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School Refusal

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Casual scribe

School Refusal

My Teen daughter doesn't want to go to school. I've asked her what is wrong, what triggers her feelings and MANY more questions that she can't find the answers to. I understand that she is young and can't always find the words. I'm just very frustrated at the moment and feel like she's got herself in such a rut as she's had many days off in the last term with Cough/cold/sniffles (the school don't want children there as they are worried about covid (which she is NOT positive), also knee trouble etc.

I feel like I've set her up to not want to go with allowing this many days off. AH!

She had counselling at the end of last year for some bullying issues...she has assured me that she is not being bullied now. She just doesn't want to go. We have just started counselling again, only had one session, where she brought up about being worried about people speaking about her behind her back. Which on the other side of it she assures me this is actually not happening...she's just WORRIED about if people were to. She's previously expressed she doesn't like being around all judgemental kids at school...they way they talk....the energy of it all really affects her.  

I digging deep to understand that this is how she "feels"...but I'm finding it hard to deal with at this very moment. I've done years of self-development work myself...but this situation is really rattling my chains. So i too will be working on what triggers ME to react this way. 

I'm essentially handling this by myself, my ex (we are on good terms and he is worried about her). but she is more "emotional" with me and when she goes to his place tomorrow night, like last week, she'll get up the next morning and wont bat an eyelid to kick up a fuss...and off she'll go to school...So I feel like I'm being emotionally "Played." 

I just don't know what to do next.

I will call the school today at some point to explain the situation and see what we can do from there. 

I suppose it's just great to have a forum to get this out. Thank you for listening/reading. 





Community Manager

Re: School Refusal

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Hi @Mukmukmoo 

I'm really glad you found us and were able to get everything out in a supportive space. It's clear you really care about your daughter and it's great to see you being proactive about organising counselling sessions for her. 

It's also great that you are going to contact the school and have a chat with them. They should be able to work with you to come up with a bit of a plan on how best to support your daughter getting to and whilst she is at school. We have some articles on school refusal that you might like to have a read through too. We also have a free service that provides 1 on 1 parent coaching that you may want to check out as well. You can find more info here.

It's definitely understandable that this would all be having an effect on your wellbeing too, do you have any friends or family you can chat to about how you're feeling?

Casual scribe

Re: School Refusal

My teen has had school refusal too. Does your teens school have a wellbeing team? My teens school does, and they have been invaluable in the support they are providing. I've been surprised by just how common school refusal is for teens, particularly post covid, and so the wellbeing teams are very skilled in this area.

Re: School Refusal

I am sorry to hear what you are going through. We are in a somewhat similar situation. Our 15 year old has hardly been to school since the start of this term. She was doing really well with her marks and friends the first half of the year. She has been on medication for her anxiety for about 18 months and it seems to have stopped working. She has also been working with a psychologist for the last two years too, and knows that avoiding situations that make her anxious only worsens it, but she has reverted to the avoidance behaviour again.We have spoken to the school and also the doctor, and we are hoping it will improve soon, but it’s very frustrating and stressful. I have not got an answer for you, but I guess the point of my post is to let you know you are not alone in what you are going through and to get all the help you can. Take care of yourself
Casual scribe

Re: School Refusal

Thank you for your message. Yes, we are not alone. In the throws of a refusal, it feels like I'm not in control as she is stubborn and but it seems like genuine tears.

The world is a very different place to when i went to school. Sure there were problems along the way, but nothing to the extent of these days. We are working through some alternative pathways. I suppose I'm thinking, why put my daughter through something that she really is not enjoying.

It's not on a whim that she's feeling like she does. She is very involved in her netball, dance and her grades are actually quite good. Just that seems mainstream school is not working for her. Her dad and I have had a big chat today (he's asked heaps of questions and made some great points of wanting to know what exactly is the problem....subject teachers, other students, being engaged etc. So we will have a little family meeting on the weekend. 

My daughter and I have lots of little chats, so that's not a problem to talk about "stuff"...BUT she can't find the words to explain what's going on for her. So we'll chat again and ask some leading questions...also will talk to her phycologist too. 

I'm looking at a government run school for students that don't suit mainstream for years 9-10 (starting next year) and in the meantime homeschool her for the rest of the year...the homeschooling is in a structured online capacity...zoom lessons 9am-1.15pm four days a week...get the work done and probably quicker. If she needs high level they are able to accommodate it.

So we are in the discussion stage of whats going on and finding solutions. 

I hope that you find a way to move through all of this too. In the peaceful moments of life comes the answers.




Casual scribe

Re: School Refusal

It's quite reassuring to hear about other teens and their families to be going through this as well, as I'm finding it to be a very isolating experience (though of course I wish you all weren't going through it). I never expected to experience anything like this, and am surrounded by families with high achieving children whom could never understand. My teen has barely been at school all year, so am now seriously considering switching them to online learning, which terrifies me because I'm worried that they'll never return to the outside world (they don't do anything away from home).

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