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My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

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My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

Active scribe

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

Oh boy waiting until May to see a psych is just terrible. So many school days to deal with Smiley Sad we actually saw one yesterday and she set up a plan with my daughter.. day 1 of plan worked, just... The morning started out with moaning and groaning snout multiple ailments and refusing to get dressed... after persistent nagging she did get dressed. The next half hr was one of me trying to stay calm and chilled out whilst stomach was churning and headache pounding... her big sister came in once again to be with her and chat to distract her from her anxiety which helped a bit. She then let me do her hair. However she felt too sick to eat. And eat she must as she’s a Type 1 diabetic and must have insulin before brekky... we decided to take her to school with just half a glass of milk in her belly and without insulin... the agreed plan wa to just make it to the school library to read until recess. She’d then be able to have food and insulin when back and home... not ideal for a diabetic but as her sugars were high this morning we had a bit of time up our sleeves... so back tracking, she eventually got ready and dragged herself to the car. We got to school car park and waited for teacher aide to come to meet us at car as planned... whilst waiting missy got more and more anxious, sliding down her seat in case anybody saw her and then began pleading for me to take her home. I got out of the car and said I’m just going to look for the teacher for a chat. Found teacher and she headed back to car with me breaking the news to me that she could no longer come to the car to meet us due to new classroom commitment. **bleep**! Anyway as soon as she got to car I opened it and missy got out with her book to read.
I might point out her big sister came with us and they went to library together for an hr of reading.
All went to plan with much discomfort but with success.
Layer in day I get an email stating teachers wont be able to meet at car any longer and could we please meet at sick bay instead. Fine, although plan B for next week is the big one.... getting to Home group with books for periods 1&2.... however without help in car park we’re pretty much screwed as she won’t get out of the car and walk in alone.
Teacher agreed himself to come meet us at the car on Tuesday and try taking her to home group yikes! Monday is swimming carnival day which we’ll be skipping,,,
Tonight missy had a terrible meltdown saying how sicjnshe is of being stressed every day Smiley Sad and pleading her case for over an hour about the benefits of home schooling for herself! Poor thing was so sad and said she can’t do anymore and never wants to go back to the school, although she points out it is a good school and the people are nice! The fear of facing the class after so many weeks away is overwhelming.
Eventually she calmed down and fell asleep after I agreed to have a family meeting on the weekend for her to present her case for home schooling, sigh. We won’t be agreeing to it but respect her right to voice her opinion.
It’s so heartbreaking to see and hear your child suffer so much, every single day. She says she’s at the top of the hill but can’t possibly make it over, not now not ever. So needless to say I’m dreading as usual the rest of this week and Tuesday onwards. Although we know she’s got it in her to overcome this, we know only too well how much she believes she can’t and breaking down that barrier will be tough.
Sorry for rambling on, please feel free to do the same back! My only wish is for our children to find peace and m happiness within themselves and the strength to move forward.
Good luck tomorrow and beyond and please post updates when possible.
Active scribe

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

Thank you for your kind words. Yes I agree, so important for us parents to keep it together in the moment however stressful and difficult we find it.
We’re doing everything we can right now to support our girl just waiting for the light at the end of such a long tunnel!. Please tell me it’s coming! Hard to believe it is.
Kind regards, J
Casual scribe

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

Did your psychologist set out a working plan for your child.we are hoping that ours can put into place somethimg for cincentration and focus .she sleeps well .eats all the right foods and is on
Keenminds lollies. Just isnt grasping what teachers are putting forward ea day so becomes bored and stressed.i wish schools would have classes in maths for kids who wont need algebra in life .just the basic maths to get them high school and other subjects that there brain can cope with
Star contributor

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

@Sydney_2214 Are there no basic maths strands anymore? This is alarming.. I agree I think there needs to be an ongoing base-line math, we should bet on the strengths of our students more instead of forcing them into units that aren't for them at an advanced level. 

Casual scribe

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school


I have the same problem with mine, thing is she's already in high school. She was ok for a while while we were all home during COVID then went back to school and started gaging every morning causing her to vomit vile, it'ss extremely hard as she's got her friends and knows her way around the school, I've tried talking to her, explaining that I'm here for her no matter what, I'm not here to judge her at all, we have to communicate that way i can get her help, she says no, it's just anxiety that's all. I dont want to push her away from me. Any idea's from mums or dads, i appreciate your opinions. Thanks

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

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Hello @EriTatiana , sorry to hear about what has been happening with your daughter lately. That sounds like a really challenging situation. These have definitely been strange times and it can be hard for kids adjusting to the new normal.  Have you had a discussion with your daughter around why she has been feeling anxious and sick? Have you had a chance to discuss this with someone at your daughter's school (such as the school counsellor or wellbeing team) to see what resources or support is available? They may be able to arrange someone to talk with your daughter (if that is what she and yourself would like) to get a better understanding of what is making her anxious. 


You might also find it helpful to call and speak to a trained counsellor about what has been happening with your daughter. One helpline that you can call to get some advice and support from is Parentline. We also offer a one-on-one support service that you can access to speak to a trained counsellor for some advice and support. Here is a link for some further information if you are interested. I hope that things will get better soon for your daughter, feel free to let us know how you're getting on Smiley Happy .

Casual scribe

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

Hi Sophia

Thank you so much for replying. Where do i start..... we had a game to attend to when all of a sudden she becomes unwell and started vomiting in the vechile, returned home, spoke and it's a lot to explain atm. I did see you MENTION counselling etc, that caught my attention as i have discussed this and she doesn't want anything to do with that..... but as im talking to her I find her school attendence diary that the school provides, when i see a what looks to be a late note that I'm not aware of? As I know that when kids are late the school always gives the student a note to bring back home for the parents to sign and return back next day not to mention when your child is late I get a text message from the school woth out FAIL... So, I'm what is this, you were there on time, no text was sent and she doesn't answer me, so I read and this note says
"STUDENTS name * my childs name* was with me...from this time to this ti me and a signature... (that note was attached to her attendance diary, with that note she * my child * would have to give to her next teacher so it explains where shes been for that time frame.. I'm quiet upset as i wasn't told by my child or the school and most importantly the teacher she was with, no explanation at all. I ask my daughter what is this for why where you with that person and why wasnt i contacted about this, she said because a notes coming home next term explaining why.... I'm upset, I found out today I can't contact school as we on school holidays and can't understand why that teacher wouldn't of emailed me,sent me text or even a letter, this happened Wednesday, we on Saturday now. I'm lost for words atm, like i said im here to help in anyway and i find out this by accident, only because of the incident she had today, why wouldnt school contact me, keep it quiet, she's 12. Still not sure of what was said, what exactly did this teacher speak to her about, I'm disappointed, will be going and discussing this with person. Thanks again for your support link, any suggestions about this incident, please let me know. Thanks again
Active scribe

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

Update: 2 years later; our girl found the strength to start a new school in January 2020, it took her a few weeks of high anxiety to get there and return each day but she found it not as bad as she thought. Then covid hit and the kids were sent home. This was very hard to return home and have to do online learning again. Unfortunately she went downhill and got sad and la Ming in motivation. She realised she loved being at school now and wanted to return ASAP. Her depression was set in and it was a struggle to even get her out of bed those few weeks. Then school returned and she made it back. She dreaded every morning as it felt like starting a new school all over again, every morning: many days I thought she wasn’t going to make it but she changed her mind every time and hopped out of bed to get ready just in the nick of time!
Now we’re back in term 1 holidays. She’s found a boyfriend and focuses on him and him alone. School work has gone out the windows but she’s dying to get back to school so she can see him again!
I guess the story here is that suddenly things change and the struggles become a thing of the past.

I wish everybody hope and strength to hang in there. That tunnel does end and tings do change eventually. Carry on supporting, listening & encouraging. That’s all you can do. Your ‘thank goodness it’s easing’ moment will come.
Super contributor

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

Hi @EriTatiana, I can see why you would feel disappointed as you are left out of the loop. It must also be hard having to wait until the school reopens again. I hope that you are able to talk to this teacher and find out more information so that you can feel more informed about what is going on. Please let us know when you do. Do you think your daughter might become more open to explaining who the teacher is and what their role is in the meantime?

Hi @Jac_a_T, thanks for sharing your update and insight. It sounds like you were really struggling when school was out of session - I am glad things are different for you now. It is nice to read your lovely message which inspires hope and strength to all the parents here.
Active scribe

Re: My 12 yr old daughter is terrified starting high school

My daughter was terrified to start high school 3.5 years ago and she suffered from school refusal.  2 years ago it went bad with threats of self harm and multiple visits to emergency room.  We saw 6 different counsellors and psychiatrists.  None of this helped.  Possibly it made it worse.  My daughter refused to engage with them and she felt that there was something wrong with her and it was her fault.

I generally feel let down by the health system.  Our home life was terrible.  My wife felt judged by everyone, including the health professionals and school.  She also felt to blame - as did I.  We were told the most important thing was to get her to school.  The effort to do this (usually unsucessfully) was tearing us apart.

Towards the end of term 1 this year we "Gave Up".  We decided that getting her to school was not the most important thing.  We started to care less when she didnt go to school.  We put less pressure on her going to school.

Then she started going to school.  She went the last 9 days in a row in term 1.  Then corona put her at home for 2 months.  This showed us that remote schooling (which we were considering) would have been the wrong thing for us.

The first week back after corona she missed 2 days - and since then no missed days.  It appears we are over the worst of it.

The things that appear to have worked for us are;

1 Not to blame our daughter for how she feels (we never really did - but she felt that we did)

2 Try not to blame ourselves (this is very hard)

3 Reinforce that she is loved and no matter what will be loved.

4 Realise that school is not the most important thing and that if she fails school she can get back to it at a later date - even as an adult

5 Anti-anxiety drugs helped for us - Not to get her to school in the morning, but to prevent her anxiety the night before

6 Changing schools where they appreciated the problem more 


For any parent out there with similar problems, I feel for you and hope you find something that works for you.