Yesterday was another difficult day with Ben sending emails at breaktime and lunchtime. In the end he asked me to pick him up, so I did, but I insisted it had a 'caveat' and that would be to spend the afternoon having a brain storming session about what to do next...
Like our Contract, it would be a two-way thing. Me asking for his input and he asking for mine. We'd write down every possibility on sheets of scrap paper, no matter how crazy or extreme, and scatter them around the large loft room floor. Then we'd go through them, discussing the pros and cons of each, and hopefully reach some kind of solution.
Both of us agreed that it would be best to leave any solution overnight, or even for a few days, rather than take a knee-jerk reaction to the situation.
So that's what we spent the next three hours doing and, thus far, the conclusion is this...
No, Ben doesn't want to leave school now, take a year off and then return, either to school or sixth form college.
Yes, he wants to persevere where he is and trust things will improve over time.
I insisted on a 'caveat' because we can't simply 'cross our fingers' and hope things will get better. So far, if anything, things have got worse and Ben spends most of his time in solitary confinement in the study room, library or hidden away in the school grounds. Neither of us want Ben to simply grit his teeth and struggle through this final year at school, hating every minute and feeling as lonely and depressed as hell. If we could turn the situation around somehow, then let's go for it.
So we came up with a list of four practical actions we could take which might just work.
And if they don't, then we'll have another session and come up with more.
So that's where we are at the moment.