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Total fail on NCS or anything else - what shall I do

(17 Posts)
DoinItForTheKids Mon 26-Feb-18 17:53:30

So, some of you may remember I was looking to take DD (just 16) away from the misery of her previous summer where for a variety of reasons she spent almost the entirety of it on her own bored out of her mind and feeling lonely and unwanted.

She has a friend now but friend is pretty flaky so she simply cannot rely on doing loads of things with her. This girl was grounded last summer for literally no reason (her mum's a bit odd) for three WEEKS so DD could easily be left hanging. I just do not want this lonely misery for her but I am struggling, big time, to get her to sign up for any volunteering. Due to various highly negative family dynamics she's had quite a shit time over the year with her Dad's side of the family and this has resulted in low self esteem, confidence and so on.

I SO wish I could convince her to do NCS - I KNOW she'd have a great time if she just gave it a chance! She's SO outgoing and so wants to DO all sorts of things.

I took the approach (on the sage advice of a PP) to say you've got to pick something, here's a whole load of options or find something yourself, if you think you can find something that you'll like better than NCS that you prefer, then you can do that instead. But she's not picked up any of the other volunteering opportunities and I had said to her that if she didn't pick an alternative, that she'd need to do NCS. Please understand that this is NOT about forcing her to do NCS, it's about my knowing just how bloody miserable and lonely she will be if she's sat in her bed all summer for 6 - 7 weeks on the trot - THAT will not be good for her mental health and I have no doubt that once she was over the initial nervousness that she'd relish meeting loads of new people because she's incredibly sociable and often frustrated by the lack of similar friends who want to do stuff - it's always her suggesting things to do and places to go and she's SO bored.

What do I do now though? I mean, I'd literally have to say "You're doing NCS, get in touch with all your friends and give them your number and talk them into doing it with you, you'll have a great laugh" - which is the one things I didn't want to do but I have to keep in mind the alternative which is the damaging, lonely and miserable summer she will have relying on a flakey friend who cancels at the last minute, feeling unwanted and really bored.

I also as part of my requirements if you like, won't accept 'summer plans' that aren't confirmable this week. So, she could sign up for NCS and there we are it's done and we know she's doing it. But she can't confirm that she can get a job or do anything else because a. she probably won't find work and b. she's not signed up or shown interest in any other volunteering activity at all.

I do feel very very much that it will be in her best interests to do something like NCS (and pretty much that's what we're left with as she won't do anything else anyway!) as it's much better than a long lonely summer.

So what do I do, encourage her in an enthusiastic grab life by the balls go on you can do it it's going to be fun kind of way to sign up for NCS - when the only alternative to that is for her to be utterly bored out of her mind all summer. I mean, I don't expect her to be entertained every day of the school holidays - boredom of a certain extent is normal, but not when it's every day on you're own feeling unwanted and shit about yourself. I just can't have that.

But, ideas please on how to handle this final phase of my campaign to get the poor love out of the house during the summer with lots of other people her age!

OP’s posts: |
EduCated Mon 26-Feb-18 17:59:53

I posted on your last thread, and was pro taking a bit of a hard line on it and just signing her up. I was so like your DD at that age and looking back I am incredibly grateful for my Mum gently but firmly pushing me into doing things I wouldn’t have signed up to by myself.

Ifonlyus Mon 26-Feb-18 18:01:06

Would be sign up if you told her she doesn't have to keep doing it if she hates it after X amount of days? This approach helps my DD2 start new things. I realise NCS is different and if she signs up they'll expect her to see it through. Chances are she WILL enjoy it and will see it through.

My friend 'made'her dd do NCS. She stuck it out, made a (boy) friend and survived the summer.

DoinItForTheKids Mon 26-Feb-18 18:50:02

God you two are great. Yes, I like both of these responses. I know we say we must let our children choose and I've parented that way in a great many areas but as you say Edu, you're still a child and you can't say that they always know what's best for them in the long run - understandably their world is narrow in nature and it's difficult to see outside of that, the possibilities. Your story helps me make up my mind.

And Ifonly I think that's a really good approach. They phoned tonight and clearly there's not that many spaces left so she needs to sign up and since she won't do anything else, this is still coming out as the favourite option. I am going to tell her this right now. Honestly, last summer knowing she was on her own was absolutely awful. Awful for her, but Christ, it was also horrible for me because I knew how absolutely shit she felt.

I'm going for it. I've got their number and I'll get her to formally register tonight. She can hand out her registration number to everyone at school tomorrow that she thinks she might like to go with.

Thank you ladies.

OP’s posts: |
EduCated Mon 26-Feb-18 19:04:04

Ifonly Are you my mum? grin She always did the old ‘just go and try it, you don’t have to stay’ whilst quietly packing me off with a weeks worth of clothes and a packet of custard creams!

DoinItForTheKids Mon 26-Feb-18 19:10:19

Custard creams! Mustn't forget custard creams.....

OP’s posts: |
DoinItForTheKids Mon 26-Feb-18 19:32:34

Christ almighty, she's flat out refusing! @educated @ifonlyus. Rrrrrrrr.

OP’s posts: |
DoinItForTheKids Mon 26-Feb-18 19:43:01

She's been given the gift of anxiety from the machinations and favouritism (not her, obviously) of her dad's side of the family. And she's almost having a panic attack just thinking about it. I am gently trying to get her to keep considering it (time's running out though) or offer me alternatives. She's rejected every single idea but offered nothing else in place (apart from a sports activity that cost £160 for just one week!).

OP’s posts: |
Ifonlyus Mon 26-Feb-18 21:17:37

Does she have to fill out the form?

Ifonlyus Mon 26-Feb-18 21:20:06

I build my DD2 up to something for a long time. I introduce the idea, tell her it is going to happen and then have to listen to her ruminate for months, but she gets used to the idea that it IS happening and it is a foregone conclusion - although always with that proviso that she can stop after X days if she hates it. She is under 16 though. I can't vouch for how long that approach will last with her. She's also an anxious worrier. It's hard isn't it.

Can you point to anytime in her past she didn't want to do something but she did it and it turned out so much better than she thought and her fears were unfounded?

weaselwords Mon 26-Feb-18 21:27:54

I’ve just signed my youngest up for it with minimal discussion as am a mean mum. You could try being awful like me?

He’s come round to the idea now, as school seem to have pushed it. Phew! That’ll stop 8 weeks of sleeping all day and playing PlayStation all night, which I think he’s planning angry

DoinItForTheKids Mon 26-Feb-18 22:12:09

I'm struggling to push it..... possibly pathetic I'm not sure.

It's a bit difficult with someone with anxiety to do that even when it's in their best interests. I have been talking about it for ages now and she's been completely resistant from the get-go. I've tried giving her agency over which volunteering she chose but she just doesn't believe she can cope with it sad.

Yes, she's done a lead singing role that blew everyone away - but you see, since then she's had her self confidence shot to bits by her family. I'd probably be happy to be more bullish if it wasn't for the anxiety. She's 16 and I'm honestly not sure that I can force her into it....

OP’s posts: |
Ifonlyus Mon 26-Feb-18 22:16:50

You are best placed to know what's best for her and when it's appropriate for her to push and not push something she's opposed to. Don't feel bad.

Is she going to college or staying at the same school in September?

Trailedanderror Mon 26-Feb-18 22:21:08

Can you throw away the £50? Tell her that you're so sure she'll enjoy it that you're prepared to take the gamble and sign her up. My first DC refused to do it, the second one got a refund after I paid 🙄 and the third did it and loved it. The 2 bigger ones have since done it internationally and worked as mentors. They say that the pastoral care is excellent and that there are always a few who do just the residential bit.
flowers as a parent it's so panic inducing looking down the barrel of post exam long holidays.

JustDanceAddict Tue 27-Feb-18 14:05:45

I feel for you. I’d prob sign her up, it’s only £50 so you’ll hopefully
Not lose out on much otherwise.
DD is doing it, she wanted to do it, it was either that or another much more expensive trip which she wasn’t majorly keen on. I said she had to do ‘something’ as there is no way she’ll be sitting around doing bugger all for 2 months!!
Other options are: joining gym - dd will do this once she’s 16. It’s v near us so can go often.
She may have some work experience - already one day confirmed post GCSEs and hoping for more. Any hope of this for your DD?

I do remember the summer hols feeling long after gcse and A levels and I had a big friendship grpup. People go away at different times etc. If you haven’t got that, it’s even worse.

needmysleep75 Tue 27-Feb-18 15:02:27

My DD has anxiety too, but I have just signed her up to it and told her. There was a bit of a meltdown to start with but I spoke to the organisers by phone and explained things to them. I gave DD her friend code to give to anyone she thought might be interested ( they are then put in same group )
They had a get together over half term for people who have already signed up, I again made her go ( mean mum! ) she came back a lot happier at the thought of the summer

PennyNewton Thu 19-Jul-18 10:18:30

NCS JULY 2018.

Hi, anyone sending their child to NCS July 31st from London? Im taking my son tonight to the evening talk in Stamford Brook. Of course he doesnt want to go on his own. hoping he might meet some nice teenagers at the talk tonight.

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