Tuesday, 15 April 2008

bad mummy

Ok you're going to stereotype me now, I guarantee it.
Too many Trisha and Jeremy Kyle programs to blame with dog rough parents who don't give a hoot what their kids are up to.

My eldest son, bless him.. has gone and got himself expelled from school,two months before he takes his gcse's.

Gcse's that will hopefully get him into college.

Gcses that the rest of his career path may depend on.

It isn't the first time, I think we are into double figures now but this time he doesn't get to go back. He likes to argue his case and is like a dog with a bone if he believes he is right, unfortunately this doesn't bide well with our 'must be like everyone else or you're out' politically correct society.
Assertiveness is also rudeness. Rudeness is aggression.
Aggression is unacceptable.

Oh pants.

I think 'him up there' has taken a bit of a disliking to me..he's certainly put a few challenges my way, even my best friend in the whole world died a few years back, so I haven't got him to moan about this kind of stuff to anymore.

Our lives read a bit like a tabloid problem page.Sometimes I can't quite believe the challenges we end up having to face, it seems quite surreal and certainly at times, a tad unfair..

It gets mightily frustrating, especially when you hear "well, I blame the parents" which I do hear often from people who know us but don't know our complicated little lives buzzing along behind the smiling faces.

Sometimes with children, you do your absolute best and the rest is up to them, you set the rails down and they can go on merrily along on them or go off them. You teach them manners and respect but they don't always fancy using that knowledge.

The stinky boys are like chalk and cheese. Paper and stone, Mother Theresa and... no we won't go there... that's not fair.

I've had a bad start to the week, meetings with governors and head teachers that make you feel so small and so insignificant and it takes all your willpower to hold it together just so that they don't 'blame the parents' aswell.
I'm drained and feeling a bit sorry for myself I suppose. I feel I have failed at the hardest job in the world. I'm a bad mummy.

I wouldn't normally post something like this, It's pretty personal, but I need to write it down, get it out my system and send it into cyberspace, this is my life, warts and all. I'm afraid it isn't all pretty things and fluffy chickens,It can get pretty crappy at times.

Please believe me, I'm not out for sympathy by posting this.It's quite often a taboo subject having a badly behaved child.People don't want to know about or talk about it, relations dont really like to admit why someone isn't at school today when asked by concerned friends and other parents think "thank god it's not my child"
It gets brushed under the carpet until something really serious happens (like the 7 month court case we had with him last year too, resulting in a hefty fine that WE have to pay)
Just sometimes bad things happen to normal families, living in normal houses, leading-sort of- normal lives and sometimes it really isn't the parents fault. It's just life.

ok.. I've had my rant...don't forget to put your name on the post below for the giveaway now will you...and I promise I'll be jollier next time!


  1. you know the people that believe it is the parents fault all the time are the ones that are not around children alot...i work at an elementary school and i know that sometimes it is just the kids...doesn't have to do with the parents at all...

    hang in there...this too shall pass.

    kelley abeillemere at comcast dot net

  2. Sh* t happens, if you will please excuse the phrase. It is what it is. My oldest got expelled once or twice herself and ended up graduating with honours and is now in her first year of university, taking if you can believe it, sociology. Just like Kelley said, it is not always a reflection of the parents, they are individuals but the good stuff will kick in.

    And she is right, this too shall pass.

    It sounds like you have had a challenging year but you will become stronger for it.

    I hope these words have been comforting and I am glad that you aired it, sometimes blogland is all pinks and roses and this is reality that needs to be shared.

    Best wishes,

    Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

  3. So sorry to hear what you have been going through. People can be so judgemental and that just makes hard times so much harder, doesn't it? All you can do is ignore them and don't beat yourself up saying you are a bad parent- no one is a perfect parent. You do your best and pray the good Lord with help with the rest.
    P.S. I love your blog and the lovely things you create!

  4. As a mother of a high school drop out myself, let me just say the good news about kids is that they do eventually grow up. Just not always the way we envision. Hang in there.

  5. From experience I can say that the people with the loudest mouths generally have the narrowest minds.

    Everything will turn out for the best it just doesn't seem like it at the moment.

  6. Boys..what can you do with them, I believe that not every child is suited to school, I have a feeling my middle one will be the same, my hubby also hated school and left before his exams and he has always managed to get good jobs and is a succesful business man. I definatly don't think of you as a bad parent!!! so no Trisha appearences for you hun...lol

  7. I do feel for you and your family.
    I would look into finding a private tutor even if it’s only for advice on a time table of revision.
    This has happened before not only to troubled teenagers but to ones who are very clever but just not fitting in with everyone else.
    I think Stephen Fry was expelled. The thing is not to see this as a failure but the start of a different path.

  8. That a girl! Let it out! Sometimes you just need to scream out loud that you are hurting and at your "wits end"...I had son just the same...he knew it all, cared not how he hurt others..made bad decisions. A grown successful man financially now...still the same personality..Some young men see the error's of their ways and correct them..I pray that your young man will...Bless your heart...take no blame young mother....he needs to accept his responsibility...

  9. Okay GCSE's aren't the end of the world, but I would suggest that you speak to the school about allowing him to sit his exams even if they won't allow him back to class. You can sort out his revision - yes you can, GCSE isn't that difficult.
    Lots of help out there - start by looking at the Education Otherwise website, they'll probably have a co-ordinator who can offer advice and support.
    If the school isn't willing to play ball don't give up, get onto your local MP, kick up a stink. Don't care what he has done it isn't fair to deprive him of the opportunity to sit his exams at this late stage and you sure as hell don't want to have to pay for him to sit them.
    Good luck.

  10. Re; the above comment, Thankfully,he is allowed to sit his exams and revision will be ok as long as he will put his mind to it, it's the coursework I'm worried about, he's missed so much and two of his subjects' marks rely 60% on this. He's taking technology and PE btech amoungst others,both practical as well as written,he was in the process of building an intercom system for technology which he now doesn't know how to finish without the right guidance and equiptment.We have had brilliant support from the youth offending team (part of the police force, I think) the school have said 'tough' basically. I'm sure we will muddle through somehow and I will be checking out the BBC bitesize website as well as the Education Otherwise one,I haven't given up just yet, I'm just really p***ed off with it all!!
    Thanks for everyones comments, it's good to know there is hope and we're not alone!

  11. Even if it all goes wrong this year and he doesn't get his GCSE's so what? He can always go to college and take them again.With tutors who are used to dealing with young adults.Maybe he needs a change something to break the cycle he's obviously in.He can start again fresh and nt have a reputation to live upto.
    It will be fine because he is loved and he must know that.

  12. How rotten for you - though Gigibird is right there are a lot of high achievers who were expelled, often in their mid teens, often for exactly the kind of backchat rudeness that you describe. I rememberfrom university days(now) that one of my husband's fellow medical students had been expelled for hitting a teacher when 16.
    Get him through the exams-
    How does he feel about this latest expulsion?
    So rotten for you. In my experience things are very rarely due to parents.

  13. I'm really sorry to hear that, but I'm sure it will work out OK. My sister and I are like chalk and cheese...you couldn't get me away from school, I loved it while she was naughty and has 2 cautions for assault! She has such an uncontrollable temper! Anyway, she's grown up a bit now and has a decent job and a nice boyfriend. Believe me college/uni isn't the be all and end all. My other half has no qualifications and is highly successful (he earns 5x what I do!) and is much more intelligent than I am. I on the other hand have a masters degree in biochemistry and a "successful" career but earn peanuts and would much rather be sewing all day! ;-)

  14. No-one is a perfect parent and from the moment our children come into the world the guilt about the way we're doing it kicks in. Ignore the comments as much as possible, difficult I know. He will grow out of this phase and he will appreciate having parents who cared so much about him.
    Sorry I can't give any more practical advice, we haven't reached teenage stage yet.
    Schools seem so results driven nowadays, it's such a shame they don't seem to be able to cater for individual needs and personalities.
    Hang on in there!
    Julia x

  15. Oh what a tough old time youe having of it. Hardest job in the world this mothering lark and what a quirk of life that we get absolutely no training for whatsoever! I have two little boys adn have all these challenges ahead. We raise children the best we can to eventually set them free. I suppose this is part of all that and as heartbreaking as it is your son will learn and find his own way I'm sure. It would be impossible and wrong for you to totally control him. All you can do is you best - and try not to be too hard on yourself.
    Hope you get a break soon, Stephx

  16. Firstly, I am sorry to hear you are going through a stressful time.
    My kids are 5 and 10, so I haven't reached the really hard part - YET.
    I know that teenage years are definitely the hardest times.
    I agree with you, its often just the child - you can raise them in whatever way, and if they want to go a certain way or down a certain path - they are GOING TO DO IT, no matter what.

    I too feel sometimes that things are just always going wrong in my life, my son was diagnosed with Autism in Dec of 2006, and my world fell apart. Apart from that, I haven't been back home for 7 years, whilst my friends are constantly flying back and forth..I too can feel very sorry for myself, thinking that we are the only ones that are battling with kids and finances.
    It certainly does help to share your problems!

    Hang in there. You are a great mum and a wonderful person, too.

  17. the homely year17 April 2008 at 19:19

    Hi, I don't think you should beat yourself up about this. Sometimes children are just square pegs being forced into round holes...it doesn't mean they've had bad parenting, or will turn out bad themselves...more that they are intelligent, able to think for themselves and go on to do very well, once their energies are chanelled ineo something that really fulfills them. Good luck...they do grow up eventually!
    Margaret and Noreen

  18. I have just read the comments first afterreading the blog you left. My heart goes out to you - I have been there for many years with my son - he was excluded and sent to another school at about 13 - they were long hard years for us as a family - it upset the other two but we got through it - we learned that a lot depends on the school concerned and how they deal with it - David didnt argue verbally - but he did lose his temper and once some of the kids find that you have a short fuse they wind you up and then watch you take the rap. The second school was better and he got through eventually - the authority was OK they got him a day release and the second school encouraged him to do it and worked his timetable round it. He got a couple of GCSE's. He is the nicest kindest boy but continually gets into all sorts of trouble - I have been to court many times and you find mud sticks - I have seen him blamed for two incidents when he was staying at his g'ma's miles away and when we were on holiday. These are dark days for you and I know he will clam up and won't discuss anything with you when you want to try and sort it out with him. David is now 20 and he found himself an apprenticeship as a Plater which he is halfway through. It will get better I promise and you vent your anger on your blog if you want - when its written down and you read it back its easier. David is in court this week and he has admitted that it is best friend who did the deed but the police interviewed them both and because David has 'previous' they have charged him and not his friend - he will not 'blag' on his friend because 'you don't' and his friend says he will pay any fine he gets! What David doesnt see is that its another line on the record. I am appalled but what can I do........... I want to go to the court and tell them he is taking the rap for another but I can't as he is an adult and he woudl not forgive me. I am thinking of you - your son will come round eventually I know he will and you are NOT to blame.

  19. my sister is the most wonderful mummy - i admire her so very much for bringing up my nephew without his Fathers support - but my nephew is a handful at only the age of 7.
    he has been suspended on many occasions for various bouts of aggression and bad behaviour.... i guess what i am trying to say is, it is not my sisters fault and it is certainly not yours.
    kids are kids and they are growing up in a very different world than we did - see this as a new challenge for you both - happiness is just round the corner x
    t x

  20. 2 months before he takes his GCSE's? I really think that that is more than unfair. Try and negoiate that he is allowed to sit the exams, speak to your MP if necessary.

  21. hi, sorry to hear your problems, but weve been there, got the tshirt and the holes in the plaster walls that are hidden by pictures.Our little angel is 18 nearly 19.Sometimes he looks at you like the devil, hes rooms a pig sty and we often get 8/10 dirty plates brought down at a time where they build up in his bedroom.Dont beat yourself up about it, we all try to live a normal life, but i think normal dosent exist.The one who are normal are just keeping their s**t well hidden. RE being expelled, my sons on report at school and he's doing A levels!!! People say its a phase, our phase has lasted nearly 19 years, we even drugged him once with fennagon so we could take a flight in peace, on the outward journey the family in front had to be moved on the plane where he played up so much, this was when he was 6, an indication of things to come i now realise. As you know we also have a daughter aged 14, we took her out of school 2 years ago, we home educate, she is the complete opposite to her brother.
    Sometimes its not the parents its the child. Keep your chin up, fred

  22. Whoops just saw that he is allowed to take his exams. I'm sure you'll be able to sort out the revision etc, there is lots of info on the internet I know at least one teacher who takes all her lesson plans from a website, unfortunately it's only primary but there is bound to be plenty for secondary.
    AS for the intercom system, there are lots of forums on the internet for electronic hobbyists and they do help each other loads. I'm pretty sure that there are a few forum users out there who would love to point him in the right direction. Electronic components can be purchased in small quantities from the following:
    Rapid (they actually supply schools)
    They all have websites and some don't charge P & P.

  23. You're not a bad Mummy, you've done the groundwork and your Son is loved. It can be difficult for boys at this age, although my 19 year old son got through school he couldn't wait to leave and made little effort in his GCSEs, he managed a D pass but the rest only Es. School bored him, much of what he was being taught he just couldn't relate to (Shakespeare? What a waste of time, it's now boring my daughter as she studies for her GCSEs)
    He took a year out, had a couple of mundane jobs but is now in his second year of a plastering course, wants to go to do a thrid year and the future is looking bright. Nobody died through lack of qualifications, there are options available in further education and your son may find a college environment more inspiring. Or he might just get a job. He probably doesn't even know what to do with his life, my Son didn't, I can remember having conversations with him when he was distraught that he couldn't choose what to do next. This will pass. Just keep on supporting him and seek as much help and advice as you can. Good luck.

  24. I hated school and left with no GCSE's - but went on to college (which I loved) to get four + three A levels and then a BA Hons.....You seem like a very lovely mum and I'm sure he will find his way.
    AND:According to the New York Times (nytimes.com), Harrison Ford was expelled from Ripon College 3 days before graduation for not completing a required thesis.
    Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything. Sir Isaac Newton did poorly in grade school. Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and could not read until he was seven years old. Robert Frost was expelled from school for chronic daydreaming.

  25. It won't matter what anyone says, you'll still feel bad. I know I did. Perhaps it makes you into a stonger person - these things happen for a reason. My thoughts are with you. xx

  26. Hi little boys turn into big boys!. You sound like me the other month, i had a few issues with my daughter at school.I got terribly upset about it all as I felt really looked down at by the other parents and felt my child had been gossiped about. I am allowed to tell her off!, but I didnt want anyone else thinking that she was a bad child! I have learnt that children dont always act & do the way we want them too especially when they are turning into young adults. The best parent is one that can accept both sides of the coin, they all wont be angelic darlings 100% of the time! The ones who dont accept that are not worth knowing, as they are generally the ones who make you feel bad.. The smug ones will have a day when their child will do something that raises eyebrows!.
    Other parents have a way of making you feel bad sometimes.
    I am sure he will be ok and I think sometimes, well quite a lot of the time things always work out well and even better, and when you think things cant get worse they dont
    X Dom

  27. I think the school are totally irresponsible for expelling a kid, two months before he takes his GCSEs. They have got to back down and allow him to return. They are supposed to be the intelligent ones, do they want to hinder his chances of doing well for himself in the future? x

  28. I've always found that people who say 'I blame the parents' usually have never been parents themselves and so have NO idea! Or sometimes parents of an only child, who have bought them up to be a mini-adult and not a child at all. Todays modern world is a lot differnt from when we were childrn too....so I really think they should mind their own business! Maybe if they'd have had children, they wouldn't have had such a selfish attitude!
    I hope things turn around for your son and you all have some happy times ahead. No way is it your fault, you have done the best that you can.
    Take care,

  29. Oh... I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to your son and your family.
    It is my worst nightmare..
    My boy is 13 years old now and the darling affectionate little boy he has been until now is begining to show hairline cracks..
    My eldest brother once described a job of parenthood like a pinball machine.. We try to guide them through the assault course of life as best we can but we really don't know what they will encounter on the way..
    I wish you, your son and his future all the best!
    Take heart in the fact that my partner was a wild child brought up by loving and firm parenting. He was asked to leave one University but went on to another to gain a masters degree in Teaching and History of Art. He has been a very successful Head teacher for 15 years now!

  30. Hello!

    This is my first time to your blog. A fellow bloggers sent me here as it reflects much of what is said on my blog!! I feel for you as I am right where you are now and although i have not read the rest of your blog I will do soon as I heard you mention court and we have just been through 10 months of court. Right now I would be happy if my 17 year old son just moved out. I am tired of dealing with him the police and drugs for the last 5 years. We also have two younger children who thankfully are just fine, but it sure does make you feel like a bad mummy! Hang in there. Everyone says they will grow up. I'd just like to press the fast forward button!!!

  31. Oh my,
    Have you checked on page 1000092 of your manual to see what you have done wrong???? NO?? you don't have one?? oooh your a bad bad parent...someone phone social services.....what a crock of crap we are talking about kids and they don't come with one do they lol......don't be hard on yourself or him what works for everyone else doesn't work for some i'm afraid..... he will in time find his niche....i know i did ;)
    Keep Smiling XxX
    So sorry to hear about your friend xxxxx

  32. a teacher once said about my son - he is a difficult and disruptive child who will not conform - he was age 5 for christ sake, he was never expelled,but that's only cos the school wanted perfect results -he's now 20, in and out of jobs, its been difficult at times but I've always let him know I'm here for him to talk to, I don't always like what I hear but he knows I'm going to listen and once or twice he has needed a shoulder to cry on, as big as he is. You're not a bad mother, just a normal family living a normal life, Josie x


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