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6yo faking illness to get out of school


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#1 Kreme

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

On Thursday night my 6yo DD wasn't feeling well. She had a temperature and agreed to go to bed early, so I knew she was really feeling unwell. She seemed ok on Friday morning so I sent her to school but she went to sick bay during recess and they called me to collect her, which was fine. In the meantime my mum had arrived to visit for the weekend so she spent Friday afternoon playing games with grandma and having a lovely time.

I already had a gp appointment for her Friday afternoon so I took her to that. She is having some issues with constipation but it's not severe, her tummy was soft etc. She did a poo Friday night so I figure we are all fine.

She was fine all weekend, went to swimming lessons etc.

This morning my 5 yr old DS complains of feeling sick. He was warm and looked pale. As he is in FYOS and quite shy I was concerned that he wouldn't tell anyone if he felt sick at school so I kept him home. As soon as I decided this DD piped up and said she had a sore tummy (had already eaten breakfast, was playing etc)

I took her to school and read her the riot act. Specifically forbade her from going to sick bay unless she was really ill. At 11am I got the call to say she is in sick bay for the second time today.

She is home now and in her bedroom for the rest of the day. No tv, iPad etc. She can read or play with toys in her bedroom but not to come out except for the toilet. No dessert tonight.

I honestly don't think there is anything wrong with her. Am I being too harsh?



#2 Ducky*Fuzz

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

No I don't think so.  

My son pulled something like that on me one day and he asked me to tell him when it was a certain time. When I asked him why he told me some show was on!  

He had to be on his bed all day with no TV or DS until 3pm. He never pulled that on me again!

That said, for your DD, there may be more going on? Maybe ask her teacher if there's anything happening

Edited by ~*MESS*~, 25 February 2013 - 01:06 PM.


#3 JuliaD

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

I think thats fair.
If she is too sick to be at school then she should be in bed (or at least on the couch) resting, not playing. And if she has a sore tummy for real, she probably wouldn't be interested in dessert anyway.
Not sure about being confined to her room for the whole day, but probably should definitely be for at least a couple of hours.

#4 Kreme

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 25/02/2013, 02:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you're being a bit harsh.

You know what it's like when you're sick.  You do 'perk' up once the pressure of work/chores is off the table.  You don't have to be falling down unconscious to have a sick day, nor do you have to stay all day in bed.

No dessert?  I don't get that.  So she's being punished for being sick?


She doesn't have to stay in bed but in her room. She has books, toys, drawing stuff in there. I want it to be boring for her so that staying home isn't more exciting than being at school.

I said no dessert because she is complaining of a sore tummy. If I believed she had a sore tummy I wouldn't let her have dessert so it feels logical to me. I will probably offer her fruit because she needs it for the constipation.

Usually I would have caved by now and let her watch tv but I really feel she is making it up. If she's not then the quiet time and no dessert will be good for her anyway.

But yeah maybe the whole day is too long, I will let her come out of her room at 3pm when school finishes. Thanks  original.gif

#5 Shellby

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:13 PM

If she is faking a sickie then I think what you have done is fair. Most parents can tell when their child is really sick and when they are putting it on.

Last year on my days off DS would say he was sick around 11am with tummy pains and the school would call. Of course when I picked him up he looked fine to me, and sure enough was happily eating etc within an hour of being home. He only did it on my days off when he knew I would be home - well finally I put my foot down after 3 times in 3 weeks - when the school called, I said tell him he is staying and I'm not coming to pick him up. Guess what - never happened again.

In saying that, one look at him on Friday and I told him he was staying home even though he would have dragged himself to school as I knew he was unwell just from how he acted, didn't eat and was sick. So I'm not to harsh, but I won't take for faking sickness to stay home.


#6 Soontobegran

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:13 PM

OP, I think it's reasonable to say that school is where she should be if she is well but if she is too sick for school then the best treatment is to come home to bed for a sleep.
If she chooses this behaviour often enough I would try and establish if there is something going on at school that is making her prefer home?




QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 25/02/2013, 02:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you watch TV when you're sick?

Poor kids.  I don't get why they have to stay in bed all day?  I can't remember the last time I was sick that required staying in bed but I do recall feeling sick enough that I didn't want to go out and about.



I think it is a perfectly acceptable way to find out whether the child is really ill or in fact there is another issue at school which needs sorting out.
It's not like they are being chained to the clothes line and fed dry bread a water.

Just a reminder MP most mums are not cruel to their children and are well able to establish what is a suitable response to a behaviour even if it isn't the one that we may subscribe to ourselves.

#7 librablonde

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

Only last week my 6yo DS had me called from school b/c he had tummy pains. When I got here and saw him with his morning tea still around his mouth I questioned him and it turned out he had been flustered by some journal writing that morning in class. He still maintained he as sick until I told him that if he was really sick he needed to rest his body if I took him home and go to bed for most of the day. He then decided he felt much better and was full of beans when he got home from school that day  wink.gif  I had a quiet word with his teacher about his probable stress over the journal writing and that was that.

I think the OP was perfectly reasonable in how she handled her DD.

#8 Orangedrops

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:35 PM

Honestly? I tend to lean to the side of trusting my child. If she says she is sick then I'd believe her. I wouldn't punish her by sending her to her room. I don't tend to punish in general anyway but it seems a bit mean.

#9 againagain

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

My oldest child found it to be a bit of a novelty having 'sick' days. At first she was determined to go to school no matter what was wrong with her (she had slap cheek and I had no idea what it was so kept her home and took her to the dr). She howled so badly because she really did like school.

However, once she had a couple of days at home watching TV or whatever (once for slap cheek and once for cough) she decided it was quite fun to hang around in your pjs all day instead of school, so she constantly tried to fake illness.

She also got the school nurse to send her home with tummy pains a couple of times until I cracked it and did what the OP did, told her if she is sick she can lay in bed and read books, not sit and watch TV and eat snacks. Funnily enough once I put my foot down she decided school was once again more fun.

#10 Carmen02

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

OP i think you handled it very well..my 10yr old DD was like that at one stage, I had a chat to her teacher and found out she was struggling quite alot with her school work absoutely hated school, so the school arranged extra help for her..i could always tell when she was faking it and i never gave in..i told her she had to be throwing up or have a fever to stay home as she learnt to be very sneaky and crafty trying to get out of school ...who doesnt like a day at home watching TV or playing games lol have a chat to the school about her behaviour see how shes handling school...the ladies at school are fantastic they watch children closely and if they continue to be miserable they send home if not they say solider on

#11 Kreme

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:46 PM

I'm not offended by anyone disagreeing with me but it's good to know that the are others who have taken similar steps.

My main concern is whether DD sees it as a punishment rather than the consequence of her actions. I just want her to know if you come home from school sick then you will have to rest and eat fairly plain food. If she is really sick I don't think that will worry her.

DH also questioned if there is something at school. We are supposed to be moving interstate at the end of this term so that may well be worrying her. What she doesn't know is that the move may be cancelled, but I can't tell her that until I know for sure as it isn't fair to mess her around. Hopefully we will know by the end of this week.

She is doing really well at school but she is in a new class with none of her friends from last year so I will also investigate whether that is worrying her.

#12 ~kuddlebug~

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

I don't see it as a punishment. When I was home sick, I had to stay in my room and read quietly or sleep. Occasionally I would be allowed to watch some tv. But in general, it was Mum's way of testing just how sick I was. If I needed to he home, bed was usually where I wanted to be anyway!!

I'm not going to make sick days fun exciting days at home with mummy. If my children are too sick for school, then they need to be resting. If I can clearly see that they're sick, then they'll be allowed to watch tv quietly after they've rested for the morning, but if they're too bouncy and excited for bed, then they can go to school.

If they have something that is excludable but doesn't make them feel too bad, of course I wouldn't make them stay in bed.

#13 TheGreenSheep

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:49 PM

My Ds had a sickie. He wanted to stay home as he saw Dad wasnt going to work. So he worked himself into a complete lather and threw up his brekkie.  I had to let him stay home just in case it was a gastro. To my amazement he recovered very quickly. Once he was told his Dad was going away for work that day he wasnt as interested in staying home and was able to acknowledge he wasnt really sick either.  Needless to say he spent a large amount of time in his room that day with no TV. He agreed never to try it on again. And hasnt.

#14 Fluster

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

I think you've done the right thing.

I always try to help make a sick family member as comfortable as possible - I do their household jobs, bring them food, get movies out for them, etc.    This led to my son learning to throw a few suspect sickies in his junior primary years.  The school and I discussed his propensity for sudden illness, followed by sudden health when he reached home, but erred on the side of caution, until the fateful morning he trotted into the office and said 'please call my Mum, I'm sick.  I'll be out in the playground playing.  Just come and get me when she gets here'  laugh.gif

#15 GoneWithTheWhinge

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:59 PM

QUOTE (~kuddlebug~ @ 25/02/2013, 02:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't see it as a punishment. When I was home sick, I had to stay in my room and read quietly or sleep. Occasionally I would be allowed to watch some tv. But in general, it was Mum's way of testing just how sick I was. If I needed to he home, bed was usually where I wanted to be anyway!!

I'm not going to make sick days fun exciting days at home with mummy. If my children are too sick for school, then they need to be resting. If I can clearly see that they're sick, then they'll be allowed to watch tv quietly after they've rested for the morning, but if they're too bouncy and excited for bed, then they can go to school.

If they have something that is excludable but doesn't make them feel too bad, of course I wouldn't make them stay in bed.


What she said!

It never ceases to amaze me how often my 13yo's 'sick' becomes nothing wrong with him when I tell him that a sick day at home is a day in bed in the quiet. He stayed at home once and wasn't too impressed when I removed his ipad and tv then went out taking the foxtel cards and modem with me. As I told him if he was properly ill then he wouldn't have noticed that the Foxtel didn't work in the family room and the internet was off as he would have been resting in bed. The best thing was that he found it all out in the time it took for me to take DD to school and back. He went to school that day with a late slip blaming his malingering for his tardiness. He got a detention and unsurprisingly hasn't pulled that stunt again (although he has had genuine days off sick since)


#16 zzgirl

Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

yeh - your toooo hard.  Kids can't fake a temperature.  I've never had a temperature and felt 100% the next day.  (I am a bit confused though - did you think the constipation caused a temperature???)

If you think your kid is faking sickness at that age to avoid school, you really need to think about why and concentrate on that as opposed to the issue of 'missing school'.


Good luck.

#17 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

QUOTE (kreme @ 25/02/2013, 01:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I took her to school and read her the riot act. Specifically forbade her from going to sick bay unless she was really ill. At 11am I got the call to say she is in sick bay for the second time today.

She is home now and in her bedroom for the rest of the day. No tv, iPad etc. She can read or play with toys in her bedroom but not to come out except for the toilet. No dessert tonight.

I honestly don't think there is anything wrong with her. Am I being too harsh?


Why would you read her the riot act? Does she have a history of lying to you?
DD has to be very, very ill to start behaving ill so if she says she doesn't feel well but is still playing happily I assume she doesn't feel well but is not given to being a drama queen. I would feel just awful if she felt the need to go to sick bay and I had told her not to for any reason.
6yo generally love the interaction at school, so unless she is being bullied I would think there is a reason even if it's just the heat and it's giving her headaches or leaving her lethargic.
In short, yes I think you are being way too harsh. In fact I think you're being downright mean and distrustful unless there is some history of dishonesty for no reason.


#18 Kreme

Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

QUOTE (ForsakenTruth @ 25/02/2013, 03:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why would you read her the riot act? Does she have a history of lying to you?
DD has to be very, very ill to start behaving ill so if she says she doesn't feel well but is still playing happily I assume she doesn't feel well but is not given to being a drama queen. I would feel just awful if she felt the need to go to sick bay and I had told her not to for any reason.
6yo generally love the interaction at school, so unless she is being bullied I would think there is a reason even if it's just the heat and it's giving her headaches or leaving her lethargic.
In short, yes I think you are being way too harsh. In fact I think you're being downright mean and distrustful unless there is some history of dishonesty for no reason.


No she has always been very honest until today. She was lying, I know she was lying and I'm not going to wait until she has a history of doing it before I respond firmly.

My son was told that he was staying home from school and not 20seconds later my daughter, who had been up for almost 2 hours, eating and behaving normally (unlike DS who was pale, only ate a little breakfast and complained of a stomach ache as soon as he got out of bed) suddenly said that she had a sore tummy too.

It just defied belief that she could be telling the truth. And given she's eaten everything in her school lunch box and appears completely normal (although contrite) since getting home, I am still certain that she was faking it.



#19 Julie3Girls

Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

On the couple of times when I'm positive one of the girls was pulling a sickie on me, I've done the "you're sick so that means no outside play, no swimming in the pool, no dessert that night (especially if sick tummy was the complaint), no dancing in the afternoon, no computer or iPod (not good for headaches)"

Generally means I ended up with a very bored child by the end of the day. And they have both learnt from it .. Youngest hasn't tried it yet.

I do go easy on the days when I think there is legitimate grounds ... Eg still recovering from an illness but not really all that sick, or a mental health day when I now they have been having a hard time for some reason or other.

#20 jill1972

Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

Much ado about nothing I think.  Every kid has tried this on once they know their sibling gets to stay home sick.  She may still be a little unwell from her last bout,  only 2 days ago.  I wouldn't make such a federal case out of it.


_________

#21 Expelliarmus

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:11 PM

Not harsh, just right IMO. Logical. If she was faking she probably won't again. If she wasn't she'd have been fine with the restrictions.

#22 fairymagic

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:23 PM

I think what you did was reasonable.

ZZ Girl - she didnt' say her DD had a temp. today - she said her DS had one and she was keeping him home and then her DD said she was sick too. I don't think the OP would send her child to school with a temp. nor accuse her of faking illness.

I agree with the PPs who stated that as parents, we often know when our children are genuinely sick or putting on a performance to avoid school. I do agree that if there is something going on at school, it needs to be investigated to see if something needs to be done but if not, I don't see why the OPs "punishment" is wrong.

My DS on at least two occasions in the last year or two woke up complaining of a headache and not feeling well. No temp. but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and told him to go back to bed whilst I got the two girls sorted for school. Came home only to find DS by 9 - 10 o'clock fine - he was simply tired and wanted a sleepin. Fine but he wasn't missing a whole day for that so I took him to school then and he was fine. He did it a couple of weeks ago again but has just started high school with a lot earlier starts to the day catching a bus and a lot of information given as a new Yr 8 student at a new school. Same thing, woke, headache, back to bed. Within an hour or so, well with no headache, no temp. feeling fine. This time I did let him stay home as I do think he was exhausted plus his high school is not a street away like his primary school was.

I think that if you think your child is not really sick (ie no temp. or obvious signs of illness) making the day at home as boring as possible will discourage them from making  a habit of it. I probably wouldn't make them spend the whole day in their room but certainly wouldn't let them lie in front of a TV the whole day if I was convinced they weren't really sick.

#23 newphase

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:30 PM

OP, you know your child best, so if you think she was pulling a sickie then you have done the right thing!
This kind of thing (started with constipation issues for my DD) is what eventually, years later led to my daughter being diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. If I had been stronger like you earlier then maybe I wouldn't be where I am with a almost 14yo. Last yr I think she missed 1/4 at least of the school term sigh.

QUOTE
I think you're being a bit harsh.

You know what it's like when you're sick. You do 'perk' up once the pressure of work/chores is off the table. You don't have to be falling down unconscious to have a sick day, nor do you have to stay all day in bed.

No dessert? I don't get that. So she's being punished for being sick?
I wish I had been more like OP then maybe things would be a tad different for my DD today. She knows her DD best, and I agree 100% with her approach.

#24 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

I had similar issues with my 6yo last year. Once he realized he was really was going to stay home (and he safe) all day, the sore tummy magically went away.  

Turns out he was being bullied and the sore tummy was anxiety.

Please don't just assume she's faking and at least talk to her. I know it takes my boy a few days at least to open up so please be gentle with her.

#25 JustBeige

Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:41 AM

I do the same thing with my kids.  If they are faking it, then  they hate staying in bed all day 'resting' and eating bland food - especially if the excuse is "feeling sick"

They have learnt now that they dont do that unless they are prepared to accept these restrictions.

When they truly are sick, they dont care at all about these restrictions.




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