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tahoeluke
tahoeluke asks:
Q:

What to do when daughter is teased at school and has no friends?

Our daughter, who is an excellent student and very pretty, has asked to be able to take her senior year next year online, instead of having to deal with being a social outcast, awkward and lonely.  We had her take her second semester of her freshman year online through K12 (we took an extended overseas trip) and she did fairly well, but I'm concerned colleges may question why she is not in traditional school next year and discount her academic qualifications as a result.  She's not the most empathetic child (never has been) and doesn't often help herself socially.  Because she's often been teased, ridiculed or excluded by her peers, she's very reluctant to reach out to anyone, anymore.  We recognize that being able to get along with others is at least as important to success and happiness as getting good grades but, at this stage, we're not sure how to help her. Any suggestions?
In Topics: Teen issues, Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Apr 25, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

It's a very difficult situation.  If you allow her to do online classes, the benefits are that she will be happier, likely perform better because of this, and she will be easier to deal with in day to day life.  However, in choosing this you also will allow her to continue to be isolated and there are concerns about how it will be percieved by colleges.  On the other hand if you let her go to school, she will be unhappy and possibly resentful.  It may also affect her grades and overall well being.  But it will force her to continue to learn how to deal with others and give her a normalized experience for colleges to view.  Each option has benefits and drawbacks.  

Right now we think it will be important for you as parents to use good judgement as to what you think her reaction would be to each situation.  If you think that forcing her to go to school would shut her down and cause significant problems with her everyday functioning, than it may not be worth it.  If, however, you think that she will be able to get through the school year okay and develop skills along the way than maybe you go that route.  Think about your daughter's reactions in each situation and make a choice knowing that you can change you mind at anytime.  It may slow the process down and it may delay some life goals, but that is okay.  There is no right or wrong answer in this situation, so weigh your options and judge which factors you believe are most important and then make a decision.  It can also help find ways to evaluate whether it is the right decision by checking in periodically and planning on how you will proceed if things fall apart.  

We wish you luck and if you would like to speak further, please call our hotline!  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Counselor, Dominic
Boys Town National Hotline-A Resource for Parents and Teens
1-800-448-3000
www.parenting.org

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