06-20-2018 06:52 PM - last edited on 11-13-2019 02:03 PM by Bre-RO
Hi Support Family
I have a 13yr old who refuses to go to school and will not talk to or see anyone about the issues he is having. He has gone from being a model student in all of the advanced classes to not being able to get out of bed. He has become aggressive, rude and non-communicative.
I am only a part time carer but have a good relationship with my ex who is the primary care giver. In the last few months he has stopped seeing me as I have become the enforced disciplinarian for his spiraling behavioral problems.
I seems to be triggered by tests or assignments and I feel it now has more to do with him being embarrassed to face his peers and teachers.
His mother has exhausted all of the options she has and we are now tearing our hair out. We don't know what to do, who to turn or how to get help. I am hoping we can get some ideas from this forum.
06-20-2018 08:07 PM
Hi @No_Idea, welcome, and thank you for sharing with the community. It sounds like you and your ex have been a great team in supporting your son, which is great for your son. It must be upsetting for you though to not be seeing your boy, I really feel for you.
When my daughter was younger she also refused to see a counsellor for her issues, and I was lucky enough to have some great supports around me who encouraged me to seek help as a parent so I could help her by doing things a bit differently which helped us enormously.
My daughter had troubles with school as well, and it sounds like they are similar in their sensitivity - which shows as aggression and withdrawing from life. My daughter struggles with big, confronting emotions, and we implemented a mood chart that we had on the fridge, with a magnet each to place on the emotion we were feeling. We both used it so my daughter didn't feel singled out, and it helped her learn about her emotions and to be able to give them names. Do you think that would be something that might help?
ReachOut also offers Parent Coaching which is one on one support for parents, which gives practical tips and tools that you can use immediately for your individual situation.
Let us know how you get on.
06-23-2018 10:41 PM
My daughter is 16 and since the age of 13 has had very similar issues which turned out to be caused by severe anxiety and now social anxiety. Often when her anxiety levels are very high she is verbally aggressive. It’s not her , it’s her anxiety that causes her to be very short tempered and snappy. Do you think your son may be struggling with anxiety?
My daughter is a perfectionist and most of her anxiety stems from homework, assignments and functioning during class. She left school in year 8 and studies online. This has helped her stress levels but hasn’t resolved the issues completely as she overworks all assignments. Good on you for seeking help. It’s not something you can manage alone.
06-24-2018 11:02 AM
Welcome to the forums @No_Idea and thanks for sharing your story here. That sounds like a really massive change in behaviour and it is made more difficult by your son not wanting to express what is going on for him. It must also really be tough for you, considering he does not want to see you.
Some great support is offered here for something that is really complex and ongoing. Let us know how you get on with these suggestions. I know you mentioned your son is unwilling to speak to anyone, although services like Kids Helpline and Headspace have web chat and telephone counselling which can be less confronting and more private.
06-25-2018 01:10 PM
Thanks for responding to my post, I really appreciate it.
My son sounds like a mirror image of your daughter! Yes I believe he has anxiety issues, in fact I am virtually positive he has. He also is a perfectionist which makes a lot of sense.
How did you get involved with schooling online? How have you found it? How do you police it?
06-25-2018 01:16 PM
Thanks for responding, I have tried getting him to reach out online. He ended up spending about half an hour in an online chat with Beyond Blue. The Kids Helpline was not so successful, he waited online for half an hour but his chat request was never responded to.
We managed to get him to a Psych last Friday but apparentloy it didn't go well (I am not involved in these things as he does not want me involved. I offer advise and an ear to my ex only).
06-25-2018 01:52 PM
06-25-2018 08:19 PM