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#1 of 11 Old 12-09-2012, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I may be offbase here, and it may be viewed as not my problem BUT I love my SD and I want what is best for her...

 

So my SD struggles in school.  She is 12, and has transferred to the worst rated school so she could "fit in".  My husband and I were paying the out of district fees for her to go the the top rated school.  Now given, the school that she attends is in her district, but her BM didn't even go there growing up. (The live with my SD's grandparents)  Her BM drove even further to go to a different school b/c it was easier than the school she was going to.  So her BM changing her schools is up to her BM.  She has sole custody of her, my husband has never fought that issue. 

 

But here recently, my stepdaughter has not been going to school.  It's b/c she is sick, but no reason.  It' b/c she has a fever, but there was no thermometer.  She is going to "parties", b/c it's the weekend.  When it comes time for Monday-Friday, she is sick.  I just don't understand.  School is the only priority for a kid, or atleast my kids.  I have children of my own, so I know it's my responsibility to raise mine, and let her raise hers.  It just seems as though this is really getting out of hand.  I wish that school would report truancy.  Of course, my SD says she's sick.  My kids say they are sick all the time, but I make them go b/c they will be fine when they get to school.  My SD's BM doesn't work, so it may be looked at differently than I look it. 

 

My husband says that it's bad.  He says that there is no reason to be missing 2 weeks in a row.  But he does NOTHING about it.  I keep bringing it up, and up and he tells me to stop it.  I ask him to talk to her BM, and see what is going on.  But he does nothing but text her and say what he bought for Christmas or something. 

 

This is driving my crazy.  Am I wrong?  I want what is best for her, and I whole-heartedly don't think this is.  I wish she could just go to school with us and do summers with her mom.  I know that will never happen.  Neither one of her parents graduated from HS and it's hard to stress how important this is.  I don't know what to do.  My husband feels the  same as me, but he WILL NOT confront her BM. 

 

Is anyone else dealing with the same kind of issue?  Should I just stay out of it?  I just hate to see such a smart girl waste how smart she is. 


 

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"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life."

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#2 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 01:40 AM
 
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There are two separate issues here, one of which is fairly straightforward, which is your question about if your SD should be going to school. To that, the answer is yes; if she is sick, she's sick, but it really sounds like a classic case of school avoidance. She is obviously having some type of issue with school and either isn't consciously aware of it and doesn't know how to verbalize it, so instead, she gets sick. She may even feel sick, my guess, knowing only what you posted is that she is not intentionally "ditching" school. Something is going on and her mom doesn't want to or isn't willing to deal with it.

 

You can't do anything, unfortunately, and believe me, I feel your pain. Even worse, you have to sit back and watch your dh not do anything, which is the other issue. He has to be the one to voice his concerns to his ex and handle the situation. He needs to get to a point where he is okay with doing that; I think you need to go to a good Marriage and Family Counselor and address the issue if you want to see change. My dh used to be like this, but eventually got over it, which took years, and in that process he lost a lot of input and we are struggling with DSS now. So, try to address it asap. I hope none of this comes off harsh, it's not. I have been in exactly your position and it sucks :(
 


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#3 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 10:45 AM
 
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Is it at all possible that you aren't getting the whole story from your husband? Maybe the mom is actually doing a lot about the situation, and the information just isn't getting back to you? Being a SAHM, there are times my kids stay home that a kid with a WOHM might have had to go to school but not back to back days for extended periods of time and there's a specific explanation (if it's just a head cold but their nose is so drippy they can't put the kleenex down, how much learning are going to do that day, really?)

 

One reason kids pretend they're (or actually really feel) sick is to try and avoid being bullied. One thing that is probably appropriate for anyone to say to a kid they love, is that if they are dealing with a problem that they don't have to face it alone, tell an adult. It seems like a lot of step parents try so hard not to step on the bioparents toes that it undermines their own relationship with the kid. Seriously, if it'd be appropriate for an aunt, grandma, or a teacher, etc to say to her, then you can certainly say it to her, too. Kids this age will roll their eyes and act like they think you're a big dork... but they remember it when they need that information. 

 

I am the biomom, and have sole custody. My son has been having some behavioural problems since being reintroduced to his biodad (and biodad's girlfriend). Recently, DS ran away during a visit with them and after we'd found him and insisted that we talk out the problem, the GF was acting like the whole thing was completely out of left field. It shouldn't have been a shocker that DS might take off, he's done it a few times in our care too, and I tell XH about it every time! I've been sending update emails every 1 - 2 weeks. I'm certain he isn't sharing a lot of information with her. He says things in his emails as though he doesn't have knowledge of things... like, last week I scanned and sent a copy of the kids report cards and he answered back about DS's (dismal) report that sometimes there are support workers in the school for this kind of thing, when I've already told him there's going to be a care plan meeting at the school. It felt pretty bizarre having to re-cap things that I'd already told him, until I figured out that she's not always in the loop. I BCC everything to DH so he's up to speed and just assumed XH was doing the same thing.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#4 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by grisandole View Post

Marriage and Family Counselor and address the issue if you want to see change. My dh used to be like this, but eventually got over it, which took years, and in that process he lost a lot of input and we are struggling with DSS now. So, try to address it asap. I hope none of this comes off harsh, it's not. I have been in exactly your position and it sucks :(
 

 

This will never happen.  I just know it won't.  You are not coming off harsh.   I wish there was something I could do.  He just leaves it to her BM to handle.  But he hasn't once even asked her BM what is going on.  The BM and I had a falling out, so we don't talk.  I talk to my SD every single day, or atleast we text everyday.  I know lots of times, she tells me what I want to hear.  When I confront her with a question that she doesn't want to answer, she just won't text back or she acts busy and hangs up the phone.  Her mom was the same way when we used to talk.  I just wish my husband would be more involved.  This is a serious issue. 


 

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#5 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mummoth View Post

Is it at all possible that you aren't getting the whole story from your husband?

 

He hasn't told me a thing.  He refuses to talk to the SD about it in detail or the BM.  All he asks SD is if she is feeling better.  The answer is always Yes.  They don't have really indepth conversations.  The only reason we know is she text me thoughout the day, every day...  I don't just want to "harass" her about it, or she will ignore me as well.  I ask, she answers, I give my 2 cents, and it's done.

 

Maybe the mom is actually doing a lot about the situation, and the information just isn't getting back to you?

 

And I have no idea what she is actually doing.  I wish my husband would ask her.  He refuses to talk to her.  I cannot talk to her.  I used to, but was reminded real quick that my SD is hers and my husband's problem and I have no say.  So I can't get involved with her, only talk to my SD.

 

Being a SAHM, there are times my kids stay home that a kid with a WOHM might have had to go to school but not back to back days for extended periods of time and there's a specific explanation (if it's just a head cold but their nose is so drippy they can't put the kleenex down, how much learning are going to do that day, really?)

 

And I understand this...  But me personally, if my kids are going to miss 2 days in a row, I go to the school and get work so they aren't behind.  But after 2 weeks and there was not a single book home or any work to be done.  My SD was skyping with us every single night b/c she didn't have school the next day.  She was bouncing off the walls,didn't look or even act sick..  Just an observation...  And I understand if I was home, my kids could stay home and get better for a day or 2, but not weeks. 

 

One reason kids pretend they're (or actually really feel) sick is to try and avoid being bullied. One thing that is probably appropriate for anyone to say to a kid they love, is that if they are dealing with a problem that they don't have to face it alone, tell an adult.

 

I do believe that is a reason that she changed schools.  She is very overweight, and is borderline diabetic.  Everytime we get her in the summers, we take her to her doctor with us, and he checks her levels.  It's awful.  This year they were so worried that she was about to have a heartattack and she is very young. Within 8 weeks, she lost 21 lbs.  We didn't even put her on a strict diet.  We just controlled portions and limited carbs.. We also had her super active.  My SD says she loves school, and has the best friends ever..

 

It seems like a lot of step parents try so hard not to step on the bioparents toes that it undermines their own relationship with the kid. Seriously, if it'd be appropriate for an aunt, grandma, or a teacher, etc to say to her, then you can certainly say it to her, too. Kids this age will roll their eyes and act like they think you're a big dork... but they remember it when they need that information. 

 

My SD thinks I am such a big dork!!!  But she does call me to do things that her BM isn't doing.  I tell her that her BM is doing all she can do, that I can't call her docs or teachers when she isn't here...  I love her to death.  I always text her back, and tell her if her mom needs help that she can ask me, but I can't go behind her mom's back.

 

I am the biomom, and have sole custody. My son has been having some behavioural problems since being reintroduced to his biodad (and biodad's girlfriend). Recently, DS ran away during a visit with them and after we'd found him and insisted that we talk out the problem, the GF was acting like the whole thing was completely out of left field. It shouldn't have been a shocker that DS might take off, he's done it a few times in our care too, and I tell XH about it every time! I've been sending update emails every 1 - 2 weeks. I'm certain he isn't sharing a lot of information with her. He says things in his emails as though he doesn't have knowledge of things... like, last week I scanned and sent a copy of the kids report cards and he answered back about DS's (dismal) report that sometimes there are support workers in the school for this kind of thing, when I've already told him there's going to be a care plan meeting at the school. It felt pretty bizarre having to re-cap things that I'd already told him, until I figured out that she's not always in the loop. I BCC everything to DH so he's up to speed and just assumed XH was doing the same thing.

 

I'm sorry to hear about that...

I always inform her BM when she is with us if ANYTHING comes up that I would want to know.  Now, she doesn't return the favor, but my husband doesn't ask either.  I ask for report cards, and my SD mails them to us from her school.  She knows she gets new scholastic books of her choice when she makes good grades.  And if they aren't good grades, I pick out only "educational" books.  It seems to work out for her.  She likes it.  It not rewarding her, but giving her more options...  I wish her BM included us, but that will never happen.  But I don't blame her or going out of her way, if my husband doesn't show concern to her. 


 

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"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life."

Richard Bach

 

 

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#6 of 11 Old 12-10-2012, 05:34 PM
 
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Wow, this is awful.  I agree that staying out of school a couple of days to get better would be pretty reasonable, but weeks at a time with no diagnosis of a problem?  Most schools won't allow that without a doctor's note, I thought. 

 

I don't think there is anything you can really do :(  Your dh would be the one who needed to step in and make a fuss about this either with your dsd's mom, the school, or the courts.  But first he would have to make the effort to get the attendance records, get any doctor's records, etc., and it just doesn't sound like he is insterested in doing this for some reason.  Does he even have any legal custody? Does he have input about education, etc. legally? Maybe that is what is holding him back? 

 

It's great that you are in touch with your dsd and are encouraging her to do well in school, but I just can't think what else you could be doing here, as heartbreaking as it is to sit and watch.  Legally, I don't believe you have any say in what goes on in your stepdaughter's life.  I'm sorry :(

 

ETA:  Could you call the school and at least ask what their policy is on this? Perhaps there is some sort of truancy that is just not being followed up on and you could get the ball rolling?


Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
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#7 of 11 Old 12-13-2012, 01:47 AM
 
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All I can do is commiserate. My dh was the same and has gotten much better, but still has a lot of the same issues as yours and it drive me insane. The only thing that helps me is stepping away and venting to a close friend. It's true that we CANNOT make them interact with the biomoms (and dh's ex is very hostile, but he can still text and attempt to communicate), we can't make them do anything....we have to just accept it, which is SO freaking difficult to do when the child is not getting what they need. We are powerless and it sucks.
 


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#8 of 11 Old 03-29-2013, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My SD's teacher is her 2nd cousin. So that's why it doesn't get reported I'm sure. Got to love small towns. Everytime my husband talks to the BM, he just says, " I see where you are coming from". It drives me crazy.

 

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#9 of 11 Old 03-30-2013, 04:42 AM
 
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And I understand this...  But me personally, if my kids are going to miss 2 days in a row, I go to the school and get work so they aren't behind.  But after 2 weeks and there was not a single book home or any work to be done.  My SD was skyping with us every single night b/c she didn't have school the next day.  She was bouncing off the walls,didn't look or even act sick..  Just an observation...  And I understand if I was home, my kids could stay home and get better for a day or 2, but not weeks. 

 

 

I would stop the skyping on a weeknight, beyond a quick chat at a reasonable hour. 

 

Dad should also be aware that, if the school does pursue truancy issues, he may find himself in as much trouble as Mom since he is aware of the chroniv truancy and is doing nothing. Frankly, that's educational neglect on the part of both parents. 

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#10 of 11 Old 04-01-2013, 02:54 PM
 
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Gosh, i cant believe im going to say this,  but could you call cps? I dont know,  its educational neglect, someone has to do something.   Youc ould at least call and ask them  what you could do...

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#11 of 11 Old 04-01-2013, 06:20 PM
 
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I agree with stopping the daily Skypes unless she is doing schoolwork. And your DH needs to step up and do something. This is his child. I don't understand why he doesn't push for partial custody (or more.)
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