Teenager not going to school - I feel so powerless

(15 Posts)
trenance Thu 21-Mar-13 11:27:04

Hi - first time on here and feeling desperate so here goes.
In a nutshell - DD has been refusing to go to school because of how she looks.We've had almost hysteria with her saying her makeup is wrong and it makes her feel sick to look in the mirror ( her words).She has mild acne - so I took her to drs for treatment - she has also started seeing a counsellor to try to help with overcoming the issue with self-esteem.School is trying to be supportive - but she's now missed around 3 weeks in total - in the last 5 weeks.She has a party coming up (Sat)that she wants to go to - a boy she's trying to impress - I had told her she could go if she went to school all week.This week she went in Monday and then an hour on Tuesday - so I have said she cannot go to the party - she's told me that I am punishing her for something she cannot help,she wants to see her friends so why can't she go to the party.AIBU?

moonabove Thu 21-Mar-13 20:23:16

It must be very stressful for you - how old is your dd?

It's great that she's getting sympathetic help and the school is supportive but she musn't take advantage of that to write her own script on when she will and won't attend.

Having said that, I think perhaps it wasn't a good idea to use the party as an incentive for attending school - it's been accepted that she has a genuine problem so that kind of approach probably isn't constructive.

Hope someone more experienced will be along with advice soon, good luck.

rubyrubyruby Thu 21-Mar-13 20:28:19

I sympathise - I really do and have no answers but I would let her go to the party. I'm now going to quote my favourite parenting tip on MN again

' often, a child needs our love and support most, when they deserve it least'

Timetoask Thu 21-Mar-13 20:31:51

It appears strange that she doesn't want to go to school, but doesn't mind showing up at the party. Isn't it much more stressful at parties with regards for physical appearance?

fatfingers Thu 21-Mar-13 20:33:25

I don't think YABU to ban her from the party because that was the threat so imo you have to carry it through. However it doesn't sound like her school refusal is solely about low self-esteem if she is happy to go out socially. Is she being bullied about her appearance at school? Is she being supported by a mentor in school to try and get to the bottom of why she is school refusing? Has a referral been made to an Education Welfare Officer yet?

mindfulmum Thu 21-Mar-13 21:42:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

watchingout Fri 22-Mar-13 08:04:41

Quick ha'porth worth... How about taking her for makeup advice on Saturday to one of the department store lovelies? Or having a pamper day /evening at home, maybe with a makeup savvy older niece or similar? In place of the party, cos she never kept her side, but still giving constructive help re the self image

rubyrubyruby Fri 22-Mar-13 08:14:48

Just because you used the party as a threat does not mean you have to carry it through.

rubyrubyruby Fri 22-Mar-13 08:18:17

Just a though. How well do you know her friends or their parents?

Is it possible that you could ask them to encourage her to go to school? If she went to the party perhaps they could talk about what they've been up to and she may feel she's missing out. Maybe an encouraging text? Or a suggestion that one of them knocks for her or arranges to meet her somewhere and they can walk to school together?

Areyoumadorisitme Fri 22-Mar-13 08:20:03

Love the quote rubyrubyruby. It is very apt and one to bear in mind.

trenance Fri 22-Mar-13 13:29:16

Hi,
thanks everyone for your comments.DD is 15 ,in year 10 so quite an important time.Last night she let slip that she would charge her mp3 player while we ( my husband and I ) were out - implication being that she had no real intention of going to school.Again this morning - initially she said she'd go in at break,then 15 mins before leaving - she said she couldn't go in as makeup had gone horribly wrong.(her words)
all I can say is that whatever I seem to say or do is not right - and some part of me does feel she is calling the shots when she's watching TV all day...

Tortington Fri 22-Mar-13 13:34:35

I would take the fuses out of the fuse box and take all equipment such as phone/ipod etc.

if the decision is that she isn't going to school - then she does the work at home

BUT SHE DOES THE WORK.

You aren't doing her any favours. It's rather like being on long trem sick from work - everyone dreads going back - but they get over it.

NO SCHOOL =no friends, no music player, no phone.

School = friends, music player, phone.

if I could have stayed at home all day listening to music and daydreaming about adam ant, I would have done because school was a hideous place for me. but I couldn't

I'd kick her arse out the house and tell her its hard shit

moonabove Fri 22-Mar-13 16:02:36

Agree with mindful that she should use her time at home to keep up with her schoolwork and hopefully the school will help with this. If she falls behind at this point she's going to make life very hard for herself (not to mention you!).

Make up a timetable for the day to mirror what she would be doing in school. Are you around in the daytime to supervise her? If not, can someone else come in to do it?

I think we all know the pressure on teens to look 'right', some deal with it better than others and hopefully the counselling will help. I wonder if it would also help for her to see some of the programmes Katie Piper made for channel 4 it might give her a bit of perspective on things.

specialsubject Fri 22-Mar-13 20:34:15

won't go to school, but will go to a party?

I detect some chain-yanking here.... what is REALLY going on?

flow4 Fri 22-Mar-13 21:10:55

I don't think this is really about looks/appearance trenance. It makes no sense for her to be refusing to go to school but happy to go to a party. I think there must be something else going on, and she's giving you 'looks' as an excuse, perhaps because you've accepted that excuse and been sympathetic about it in the past...

You need to work out whether there really is some other problem that is making her unhappy at school, or whether she's taking the mick. I can't tell from the info here...

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