at wits end

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

at wits end

Postby thehungergames » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:12 pm

Hello. I have been a frequent reader of the threads in this forum but i have not been giving any feedback, but rather just reading the posts.

However, just yesterday something came up and I'm at wits end about how to deal with it, so i was hoping other parents could advise me on how to deal with the matter.

Basically, yesterday evening i received a backdated letter from my 14 year old daughter's school in the mailbox, telling me that before the one week school holidays, my daughter was caught in MacDonalds with two of her classmates in the morning instead of being in school for the second time this year, and because of that, she was required to do school service in school from 9am-12pm everyday because of truancy.

My daughter had initially told me that she had remedial and extra lessons everyday during that time frame, which was why she had to go to school everyday.

So naturally, i questioned her about the letter and she admitted to me that she was truant from school at the end of last month.

The first time she did that in March, I had warned her that I will be grounding her for two months if she did it again, so she dared not tell me that she had committed the same offence again.

Another shocking fact which transpired when i questioned her yesterday was that after she was caught by a member of the General Office and led back to school, she had, earlier in the year, "updated" my handphone number to her best friend's sister's handphone number, so that any calls from school will be answered by her best friend's sister, rather than me.

Thus, when her school called me to tell me about her truancy, they were actually speaking to her friend's sister that night, and this was not the first time they had made a phone call to complain about her to me.

The previous times I had never received any letter from school because she had intercepted the letters in the post and forged my signature on them as they contained the school's letterhead. This time, however, her form teacher told me that the general office had run of envelopes with the school's letterhead, and had used an ordinary white envelope. If they hadn't done so, my daughter would have kept on deceiving me, and I will have never found out about this.

Naturally, I have grounded her, as I had promised her, but instead of just taking away the usual priviledges, I also confiscated her iphone and made her go to the office to sign a sheet of paper each time she reached and left school.

However, I think that this is not enough, and I warned her that there was more to come when I have more time. I stopped caning her when she started primary 3, but I was wondering whether this will be an appropriate time to re-introduce it just to remind her that she is still under my control and has rules and obligations to obey.

Do other parents on the forum have any advice on how they might possibly deal with such a matter?

thehungergames
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Re: at wits end

Postby Sun_2010 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:41 pm

First :hugs:

I can sorta understand how scared and worried you are for her. Try to calm down as you have already taken some immediate steps
- it may take a couple of days, but you need to get some conrol over your emotions before you can take some long term measures.

Loosing your temper will not help, so please remind yourself that time and again in your interactions.
Try to understand , find out why did she do it? Does she have an aunt of someone who she looks up to or is close to? If so may be they can help to talking to her.
Why couldnt she go out to Mac's on weekends or another time ? does she hate school? any subjects?
keep your calm.
Explain to her your fear. Explain why she can't be doing this again. Talk to her and her best friend and her sister too to explain the seriousness of their act.
Gently explain to her how she has broken your trust and how you fear for her future.

What ever punishment you want to give , try and get her approval ( she should internally feel that you are justified in handing her the punishment even though she may not verbally agree)
Not easy. I say this because the purpose of the punishment is not to push her away but to get her to realise the seriousness of her acts.

Hope things work out positively for you. :xedfingers:

Sun_2010
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Re: at wits end

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:00 pm

Sun_2010 wrote:First :hugs:

I can sorta understand how scared and worried you are for her. Try to calm down as you have already taken some immediate steps
- it may take a couple of days, but you need to get some conrol over your emotions before you can take some long term measures.

Loosing your temper will not help, so please remind yourself that time and again in your interactions.
Try to understand , find out why did she do it? Does she have an aunt of someone who she looks up to or is close to? If so may be they can help to talking to her.
Why couldnt she go out to Mac's on weekends or another time ? does she hate school? any subjects?
keep your calm.
Explain to her your fear. Explain why she can't be doing this again. Talk to her and her best friend and her sister too to explain the seriousness of their act.
Gently explain to her how she has broken your trust and how you fear for her future.

What ever punishment you want to give , try and get her approval ( she should internally feel that you are justified in handing her the punishment even though she may not verbally agree)
Not easy. I say this because the purpose of the punishment is not to push her away but to get her to realise the seriousness of her acts.

Hope things work out positively for you. :xedfingers:

I am the mother of a 13yo and a 15yo girl, and I know how I would feel if it were one of my girls. I agree with this post - first and foremost, try to find out the reason. Is she doing poorly in school, or being very stressed academically or in some other way, or bullied or whatever? Secondly, explain to her again (I'm sure you already have) the seriousness of disobeying rules and jeopardising her studies. Try to emphasise how she is destroying her own future, not that you are angry with her. And then work out with her some way of dealing with future issues - how she can approach you if she disagrees with your decisions, what sort of punishments for different offences, what are the non-negotiables etc. Once that has been worked out, then carry it out. Hope you can talk things over with her.

slmkhoo
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Re: at wits end

Postby thehungergames » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:53 pm

I spoke to her form teacher and she's not in any difficulty in all. In fact, despite her discipline issues, she's consistently in the top-3 in her class.

Her reason for skipping school is because she sees absolutely no point in going to school when she's always ahead of the class and she loathes having to see her teacher going at a slow pace for the academically weaker students.

She had a PSLE T-score of 248, which wouldn't be out of place in crescent or Cedar, but she want that additional pressure, and insisted on going into an neighbourhood school with a CoP of less than 205, which i should not have allowed.

She knows her mistakes very well, and there was absolutely no need for me to go through that with her. I'm not very sure how to put my problem across, but I hope some parents will get my meaning..

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Re: at wits end

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:24 pm

It sounds like she's bored! Can you and the teachers work together to find her something to do which would motivate and challenge her? Give her additional projects, sign up for online courses, learn something else like music/dance/programming, help weaker students, organise school-wide activities/charity work, write a book etc? Or even change schools (although she would probably refuse).

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Re: at wits end

Postby thetinyseed » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:49 pm

I agree with what the other parents have written here. My own daughter, now 15 yo, also acted out on me in the past. Besides talking to her and trying to find out what is bothering her, you may also want to work with the school. It is difficult for you if your child is supposed to spend half her day at school, and yet is not there. You'd need someone from the school to help.

Have the teacher/s help you monitor her, and to inform you immediately when things are not right. No need to wait for the formal letter from school. For any change or any request, the school must first check with you. So, have them change back the contact number to your phone, and only you can make further changes.

Hope everything will turn out okay!

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Re: at wits end

Postby buds » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:00 am

mummy of three wrote:No offence but I think you should have let her gone to a better school that wont let her have the free time and she seemed to have met the wrong friends.


The thread starter has admitted that wasn't the best decision already and this isn't exactly constructive in helping her. C'mon... her thread header "at wits end"...already signalled an :?: ... I personally don't think it's going to make her feel any better. My girls have also gone thru a phase of change when they swapped schools due to our move a couple years back. While we totally fell in love with the previous school for its location.. great teachers n super supportive and hands-on principal the change was inevitable. Essentially branded or perceived-to-be-better schools have better learning environment that encourages students to study.. less playful kids/more firm on discipline.. as compared to wat ppl like to term... typical neighbourhood school.. The journey of having me walk thru with them on bullying issues.. clique-ism.. gangsterism.. under-privileged families/children.. friends selection.. (etc) have made our bond stronger. There were sooo many eye-openers not present in their previous sch tts so evident in their current one but these only pave for true life experiences that we learn from. From here my girls form wiser decisions on friendship and how to learn how to stand up for themselves, explore unique traits in themselves instead of following a herd-clique (ie. the popular ppl in sch) and as a parent I'm happy to have been able to be here to help them manage these situations instead of run away from them. Frenz with children in elite schools have shared with us too their fair share of school challenges their children face be it academic or social. There are issues anywhere we go. It's how we deal with them and yet still come out wiser and more enlightened abt ppl around us.. different family lifestyles and wat nots is what makes us winners in the end. The key now is to stay positive that chg is possible and it's not too late to steer our children to the right direction. Wats done is done and cannot be undone. Move forward. The children are ours... we don't give up on them. If it didn't work in one way there will be other ways.

buds
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Re: at wits end

Postby fightingmom » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:04 am

buds wrote:
mummy of three wrote:No offence but I think you should have let her gone to a better school that wont let her have the free time and she seemed to have met the wrong friends.


The thread starter has admitted that wasn't the best decision already and this isn't exactly constructive in helping her. C'mon... her thread header "at wits end"...already signalled an :?: ... I personally don't think it's going to make her feel any better. My girls have also gone thru a phase of change when they swapped schools due to our move a couple years back. While we totally fell in love with the previous school for its location.. great teachers n super supportive and hands-on principal the change was inevitable. Essentially branded or perceived-to-be-better schools have better learning environment that encourages students to study.. less playful kids/more firm on discipline.. as compared to wat ppl like to term... typical neighbourhood school.. The journey of having me walk thru with them on bullying issues.. clique-ism.. gangsterism.. under-privileged families/children.. friends selection.. (etc) have made our bond stronger. There were sooo many eye-openers not present in their previous sch tts so evident in their current one but these only pave for true life experiences that we learn from. From here my girls form wiser decisions on friendship and how to learn how to stand up for themselves, explore unique traits in themselves instead of following a herd-clique (ie. the popular ppl in sch) and as a parent I'm happy to have been able to be here to help them manage these situations instead of run away from them. Frenz with children in elite schools have shared with us too their fair share of school challenges their children face be it academic or social. There are issues anywhere we go. It's how we deal with them and yet still come out wiser and more enlightened abt ppl around us.. different family lifestyles and wat nots is what makes us winners in the end. The key now is to stay positive that chg is possible and it's not too late to steer our children to the right direction. Wats done is done and cannot be undone. Move forward. The children are ours... we don't give up on them. If it didn't work in one way there will be other ways.



:goodpost: buds!

specially *Like* the hightlighted ones :smile:

fightingmom
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Re: at wits end

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:11 am

Your girl sounds like a clever one. She can even think ahead what is the environment that will help her thrive in her studies. I believe you can have a chat with the teacher to give her some responsibilities. Assign some important projects for her to undertake or lead a team to help the school. It can be planning for a fun raising event etc... When she finds purpose in her school life, all these will become history. Since study is her strong point, this is a good opportunity to develop her other skills. All is not lost, so do not be discouraged, she is only a teenager, there is still time to re-mould her. If the school does not have any projects, find a club or organisation with meaningful activities that she can participate and contribute, and perhaps you can even join her to monitor her progress.
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Re: at wits end

Postby BlueBells » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:48 am

How about discussing the possibility of transferring school with her? Since she is always top 3 in class, her chances of transferring to a better school is quite high.

At sec 3, they will be having new classmates due to subject selection so the difference won't be too great. Thing is, raise it up, let her dwell over it and accept her decision to transfer or not.

The other thing is, get the form teacher's email and start communicating via email as well, snail mails get intercepted, emails don't, unless she knows your password.

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