Advice needed from parents of teenagers.....

Discussion in 'Lipotrim Forum' started by Nikita10, 17 June 2009 Social URL.

  1. Nikita10

    Nikita10 Full Member

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    Am I being too hard???

    My 14 year old daughter was excluded for 1 day from school for truanting. I was called into school the next day to see her head of year. He politely informed me my daughter was a persistant truanter......... He said she has 95.7% attendance at school, but her class attendance was less than 63%!!!!!

    Since September she has missed 232 lessons!!!!! Yes 232 lessons (she was on school premises the whole time because they are locked in and can't get out of the school grounds!) and they were only just letting me know about it. I wasn't very happy to say the least, and after dragging myself off the ceiling I eventually left the office agreeing she should go on report for 1 month.

    My daughter of course tried to deny everything, and blame the teacher! But eventually she realised that wasn't working, so I grounded her, took away her mobile phone, her laptop, her ipod, and left her with 5 items of her most treasured possession.... her make-up, I told her she was grounded for 232 dys the amount of lessons she missed which takes her to xmas eve!!!

    That was 7wks ago tomorrow, and she is now asking if she can start going out! And telling me I am being too hard on her, I kind of agree. She is a diamond in the house, doing cooking, cleaning, ironing and looking after her younger brother.

    But I just can't bring myself to trust her again and let her out! Am i being too hard on her? She says she has learnt her lesson and will never do it again....

    Famous last words or is it me? I am now a single parent to 3 kids one 17yrs, one 14yrs and one 8yrs and it isn't easy!

    Sorry a long one, but the stress is driving me mad. Feel a little better now I have vented, but i had hear food calling. I will of course not cave in but any help/advice will be much appreciated.

    Honest opinions only please.
     
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  3. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Oh gosh, I really feel for you!

    A couple of years ago, I found out that my son had played truant. He was 15. I was gobsmacked/furious/upset...grrrr. I just hadn't expected it of him at all.

    Admittedly he only truanted for 2 days, but that makes no difference. He's just the same as your daughter. Played truant until he was caught. Fortunately we caught him quick (pure luck really).

    In hindsight, I'm glad it happened. It was a great chance for a good heart to heart, and for him to realise that though I backed the school, I would always be there for him, and we could discuss the good, bad and ugly.

    Trusting him. Ummm, yes, that was a difficult one. It certainly opened my eyes that he could do something crazy. He was such an easy child and it was easy to slip into over confidence mode that he would always do the right thing. Great learning experience for me too :D

    So, yes..I found it hard to trust him for quite a while after that, but I felt it was important that he never knew that. I admit I faked it. I told him how much I trusted him. How much I knew it was a blip and that he had learnt by it and it how much more mature he was now ;)

    It was difficult, but really important I thought (and still think)

    As for her punishment. Strangely, I didn't punish my son at all. He knew that he had let himself down and that he had to face the music. Not saying you did the wrong thing though. Maybe 232 days was rather long...but I understand that we can say these things in the heat of the moment.

    Maybe you could both sit down and have a good chin wag over it all, and see if she can come up with a good alternative plan instead of the rest of her 'sentence'? Put it in her hands, assuming you agree it's fair. It'll be good for her to work out her own consequence for her actions.

    Hugs though. Not easy is it.
     
  4. loulouless

    loulouless Is a loser :)

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    Hi,
    I have a 13 & 14 year old girls and I think you did the right thing but if you feel now that the punishment is a little harsh perhaps you could sit her down and negosiate something continue with it but slowly introduce her 'things' back over the coming weeks.

    It cant be easy being a single mum so a big pat on the back for you.
     
  5. Doirin

    Doirin Positivity is the key

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    Hi Nikita,
    Sorry you had a tough time of it with this issue. I don't have teenagers yet, my 3 are under 8 but I have worked in residential childcare for many years, so hope you don't mind if I butt in.
    Firstly the school should review it's policy on letting parents know what their issues are. That many hours out of class should have been brought to your attention before now.
    You have been very consistent to stick to what you have said for 7 weeks and by now your daughter knows you meant business. Punishment, for the want of a better word has to fit the crime. 232 lessons isn't comparable to 232 days and therefore perhaps harsh. The difficulty you have to face is how (if you choose to) bring that time frame to an end without you feeling she has gotten off lightly and you not losing face.
    From my experience the child themself are often harsher in what reduction of privalages they get. If you have not allowed her to have her mobile etc. back yet perhaps you could negotiate a compromise there.
    At her age they are all about the friends and need these relationships to get them through difficult situations and everyday teenage angst. If she is feeling these are denied to her she may rebel. You have stated she is a good help around the house and this is such a bonus.
    If it was a particular subject she was avoiding, perhaps she has a difficulty with it or the teacher and maybe she can show willing by studying this in her free time.
    These are only suggestions and I hope you will find your own ideal solution to the difficulty. Only one more piece of advice, we were taught never to mete out a sanction unless it was discussed with a colleague first. This helps remove the emotional response to the issue and get someone elses perspective on it. This is not possible in our single parent lives, however we can use the advice of family or friends to help us give a suitable sanction and this gives us the opportunity to calm before we talk to the young person and deliver what the sanction is.
    Wishing you all the best with it.
    Doirin
     
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  6. damned angel

    damned angel Member

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    oh my, hugs for you:) Maybe you could sit down with her and talk about how to move forward from this situation. Ask her to think of things from your perspective.....i do this with my sons and they do see that sometimes their behaviour is unacceptable and that the consequencies of that behaviour result in trust issues. Often teenagers are oblivious to the affect their behaviour has on issues such as parental trust. Maybe its time to negotiate the move forward...building trust by reinstating some priveledges with the priviso that they can be withdrawn and the original punishment agreement re-commenced.
    good luck!
     
  7. Theresa6

    Theresa6 Silver Member

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    Hey Nikita,

    I havent been in your shoes..... yet .. thankfully but can only echo what others have said. You know your girl best and know how to re-negotiate the 'punishment' if neccessary. With my lot (20, 19, 17, 15, 11 & 4) I tend to show my disappointment, give a quick but effective punishment (removal of treasured items for a period befitting the crime and/or grounding). Most of the time it doesnt happen again but then they are growing, learning and trying to experience independance. I work as a youth leader in my spare time and have done extensive training; I see otherwise good kids suffering under the stress we 'parents' put them through... It is a different type of difficult world for todays teens.

    She is your baby and you know her best, she soundslike a dream around the home, maybe she could earn her priviledges back by short trips out with her mates, 2 hours perhaps, and be back on time, if late, then continued sanctions??? Honestly hun, you really do know her best!!

    Sorry I have edited to add in agreement with Doirin, the schools policy of informing parents is appalling. If it were me I'd be in there asking why they didnt inform you months and months ago, this should have been nipped inthe bud..........prob best to do this in a calm moment tho!

    Good Luck.... (this was only going to be a short post!!)
     
    Last edited: 18 June 2009
  8. Yorkshire Adam

    Yorkshire Adam Gold Member

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    I would of done the same

    Actually id of probably been even more harsh tbh teach how to behave, school is important so i would push on these things
     
  9. ChellyWellyBoot

    ChellyWellyBoot I will be skinny again!!!

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    To be honest, I agree with your punishment.. But then again my dad was very strict with me...

    I had no computer privledges for two years unless i needed to homework..

    Do you really think she would play truant again?

    Was she doing it alone or with friends? and if it was with friends have those been repramanded and punished by their parents also?

    Have you spoken to the head master since and found out of it has hapened again?

    xxxx
     
  10. kellywobble

    kellywobble Full Member

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    Nikita just out of interest has she done it since. Girls, I have 1 and 4 boys, and bloody hell is she harder work YES. I know I shouldnt but I regular say thats it your grounded FOR LIFE. Take away things that mean the most laptop phone straightners. But has you say 97% of the time shes an angel does loads to help at home helping with her brother. You know your daughter same as my LIFE perhaps christmas eve is a bit too long. See how shes gettin on at school now. I think I'd have a word at school aswell and just say "do you think its possible if this happens again you would be able to let me know after the first time, so I can nip it in the bud" you could always add " so I can ground her for less days next time". KIDS
     
  11. MiniB

    MiniB Here we go again!

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    I think what you did at the time was right and really shocked her.

    Thinking about it now, it may have been a little harsh. Could you sit her down and ask her why she truanted. Is she being bullied or is she not happy at that school and try and sort out why she did it in the first place.

    I think if you can put your views across of how important school is, especially at her age with exams looming ever closer, she may understand a little more.

    Obviously up to you whatever you do but I would, after discussing things with her, maybe let her out slowly, if you know what I mean, every now and then but nowhere near the way she was allowed out before. Increase this privilege slowly maybe.

    Good luck, though. Been there, done that, with 2 daughters aged 19 and 17 now. Glad those days are over to be honest, they can be a real joy but sometimes, just sometimes, a real pain in the a***!
     
  12. Nikita10

    Nikita10 Full Member

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    Thanks KD - Yes my situation exactly!!! Slipped into confidence mode - my daughter would never do anything like that!!! Great learning curve for me too...





    Good idea I think I will try this.



    Thank you Lou - Yes I’m now beginning to think it is a little harsh so will have a go at negotiating!





    Not at all Doirin, all constructive advice welcomed.

    Good point Doirin - I am trying to get another meeting with her head of year to discuss this, but he seemed to think it was all down to her not the school lol!



    Another good point - Thank you, my husband left 11weeks ago so I don’t want to push her away, but I don't want her to think she can do as she pleases either….





    Thanks Damned angel - Yes love the priviso! Never thought of that! My mind is not working as it normally does lol.



    True Thanks Theresa - Yes she is a dream at home, but turns into a little devil when she get's out!!! - didn't mention she had been smoking too, which she knows I hate...



    Hi Adam thank you - I am trying to push on the school, but deep down I hate it, I have lost every confidence in them, my younger son will definitely not be attending it!



    Thanks Chelly - my dad was pretty strict with us when we were young, maybe that’s where I get if from lol! None of the other people were reprimanded, just her, the other parents don’t seem too bothered!





    Thanks Kelly – No she hasn’t done it since, but then again she knows I am watching her every move…



    Yes I think I shocked her too. It has given us both chance to talk more thoug, which is good...
    Thanks MiniB – She isn’t being bullied and loves school!! maybe because she can twag lessons when she wants lol!! – she did it because 2 other girls in her lesson did it – but she got caught by the headmaster…..

    Wow great response THANK YOU everyone, I have a lot more to think about now.......
     
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