything to get her to go and stay in school.
I failed all my exams because I didn't bother going school. I was easily getting B's before I started to bunk off, you don't want the same for your dd.
I'm not certain but I think mainly just bums around the shops near the school. She wouldn't have time to go anywhere as its generally one period at a time she's missing. So only 50 minutes. The location of school means that she's no time to go anywhere.
I feel so sorry for you and know you must be desperate as you watch her sabotaging her life.
Have you thought of having a very special day together doing something you know she loves next weekend, with no agenda. Do not try and get her to talk about anything, but if she does, try to listen without commenting. Be sure she feels secure and know you love her. Try to have some time together every day that is just nice - no duty no pressure. EVery week do some special thing.
Are you and she alone together in the family? Do you have a pet?
Something is going wrong somewhere. Has there been a big disagreement i the family? A bereavent including following the death of an animal? DOes she have too much access to a computer and social media? Could she be seeing anything very unpleasant on the internet or be in a chatroom with bad people? Could anyone be bullying her? Is she secretly binge eating/bulimic/anorexic.
No I don't want the same for her of course, she was predicted high grades too until this.
Taking phone is part of being grounded. Money is tight so not sure what I could offer as a reward.
I'd be happy if she managed a WEEK without bunking!
If your sure nothing's upsetting her and it's only one lesson at a time then I'd threaten to come into school with her daily and walk her to each class.
I reckon she's hiding in the toilets when she's bunking.
Something is off kilter to trigger this, it's out of character and relatively recent behaviour. How puzzling. Some sort of crisis at school? Do you mind me asking has there been any money going missing at home, small cash amounts?
Any family member or neighbour showing unusual interest in her lately?
Everything okay with you? Do you work, is your job threatened? Are you under pressure at work? Sorry not meaning to pry.
Didn't think of this before but she wouldn't be bunking off to have a few fags is she?
Wow that's a lot of questions erm
It's just the 2 of us (long story but I have no support network here). But that's been true for a while. We've always talked openly and honestly this has been a complete change to our whole dynamic it's totally thrown me!
My health precludes doing a lot - again this is not new.
I have tried doing nice stuff together at home - every idea gets rejected.
I'm quite hot on keeping an eye on her internet access (though of course I can't control what she sees on other peoples devices/networks) but I don't think there's an issue there.
No bullying - had that issue a couple years ago and A none of the signs there and B it got quite bad before and we did agree she'd tell me of ANY issues that arise again plus school aware of that situation and I do still think she would say if it was that.
No eating disorder signs as far as I can tell (sister was a disordered eater so have some experience of this).
I do try and talk to her at least once a day in a proper conversation about how her days been, what is going on with friends etc and she tells me quite a lot. She's candid about boys, friendship difficulties.
I've always been very open discussing sex, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, all that 'difficult' stuff.
Where we live is quite a deprived area with a lot of issues. I don't want her trapped here I want her to get out!
So she'd most likely tell you if she thinks a teacher is picking on her.
No money going missing - I keep a close eye as that was happening with the bullying.
No unusual interest as far as I know.
My health prevents me working at the moment, well I say at the moment that's been for several years now. I'd rather be working but equally it's not unusual where we live.
Definitely not smoking! I hate smoking and am very sensitive to the smell plus smoke on people's clothes etc makes me sneeze! She also hates smoking and has nagged a friend for ages to give up which she did beginning of the year.
She thinks ALL the teachers 'hate her' unless they give her an exceptionally good mark, but I overhear her talking to her friends about school (small flat, she's loud on the phone) and generally speaking she finds them 'OK' aside from the usual gripes about homework and boring lessons.
Maybe she doesn't feel intellectually stretched enough.
Was she planning to go to a different place for sixth form college?
You mention your health. I'm sorry it's not meant to be intrusive but is this a stable condition. Might she be anxious you are okay if her father is out of the picture? Is she projecting into the future and possibly wondering if she can go away to study after A levels or equivalent?
I became like your daughter at 15 when I met my first love. Due to this boys influence and other circumstances I left school at 16 and it took me years to get higher education. My mum was devastated but she always supported me in my decisions. It must be so frustrating to see her sabotaging herself but all you can do is support her. Hopefully for both of you it will be just a phase .
I suspect that if she has been grounded for 2 months, that is too much to put up with. I would have given up on everything by then (even if it was my own fault I got myself into such circumstances... )
I went from perfect As to Ds in my last set of exams because my mother become so authoritarian: I couldn't do anything right in her mind even when I had good grades, was not getting myself into drinking and drugs as some other kids around me, and although most people liked me I couldn't get any positive feedback from my mother, there was simply no way to please her, I didn't have any room to move, felt cornered and my way to rebel further was to stop studying.
Time to start with a new slate? She may need to get some positive feedback from time to time, a carrot to make her walk in the direction you want. If everything is about punishments, you may be leaving her with no motivation to do anything.
PS I have a health condition myself so it does impact on stuff we do and I know I worry my DCs might get it but they don't let on that they ever wonder the same.
OP have you thought of maybe escalating like taking making up away or taking things out of her room, tv and such?
She's never felt intellectually challenged enough throughout school, even the teachers have admitted that they feel she's not being challenged but they could only do so much to help on that score.
She's actually in 6th form we're in Scotland she's doing highers/advanced highers (I think that's like as/a-levels?). It's new subjects to her that she's doing the highers in as not allowed to do the advanced higher until got the higher certificate. It's all recently changed up here I'm still getting my head round it.
She had her sights set on a good uni and a tough course to get on but of course that won't happen if she doesn't Buck her ideas up!!
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