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Daughter's school refusal

Daughter's school refusal

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Daughter's school refusal

When my daughter started year 7 she started to outwardly show fear of going to school.  We took her to see a phsycologist but it was of little help.  In grade 8 combined with a falling out with friends she refused to go to school.  She went to see another counsellor around this time.  She threatened self harm and twice ended up at the emergency department.  Her counsellor all but admitted there was nothing she could do for her so we stopped taking her there.  We decided to try moving schools and she went to the new school most days but only with alot of effort from my wife and I and the school counseller.  We had her seeing another private counsellor and she was prescribed fluoxetine.  She was still struggling to go to school but her home life was better.  She hated going to see the counsellor and the counsellor, I felt, gave up on her as she was not engaging in the sessions.

This year she has barely been to school and when she does ,she does not go to normal class.  She takes her anger out on her younger sister verbally and sometimes physically.  I am starting to see her regress back to the worst days 2 years ago.

All professional advice has been to get her to school but this is taking its toll on my entire family.She is in grade 10 now and feel that she should consider leaving school.  Alternatively maybe distance education may be an option but I expect she will still see this as school and refuse to attend.

During weekend and holidays she does not experience anxiety - at least not at comparable levels.

I generally feel let down my the medical professionals we have seen.  My daughter despises going to see counsellors and I feel we only ever talk about the problem and never deal with any solutions.

I am interested to hear what people think about options of leaving school or alternatively try distance education.  My daughter does quite well at school acedemically - especially considering how much class time she misses.  I have talked to her about choosing not to go back to school next year but she is also afraid of not going to school.

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Re: Daughter's school refusal

My eldest daughter left at the end of year 10 and has no regrets. School just didn't suit her, she is doing a course now and is loving it and will hopefully get a job at the end of it.
We did try distance ed for her during the first half of grade 9 and she liked it enough, but she missed the social side of things so decided to go back to normal school.
I also want to say good on your for getting this far, my daughter has started grade 7 this year and has gone maybe half the days so far and i am struggling to know what to do. We have also tried counselling but she refuses to engage with anyone. My daughter also doesn't express the same anxiety on weekend or holidays, in fact, she was so happy i was sure that high school would be a different scenario, but she didn't even make the first week, she had the Friday off and it's gone downhill from there. All advice is that IF i can get her to school, they can help, but therein lies my problem.......i cannot get her out of the house! They say to make home boring, and she doesn't care.

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Re: Daughter's school refusal

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Hi @LIALIA, welcome to ReachOut and thanks for sharing all of your experience with us. It sounds like it has been a really difficult journey for your family. It is difficult to know what is the right thing to do or how you can help the situation. From what you've told us, it sounds as though you have tried your best to seek support for your family. I was wondering whether your daughter has any career interests? Is it possible that your daughter might excel in a more hands on program? If you feel like talking this out a little bit more, Parents Line is a great service to explore these issues with. It can be a really great step to get more support and other referrals Smiley Happy

 

Hi @IppyMum4305, welcome to ReachOut and thank you for sharing your insight in order to help others. We really appreciate that kind gesture. It can be really frustrating when suggestions don't work out. The service I linked above (Parents Line) may also be useful for you. Sometimes it can help to get a fresh perspective and know that you are not alone. I noticed you are a new user on our forums, so I wanted to let you know that you are also most welcome to create your own thread to discuss any issues that you are facing at the moment Heart

 

Please feel welcome to keep us updated! We would love to hear how you are both going.

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Re: Daughter's school refusal

Thankyou for responding to me.  I only posted as a way to vent my frustrations.  My wife and I decided to give up on the recommended line of telling our daughter that it was 'compulsory' to go to school.  We can not physically force her to go to school.  Our stance now is that it is her responsibility to go to school.  If she is not ready by a certain time then we will not take her to school.  I told her that she will always have a place to stay and we will give her love and food but we cant keep going on as we are.  I pointed out that it is the law that she attends school until the end of the year.  I told her that if she cant go to school she should officially stop going at the end of the year.

My wife who mostly takes her to school told her outright that she wont take her late to school.  She gets to go in the morning on time and after that she wont get taken.

We decided this as the emotional stress was just too much.  In a way we gave up on getting her to school.  Out thinking is that we just try to be as happy as possible.  Regardless of what we were doing she wasnt going to school.  At least this way we are not upset.

Since this she has gone to school 8 days straight.  She has attended all classes and not gone to hide in her safe space the school has set up for her.

I dont know if our change in how we deal with her has helped her get to school.  I dont really care.  She is showing much less anxiety (although it is still there).  She is happier - we are all happier.

I hope things get better for your daughter and family.  If I had any useful advice I would give it.

 

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Re: Daughter's school refusal

Hi @LIALIA, no worries at all - that is what we are here for. We encourage you to vent here! From what you have mentioned, it sounds like your new approach involved focusing on what you can control, as opposed to what you cannot. It may have taken the pressure off everyone which can allow things to fall into place. I am so glad to hear that your new approach is reducing anxiety and increasing happiness Heart Thank you so much for sharing!
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Re: Daughter's school refusal

I had very similar issues with my daughter and my son. My daughter went through a very trumatic event and refused to go to school, she didnt go for a year then trying to get her back into mainstream, she was just to disconnected. I live in the Hume area and found The Gateway school at  Broadmeadows youth centre.  Its registered with the department of education and is linked in with a local secondary college. There are 2 class groups, with roughly 10 students in each group. They attend 4 days a week for 2 hours a day, tghey can complete year 10 11 and 12 here or do a tafe course aswell or vet course. They also help with getting them a job and offer different types of counselling. It was a god send for my daughter. My son who fell way behind in mainstream school and suffered from shocking anxiety from living with his abusive father for 2 years now goes to this school too. He has only been going a few months, but the change is amazing. his anxiety has gone, and he is so enthusiastic about the future and learning. It might not be mainstream, but they will finish school with an education, its just done to suit them. Good luck