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To have refused to take nephew out for the day?

286 replies

iz92 · 13/10/2022 12:00

Nephew is 15, y11, he hasn't done a full week at school this academic year with having one day off a week or attending one day and having the rest of the week off, he attended 4 days last week, had the Friday off and has so far had the whole of this week off, his parents don't seem to care, in their defence he did skip school Monday and Tuesday but yesterday he said he didn't want to go for no particular reason, and the same today. When he doesn't go he just stays in bed on his devices (which I wouldn't allow but I'm not his parent!).

Today, I'm going to take DD to a trampoline park, as she only attends nursery a few days a week and she's off today, his mum has asked if I can take him along as he'd enjoy it, I've said no as he should be at school and that'd be rewarding him for not attending and its half term soon so he can go then. BIL spoke to DH and DH has said I'm BU as I know nephew struggles with his anxiety which is probably why he isn't going, I disagree as yes I understand he has anxiety but I think he isn't going as he finds staying at home more fun.


OP posts:
Bzzz · 13/10/2022 15:19

I would also have refused

U1sce · 13/10/2022 15:19

The judgement from the seriously uninformed is disgusting, but explains a lot about why we need national campaigns telling people 'its ok to not be ok'

UnderCoverFieldAgent · 13/10/2022 15:19

Has he actually been diagnosed with anxiety though? Plenty of people get anxious, they don’t all have ‘anxiety’.

AmyDudley · 13/10/2022 15:20

If he's too anxious to go to school, he's too anxious to go trampolining. If he can go on a day out, he can go to school.

Hardly - school is a very different environment, to an outing with family he feels safe with- not in any way comparable.

iz92 · 13/10/2022 15:23

He has been referred to camhs but he refuses appointments as he tells his parents he's ‘fine’. DD does adore him but like I said I wanted to spend time with just her, his mum wasn't working today so she could've taken him but she hasn't.

OP posts:
sandytooth · 13/10/2022 16:32

iz92 · 13/10/2022 15:23

He has been referred to camhs but he refuses appointments as he tells his parents he's ‘fine’. DD does adore him but like I said I wanted to spend time with just her, his mum wasn't working today so she could've taken him but she hasn't.

Well yes but he might be anxious about the appointments.

GoldenSpiral · 13/10/2022 16:36

It would be a no from me too.

drpet49 · 13/10/2022 16:37

Talkwhilstyouwalk · 13/10/2022 12:13

I'd have refused as well. He's supposed to be in school for goodness sake, and if he's not happy there then his parents need to work with the school to sort that out!

I agree

Fe345fleur · 13/10/2022 16:41

YANBU. It's a day out you had planned and you don't have to take him if you don't want to.

Harridan1981 · 13/10/2022 16:46

"work with the school" what does this look like? Maybe they already are.

Dumbledormer · 13/10/2022 16:46

Honestly, some of these responses are a bit much. YANBU at all to not take him. I wouldn’t either. Show me a teenager nowadays that doesn’t have some sort of “anxiety”. Everyone gets anxious, especially if you are a teenager and trying to deal with school, friendship groups, hormones, relationships but kids now don’t seem to be able to deal with these very normal feelings and label themselves as having anxiety or mental health issues which is why real and severe sufferers are not taken seriously.

Who knows whether your nephew has crippling anxiety, I hope it’s not the case as it’s completely debilitating. From the information you’ve supplied, he sounds like a normal teenager that doesn’t like to be pushed out his comfort zone by doing things like going to school and claims “anxiety” and his parents are enabling his behaviour. Enjoy your day with your DD. I don’t think you’re in the wrong at all.

Worthyornot · 13/10/2022 16:47

Herejustforthisone · 13/10/2022 15:14

A trampoline park is not the place to deal with that.


PinkButtercups · 13/10/2022 16:50

No, absolutely not.

My DN is an absolute nightmare for going to school. Saw him this week riding in late then turned back he didn't realise I was driving by so I turned round and followed him.. he was going to his gf house! They skip together apparently!

It's an absolute headache trying to get them in and I feel for my brother.

But no, I wouldn't take him out for a treat.

imnotwhoyouthinkiam · 13/10/2022 16:54

Rosehugger · 13/10/2022 15:01

But please explain why he cannot do his school work at home?

I'd guess because with most schools that is not an option.

In our case its because school refuse to send work home. Hmm

lightlypoached · 13/10/2022 16:56

When my child had bad anxiety and was reluctant to go to school I worked with the school to help her with coping mechanisms, and on the really bad days we went for long walks outside to get her into the fresh air, and to talk through how she felt, and some normal chatter (I had to take emergency leave from work to facilitate).

If she'd refused to get up, or wanted to be on a device all day that would not have been acceptable as it's not helping, especially as you don't know what they are doing/watching. A rest day, after multiple panic attacks, maybe- but downstairs where the child can be supervised and supported and observed.

I agree with OP that I certainly wouldn't be taking DN out for a day trip, as it appears that it may just be a cop out by him and possibly his parents too. That said it's very hard to parent a child who's going through this stuff and sometimes it's tempting to just leave them to it. Sadly I don't think that helps long term, and rewarding school reluctance with nice days out seems an odd choice.

THisbackwithavengeance · 13/10/2022 16:57

"I doubt that the OP will bring up her children to truant though, so it’s something if a moot point.

Let’s be honest here, it’s generally not the children of people who value education who end up refusing to go".

@JennyForeigner2 I was the world's most well behaved and conscientious child at school, was extremely academic and have a first class honours degree.

And yet I had a school refuser.....

I know you are only saying what most people think, but you are honestly wrong. School refusing is a complex issue and it's not about "rewarding" the perceived bad behaviour with a "treat" like a trampoline park. It's about getting the DC out of their bedroom/safe place and the ingrained fear and anxiety that stops them engaging with the real world.

To the OP, you have every right to say no if but really, would it have hurt? I'm a believer in what goes around comes around.

DenholmElliot1 · 13/10/2022 17:00


The cure for anxiety is to do the thing you're anxious about. And if thats not appealing, he can get medicated.

NImumconfused · 13/10/2022 17:02

Rosehugger · 13/10/2022 15:04

We certainly value education. DH and I are both professionals, and with graduate/post-grad qualifications. DH is a school governor. DD1 is on for 3 x As* at A-Level. DD2 had excellent attendance at primary school but has struggled since she started secondary school.

In September 2020, by the way, which is not insignificant.

Very similar here, two degrees, a masters and a PhD between us, DH is a professor at a (much-valued on MN) Russell Group uni, so no question that we value education, older child is predicted all As and A*s, younger one has barely been in school since she started secondary in 2020.

Help from either the health or education services is nearly non-existent, in over two years we've had one phonecall from educational welfare!

Wetblanket78 · 13/10/2022 17:06

So he's too anxious to attend school but not anxious enough for a trampoline park. I wouldn't be taking him and before you all jump on me I have a number of people in my family with anxiety and disabilities.

tentinginmarch · 13/10/2022 17:06

Shit a brick. What is all this school refusing about?! Jeeeeez. How are we doing kids any favours at all by saying "oh you don't want to /can't go into school today, no worries. Go trampolining." How is that helpful a) for that kid when they have to get a job and have a total shock that they have to turn up and b) the poor other kids at school who just hear about their mate who CBA to go to school but gets to go trampolining instead?
Baffling. Truly baffling.

CouldBeOuting · 13/10/2022 17:07

Having had a child with severe anxiety I agree with OP. My child was never rewarded for school refusal. Supported yes. Punished no. BUT rewards were for good behaviour only. Around here if you are out with a school aged child you may well get stopped by a PCSO asking why the child isn’t in school - quite rightly IMO.

Rosehugger · 13/10/2022 17:09

Plenty of kids are home educated and may be out and about with parents in school hours.

Rosehugger · 13/10/2022 17:12

And also if you have school based anxiety you are entitled to not be in school but don't have to stay indoors. It's school that causes the illness, not other activities.

BackToNormalish · 13/10/2022 17:12

Fuck me, there's a lot of arseholes on this thread.

"School refusers are only children of parents who don't value education" and "get them up and force them" is just bloody ignorant.

My middle one is 15 and has had a official diagnosis of GAD and severe depression. They're also on the CAHMS wait list for assessments for autism & ADHD (which pretty much anyone could spot they have a mile off). Never mind, only about two years before they might reach the top of the list to be assessed.

They haven't been at school full time since pre-covid and would give anything to go back to having a social life, going out with friends and basically being able to life a normal life without constantly imagining the worst outcomes for every possible action they take. Currently on fluoxetine, which if you're remotely up to speed on things, is v unusual for an under 18. They manage, at most, 2 hours of onsite learning a week with an additional 4 hours of on line learning. Does anyone really think they want to jeopardise their future by being at home? We're trying to get meeting with senco for school (to get exam dispensations) and with college to see what support is available. It's a fucking exhausting process and feels like a ft job, in addition to my actual ft job and other children.

This thread has absolutely boiled my piss, anyone who thinks it's a great idea to force and anxious child into school should consider what might happen as a result. I'd rather have a kid at home, trying their best to push themselves for small wins (like going alone into a shop) than a kid that decides it's too much and commits suicide.

cansu · 13/10/2022 17:13

I agree with you. Your nephew should either be in school or engaged in home education. Messing around at a trampoline park is not either of those things.

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