First, thanks for your great ebook and website. I realise I had been very unclear as a parent and started on the assignments with a sense of relief. Things did get worse before they got better but I am very pleased that I did not lose my cool or get drawn into arguments and we started to settle down and my 11 year old son S__ said that he felt so much better because he knew where he stood.
But our new-found calm was shattered by something that happened at school. A boy accused my son of something that he did not do and said that he was going to fight him. S__ alerted a member of staff but they didn't act in time and S__ got beaten up. Since then he has not been back to school.
The school has been apologetic and admits that they let S__ down by not acting quickly enough. They have offered various strategies to try and settle him back into school but he is hysterical at the thought of going back.
As I want S__ to be happy and to feel he has some choice in the matter, this is what I am doing. (we live in the UK, by the way.) The Education Welfare Officer has been to see us and has suggested two other schools that might be better for S__, so we are going to see these schools. She has also put me in touch with a network of people who educate their children at home so I can see what's involved. This is my least favourite option as I am a freelance writer/editor and I work from home, so I'm quite worried about combining the two things. But home education is S__'s favourite option. I am also going back to talk to his original school, though S__ is refusing to come with me.
We are coming up to school holidays so there will be a bit of breathing space, but I am just very worried about S__ because he seems so depressed. Every bit of confidence has been knocked out of him. He won't go outside the house in case anyone asks him why he isn't at school or looks at him oddly. He is so unhappy. I too am unhappy and depressed and can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning. We are both completely demotivated.
I did try taking him bowling to cheer him up, but it didn't work as he seemed to have lost the knack and felt even worse about himself. I need to find some ideas to boost his confidence. He has stopped looking after his pets, which is putting a real strain on me. The only thing we are managing to do every day is walk the dog.
I have a daughter who is 14 and happy at school but I feel bad that I'm not giving her enough attention.
The children's father died three and a half years ago.
S__ and I do talk, but he tends to speak in sweeping generalisations so that there's nothing I can focus on to help with, eg 'my life is over' 'my life is ruined' 'I'll never be the S__e again'.
I have found a counsellor who he will speak to and he has seen her twice, but because these are confidential sessions I don't really know what's happening - although I do know she will be talking to him about his education next week.Click here for my response...