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Rant - 6th form parent

(33 Posts)
EvilTwins Mon 11-Mar-19 19:52:56

I teach 6th Form in a non-school setting. Had an email from a parent this evening saying that she and her DH are away this week and since their DC suffers from anxiety they might find it difficult to come in every day this week. She went on to say that she would “appreciate it” if I didn’t “put any pressure” on the student if they don’t show up and that she has told her DC to go and stay with a specific family member if they don’t feel safe at home by themselves.

If you know your DC feels like this (and it’s yr 13 so anxiety is exacerbated by inevitable stress at this time of year) why would you go away? And why is it down to me to manage it???

Rant over.

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Blueemeraldagain Mon 11-Mar-19 19:56:28

Interesting that the student’s anxiety makes it difficult for them to stay at home alone but also tricky to come into school/sixth form...? If the relative’s house is easy enough to get to from home then they should be able to get in to school.

EvilTwins Mon 11-Mar-19 20:04:45

The anxiety issues are real and ongoing - I really don’t get why the parents would book a holiday at this time.

What I’m most pissed off with though is the request that I basically ignore it if they don’t come in. The mum has asked me not to raise it until after she and the father are back.

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hoxt Mon 11-Mar-19 20:08:02

How old is the student? I’d flag it up with your DSP and let them get on with it. I would also write the parents an email to say you’ve told the DSP as safeguarding. 🤷🏼‍♀️

EvilTwins Mon 11-Mar-19 20:09:49

Student is 18. DSP?

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underachieverspleasetryharder Mon 11-Mar-19 20:13:07

It may not be a holiday, they might be visiting a sick relative or anything really. Perhaps they thought it best for her to stay home and attend if she can than go away with them and miss an entire week?

Folf Mon 11-Mar-19 20:13:09

maybe the parents have something unavoidable they have to do.

They've done the responsible thing and given their 18yo the option to go stay with family if they dont want to stay at home, and informed you that it might affect the students attendance.

What more do you want from them? They cant put their life on hold because their adult child has anxiety.. I certainly never expected my parents to! (had anxiety since I was 16)

underachieverspleasetryharder Mon 11-Mar-19 20:14:52

How hard would it be for you NOT to mention attendance issues until the parents return?

hoxt Mon 11-Mar-19 20:17:04

DSP = designated safeguarding person

EvilTwins Mon 11-Mar-19 20:20:24

It’s a holiday - a straightforward holiday. DC was not invited. I knew about it last week as the student told me then. The suggestion that the student may find it difficult to come in this week as a consequence has come up today.

What more do I want? I want the parents to not put this on me and tell me to not “pressure” their yr 13 DC to attend and to just ignore it if they don’t show up!

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EvilTwins Mon 11-Mar-19 20:24:11

underachiever I don’t need to discuss it with the parents until they come back but if the student just doesn’t show up I would need to contact the student to find out why - I can’t just ignore it, and that’s what the mum is asking me to do. What if I ignore it and it turns out that they have been involved in an accident or something?

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underachieverspleasetryharder Mon 11-Mar-19 20:27:34

Surely the student needs to be told they must email to say they're not going to attend? I can understand a phone call can be tricky for some people with anxiety, but an email might be ok?

shatteredandstressed Mon 11-Mar-19 20:28:03

It's the language used that's irritating.
The mother sounds high-handed; which would get anyone's back up.

underachieverspleasetryharder Mon 11-Mar-19 20:30:16

The mother probably at the end of her tether TBH. Looking after children with anxiety sucks the lifeblood out of you. She prob really needs that holdiay!

EvilTwins Mon 11-Mar-19 20:30:20

Yes that’s the normal thing and TBH I’m not sure why the mum is suggesting that her DC is unable to do that this time. The DC would usually do that if unable to attend.

IMO, their DC’s mental health should be more important than their holiday. Flame me if you must but if you going away for a week means your child is unable to do normal things, don’t go. DC is just 18 but is still in full time education and clearly needs support from parents.

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EvilTwins Mon 11-Mar-19 20:32:26

Or if you really really want to go, at least make alternative arrangements for the DC to be looked after and helped with keeping up the normal routine.

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underachieverspleasetryharder Mon 11-Mar-19 20:37:58

Maybe suggest the email thing to the mum and see what she says. She may have just forgotten that's an option.

I can't stress how absolutely fucking draining it is dealing with a DCs mental health probs on a daily basis. It really is soul destroying, and parents need to look after themselves too in order to continue providing that support without going under themselves. However annoyed and stressed you feel by the parent's actions, just bear this in mind.

EvilTwins Mon 11-Mar-19 20:43:58

I’ve said to the mum that the DC needs to contact me if they feel unable to come in so that I know they are safe. DC has my email address.

I understand that it’s draining, but just going off on holiday without putting a plan in place (eg have DC stay with that family member, get someone to stay with DC, ask DC if they would like a college friend to stay so they’re not alone overnight) is surely going to make things worse? It has in this case!

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anniehm Mon 11-Mar-19 21:15:24

It's not unreasonable to leave an 18 year old home alone but you need to ensure they can cope. We left dd who has anxiety but her (very non anxious self assured) younger sister was home too and cooked for her!

Goandplay Mon 11-Mar-19 21:23:36

I’m with you. Why wouldn’t they organise something with the relative?

If they feel they are not responsible for their child as they’re 18 years old then why would they think you would / should treat them any differently?

They should be there to support their child or make sure they have made appropriate arrangements to support them in their absence.

shatteredandstressed Mon 11-Mar-19 21:57:35

Imagine if the 18 year old was an apprentice and the mother sent an email like that to the boss 🤣🤣
The mother is daft.

EvilTwins Mon 18-Mar-19 07:33:50

Update.... student came in every day, was on time, had their driving test on Friday before coming in and managed perfectly week. Perhaps the parents need to have a bit more confidence in their child!

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EvilTwins Mon 18-Mar-19 07:34:08

Managed perfectly well

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underachieverspleasetryharder Mon 18-Mar-19 16:57:40

And equally it sounds like you need to have more confidence in the parents!
They decided it would probably be ok to leave her home alone and it was smile
Looks like they had a last minute wobble, but it turned out ok.

EvilTwins Mon 18-Mar-19 20:10:16

And equally it sounds like you need to have more confidence in the parents!

The parents pissed me off by pushing it onto me. Essentially they asked me to not do my job if their DC didn't come in and I am not up for that.

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