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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.

lieselotte · 16/03/2023 21:15

it sounds like he also needs some support with his mental health/dealing with his trauma from his childhood

Yes. It's unfortunate that mental health provision is so rubbish in this country. If you have any spare funds, I'd be using them to access any support you can get privately.

Not being interested in anything, showing violence and being sad doesn't exactly scream well balanced child does it? But he is only 13 and this can be turned around with the right help.


ConsuelaHammock · 16/03/2023 21:15

You believe him on every occasion over his school. Start believing his school and his teachers, they’re telling you the truth. You are being touch too soft and your son WILL end up in prison if you don’t act now! Ask about a parenting class because you clearly just want to be his friend. Parenting isn’t easy - it sounds like you just want an easy life.


Somertime · 16/03/2023 21:16

You could try speaking to PACT, they are a charity for prisoners and their families. You DS is going through a whole identity shift and the foundations of his world don't feel secure to him. PACT may be able to direct you to a councillors who works with children with a parent in prison.


ConsuelaHammock · 16/03/2023 21:16



lieselotte · 16/03/2023 21:16

And remember the rate of mental heath problems in prisoners is sky high. You can make sure your son isn't one of these statistics.


DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 21:17


In terms of the 4 exclusions, I fully agree with the school excluded him for threatening the teachers. I don’t believe the other 3 reasons warranted an exclusion.

I know most people here will disagree.

I have wrote down a lot of the advice given on here and I will get to work with them tomorrow.

OP posts:

lifeturnsonadime · 16/03/2023 21:18

I haven't read the full thread.

I do think that you are getting this wrong OP. Rewarding exclusions is giving the message that the behaviour is fine. As is the other minimising.

I think you need to get some support with your parenting going forward though because a change in the way you parent at home could result in behaviours at home. This is not a reason not to change your parenting methods just something you need to be aware of.

As he is in the Pru they will have access to schemes that can support you especially if you say that you want to make changes at home to support his behaviour in the PRU. I think in this situation some kind of joint therapy might be best so that you can discuss and agree consequences for actions that happen in school so that it doesn't come at a shock to him next time he behaves badly that you act differently.

He is young. He won't want to end up in prison. You can now start afresh and work together to fix this.

Ultimately you may feel like you are being kind to your troubled child but you are really not. You are laying a pathway of enabling this behaviour which will lead to him being a violent criminal adult with no boundaries. You're his mum you can help him stop this. You can be strong for him Flowers.


ConsuelaHammock · 16/03/2023 21:19

His dad is in prison! Boo hoo. He’s not the first or the last kid to have been dealt a bad hand in life. Being angry won’t change that so he’ll have to suck it up and get on with it. He’s the only one who can turn it around , with your help and the help of his school . Don’t let him be a statistic of a single parent family!


lifeturnsonadime · 16/03/2023 21:20

DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 21:17


In terms of the 4 exclusions, I fully agree with the school excluded him for threatening the teachers. I don’t believe the other 3 reasons warranted an exclusion.

I know most people here will disagree.

I have wrote down a lot of the advice given on here and I will get to work with them tomorrow.

See this needs to change.

It doesn't matter that you disagree. You need to be untied with school now and say that you support the school.

If you don't do this he won't have clear boundaries for his behaviour.


Godlovesall26 · 16/03/2023 21:20

@DrainedNFedUp Your OP asked if you should withdraw him : as you will have seen, the unanimous answer is no.
Also, unanimous disagreement with your disciplining approach. Please don’t take this personally, it is extremely clear that you love your child, and please believe everyone is trying to help.
I can imagine it must have been a lot to take in.

If I may ask, how do you feel after reading the replies ?
Forum reply rates move very quick ! Often too quick for the person involved emotionally.
Are you still doubting keeping him in the PRU ?
Are there any specific elements you would have questions for advice or other on ?
In other words, it can help sometimes (yourself) if you take tentatives to guide the discussion. An anonymous forum is good to explore your feelings, and you seem to be holding a lot of those back.

You had the smarts to separate, I would imagine deep down you were terrified of the knife comment, but you don’t seem to have the slightest idea of how to manage it, which is normal, professional help is for that.

Denial can only protect you both so much longer from a breakdown (and denial can often come across as blasé, which is a little the impression you give in posts). The difference will be that you won’t hurt anyone and he risks something irreparable.


ConsuelaHammock · 16/03/2023 21:21

DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 21:17


In terms of the 4 exclusions, I fully agree with the school excluded him for threatening the teachers. I don’t believe the other 3 reasons warranted an exclusion.

I know most people here will disagree.

I have wrote down a lot of the advice given on here and I will get to work with them tomorrow.

You weren’t there so you don’t get to decide if they warranted an exclusion. Start backing the school, if you don’t you will lose your son to criminality. I can guarantee your ex had weak parenting too!


MrsHamlet · 16/03/2023 21:21

He's violent, disruptive, cannot be trusted to follow reasonable requests... and you don't agree that those are reasons to exclude?

You are very much part of the problem.


bigbabycooker · 16/03/2023 21:22

The psychology of it is quite clear - he feels abandoned by his dad and now he is testing you, to know that no matter what he does you will love him.

And you will love him. But part of loving our children is helping them to navigate the world and you are not currently doing this. Your passivity is starting to drift into neglect, in the sense of not giving him an impression about caring about his long term future.

Your son needs counselling. And support. But also boundaries that help your son to feel safe and to have a "plan" to earn your respect and gain self worth. He is being rewarded for bad things, which is confusing.


DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 21:25

@Godlovesall26 after reading all these comments, I will not be withdrawing him from the PRU, I am yet to hear back from them because of the school strikes, hopefully they will allow him back to school.

If they do, I will explain to him that we will start a fresh; and if he still misbehaves there will be consequences.

OP posts:

Justforlaffs · 16/03/2023 21:25

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.

Are you for real? Your son is one of the children with behavioural problems - are you really this wilfully ignorant?

Why should kids and teachers in mainstream schools have to put up with your sons violent behaviour?


Confrontayshunme · 16/03/2023 21:25

I work as a 1:1 for a child with SEMH and behaviour problems. His mum always says "He is an angel at home and is only this way at school." The reason is because there are zero boundaries or rules in place at home. She is afraid to say no so he goes to bed at 11pm, has unlimited screen time, only eats junk food and has no siblings to share with or get in conflict with. He is 6. I shudder to think what a teenage boy with no boundaries looks like at home. You must be terrified.


SybilWrites · 16/03/2023 21:25

I kind of disagree with many of the previous posters, although I agree with them that your approach is wrong.

He is clearly a very disturbed boy - his father has been sent to prison for a long sentence, so he has clearly done something serious. The bad behaviour started when he was 10/11 which coincides with his father going to prison. I really think you need to get support for both of you to deal with this. Your boy is clearly traumatised and damaged by this. If you don't do something, he is on a path to self-destruction and possible prison himself.

Please do seek all the help you can - whether it's from the school or your own resources. You can research this and you should be doing.

Stop minimising his behaviour - it isn't normal and it isn't acceptable. Unlike PP I think it is explainable, but you are tackling it wrong.


katepilar · 16/03/2023 21:26

What a situation to be in. Must be difficult for you. Does your son have any therapy? He is clearly expressing anger about the whole situation and needs help. I guess some counselling would be good for you as well. Hope things settle soon for you.


bigbabycooker · 16/03/2023 21:26

Also, as an adult we do masses of things we don't really like very much - queuing, tidying, being polite to people we don't like much. You need to help him understand that this is a part of growing up. His teachers are not just teaching him stuff, but life skills. You are not helping him in telling him that you can behave badly if you find an excuse for it.


Eyesopenwideawake · 16/03/2023 21:26

Have a chat with Therese Langford - it's free - of

She works with children with anxiety and behavioural issues and will be able to tell you if she can help your son.


adriftinadenofvipers · 16/03/2023 21:28

DrainedNFedUp · 16/03/2023 21:17


In terms of the 4 exclusions, I fully agree with the school excluded him for threatening the teachers. I don’t believe the other 3 reasons warranted an exclusion.

I know most people here will disagree.

I have wrote down a lot of the advice given on here and I will get to work with them tomorrow.

The school clearly did, and whether you think they were merited or not, you must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. You're not helping him by refusing to accept his behaviour is atrocious. You are your son's advocate here, and by making excuses, you are escalating his bad behaviour. I don't know how you can say this after all his exclusions/expulsions.

I would be deeply ashamed, embarrassed and alarmed. You need to address this immediately - for both of your sakes.

Just wondering aloud, as a prisoner, how your ex has been in a position to fling the big presents at your DS. Are these profits of crime? Wouldn't touch them with a barge pole.


FloatingBean · 16/03/2023 21:28

Does DS have an EHCP? If not you should apply. If he does you need an early review.

Do you know unless you have a good reason you shouldn’t be taking DS out to a public place during school hours in the first 5 days of any exclusion? You risk prosecution.


birdshavingabath · 16/03/2023 21:29

therapy required.


bigbabycooker · 16/03/2023 21:29

But none of this means I am saying your son is bad. It's just that he is having bad behaviours, explicable by grief and anger, reinforced. He does need professional help.


loafintheoven · 16/03/2023 21:29

I really hope you take the responses to this thread as a massive wake-up call.
My DS was permanently excluded in Y3 for violence towards a teacher, damaging property, etc. Spent half a year at a PRU. They were excellent at identifying his needs. He has since integrated back into a mainstream school, has an EHCP, and has started in secondary with only minor problems. BUT I worked with them, took their advice, ASKED their advice, went on loads of courses, etc, etc.
If your DS is not going to end up having a very difficult adulthood, you need to change direction now.

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