Thirteen year old bunked off school today. Don't know what to do with her

(15 Posts)
Maryz Wed 24-Apr-13 17:09:46

I do know that the right thing to do is tell the school and support them in their discipline of her. But I guess I'm biassed as I spent years with ds telling me the awful things he had done, me telling the school, ds getting punished (and eventually expelled) while all the other kids he was with just lied about it and were backed by their parents.

[sigh]

Bloody teenagers, who'd have 'em?

AlfalfaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 16:57:57

Sorry Maryz I keep cross-posting with you, I'm not ignoring you and appreciate your views smile
I do feel a bit sorry for her, and totally get where you're coming from. I will advocate for her (the fact that she felt so bad and told me herself should count for something) but I just can't being myself to side against the school. I also need them to help me keep an eye on her

AlfalfaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 16:42:35

Thanks Schooldidi, I'm glad to hear you had a good outcome. I think I will have to escort DD1 to school for a while. Bollocks, her school starts at 8:20, mornings are going to be hellish around here (also have to get DDs 2 and 3 to school at 8:45)

Maryz Wed 24-Apr-13 16:41:29

I don't know Alfalfa, but if you do tell the school she will be punished, and the other two may get away with it.

So she could learn the lesson "if I admit to wrongdoing I will get a worse punishment".

What the other children do isn't your concern so I wouldn't talk to their parents - they have obviously got away with it before.

The way I look at it is that your relationship with your dd is more important than a "punishment". I applied the same logic when dd called me to tell me her friends were all drunk - instead of punishing her, I was pleased that she rang me and told me so that I could pick them up.

Had she not told me about it she would have been grounded for a month.

AlfalfaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 16:37:01

But Maryz if I don't tell the school the truth I will have to lie. I also just think I need to work with the school on this one. They will know this is the first time she's done it (assuming this is the first time) and hopefully not go too hard.

Schooldidi Wed 24-Apr-13 16:33:59

My dd1 did this last year. Hers was a problem with bullying that she didn't want to worry me with.

I phoned school and spoke to her head of house. He was very nice, sorted out the bullying (I think, she seems much happier now anyway) and didn't seem to punish her at all hmm. She was most definitely punished at home, but not for as long as I would have liked because I was ill and needed her to go back to walking herself to school etc. She's never done it since.

Speak to school tomorrow, make sure they know the names of the friends as well. School will make sure the parents are aware. I would probably expect detentions at school our school seems to have a policy of giving enough detentions to make up the work missed by truanting, so 1 day absent would mean 5 hours of detention.

AlfalfaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 16:33:14

I did ask in fact, but she insists no, she fessed because she feels bad. We shall see..
Also occurs to me she might have hoped to sneak in without me noticing (it's raining here and she'd have ran out of cash..) but I arrived back at the house just as she was letting herself in hmm

Maryz Wed 24-Apr-13 16:31:10

I wouldn't tell the school.

She came home and confessed. She is talking to you and will probably never do this again. She can tell her friends you found out and went ballistic so she won't feel pressured to do it with them next time.

I reckon you can get great brownie points here - and reinforce with her that as long as she trusts you and tells you the truth the consequences will be much less than if she lies. Which is a fabulous lesson for a teenager to learn.

AlfalfaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 16:30:27

That thought did occur to me, yes. Or also that they might have been questioned by the police, being three girls in school uniform..

I used to bunk off a lot and never once did I grass my up grin

You sure she isn't just telling you before school get to you?

AlfalfaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 16:24:18

Soulsister, no. Her attendance is usually good so they probably just thought she was sick and will bring in a note tomorrow.

Just phoned school, but her year head and deputy principal have one home. Left message with secretary.

Thanks Madlizzy, yes I think grounding is a good idea. And yes, the fact that I don't know really where she's been all day is my main concern. They don't realise how vulnerable they are sad

fieldfare Wed 24-Apr-13 16:22:23

Did school not contact you?!
At least she's come home and told you the truth.
It also really doesn't matter what her friends are saying, you need to talk to her about it and make sure that she understands what she's done.
Removal of privileges is a good thing.

Madlizzy Wed 24-Apr-13 16:19:29

What a good girl. She worried about it SO much that she came home and fessed up to you. I doubt she'll do it again, and it sounds like her friends are being similar. Do talk to the school, as they'll arrange their own consequences and then have a good chat with her. For instance, children who bunk off school have a higher incidence of being arrested, getting into trouble, being in danger etc. I would ground her for a bit too, as well ask you having her phone and ipod.

HeySoulSister Wed 24-Apr-13 16:18:57

and school didn't ring you??

AlfalfaMum Wed 24-Apr-13 16:15:45

She came home at 2pm and tearfully confessed. Instead of getting the bus to school today, she got the bus to a stupid shopping centre place and mooched around with two bunking friends.
I'm a bit shocked, didn't think she'd do this. She did twice mention a few of her friend group bunking off before, over the last month or so. She was (apparently) quite disapproving. I thought then about telling the girls' parents or the school, but didn't come to a decision and didn't act. I suppose I didn't want dd1 to be blamed by friends for them being found out, either.

She said today that she did it because she didn't want to feel left out again (bit of a recurring theme with dd1, always has some kind of sorry-for-herself angle hmm). She says she'll never do it again and feels really bad.
She is generally quite good at school but has been playing up a bit this academic year.

Anyone any ideas how to deal with this? Talk to school, obviously, I can't collude wih her on this although am dreading it. She says her friends are planning to confess to their parents too, but I should phone them to check? And also check her friends' stories for indescrepancies?
I've taken her phone and her iTouch.

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