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to make my Year 10 Self-harming DD change schools next wee

(90 Posts)
bellejar Sun 27-Jan-13 15:48:39

I know that my DD is unhappy at school. She has no real friends and is getting more and more withdrawn and insular. About 12 months ago I spoke to her form teacher about a girl who was bullying DD (whilst pretending to be her "friend") - teacher said my DD should stand up for herself more. Last summer I spoke to her new form teacher + Head of Year. Nothing happened. In November DD was making herself sick so that she wouldn't have to to school. I told her form teacher + Head of Year who said to her "Everything alright?" She of course said yes. Last week I found out that she was self-harming and has cut her forearm to pieces at school, since November. She doesn't know that we have read her internet history and it is full of messages to Childline about self-harm, depression and killing herself.

We looked at another school (private) who instantly told me about 1-1 pastoral care + counselling for her. We have family there. She passed the exam with flying colours and she went in a few days ago to spend the day at school. They said that the teachers and girls liked her.

Now DD says she doesn't want to move schools because she says it's not that bad. She doesnkt ow that we've read posts from her saying how much she hates her school and that she has no real friends.

I think she is frightened about moving mid-term and also about the work she is going to have to do. We don't care about her A grades - we just want her to be happy and well-adjusted.

We told her (we = DH + me) to write pros + cons for each school.

AIBU to move her anyway?

bellejar Sun 27-Jan-13 15:52:18

"Next week" of course. No jokes please sad

Dawndonna Sun 27-Jan-13 15:54:19

Is she perhaps worried about cost to you? Is it a longer journey in the mornings? Personally I'd move her anyway, particularly with gcses coming up. It may also be a fear that after the 'honeymoon' period, things will be no different at the new school.

Iactuallydothinkso Sun 27-Jan-13 15:55:06

Yes, without a doubt, move her.

Give her a fresh start. I worry you will regret it otherwise. The way your dd is going, it's not going to get better at her current school is it?

manicbmc Sun 27-Jan-13 15:55:51

She will be worried about the change but if you think it is best for her then do it. I wish I had been able to do the same for my dd.

Just be aware that things may not change for her and if this is the case see your gp and get her referred to CAMHS.

BambieO Sun 27-Jan-13 15:56:00

No real advice I am afraid but I do want to say that it's parent like you that should be applauded.

It takes a lot of courage to address the problem head on and I think being responsible and checking the Internet history is a move which could really have made all the difference in helping your daughter.

You could potentially have helped her more than you know by doing this as you now know the true extent of her feelings without her feeling she has to try and muster up the courage to share if she isn't ready.

If more children had parents like you there might not be so much sadness in the world amongst children these days

flowers

Please move her... My mum did this for me when I was the same age and it turned my life around completely.

I expect she is worried that the bullying is her fault and the same thing will happen at the new school. Poor thing, she is only picking up on what adults like her form tutor, think.

I would explain it's your job to keep her safe & happy as you can and that is why you will be making this decision for her. YANBU.

Katiebeau Sun 27-Jan-13 15:57:06

No jokes Op but a big thumbs up for doing what's right for your DD. given what happening to her in school and how low she clearly is she can probably only see what might go wrong not how her life might improve.

Her current school is doing nothing to help. The new school cannot be worse and sounds much better.

Good luck to you and your DD. I hope it goes well.

balia Sun 27-Jan-13 16:11:03

Could you investigate counselling/family therapy/psychiatric help available without making her move schools? GP as a first point of call? I'm not an expert (didn't want to read and run) but have heard that people who self-harm can feel that they can't control anything else in their lives. Forcing her to move schools if she doesn't want to sounds like a kind of high-risk strategy. Also, whilst I get how massively worried you must be (my DD has recently been diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder), reading her internet history is a huge invasion of her privacy, and if she finds out, she may well feel that she can't access the one source of help she has found.

Would these sites be of any help?

www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8006_understanding_self-harm?gclid=CPvYkrr0iLUCFW3KtAodbmsABw

www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/whats_worrying_you_about_your_child/self-harm?gclid=CJaex7z0iLUCFYLHtAodo0MAjQ

bellejar Sun 27-Jan-13 16:12:45

OMG thank you. I have just burst into tears. big hugs all round

The money is not an issue - thank god that is one thing we don't have to worry about. Granny is stumping up the first term and we are cancelling plans for a new bathroom to tide us over the 2 sets of fees (she's already in private which makes their attitude make my blood boil).

I think she is terrified and the reality has hit home so she won't admit failure. But if (devils advocate) she IS a bit odd in the social skills department, then new school should pick this up and it won't be something she faces when she goes to college.

I took her to the GP last week about her depression. She wouldn't admit the self-harm. She is being referred to CAHMS already thank goodness.

WilsonFrickett Sun 27-Jan-13 16:15:37

Agree with balia don't tell her you've read her history because it seems to be a good, positive way of getting support.

I would move her though, absolutely. No need to tell her you've read her Internet history, just accept you may be the bad guys for a whole and do it. And I'd also investigate counselling or some other kind of support too.

Well done for getting to grips with the problem and good luck.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 27-Jan-13 16:18:02

you are amazing, keep going, tell her that the mumsnetters think her life will be much better from now on. really. its scary but sometimes scary things are worth doing.

if people (other pupils etc) ask her why she's moved she only need say 'my parents told me this was a better school for me'.

daughter was bullied through primary. she moved on to an independent high school and had a pretty wonderful seven years, with lots of opportunities she wouldn't have had elsewhere.

best wishes to your daughter on the start of a much happier phase in her life.

timidviper Sun 27-Jan-13 16:18:02

My son was not happy at school (although not being bullied, just generally not fitting in), we asked him if he wanted to move, he said no. We eventually explained to him the reasons why we felt he should move and that, as his parents, we felt we knew what would be best for him. He moved, settled well and never looked back.

thebody Sun 27-Jan-13 16:18:19

Well done for being a lovely parent and most defiantly move her..

Do hope she gets the help she needs so she can be happy again.

Pilgit Sun 27-Jan-13 16:42:34

Thank you for standing up for your daughter and doing what needs to be done. She is probably a bit fearful of change and like all of us - better the devil you know. She will be afraid that it will be worse at the new school and as she can 'cope' where she is she doesn't want things to get worse. The possibility of it being better sometimes does not seem worth the possibility of it getting worse.

As to the school fees - it might not get you anywhere but I'd argue with her current school about paying them as you're moving her because of their failure to deal with a very real issue.

I agree with other posters - don't tell her you've looked at her browsing history - completely understand why you did it and I would have done the same in the circumstances.

BambieO Sun 27-Jan-13 16:49:43

I agree about not mentioning the browsing history too. Although I probably agree for the wrong reasons, my reason is that I wouldn't want her to delete it if she knows you would check just so you can keep tabs for a while, even when she starts her new school to make sure she is settling in ok and not still having issues.

Once you are happy she is content then I would probably ease up on the checks.

I hope she gets on fabulously in her new school and realises the other girls had the issues not her.

Good luck!

Floralnomad Sun 27-Jan-13 16:57:37

Definitely move her , my son was very unhappy at school and when he moved he was like a new person . I hope it's successful for your daughter ,and if the new school are aware of her issues hopefully they'll keep an eye on her. Good luck !

Narked Sun 27-Jan-13 17:03:40

Move her. And have an exit meeting with the head and form teachers.

bellejar Sun 27-Jan-13 17:04:38

BambiO - agree totally, I would never tell her we snooped on her as we still need the insight into her mind. You are as devious as I am braces self for the flaming

It's hard to not tell her that we know how miserable she really is and she has just admitted that she's worried the same stuff will happen in her new school. And yes, at least at current school she knows where to hide: ie in the loos cutting her arm with a pair of scissors.

God, what a mess. sad

We have just given her an ultimatum that she 1) moves + has lots of TLC, support and confidential chats 2) stays, but we tell the Head and a meeting needs to take place with so-called friends and their parents. What will NOT happen, is that things stay the same.

Thanks everyone x

ALittleScatterOfRain Sun 27-Jan-13 17:07:39

YANBU at all, I can see why she's unsure/nervous about it but it sounds like she'll definitely be happier there. Did she enjoy the day there? Is there somebody in her new class she could perhaps e-mail or meet again, just so there's somebody she knows a bit better?

FWIW I think it'll be easier moving now (I'm guessing she'll have a week or two before half term?). She'll have those two weeks to get settled and get to know a few people and then after half term going back won't be such a big deal.

Also, tell her she needn't worry about the work. They won't expect her to have done exactly the same things, when she first goes they'll be more interested in making sure she's settling in well and happy than making her work day and night to catch up!

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 27-Jan-13 17:11:45

Move her. She will be shitting herself in case it's worse, better the devil you know and all that, but it won't be worse. It will be really hard for her to walk into on the first day and she might well be thinking that she would rather put up with what she is putting up with than take the leap. If she won't take the leap then you are going to have to push her. It will be hard at first, it will be awful, but it will get better.

cocolepew Sun 27-Jan-13 17:13:17

Definitely move her, the attitude of her school at the moment is shocking.

I have a anxious DD who had a breakdown at age 11, her school was exceptional in the help and support they gave her.

Your DD is probably worried and anxious about starting anew, but it really seems to be the best option.

I hope it works out for you all smile

BambieO Sun 27-Jan-13 17:26:13

bellejar I actually nearly wrote 'I agree for the wrong reasons as I am a devious moo grin but I didn't want you to think I was making light of the situation! We can be devious together haha

bellejar Tue 29-Jan-13 09:30:04

OMG, DD really doesn't want to move schools and is now denying the bullying by trying to trivialise it and brush it off. She said that when she spent the day at the new school she had a bad feeling that things would be the same and she knew that she didn't want to be there whilst she was sitting the entrance paper. She's been crying and crying for 2 days now.

We have written the letter of withdrawal and I have phoned the current school asking for an urgent meeting with the Head of Pastoral. So far no response so they have till lunchtime today to get in touch otherwise the letter is delivered.

AIBU to still move her even though she doesn't want to go?

HappilyUnhinged Tue 29-Jan-13 09:40:46

Move her. There are times in your life as a parent where you have to just stand by the fact that you know you are doing the right thing, even when your child fights to say otherwise.

Even if her current school pulls out all the stops, they are not in control of the bullies who will always find a way.

One other very reasonable thing to do is pull her from her current school and let her stay at home with you until Easter. She can study at home for any exam worries she might have and when it comes down to it, you will put her above any grief you get from work if you have to take time out to be with her.

You are doing all the right things, just stay firm and remember to look forward to her in a new position away from the old issues. She can't see it, so you have to see for her.

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