Dad slammed for punishing daughter by cancelling therapy sessions

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto 

Being a teenager is no piece of cake, and acting emotional, angry or withdrawn may seem like 'typical teenager behaviour' but it's important to take mental health seriously.  

One father, however, has caused outrage by doing the exact opposite - cancelling his 14-year-old daughter's therapy sessions as a punishment for her bad grades at school.

And his decision has caused outrage on Reddit.

"My daughter has had anxiety problems ever since she was little, but it was not severe," he began.

"Three months ago, my daughter changed drastically. She stopped eating, talking to us or her friends and her marks dropped"

Explaining that he and his wife were very concerned, her teachers suggested they take her to therapy where she was diagnosed with severe depression and social anxiety.

"The therapy sessions look like they helped her well," the father wrote. "In the first month she already began making progress and started talking to us and her friends again and is eating whatever her mother is cooking"

But while the couple were thrilled to see her mental health improving, her marks at school were not.

"They are terrible, and she ended up barely passing the year," he said, explaining it "infuriated" him and was the catalyst for cancelling her therapy sessions.

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His daughter was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety

His daughter was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety Photo: Getty Images

"I know to some it might sound terrible, but paying $120 per session and seeing no progress in her marks makes me feel like I am seriously wasting my money" he complained. 

The father then commented that his daughter enjoys going to therapy, so he figured that telling her she needs to get higher marks to continue her sessions will motivate her to study harder.

However, his wife (and Reddit users) disagreed with his logic.

"We had a massive argument because of it which ended up with her saying that she is going to pay from 'her money' which hurt me since I see my and her money as ours" he admitted.

"My daughter is also really upset at me and was begging me to keep her therapy sessions, but I think I am going to stick to this plan"

Unsurprisingly, no one was on board with his logic, calling him out for not taking his daughter's mental health issues seriously.

"I don't think you understand how depression works. It sounds like all you care about are her grades, and not that she gets to a better place mentally"

"If your child breaks a leg, and it starts to heal with a cast, you don't take the cast off and say everything's improving," an angry commenter said. "Then on top of that, you're going to use that as a PUNISHMENT?! Imagine threatening to take off a cast because of bad grades"

One user put the situation very simply.

"Therapy isn't a reward. It's a necessity for some."

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact the Kids HelpLine at www.kidshelpline.com.au or phone 1800 55 1800