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Supporting granddaughter

(40 Posts)
Anniebach Fri 19-May-17 10:55:27

I am really worried about my third granddaughter . She is taking her A's this summer and so wants to go to Cardiff university . Her brother studied there and now lives and works in Cardiff, her sister is studying there and starts her third year come September. She misses them so much , they have a very close bond, I have no doubt their mothers illnesses has caused the youngest to depend on the older two more than she would if their family life hadn't been messed up.

She had an exam yesterday and phoned me after she finished , she just couldn't answer questions,failed to finish the paper, yet has A in her course work. And this is just the start .

Thank god the three of them and I have a very close relationship so they turn to me if troubled . She is desperate to get to Cardiff , she wants it too much so it is really affecting her.

Her distress is causing me to feel anger for my daughter .

No idea why I am saying all this to you , I know all I can do is encourage, support and love her , and I do, she is a lovely , gentle seventeen year old , she lacks confidence because her siblings did so well in their exams .

The university has informed her they will accept her if her grades don't reach the AAB they required because of her course work but this doesn't seem to reassure her. I fear the rest of the exams and the August results.

Auntieflo Fri 19-May-17 11:45:15

Anniebach, it is so sad that these lovely, hardworking young people, have so much stress over their exams. I know of two young Mums, and there must be lots more, whose beautiful daughters are really struggling with the pressure that they are under. Is it the schools that want the results to show them, the school, in a good light? Why isn't there more support for the youngsters? They know they can do the work, as shown by the course work, but when the exam rears it's ugly head, they just seem to almost fall apart, with nerves. I don't know what the answer is, but luckily, the two I know of, have very supportive parents,but the stress is not doing them any good either. My heart aches for them.

hildajenniJ Fri 19-May-17 11:58:36

Do not worry too much. I know it's easy for me to say. Here is the story of my own DD. She only got D and E grades in her A levels, and was devastated as she had applied to the University of East London to study Anthropology. She attended her University interview, gave them her coursework to read, and was offered a place on the strength of her coursework alone. She spent three happy years there, gained a good degree, and was offered a job with one of the lecturers as his assistant in a research project he was working on. Unfortunately she had already accepted a job offer near home, and wanted to come back north as she was engaged to her boyfriend and wanted to make future plans.
She is now his wife and the mother of my four beautiful grandchildren.

HillyN Fri 19-May-17 12:04:12

I remember when my DD went to pieces in her A level maths exam and didn't get the grade she needed despite A grade coursework. Her teacher actually rang the university to explain that she really had the ability and they accepted her anyway. She went on to get a 2.1 in her degree, won a prize for the best final year project, then achieved an MSc and now has a very good job in Biostatistics. So it may help to tell your GD this story?

MawBroon Fri 19-May-17 12:05:20

Given the home problems and stresses it might be an idea for the school to apply for special consideration now, before the results come out.
In fact if it had been done already it is possible that she might have been allowed extra time in the written exams. I can remember doing this successfully for a student whose mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer at Easter before her A levels and was in the throes of chemo during the exam period.
Is your GD's school likely to be sympathetic?

morethan2 Fri 19-May-17 12:36:20

I don't know the answer to this but I do know how you feel. My 19 year old granddaughter is facing the same stress. I also think I can answer your "No idea why I am saying all this to you" in my case it's because when I find somthing upsetting it helps to get it off my chest and this is a anonymous place to do it. Just the writing it down seems to help. I also if I'm sure I won't upset them too much I tell my husband, trusted sister or aunt. My poor son always tells me first. He often doesn't tell anyone else. When I ask him if I can do anything or if he's alright he tells me. "I'm ok I just need to tell someone(it often doesn't do me much good as many of my recent posts testify) I hope this all turns out well for you granddaughter. I don't know your back history with your daughter but I think it's wonderful that your granddaughter has you. Loving and caring is hard somtimes isn't it.

Anniebach Fri 19-May-17 13:50:00

Thank you all so much, I really felt so lost when I posted . I telephone the school and will have a telephone appointment with head of 6th form, I can't go up there granddaughter will see me .

The secretary who took my call said about my grandchildren - they have had a hard time , we know you have been there for them through it all.

My grandchildren have always refused to go to the nurture room where children can unload problems , when it all started they were told they could go there whenever they needed to, they said - no thank you, we have Grannie !

morethan, my beautiful daughter has bi polar and about nine years ago turned to alcohol to self medicate, seven years ago she left the family home , is an alcoholic and has lost touch with reality .

One more question please .

A month ago my daughter sent the girls a text late at night saying she was going to take her life, they phoned the police and with their father had to go to daughters house because she wouldn't open the door, she finally did , she had cut herself with a stanly knife , she has no recollection of it now. This is just one incident of many over the years .

Should I tell the school how bad things are for my grandchildren? They would be upset if they knew I had told but I have to put my granddaughter first yes ?

SueDonim Fri 19-May-17 14:09:21

What a sad story, I'm so sorry. It must be heartbreaking for you. Regarding your granddaughter, is there any way special circumstances can be taken into account with her A Levels? I live in Scotland and there is provision for that here.

My feelings about the incident with your daughter is that school should know, but that it should be confidential.

Ilovecheese Fri 19-May-17 14:26:37

If, only if, she doesn't get into the university, is there another way she could still go to live in Cardiff? Would it be possible for her to get a job and maybe live with one of her siblings?
I'm only suggesting this as a sort of fall back position so that she could maybe think all would not be lost and maybe not worry quite so much.
I think other posters are probably right though, about special circumstances.
Also, as with Hillyn's daughter, my daughter's teacher also phoned the University when one of my daughters didn't get the expected grades, and she did get in, so there are lots of options.

Anniebach Fri 19-May-17 16:11:41

Head of 6th telephoned me, she will speak to head and get back to me Monday to let me know what they can do to support her need to be in Cardiff,

She said - she is such a lovely girl and always so happy

Come August look out for a thread from a Grannie who will/may be in need of cheering up as she packs for third grandchild to leave home

Thank you all so much

nannynoo Fri 19-May-17 18:11:12

Hi Anniebach sorry to hear all this , does your Granddaughter live with you or with her Dad?

I understand about the actions of the parent messing up the child , believe me , I deal with the fall out of it myself or rather my Grandson does sad

He has Autism and is 9 years old and cannot tell me how he is feeling as he only has partial speech so his feelings come out in his behaviour , bless him

My daughter is an alcoholic who supposed to be in recovery but I am not completely sure she is , my Grandson is settled with me and has been living here for 2 years now

I worry about him too but I honestly feel WITH OUR LOVE AND SUPPORT they will indeed be FINE grin xx

We will get them through their storms in life x

ElaineI Fri 19-May-17 18:45:07

Anniebach your grandchildren are so lucky to have you and it is good they have a close bond with each other. Is Cardiff far away from you? If your granddaughter doesn't get into uni there might be a college in Cardiff with a pre uni course to suit her. Some young people find a stepping stone between school and uni a benefit. My DD2 found that and was better able to cope when she went to uni.

Iam64 Fri 19-May-17 18:54:52

Hello Annibach, so sorry to read your granddaughter is struggling. The comment from head of 6th form says it all doesn't it, a lovely girl and always so happy. It's classic with good girls isn't it, big smile, kind and happy on the outside, well motivated, always work hard but often paddling like mad under the water to keep going.
School obviously have a good understanding of the impact of your daughter's health problems on her children. Is it a mixture of pride and shame that leads your grandchildren to expect you not to be entirely open with school, e.g. about the recent suicide threat? I empathise with them and with you but, sometimes we have to be more open with certain professionals than we may be under less dire circumstances. I can see the conflicts you may feel when wanting to respect your grandchild's wishes but also recognising that knowledge is power so far as school supporting her and her desire to go to Cardiff.
Does your son in law have a trusting relationship with the school? He's the person with parental responsibility - but having been in a fairly similar situation, I know the school welcomed my involvement xx

Iam64 Fri 19-May-17 18:55:13

Blast it - edit button. the school welcomed my involvement - so did my grandchildren.

Anniebach Fri 19-May-17 18:57:12

nannynoo, my grandchildren live with their dad, he is a wonderful father and they adore him, my daughter was a loving caring mother ,afored the children then the breakdown, her son says he remember when she was fun and a great Mum, the girls five and seven years younger don't want to remember, I think they hold onto their anger because it is an easier emotion to deal with.

I am saddened my daughter is missing so much love and laughter but cannot get through to her.

You grandson is blessed he has you.

Iam64 Fri 19-May-17 18:57:41

Sorry Annie x posted with you there

Cherrytree59 Fri 19-May-17 18:59:31

What a kind caring gran you are annie and proactive to boot.

I'm worrying about my first born DGS starting school in September he will be just 4 yrs old in July and he is a very shy little boy who didn't start talking until he was 3yrs & 2 months old. Chats away now though

Goodness knows what I will be like when exams and university are on the horizon.

I wish your DGD well
hopefully all will work out and you will have some good news for us in August.

cornergran Fri 19-May-17 19:13:51

My heart goes out to you and your family, annie. I don't know whether it's the right thing to be open with the school or not but I do know from working with struggling teenagers that they often share things they know should be passed on when they can't manage it for themselves. Trust your instincts, annie, they are sound and you know your granddaughters, they also know you and know you love them unconditionally. It also sounds as if the school have a very good idea already. If you decide to be open my guess is you won't have to say very much. Thinking about you all.

Anniebach Fri 19-May-17 19:30:44

Iam, yes the school knows much, this is a Welsh market town, one high school, everyone knows everyone . My son in law attends all the PTA meetings and supports them in every way. When my daughter left home the girls raced to me and said Grannie we don't want to be taken to the nurture room can you stop them, so it was decided then my son in law was active in their academic work whilst I did the emotions side, they do confide in him, we share everything, even paying for private tutoring ! He does the cooking, cleaning, shopping , taxi service!
I do the reading King Lear and Sylvia Platt side and the Welsh Bac, he was devasted when my daughter left and couldn't discuss it with anyone.

The elder girl told me last week she thinks of her mother as dead, the younger one has more anger refers to her mother as Voldermort, for seven years they have had to face school classmates , when my daughter got on the front page of the weekly local newspaper - town councillor arrested for drunk driving. No shortage of friends! to tell them they mother said my daughter had been drunk in the local. Back last year my daughter phoned me distressed, she was walking through town and the youngest was walking towards her, she ran into the road, daughter thought she was playing chicken, no, she was avoiding her mother. So yes pride and shame Iam.

This is why the three are so close and protective of each other, it is so important the youngest goes to Cardiff to be with them. They want their father and me to move there too! Anyway I have spoken to the school , will know more on Monday, so it's on with the swotting .

If little one was to fail to get into Cardiff I will find a way for her to live there close to her sister. It is vital she gets to Cardiff this year.

Anniebach Fri 19-May-17 19:35:58

cornergran, you are right, the secretary said immediately - they have had a tough time.

Cherry, they are so easy to love, I adore them, when my daughter decided to leave she said Mum, please look after my children as you looked after me.

Tessa101 Sat 20-May-17 09:24:05

Anniebach what a wonderful supportive GM you are, your post has brought tears to my eyes.Since being on GNs I've often read your posts for advise myself and seen how active you are on here. Sorry I have no advise,I think you and all the other lovely posters know what your doing in this difficult situation.I do hope someone is supporting you through this as you will need a hug at times to.

silverlining48 Sat 20-May-17 09:57:32

Children can bring so much joy yet so much pain. I feel for you, your daughter and for her children. You are doing a wonderful job with your grandchildren and they have both love and security from you and their father. From what you said I think your daughter loves them too, even if her children, understandably, may not recognise that.
The recent incident with your daughter must have been dreadful, she too is in pain. It must be so hard for you. I have a friend who was diagnosed as bipolar at the age of l3. She has had many struggles over the years, but as an adult now though still fragile at times, is so much better, and living a happy life, but alcohol added to the mix makes things much more difficult. I wish your daughter well, I hope she can get help and motivation to get through this, and I hope your granddaughter gets her wish to go to Cardiff. I have a feeling she will succeed.

Disgruntled Sat 20-May-17 10:06:17

Oh, Annie this is heart breaking. You are always to wise and supportive to others. This might sound daft and hippy dippy but there's a range of Bach Flower Remedies and one of them, Mimilus, is for apprehension of a known event, i.e. useful for exam nerves, driving tests and so on. It's not a placebo, it works on animals. (And even if it were a placebo, it might help and there are no side effects.) Each little bottle only costs about a fiver and you put a few drops on the tongue. As you say, the school will know most of what's gone on, and they will know not to let your granddaughter know you've spoken to them. GOOD LUCK flowers flowers

Anniebach Sat 20-May-17 10:15:02

Disgruntled , she is taking Mimilus, Elm and Rescue , not daft or hippy dippy, I am a Bach Flower Remedy practitioner

And I am on Oak 😀

Disgruntled Sat 20-May-17 10:25:30

Oh Annie you're a star! I could have guessed you'd be Oak. Would you like me to send Reiki to the situation?