08-09-2021 12:34 PM - last edited on 09-07-2021 01:57 PM by Philippa-RO
My 11yo son refuses to attend school. We have tried to force him by driving him to school, removing him from the car, and locking the car to stop him from getting back in. This led to to him being violent in front of the school principal and pushing me to the ground. Following are steps we have taken so far.
* getting referral from GP for a counsellor which led to the counsellor (after 2 session) telling our son it was completely up to him when he wanted to return for a 3rd session
* we have removed all electronic devices from him as he only wanted to play on them and never interact with his family or attend school
* the school is currently sending work home for him to do but this cant last for too long.
I am on my way to another GP for another referral this week but was hoping that someone else may have dealt with this situation.
08-09-2021 03:38 PM - edited 08-09-2021 03:39 PM
Hi @ConcernedMum79 and welcome to the online community!
First off, I'm really sorry to hear that your son is refusing to go to school and that he is pushing your limits around this. It sounds like you're doing the very best you can and exploring as many options as possible to make going to school more comfortable for him. Has he expressed any particular reason for not wanting to go to school?
I'm also sorry to hear that your experience with your son's first counsellor was not all that helpful, either. It can be tricky finding the right fit with psychologists and counsellors, so hopefully something more constructive comes of this new referral you're looking for.
I can assure you that you are not alone in struggling with your son's school refusal. If you're interested, there is a thread here about school refusal where other parents have shared their experiences with children and teens who do not want to go to school.
This sounds like a very stressful situation to manage, so I am really feeling for you. Do you have any support to cope with everything that has been going on?
08-10-2021 12:04 AM
Ask your child to describe the key challenges of going to school. Together, you may be able to solve these problems or develop a plan to manage them.It’s important to convey kindness, as your child is experiencing something distressing. Kindness can be conveyed by listening when they talk about their worries, offering a moment of physical affection, or remaining calm in the face of frustration. Expressive therapy
08-10-2021 12:31 AM - edited 08-10-2021 12:33 AM
I agree with previous replies that suggest this behavior has a root cause that goes beyond a simple refusal. Most kids don't exactly jump out of bed to attend school, but when they are there, they are fine. Your description sounds a lot more complex than that, especially as this behavior sounds like it extends into his social life, keeping him from wanting to converse with family members as well.
A few questions spring to mind:
Have you had an opportunity to meet with your son's teachers and discuss their observations around his participation prior to refusing school?
How long has this refusal been going on for and have you noticed other changes in his health or habits, however minor?
You have done the right thing by chatting to your GP and seeking a referral to someone that may be more qualified than a counsellor.
08-12-2021 12:00 PM
Thank you for your comments. We have been working with the school to try to find a cause and coming up with nothing. Yesterday I had a GP appointment which resulted in a mental health plan for me and a referral to Headspace for him.
He has since told me that a kid (who is no longer at the school) used to tease him and most of the other kids. He is now worried that if he goes back, after having so much time off, that the other kids will hassle him. The school is willing to work with this and see if we can convince him to at least try one day and see what happens.
When he attends school he is a happy student with no apparent issues. He participates in classes well, helps out alot and has really learnt to focus on the task at hand.