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My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

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Casual scribe

My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

Hi I am new to this site and I am glad it is here. My daughter's psychologist recommended it.  My daughter is 13, she was bullied at school before lockdown and then went COVID hit and we were forced on to online learning, she retreated into herself over time. 

 

After weeks of doing everything we can to help her feel comfortable, working with the school on a plan to ease her back in with lots of concessions made, a few setbacks last week, she agreed to try again yesterday and for 2 and a half hours only. After I dropped her off, and waited for a bit to make sure she would be ok, and she had a teacher supporting her, she ran away from school. They had to send someone out in a car to look for her. Then she rang me and I went to pick her up. I wasn't angry. I was relieved she was safe and with me. We talked and talked and she knows we are there for her.But I'm broken. 

I'm so sad and I can not stop feeling its way. I really thought maybe I should just walk into the ocean and just go. I feel like an absolute failure that I haven't been able to help her. I know there are so many people out there hurting. Today is just a day where I cannot find anything at all to keep me going. I don't expect answers I just want to  know there are other people out here who know that this is like and I can be honest about how I feel . Because I have to keep it in  I cant distress her any more than she already is. And her brother who is fine but is so worried about her. But I cannot see any light at the end. And I am so very very scared. Thank you for listening.

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Community Manager

Re: My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

Hi there @Hopesprings123, thank you for coming here and entrusting us with your story. I can imagine how painful this would be for you and your daughter. As a survivor of school bullying, I remember these times and I can feel the turmoil - I want to assure you that what I also remember from these times is how supportive my mum was and how that absolutely saved me and made a difference for me. You are doing the most important thing for your daughter and that is being a great parent. 

 

School can be so tough and there are answers out there, which ones will be right for your family will depend on your unique circumstances - but we are happy to chat through this with you. I am glad to hear your daughter has a psychologist, I was just wondering if you have any support for yourself in this situation? You mentioned wanting to walk into the ocean, so I am a little worried about your well-being as I know these situations absolutely take their toll on a person. 

 

Are you okay right now? And do you have any supports that you can call upon today? We will be looking out for your response Heart 

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Casual scribe

Re: My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

 

Hi Bre-ro thank you. I am not ok but I am not at that point I was yesterday. I have found the one thing to stop me from taking that step. I just need to get through today and I am seeing my daughters psychologist with her today.  Thank you for reaching out because at the moment that is what I need. i will try to find someone to talk to as well.  I just wanted you to know that I am still here and will not do anything stupid. It was just really bad day yesterday and I am struggling today  as well with a great deal of sadness. thank you . 

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Frequent scribe

Re: My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

Hi! I feel you. I think you need little support for yourself. Why don't you do it? I think that if you pay attention to yourself and get rid of stress, you will immediately feel better. And let there be problems ahead of you, you will cope with them. 

I believe that everything will be fine with you.

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Community Manager

Re: My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

Hey @Hopesprings123 

How did things go with seeing your daughters psychologist with her? 

You said you would try and find someone to talk to as well, let us know if you wanted to chat through that with us. 

I think @AmberP is highlighting the power of looking after yourself Heart I hope you're able to get the support you deserve @Hopesprings123 and we're always here for you too.

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Scribe

Re: My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

You are not alone. So many kids are not coping at school, and the Covid-break got everybody out of the routine and habit of just doing what was expected. It sounds like you are doing what you can to support your daughter, but I'm just going to repeat what everyone else has said and emphasise the importance of looking after you. Sometimes I let my school-refuser (that's what they call them...) sleep in, and I throw away all expectations for the day just to give myself a break. I'm not a psychologist or health professional, so I'm allowed to avoid those things that make me anxious every now and then! Those feelings you have, about wanting to escape, are also probably similar to how your daughter feels about school. You've recognised that she needs professional support, maybe you should find someone for you too?

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Community Manager

Re: My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

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Hey @Cycler-4 , 

 

So sorry to hear you're going through similar things with your child- I think you're right, the disruptions and instability that covid brought to our lives has definitely added another layer of difficulty for kids who may already have been struggling to get to school, and we definitely seem to be hearing from quite a few parents who have kids with school refusal. What you say about self-care is so important - do you have activities that you enjoy that help you to cope? 

 

Professional support can definitely be incredibly helpful - if any other parents reading are interested, we do offer a free one to one parents support service over the phone or online that you can access here.  You can also access up to 10 sessions with a medicare rebate from a private psychologist 

through a mental health care plan with your GP-  there's also now an additional 10 sessions per calendar year available until June 2022 (see here)

 

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Scribe

Re: My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

Hi all. Came to this site through a Google search as my 14 year old son is refusing to go to school too. Says he feels ibut refusing medical attention. I totally relate to the sadness other mums feel - and also want them to know they're not alone. Some advice pls ...I have been communicating with school openly ref my son who they see as fine on the days he is there. He said he had headaches etc so am going through process of elimination opticians blood tests etc
To rule out medical things. But today he didn't to go in and flatly refused to have blood tests. It my day off today so ideal.day to go but no-he simply refuses ,saying he'll go next time
Tries to control me and the situation totally.i don't know what to do. His younger 10 yr old brother is getting affected by it too, seeing the negative impact his brothers behaviours have. I have tried empathy, sympathy, reward, Xbox banning everything....any other ideas
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Community Manager

Re: My 13 yr old won't go to school and I feel lost

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Hey @Robbo 

School refusal is something we chat about a lot on the forum (as you can see on this thread), you are not alone in experiencing this issue. 

Its really good to hear you've been communicating a lot with the school, have they had any guidance to offer you?

This is a link to a content piece we have for parents who teens are refusing to go to school, I hope you find the info and tips in it to be helpful. Has your son indicated that there are any other reasons he doesn't want to go to school? I understand he says he is unwell, is there anything else he says is an issue or any changes you've noticed?

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