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School refusal
11 year old suddenly refusing school for 4 weeks

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#1 Sparkles1013

Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:56 PM

For various reasons by 11 year old daughter has developed some anxiety - there has been a death in the family and a new baby addition to the family. This anxiety has led to severe school refusal - where I sometimes cant even get her in the car to go.
We are seeing a psychologist, GP and paediatrician and the school is very supportive and helpful  -however I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and overcome it or has advice?

#2 mumofsky

Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

It sounds like she's feeling insecure because of all the change, so she's clinging to you, wanting to be with you and scared of what might happen while she's away.

I am a bit of a soft touch, so if I wasn't working I'd maybe give her a week at home if the refusal was severe enough - and just try to let her breathe and relax a bit - do some relaxation stuff, chill her out. However this could go the other way - she might hate the idea of going back.

Is she worried you're going to die? Was she close to the family member who passed away? Was it sudden or expected? Has the new baby impacted her life and routine?

If the new baby is in her immediate family this is totally, totally expected. Mum's at home giving all of her attention to someone else. Is she getting enough special/quality time alone with you outside of school?

Maybe you could try some rewards for attending without issues, such as special things you can do together - eg if there aren't any problems on Monday morning you'll make a cake together Monday night, or get a DVD to watch just the two of you...

#3 Sparkles1013

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

Thats the thing - she has been getting plenty of attention prior to the baby and after bubs came along - now she just gets anxious even at the mention of going to school. This week her class are all on camp and she didn't go :'( and wont even leave her bedroom if I mention school. We know how it started and why - we are seeking professional help - I am just hoping there is someone else out there who has been through or is going through the same thing.

#4 caitiri

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:55 PM

I had issues going to school from around age 11, I missed at least 50% probably more like 70% of secondary school .  I have two degrees now if that helps reassure you at all.  

Going back was one of the hardest bits because you have missed out on so much  you become a bit of a fringe dweller after long absences.  It was incredibly hard on my mother

#5 kadoodle

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

I went through this earlier in the year with my 10yr old DD1.  She's still a very anxious, nervy girl with frequent bouts of not wanting to go to school, but firm, gentle treatment, lots of scaffolding by me and the school and some professional help from a psychologist specialising in girls had made a big difference.

It's hard going at times and the urge to just manhandle them off to class can be strong.  It's so frustrating when I have to get her there and she's dragging her feet, refusing to get out of bed or inventing illnesses.  I hope it'll get better before high school.

#6 Sparkles1013

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:42 PM

So nice to hear I'm not alone! In the past 4 weeks she has been to school for only 2 full days - both of which were spent in an office with a social welfare coordinator. She has ventured to class - with said coordinator - for maybe 10 minutes or so and the teacher sends her friends up to the office to do some school work with her too. After a full day at school - she meets me at the office with her friends in tow - excited for the next day.....until morning hits and then she refuses to get out of bed. Sometimes I can get her to school - and she might make it to recess or lunch - other days I just cant get her out the door or out of the car.
She's too big to physically drag in to class so when she says "Im not going!" - what do I do? I have tried rewards etc. I'll keep perservering with the professionals and hopefully we can have it sorted before the start of Grade 6!

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