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 Post subject: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 165
Ds is in year 12 doing 4 A Levels. He moved school for 6th form as his old school 6th form didnt have a good reputation for A level grades with lots of children dropping out
He is unhappy in his new 6th form. He has made a few friends but says he feels like an outsider still. He also says he feels like some teachers dont care about him and he feels like they ignore him
Tonight has come to abit of a head with him crying a little bit.
I am not sure what to do, will it be to late to move him back to his old school. Yes the grades are worse but surely if ds is unhappy then he isnt going to do well in the new school
I feel like such a terribly mum as it was me who encouraged the change of school


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:17 pm
Posts: 552
Oh sorry to hear that. Have you asked him what he wants to do. Don't worry about the other students dropping out, that happened at my school and it was a bonus for us as we had more help and interaction from the teachers!

Hope it all goes well


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4581
Location: Essex
Whether your DS is able to return to his previous school will probably depend on whether they have places available overall, whether there are places available in his subjects, and so on. Does the old school use the same exam board(s) as the new one?

Personally, I wouldn't insist on a child of mine remaining where they were if they were really unhappy, but there is always the worry that the other school will also now feel "alien". Has your DS kept up with friends who stayed on at his old school for 6th form?

Good luck :)

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 165
I have no idea what exam boards his old school is following.
I have asked him if he wants to return to his old school but he is saying no. He said he will feel like a failure if he returns. He also has alot of friends who left to go to college so wouldnt be with all his old friends. He has stayed in touch with quite a few friends but its not a regular thing
I am quite willing for him to move back.
I dont think my ds knows what he wants, he is just unhappy at the moment


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4581
Location: Essex
:(

From what you are saying, going back may not be the answer, but it wouldn't be "failure"; he tried something, it didn't work out as he had hoped. These things happen.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
Could he take a gap few months, and then afresh at college in September?


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Imagine yourself starting work in an office with 20 people, who had all been together for 5 years, how would you feel after just 10 weeks. You don't know the "in" jokes, don't remember all their names, don't remember where certain things are kept, have no back history, etc. So you learn coping techniques, and through experience you know it will get better. The people around our also know how rotten it is to feel like the new guy, so are warm, welcoming, and help you.

Your son's school is letting him down, by not giving him the right tool kit to cope with the feelings of insecurity, and not informing the other kids about how to involve newbies...it's not their fault, they have never been a newbie, they have no idea how horrible it is. As for teachers over looking him, that is just lazy, as they do not know his ability, character or name properly yet, do they opt for the ones they know about.

You need to very discreetly start communications with the head of sixth form, politely telling him, thst whatever processes are in place to integrate new kids, clearly is not working. He should be doing things like ensuring your son has projects to work on with small groups, that require time together outside school hours, making sure that pairings for science experiments are not predictable. Thry are still only young adults, and need a bit of social manipulation, they can be left to their own devices next year, when there are no new guys.

At the same time understand that the outsider emotions are all very new for your son, and very raw, but are all part of the horrible process of learning to be an adult. Some people can just throw themselves into the mosh pit, but it certainly is not the case for the southbucks tribe, parents included.


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Is there a pastoral support person at the school he can talk to? I know it can be tricky at this age- I don't think such a thing actually exists for sixth formers at DD's school and if there is they keep a very low profile- and young people are fussy about who they will talk to as well. But maybe he needs to talk this through with someone other than a parent- it is so hard when one's offspring are unhappy to give impartial advice as our instinct is to protect and stop the pain.

On the one hand it is only two years so if he can stick it out there are advantages. On the other hand two years is far too long if you are deeply unhappy. A break from it might be good- I now know 3 students who for various reasons have either re started sixth form after choosing the wrong subjects the first time or are having a year away before doing A levels.

Hope you manage to sort it.


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2352
Great words of wisdom.

Also remember that these years are really tough with hormones and emotions all over the place while academic pressure piles up.

Absolutely the staff need to be making an effort to get to know him but if he is brave enough I would encourage your son to go see his head of year himself as he may get a better response and it will help his confidence if he can take action for himself.

As for friends, reassure him he doesnt need to be in with the cool crowd - probably finding even a couple of mates would help. Are there any activities that he enjoys where he might get a chance to talk to people out of big groups or others who are on their own? Things like chess club, choir, drama, public speaking, history society, D of E, a competition team - city investments, small business, cyphers, engineering challenge......

Really hope he feels happier soon.


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 Post subject: Re: ds unhappy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 165
Thanks for your replies
I haven't slept much through worrying about ds
I did recommend him speaking to a teacher today about how he feels but I am not sure he will.
He said some of his teachers are great but he feels ignored by others especially one of his chemistry teachers who apparently has favourites and when he was stuck on something he put his hand up for help and she ignored him. He said after 10 minutes he gave up and just put his hand down.
I am going to talk to him today when he cones home from school and tomorrow its my dd parents evening which is the old school so I am going to take him with me so hopefully we will be able to talk to them about how he is feeling and if it is possible


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