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Son & PRU

1000 replies

DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 19:33

In desperate need of help and advice, I don’t really have anyone in real life I can speak to.

I am going to be as transparent as possible with this, there will be no drip feeding. So therefore it’s going to be quiet a long one.

I’m a single parent to my son who is age 13 years of age, I spilt with his father 9 years ago, because I wasn’t happy with his criminal activity, I am going to get into it now.

My sons father was jailed 2 years ago and he will not be coming home until my son is in his 20s.

He has been in prison a many times before, but charges have always been dismissed or he has gotten not guilty at trial, so his stays haven’t been long.

The majority of the time, I liaised with him and we both agreed to tell our son that he was “away” either working abroad or his native country. Which did work, because he would still provide the expensive clothes, gifts and money for days out and holidays etc from in prison.

The last two times, I refused to lie. I had had enough covering from him, and making out that he is a saint when he isn’t. DS finding out the truth did hurt him, but his father would always assure him that everything would be alright and that he would be home soon, and throw money at my son to make him feel better.

He promised my son that he would never go back to prison again, and my son believed him and that if he did, he would never speak to him and not want him to be his dad anymore.

So since he got convicted my sons behaviour has gone down hill. He has gone from that kind, humble (despite being spoilt rotten from his dad) caring and generous, to the complete opposite.

He has been permanently excluded from 3 schools, the first was his primary school. He was permanently excluded from his secondary school on the 6th week of him attending.

Fighting, bullying, being disrespectful to teachers, the last straw was him violently attacking a teacher. I managed to find him another school that would take him, three wouldn’t.

My son has always had the ability to make new friends and fit into friendship groups very easily, but I found out that at the second school, he was using money to buy friends. I was very disappointed in him, because I didn’t understand why he felt the need to do that. Before finding out from him that he just wanted to help them because their parents don’t have a lot of money.

Good few weeks, no complaints, I was beginning to think this was the start of him settling down.

Permanently excluded again, an attack on a student, teacher and damage to window.

He now attends a PRU, I am really not happy because the school is full of children with behavioural problems, so my child is not going to change.

There have been a few incidents just to name a few

  1. He went on a school trip, my child decided that he wanted to come home, I receive a phone call saying he has run away and that they’re trying to find him. I am sat at home frantic, school doesn’t allow children to bring in mobile phones, so no way off contacting him. Luckily he found his way home. Resulted in a 3 day exclusion

2. My son was rude to and used foul language towards a younger teaching assistant, reason behind this he made an appropriate comments towards me and asked my son if I was single. Which is totally unacceptable, when I raised this with the head teacher I was told that there was no one around at the time (so basically my son is a liar) my son wouldn’t lie about something like that. Resulted in a 2 day exclusion

3. Teacher wouldn’t let my son out of the classroom to use the toilet; so he climbed out of the window and urinated behind some bins in the playground (classroom was on the ground floor? I don’t agree with him doing this; but I believe he should have allowed to go. Resulted in a 3 day exclusion which I think it ridiculous and a very farfetched

My son threatened to bring a knife to school and kill a teaching assistant (he has admitted) his reason behind it, said teacher is always singling him out and saying that he will not be going on the school trip, he has complained to me about this previously, I told him to ignore the teacher and that I’ll take him.

This incident happened on Tuesday was called to collect him, but due to the school strikes, I’m yet to hear back from school.

AIBU is to just withdraw him from the PRU and home school him, because his behaviour is just going from bad to worst.

Thanks for taking the time out to read this, much appreciated.
OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Undermyduvet · 16/03/2023 20:29

In all honesty, you’ve not disciplined him at all. Ever. Have you been in an abusive relationship in the past? I wonder if that’s why you don’t want to discipline your son because “you’ll upset him” and you’ve had issues with a parent/partner in the past.

The fact is, letting his behaviour continue means he will get worse. He needs therapy and you need therapy/parenting course. This has clearly been going on for years and the teen years are where kids can really go off the rails. He does not need a day out when he’s done something wrong. You need to calmly sit him down and talk to him, tell him why the behaviour was wrong and then give a suitable punishment and try and work out why he’s behaving as he is.

Whilst his dad is in prison, use this time to really work out a way to deal with your son without the input of what sounds like a useless father around.


WhereIsMyRefund · 16/03/2023 20:30

Does he have any good male role models you could rope in? Sounds like he could benefit from one.


Spendonsend · 16/03/2023 20:30

I think you have some helpful suggestions.
There is the offenders children charity to contact
Ask the school/gp about referal for couselling/therapy
Look at other PRUs and SEMH schools in the area
Look into other alernative provisions like farms/mechanics
Look into mentoring schemes
Dont do fun things on exclusion days!

It is all overwhelming, but 13 isnt too late OP. I help at an alernative provision and people do turn things around.


LIZS · 16/03/2023 20:30

You seem really passive and tolerant. I am wondering if any of your ex's behaviour has somehow conditioned you to accept violence and defiance as normal. Did you have access to support?

Your ds is clearly damaged and very angry. Did he witness any abuse or controlling behaviour towards you and feels defensive of you. His behaviour is extreme and he needs professional intervention. You say he was fine before the imprisonment but actually if he is year 8 this had started by age 8/9, perhaps at a time when others became more settled and he has not. Maybe he became more aware of differences between him and his peers. Was he ever assessed for additional needs?


Merryoldgoat · 16/03/2023 20:31

DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 20:25


So what do I do now please?

There are several parenting programs that some councils offer which the school can refer you in to.

Work with the school and take all the support they can give/signpost you to.


DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 20:31

@BCfan thank you, apology accepted. No social services aren’t involved why would they? This comment has given me anxiety, I am not a danger to my child and he has never been exposed to anything.

OP posts:

Singularity82 · 16/03/2023 20:31

Op, his behaviour is frightening. And you make one excuse after the other. Then reward him for this at home? You’re lucky he hasn’t been permanently excluded from the PRU to be honest. Your lack of insight into his behaviour is shocking. I suggest doing a parenting course and some counselling for your son, if he hasn’t already had any.


MadeInChorley · 16/03/2023 20:32

I agree with everything said above - you are excusing and minimising his behaviour at school and he has no incentive to change.

Does he have friends his own age? Does he socialise with anyone?


FabledEasterEgg · 16/03/2023 20:32

He now attends a PRU, I am really not happy because the school is full of children with behavioural problems, so my child is not going to change.
No, until you recognise that your son is one of those children with behavioural problems, nothing will change.
A PRU is the absolute best place for him.


DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 20:35

@WhereIsMyRefund No, I am an only child too. I am currently in a relationship with someone but I don’t really open up to him about things, as supportive as I know he’d be.

@Spendonsend Thanks, I’ll do that, I will add it to my list.

@LIZS My son has never witness any abuse, violence or controlling behaviour towards me. He has never been assessed to see if he has any additional needs, he doesn’t have any learning difficulties.

OP posts:

FiveShelties · 16/03/2023 20:38

DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 20:12

@bridgetreilly they have offered one on one mentoring, and I do not see taking him out for the day as a reward, I just don’t think it’s fair to keep him in the house all day, I know the things he is doing is wrong, but me punishing him is only going to make him upset.

upset? You absolutely cannot be serious. You are encouraging his dreadful behaviour.


Justmemyselfandi999 · 16/03/2023 20:39

Most councils have a mentoring scheme available, I'd ask the PRU for a referral, some one to one time with a positive male role model may be beneficial. The PRU may also offer home tuition or EOTAS (Education other than at school), this may be useful even just temporarily. I'd consult your GP for a CAMHS referral, there may well be an underlying neuro diversity or anxiety issues due to the trauma. Finally, I'd reach out and try to find a reputable martial arts club - somewhere your son can burn some energy, learn self control and have to respect elder males, they're often a great outlet for troubled young guys.


DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 20:39

@Singularity82 Yes, I agree it is very frightening. A few years ago if someone told me that my son had done anyone out of the 4 things I listed, I wouldn’t have believed them.

@MadeInChorley The only friends he has are the kids at the PRU, other than that he doesn’t socialise with anyone outside of school, it’s just me and him.

OP posts:

Hankunamatata · 16/03/2023 20:41

He threatened to kill a member of staff and you take him for a nice day out. Omg
My child's been suspended. I made him sit at the desk and do school work for the school day. Regular movements breaks and walk at lunchtime. Electronics removed for a month.


Nina9870 · 16/03/2023 20:41

listen, this is a horrible situation. You obviously love the bones of your son, and I’d be out of my mind if this was my child.
however, I really hope you don’t mind me being truthful, but you’re enabling his behavior by taking him on days out and telling him to ignore the teachers comments. These things will make him feel as if he’s done nothing wrong and he’s the one being treated badly in school- let’s be frank, he is the one in the wrong in school.

I think though, you’re past punishment and lectures. It sounds like he’s reprimanded and told off on the daily. It means nothing to him. I would seek counseling and support for him. His behavior will only continue to escalate.
I’d make it clear to him that feeling angry and frustrated or whatever he feels in school is fine, it’s ok to feel things, however the behavior is absolutely not ok. I truly hope he gets the help he needs x


LIZS · 16/03/2023 20:42

Additional Needs can be behavioural - ADHD, PDA for example. Some can be inherited. You seem very closed to exploring what may be behind this.


Inertia · 16/03/2023 20:43

I wonder what your own back ground is, because you are rewarding and making excuses for some genuinely very violent/ threatening behaviour from your son. Threats to kill and carrying a knife with intent could see him in prison.

Your son has developed an entirely skewed sense of consequences. He has realised that if he ramps up his dangerous behaviour to exclusion levels, he gets a day out without even pretending to be sorry.

How safe do you think you’d be if you tried to implement punishment/consequences now?

Social services involvement might be the saving of him. The danger is presented by your son to pretty much everyone he interacts with.


lifeissweet · 16/03/2023 20:43

The PRU could be the absolute making of him, OP, but only if you work really closely with them and follow through with the way they discipline. You have never said no to him, which is why he has never turned on you. Eventually, a day will come when you have to put your foot down and then you'll see who you have raised.

It is not unkind to upset him. It's teaching him what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. We do this with small children. We say no to toddlers an awful lot and then heap praise on for good behaviour. That is how they learn.

You are giving him mixed messages. You are correct that he needs to trust you and know you like the person he is, but being unhappy and disappointed with his behaviour is separate from attacking him as a person. It isn't removing your love. It is teaching right and wrong. Somewhere along the line, you seem have learned that discipline and teaching good behaviour is 'upsetting' and should be avoided. It is not. It is how he grows up into a functioning member of society who has friends and employment.

Get help from the PRU and grow a big, steel backbone.

Good luck.


Jifmicroliquid · 16/03/2023 20:43

Op- your child behaves appallingly at school and you collect him and take him on a day out because you don’t think it’s fair for him to sit at home. You try to talk to him about it and he gets upset/annoyed so you stop. Is it any wonder he continues this behaviour?? He has no consequences for his actions. Where is the incentive to behave correctly? Days out should be rewards for good behaviour.
Being sent home from school means he needs to go home, have all ‘fun’ removed- no TV, no games console, iPad, whatever. He sits at a table and does school work or some sort of work until the normal school end day. And even then, his normal evening plans should not be allowed. You need him to realise that the world doesn’t revolve around him getting his own way. You will make things boring for him if he cannot behave like a civilised human being and you will take away privileges until he can show you some positive behaviour.
I despair sometimes.


DashboardConfessional · 16/03/2023 20:43

My son threatened to bring a knife to school and kill a teaching assistant (he has admitted) his reason behind it, said teacher is always singling him out and saying that he will not be going on the school trip, he has complained to me about this previously, I told him to ignore the teacher and that I’ll take him.

You are the problem here. He threatens to kill someone and you react like this? Seriously, WTF.

Where is his incentive not to be disruptive, violent and dangerous?


Hankunamatata · 16/03/2023 20:43

And no he should def not be going on a school trip and you should not offer to take him.
Your totally working against the schools and pru by rewarding bad behaviour and being excluded. Why are you not holding him accountable for his behaviour


Nina9870 · 16/03/2023 20:45

Hankunamatata · 16/03/2023 20:41

He threatened to kill a member of staff and you take him for a nice day out. Omg
My child's been suspended. I made him sit at the desk and do school work for the school day. Regular movements breaks and walk at lunchtime. Electronics removed for a month.

Which would definitely work for my child too. But I’m going to assume, like my child, they’re not in a PRU with behavioral issues and there’s boundaries and sanctions at home. This kid has none of that. Realistically if she tried to make him sit at a desk all day, based on what OP has described, he’d run away. This child needs professional help and hopefully his mum can ask the PRU/ council for help and support for her son


user1473878824 · 16/03/2023 20:47

I do really feel for you OP, but this stood out for me so much: “am really not happy because the school is full of children with behavioural problems”
your son HAS behaviour problems. Bad ones. He is just like everyone else at that school, I’m sorry.


DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 20:47

@Inertia I do not fear my child, he would never raise his voice to me or attack me, I’m 99% sure of that. He is 13 and a very small 13 compared how big and how tall other 13 year old are these days.

I do fear that he could seriously damage another child at the PRU, that’s one of the reasons I want to withdraw him, for the safety of others.

I would prefer if social services weren’t a part of our lives.

OP posts:

Godlovesall26 · 16/03/2023 20:47

OP I’m sorry to hear of your situation. I’m sorry but I agree with PP
I’m sure you are trying your best, but now is the time to acknowledge that nothing is working in the slightest.
You don’t sound equipped at all with the situation, which is understandable, hence seconding PP recommendations for professional help.
How about asking for a meeting with the school ? Ask them what they think could help ? And all other PP suggestions.

You seem to really want to hold on to the way your baby previously was, which is of course completely understandable, but you’re losing notion of time a little : it has been two years. This is getting very very close to your last chance to act. You’re ‘fortunate’ that his lashing out up until now has been mostly verbal - but having worked with a lot of children in care with difficulties (the difference being he has you - a loving parent ; the common one being there were often prison parents), 13 is a pivotal age where they’re still half children, you’re cutting it really close. But there is hope at this age. If you leave it a year more, first he’ll be a full blown teenager (14yos+ in any circumstances are a nightmare, and, most importantly, getting more fixed in their ways), and second, the way he’s escalating, you’re at huge risk of the language becoming actions before that age.

Its great that you posted, please listen to PP advice. I’m European so can’t advise on English help.
A talk with the school, therapy are non negotiable for sure though. Incidentally I found my boys enjoyed boxing, but definitely in a one to one way, not in a club setting where they play against each other, and always inform the instructor of the background

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