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Dd15 refusing to go to school

(24 Posts)
BlueFacedWarbler Mon 01-Dec-14 11:28:54

Dd15 has started refusing to go to school in the last few weeks. She has heart palpitations, chest pains and has started self harming (doctor has eliminated heart problems and says they are most likely caused by anxiety). School have been really supportive and agreed she can go to the library instead of problem lessons, but she still gets in a state about going. She's seeing a counsellor and that is helping a bit. I'm a bit stumped because in all the things I've read about kids of this age wanting to leave school it's usually because education isn't for them. Dd wants very much to go to do A levels at the college. Anyone had similar experiences, and how did you cope?

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 01-Dec-14 11:29:53

is she being bullied?

BlueFacedWarbler Mon 01-Dec-14 11:36:00

No, and she has a nice set of friends.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 01-Dec-14 11:41:41

are you sure though?

BlueFacedWarbler Mon 01-Dec-14 11:58:18

Well, as sure as I possibly can be. There doesn't seem to be any obvious pattern to any of it, and she knows me well enough to know that if she was being bullied I wouldn't just storm in and tell school. She has talked to me lots about previous friendship problems, so like I say, I'm as sure as you can ever be.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 01-Dec-14 12:00:54

I would wonder what is making her so anxious then...
I am finding it v hard to get my dd16 into school these days I must say.
Perhaps by this age they are just getting fed up of school life.....if she could just hang in there until college....

Angelto5 Mon 01-Dec-14 12:02:40

Is she in yr11?
Pressure of exams?

TheReluctantCountess Mon 01-Dec-14 12:05:44

You could contact an organisation called Young Minds for help. They were very helpful when I had a student who was struggling last year.
You need to act fast - the more school missed, the greater the damage.
Is there a member of staff at school that she feels comfortable with?

juliascurr Mon 01-Dec-14 12:16:58

problems on the bus?

BlueFacedWarbler Mon 01-Dec-14 15:00:10

I take her to school so it's not bus problems. It is her gcse year, and we did think it could be pressure of work so had a meeting at school where they agreed she could skip lessons she couldn't face and study in the library instead, but even with that she doesn't want to go. I have spoken to young minds and they were supportive but didn't have much advice for me. I know it varies for each individual so it's hard to give advice. I just feel like we're a bit lost at the moment, and of course, exams aren't that far away.

BlueFacedWarbler Mon 01-Dec-14 15:01:42

She is very reluctant to talk to anyone about it. If asked by staff she just says she's ok, and then has a meltdown at home and hurts herself.

Angelto5 Mon 01-Dec-14 17:21:46

Any chance of her friends telling you if they know anything?

Jayne131 Mon 01-Dec-14 20:18:39

Similar thing is happening with my DS just before he went back in sep he said how much he had enjoyed secondary school now he's in year 11 that has drastically changed. He's only had 2 full weeks in school all term. Chest pains side pains breathing difficulties have lost count of the number of ae visits. He's seen a consultant and had cameras put everywhere and biopsys total of 5 ECG. Found nothing! School are trying their best but even they ate getting fed up he can go to a class on his own if not feeling up to it but today again demanded to come home and tried to leave. He's not being bullied but now says he hates school and doesn't want to be there. He doesn't seem to understand he won't get on to 6 form at this rate. This is making me sick and he just doesn't seem to care. Not sure where our lovely son has gone. Sorry not answered you question but it helps to know we are not alone

bigTillyMint Mon 01-Dec-14 21:41:03

I think your teens are not telling you the whole truth. When DD was being bullied, her behaviour/well being changed dramatically but it took an age for her to really explain how badly what was happening was affecting her. And then an age for us to put her back together (with lots of help)

You need to get to the bottom of what is causing these problems. Is there another family member/friend who they would talk to who has lots of time to listen and wheedle it our of them?

BlueFacedWarbler Mon 01-Dec-14 21:49:50

Her behaviour is mostly fine. She does several after school activities and goes out happily with friends. It just seems to be school that she hates. And when I've managed to get her there for third period she will stay for lunch, which I really can't see her doing if she was being bullied. And she's adamant that she's not going to the school sixth form, because she says they treat them like kids still. Is it possible she's just outgrown school? I'm hoping college's more free and easy style might suit her better.

Angelto5 Mon 01-Dec-14 22:33:04

Has she visited any colleges/open days? Does she know what course she wants to do?

BlueFacedWarbler Tue 02-Dec-14 07:12:49

Yes, we've looked at several and she's even done the applications. She wants to do three A levels.

bigTillyMint Tue 02-Dec-14 07:18:33

When DD was being bullied, she didn't once try to stay off school. She also had/has some really lovely close friends and also went to after-school stuff... And by her behaviour changing, I don't mean that she started behaving badly, it was that she became withdrawn, over-reacting, basically unhappy.

Maybe she has just outgrown the school. It's great that she's done the applications for sixthform colleges. She/you just need to get through the rest of the year!

fuctifino Tue 02-Dec-14 07:33:39

As she's in yr11, I assume she'll be leaving early for study leave.
Would it help to make a new timetable for her? So rather than having May/June in her mind, she'll have say 20 lessons of whatever left? That will make the end seem more real than a date that is months away.
Also, is it the crowded corridors that may make her anxious? If so, school could allow her to leave lessons a little early maybe?
The end really is nigh, but she must know she needs to complete this step to go on to college.
I wish you every luck in getting through these next few months, it must be incredibly frustrating for you.
One more thing. Have you asked school to send work home for her to do?

Vanillepudding Tue 02-Dec-14 09:56:36

I think it is a very common thing in year 11. I know 5 children (4 friends' dc and my own DD) who have issues in year 11.

It may be a mix of several things, pressure because of gcse, peer problems, identity crisis, first boyfriend/girlfriend issues and anxieties, fear of not doing well, general brain-restructuring issues which make them confused/reckless about almost anything, etc.

I wish you a lot of patience, I certainly had to watch what I was saying and also let go a bit.

Was hard when DD locked herself in because she didn't want to go to school, but it only happened once - so far.

They are making crucial decisions about their future (e.g. choosing A level subject which influence uni courses) and are a bit scared.

I calmed down a lot and have put the responsibility into my DD's hands. Of course I am here for her, and she can rely on me for help, but she has to go to school, I can't make her. She'll be 16 soon, I was very independent at that age, have to remember that.

BlueFacedWarbler Tue 02-Dec-14 10:57:30

I'm trying to do similarly, and just be as supportive as possible, but it is really stressful!

Vanillepudding Tue 02-Dec-14 12:39:08

Oh yes, stress levels are quite high here too. I sometimes laugh about the worries I had when they were younger. The stuff I used to stress about. Nothing compared to the disaster potential during teenage years. brew

Angelto5 Tue 02-Dec-14 14:34:43

Same here ds has mocks next week & thankfully the school are pretty good. They had a workshop where they helped the kids with relaxation techniques , memory tricks & revision tips.
Hopefully they will help.

BlueFacedWarbler Wed 03-Dec-14 10:16:55

Yes, our school has been brilliant and I can't fault their support, which I know is quite rare. What I find hard is where to draw the line- when she needs me to be the firm mum who knows what's best for her and insists, and when to back off and allow her to make the decisions. Because I know she's 15 and well able to choose most things for herself, but at the same time, I think it can be too frightening if all the decisions are handed to you at that age. Some days I feel like I'm going to explode, it's so stressful!

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