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15 yr old and school refusal

(70 Posts)
Melonsonic Mon 18-Dec-17 16:54:32

I'm at my wits end.

Over the last couple of years, my ds has refused to go to school at least one day every fortnight.

Lately, it has got much worse and I am lucky if he attends school three days a week.

He is too big for me or dh to drag out of bed.

He has been asked many times if he is being bullied or if something else is worrying him, but we have drawn a blank.

He has been investigated in hospital for health problems and is now on medication for stomach migraine.

However, I strongly suspect that he just wants to sleep at home rather than go to school.

His attendance has dropped to 67% and he has his GCSEs next year.

I am terribly worried.

Does anyone have any experience or wisdom on this issue?

Ryebreadandwine Mon 18-Dec-17 16:58:11

I’ve been through the exact same today. This is the first time for me and the only reason is laziness. I really don’t have much to add. Sounds like you’re already exploring reasons. What are the school saying?

Melonsonic Mon 18-Dec-17 17:35:15

Thanks, Rye

Yes, I think it is laziness with ds.

The school are helping as much as they can by offering student support services and dh and I are complying with their request that we supply evidence that we have contacted the GP etc.

The admissions officer has come round, today (as she has many times) and he agreed that he would go in today to sit two exams. However, he then went back to bed...

He sat several exams last week and didn't seem worried by them...

I'm sorry you are going through this too sad

Ryebreadandwine Mon 18-Dec-17 17:37:18

Sadly it’s just one more challenge to add to a long list. I am a woman on the edge and that’s no exaggeration sad

Gerbil17 Mon 18-Dec-17 17:37:56

You are not alone. I am lucky to get my 13yo to do half a day a week!

I dont have any advice as i am stuck myself but just wanted you to know you arent alone

Melonsonic Mon 18-Dec-17 17:40:13

Rye I'm sorry thankscakebrewwine

It's the same here...

Gerbil - it's awful, isn't it? Thanks for replying and letting me know I'm not alone.

Gerbil17 Mon 18-Dec-17 17:43:53

It really is. I hope you manage to nip it in the bud quick considering his GCSE's. Must be such a worry for youflowers

BackInTheRoom Mon 18-Dec-17 17:46:15

My DD (15) did the same today. I am exasperated.

Melonsonic Mon 18-Dec-17 18:49:11

Bib - I understand.

The worst thing is there is nothing we can do.

iBiscuit Mon 18-Dec-17 18:58:57

No advice sorry, but I've known a few youngsters like this and it resolved itself once they left school and got to college (although not necessarily first time round, I'm afraid).

Are there any courses at local colleges that he'll be interested in? I was hugely fortunate in that my ds has a passion which he's now studying at college, and managed to get through the final couple of years at school by focusing on that. The entry requirement was quite low, thankfully hmm

Melonsonic Mon 18-Dec-17 19:13:33

Hi Biscuit - thanks for your kind reply.

Ds is keen to go to music college after GCSEs... sad to say, I think he may have a struggle to get in if he doesn't improve his attendance.

iBiscuit Mon 18-Dec-17 22:23:14

A visit to college with a chat to his potential tutors, seriously helped mine to motivate himself to turn up to school.

Worth a try smile

theredjellybean Mon 18-Dec-17 22:29:54

Can I ask... And I am not being goady.. But what do your teenagers do all day if they are not in school?
I have never had this with my dds or dsds.. But if I did and I was sure it was just laziness, I'd be removing their phone, switching off the WiFi, taking fuses out of plugs for all games consoles, TV etc, removing laptops and locking the fridge...
Stopping allowances as well.
It would be go to school or get a job and contribute to the cost of you living here...

theredjellybean Mon 18-Dec-17 22:31:19

I'd be turning off the heating during the day as well...
Make the home environment during school hours as unpleasant as possible for them

iBiscuit Mon 18-Dec-17 22:42:58

Sometimes removing all the fuses, switching off the WiFi etc leads the kid in question to fuck off to God knows where. Without a phone (because you've already confiscated that - and they can block your calls anyway).

Battles of wills aren't always worth it.

Melonsonic Tue 19-Dec-17 01:15:07

IBuscuit - that's a great idea*.*..

iBiscuit Tue 19-Dec-17 09:56:07

The college near me has loads of open days. Think outside the box a little too - the best college for your son might be miles away, but at 16 he'll be able to handle that. Also they tend to have shorter hours than at KS4 ("full time" for mine is three days a week, so no need to commute every day).

Good luck smile

Melonsonic Tue 19-Dec-17 10:26:22

Thanks, iBiscuit - I hadn't thought of that and will look into it.

Nettleskeins Tue 19-Dec-17 21:56:03

This happened to a friend's son. It was anxiety related. He also had stomach migraines. The anxiety has got worse and worse. He is an excellent well behaved student but school seems overwhelming to him atm. He is seeing counsellor. It is certainly not laziness although him mum tried to tough love approach on advice of school and EWO. School need to be informed and give him support now before it deterioates further, possibly go in late for a few mornings to get into swing of things and not write every day off, find out if problems with missed work, anxieties about toilets...I can go on...

lack of vitamin d (minimum dose should be 40Oiu could be 1000iu a day over the counter) also make children quite tired and lethargic at this time of year. But you said he had had all the medical tests.

Nettleskeins Tue 19-Dec-17 21:59:08

Also remember that Home Ed can be an option if all else fails, or possibly before things get too bad.. Gets them out of the house, re-engaging, and studying seriously, socialising if you approach it in a pro-active way, rather than regarding it as a form of truancy. I would rather my son had been out of school happy and socialising than miserably bunking off school but on the roll.

Nettleskeins Tue 19-Dec-17 22:03:45

My friend's son had no obvious reason for staying at home and he said he "loved" school, but behaviour IS communication. Something was wrong and it was NOT going to be solved by willpower. BUT, CBT, or acknowledging that school was wrong place for him at that time in his life, and finding alternative way to study for gsces, well I think that is the way to approach it.. Friiend is suffering terribly dealing with this in traditional way, and I do not think things are going to get better by staying on present path, despite all the involvement from EWO and school in her case.

greenhairymonster Tue 19-Dec-17 22:19:53

My brother was like this, my mum could not keep him in school. Life improved for him when he didn't have to do school - when he could work with the thing that he loved which was cars and engines. He now has a very successful business but school did not suit him at all.

Melonsonic Tue 19-Dec-17 22:39:53

Thanks Nettleskins - that's really helpful.

I would consider home ed, but I work full time and I don't think he would take to it anyway...

Bless him, I'm worried about him. I think that, at times, it is just that he is tired but it's frustrating knowing that he is missing out on the social side of school as well as the academic.

Melonsonic Tue 19-Dec-17 22:41:32

Thanks Green - my brother was/is the same! After a difficult school life, he came into his own when he started work.

RaindropsAndSparkles Tue 19-Dec-17 22:51:31

Vit D
Thyroid
CFS

DD had vit D issues. Anxiety and depression. Ran on for 18 months, anorexia reared. She was sels harming.

She actually had a Neuro developmental disorder. ADHD. Diagnosed at 17. Turned corner immediately. NHS did f all weren't interested. We had to seek private care under a consultant psychiatrist even then took 9/10 months to get to bottom of.

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