My 16 year old son is fine.... he has got over the shock and sadness of not sitting his GCSEs, and is meeting friends safely and enjoying himself. My 15 year old son is really worrying me. To begin with lockdown was like a welcome holiday at home. None of us thought it would last so long, and have such far reaching consequences. At the start of lockdown, I now have learnt by bumping into one of his friend's mothers, he had a big falling out with a friend. This is why his contact online with school friends has drifted into no contact with anyone. His worry about school work not done is now terrifying him into having a near panic attack when school work is even mentioned.
I feel so cross and upset. The school to begin with just seemed to post all assignments online with instructions...read this, watch this, write an essay.... The assignments piled up, not done... then perhaps once a week there was an online session with a teacher... the fear of perhaps having to interact with school friends that he has fallen out with was too much.... a day was spent in bed crying. Now this week the school have organised for perhaps an hour or two a day online with a teacher, before actually returning to school for one morning next week.
I can't wait for this because the fear of the future and school for him may be slightly alleviated. He is, I imagine, desperately worried about what happens with exams next year.... how can GCSEs NOT be adapted to take account of the thousands of school children who do not go to fee paying schools where face to face lessons have been continuing all this time? There are thousands of teenagers who are able to self-motivate and continue learning by themselves, or with a loving, willing parent, but there are thousands who are not able to.
I'm so sorry to hear this. As a mum of two teenage boys, I completely sympathise with the worries caused by lockdown. Boys are not the best communicators at the best of times and 15 is a difficult age with all the hormonal changes going on!
Luckily my boys have had surfing to keep them active and the school have been great. That said, they do still need a lot of "encouragement" to motivate them with their school work at home.
Does your son have anyone to talk to? My boys have been playing Fortnite with their friends. I didn't like the game before, but it’s actually been a really good way for them to stay connected and socialise.
I would also recommend you talk to the school about ways to manage his workload. Hopefully they will be understanding if he is struggling and offer some extra support to get him back on track.
Are you happy if we share your question via the Healthwatch Cornwall and Made Open social media channels? I'm sure there are many more parents and teachers out there who would be willing to share stories and advice.
Hi Melaniah, My boy is in year six so younger but as an only child has really struggled. I have found my friends very supportive with ideas but as we live in quite an isolated area he has relied on his gaming to be in touch with friends. There is a great Q&A held on line each week which would cover supporting you in supporting your sons https://www.headstartkernow.org.uk/parents--carers/space/
Also if you feel your son would benefit from support to improve his own wellbeing and he is into his IT then this is a brillian site which might help https://www.startnowcornwall.org.uk/
Hope things look up for him soon, take care.