Hi. My daughter is 14. She is over-weight, beautiful, smart, and artistic. She just started 9th grade. During gym class a couple of kids were making fun of her. She began to make herself sick so she wouldn't have to go to school. After a couple of weeks we met with her guidance counselor and we were ready to go back...it never happened. I am not big on children taking medicine but her family physician convinced me and her to take an anti anxiety/depression med. We also have her going to a therapist. She seems to be getting better. The guidance counselor emailed me today and said we need to re-inroll her at school and"the courts may have to get involved". What does that mean? We cant home school her. My wife and I are at are wits end. We do not want to go to Jail or be in trouble with the law.Please Help. She has friends that she texts and talks to on the computer. I want to take them away but am afraid she will re-bell! Please give us some good advise . She is a great kid..she needs school. Thank you
We are sorry that your daughter has had to deal with bullying in school and is not wanting to go back. However, new legislation has passed which holds parents highly responsible for their children's school attendance. Don't worry too much about the court involvement at this point. Most likely if they find a parent negligent of keeping their child home from school they may face a fine.
Please follow through with re-enrolling your daughter in school as soon as possible. The school counselor has taken time to help her and if she refuses to attend then you should consider taking away her phone as a consequence.
Try to help your daughter to stand up for herself, and not continue to see herself as a victim. If medications help her to deal with depression and anxiety that is OK, she may not have to stay on them forever. Also make sure she is getting therapy. The most effective treatment for depression and anxiety is both therapy and medication. The therapist can help her with confidence and self esteem. If the school counselor is already helping her then that may be enough, but if not she should be talking to someone.
Please give your daughter our website for teens: www.yourlifeyourvoice.org On our website she will read others kids comments, stories and poetry. There is also the opportunity for her to e-mail a counselor. She can also call our Hotline and speak directly with a counselor. And, you as a parent can also call us. We are here 24 hours, 7 days a week for parents and teens.
Take care and best wishes to you and your daughter. Please let us know if we can help you again.
Boys Town National Hotline
There seems to be social-anxiety or peer-pressure issues. If home school is not an option, you can see if there is an e-school offered by your school district or state. If she is more comfortable in the cyber social setting then she may respond favorably to e-school as well. This way the law is satisfied and you will be too.
My son who is 12 is attending a private school. It happens everywhere. He doesn't want to go to his school next year. The principals, etc back up the teachers, nurses etc. They do have virtual online schooling also. I would ask the guidance counselor what she meant about the courts. If it is for bullying, depression, etc.. Get your doctors note also...And keep good records of notification to the school about your daughter's condition. The bullying, teasing, notification... Also I am going to enroll my son in a martial arts class for self confidence. And to have other friends to get out and do stuff with.. Instead of staying indoors.
You wont go to jail, she has just missed so much school that she is probably being charged with truancy, which, depending on how many days she has missed is just a fine and then a plan worked out with a judge on how she is going to be attending school and how she will be punished if she isn't in school. She may be mad at you for a while but you have to get her to go back to school because you wont do her any good if you let her sit at home. We all have our own hardships that we have to deal with and if she doesn't learn to deal with them know in the safe environment provided for her she is gonna have a hard time when she grows up and moves away. Because these things don't stop once you move away and grow up we just grow more resilient, its not right she has to deal with these bullies but in the end it will make her stronger.
I know as a teen, I had awful, awful, undiagnosed social -anxiety . and at school, gym especially put my nerves on end. I refused to do gym , and got through graduating by writing reports on each subject. So, I think getting an evaluation , and possibly meds, could be the best thing for her . Shes trying to tell you " She needs HELP", AND HER WAY IS REFUSING TO GO TO SCHOOL. Get on her level, asks her what the main problems are and how she thinks maybe she could help make it better. Listen to her suggestions. Maybe an all girl school, or just class (if possible), putting her in more appropriate classes for her needs, taking the ones away that cause her stress, for now, until the schools can find a way to accomodate her. She deserves help and support. You cant just say " you have to go , and thats that, suck it up ", that shows you do not care about her feelings. Get to the bottom of the anxiety, treat it, and go from there , blessings :)