Thanks for joining the forums and thanks for sharing.
It sounds like you're in bit of a conundrum... and understandably. It's a tricky situation to be in.
I guess there are a lot of things to consider. How long has your daughter had these online friends for? Do they catch up in person? Can you see their friendship lasting? Has she made any friends at her current school? If she were to go back to her local school, and decide it wasn't for her, would it be hard to switch back to the independent school?
I do think having a good friendship circle is important, and I can understand why she wants to change schools to be with her friends. However, I can see how you're concerned about her academically and what her mind state would be like if these friendships were to fall apart.
Some things that might aid your decision:
- It might be an idea to meet these friends of hers to gauge whether you can see the friendships lasting or not.
- See what your daughter might be interested in doing after high-school. Does she want to attend university? How important are her grades for her future goal (if she has one)?
- If you haven't done so already, it might be a good idea to book in a psychologist appointment for your daughter. That way the psychologist can give you their opinion on the situation, but also support your daughter with her depression.
It's hard as a parent/adult, because we know that friendships can be fleeting, particularly in adolescence. We've been there before and we've seen how friendships come and go. Unfortunately however, when you're an adolescent, friendships are so important, and "fitting in" is so important, and I can understand why your daughter might be prioritizing that over her schooling. Therefore, it might be hard to reason with her about staying at the independent school, and a professional might be able to help you navigate this situation with her.
A really good, free, resource for parents is Parentline. They offer free and confidential counselling and support to parents on any parenting issues they may be facing. The number for Parentline differs per state. If you're interested in calling them, then scroll to the bottom of this page to see which number to call.
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