16 Year old daughter refuses to go to school

Sophie - posted on 09/08/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )




Hi, im new to COM. This is my first post. Im a single (divorced 5 years) mother of 2. My daughter turned 16 eariler this summer. I am aware there are a few similarly titled subjects here- but I didn't know where to start.

Last year, her Sophomore year, became increasingly difficult. Prior to that she had steadily been a decent student. Until, I'd say, 9th grade she "liked school". She liked the teachers and has always had friends etc. She even liked taking the bus. In 10th grade she was, briefly, student counsel president. That year though, she began to accur absences. It started with extreme difficulty getting up in the morning. She complained of headaches. I took her to the doctor many times. Shes has had a few medical tests looking for medical issues. They came back clear. As the school year progressed she had acquired so many absences that she was told she had to step down from the student counsel until she brought her grades back up. This of course was disappointing to her and she just seemed to withdraw further. She did, for a time make an effort to get to classes and bring the grades up. But, she no longer had intrest in student counsel or much else related to the school except going to her classes and seeing friends when she can.
Towards the end of that Spring term she was not going to her eariker classes. Mostly just going in late missing usually the first 4 classes. Of course I've tried everything I could think of. I told her school counselor what was going on. We even had,a meeting with one of the assistant principal. The meetings felt productive and they counselor and AP were kind and hekoful. Additionally, I got her pediatric Dr involved. She even met with a psychologist who is at the Dr's office a couple of times a month. We met with these specialists together and I had her go in alone as well. Hoping that might help. Everyone who meets her sees a bright engaging smart girl. It's been a mystery to them as well as myself. As far as I know, there's no bullying involved. She has friends. Though the majority of them are in excellerated classes. So last year her schedule did not sync with theirs at all. Basically she ended up failing 3 classes and took summer school for two of them just this past summer.
Her counselor went to great lengths to set her schedule this year. She hasaid a couple of classes with friends. she has one of her best friends in her lunch period. She was happy with her schedule for this year. Yesterday was the first day of school and she did not go. She complained of a headache and swore she'd go tomorrow(that's today). She even asked to do a little shopping for school yesterday. I took her. She packed her bag lastnight for school etc. She does seem to truly intend "to go" when planning for it. But, this morning cane and she did not get out of bed.

I'm just done with this. There is no longer anything I can think of. I can't believe her when she says she's going to go. Regardless of how sincerely she states and believes it.

Also, I should mention, that at my request, the truant officer came to the house twice last year to talk to her and explain why its important for her to go. Again, he'd leave feeling satisfied that she understood. Then....same old.

I'm just completely at a loss. Taking her phone, ipad etc just does not do it.

Any advice here is welcome.
Thanks for listening


Susan - posted on 09/09/2016




My heart goes out to you. Actually, what you are experiencing sounds a bit what I have experienced with my daughter. She was upset and felt her friends were going places with their lives because they were taking the classes she wanted to take, but couldn't due to medical reasons. Like your daughter, she said she wanted to go to school, but come morning, said the she didn't feel good and wanted to stay home. I used alot of positive persuading and she told me that she felt like a loser and that her friends were having the life she wanted. We had a really long talk. It helped alot and she eventually did go back to school and is doing really well, but she still doubts herself every now and then and worries. So, I listen to her. You know, sometimes it helps just to listen to a child without giving back any judgement. At least this worked for us.

Hmmm....I was wondering, if there is someone you know in your family or a friend who can talk to your daughter to find out what is really wrong?

Sarah - posted on 09/08/2016




This is a complicated problem. For most posts like this, I my advice is you get the kid up, you put them in the car and physically force them to go. Or you enforce severe consequences until the behavior improves. Since you have made efforts to fix this issue, and she seems to want to go to school and understands the importance there must be an underlying cause for her change of heart. Do you think when she readies her backpack and tells you she will go the next day; she is just saying it to appeases you and has no intention of attending? Does she have an anxiety or panic disorder? Is she depressed? Have you considered online schooling or even a residential school?


View replies by

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms