Daughter 9 yo with social/emotional difficulties - switch schools?

Jennifer - posted on 06/03/2018 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I need advice for those of you with imperfect kids, and ones that have mild behavioral issues.

My daughter has worsening ADD that we've been trying to get a handle on over the past year or so. We thought it was a bunch of other things, she worsened in treatments and now we're finally on what I think is the right track.

This manifests in mood swings and difficulty maintaining friendships. As a result, kids generally exclude her, which makes her even more angry, which pushes more kids away, and so on in this horrible spiral.

So she's got two issues to resolve - one is a ton of social growth, but another is trying to convince a bunch of kids to give her another chance that don't seem to want to. I don't know if she can do the first one in the negative environment that she is in now (she gets very little help from school even though we are in a top-rated school).

So, my question is...would I be helping or hurting by sending her to a smaller, private school to give her a fresh start? It pains me to see how miserable she is, and I don't see how she is going to improve her behavior or self esteem when she is surrounded by kids that want nothing to do with her. I also think a smaller school may be less stressful, but of course kids gossip even more in such a setting so one minor misstep could repeat the cycle, right? I know we have a ton of work to do, I just don't know if removing her from such a toxic environment is helping, or hurting by teaching her to run from her (massive) problems. Ultimately I'd love to return her to public in middle school once she's made enough progress, if that is what she wants. For what it's worth, she has neighborhood friends (younger or in private school) but seems incapable of navigating 3rd grade cliques.

We tried therapy and didn't find it very helpful. So we're at the end of our rope here. If she were older, I would even be worried about self harm. She's that miserable (and yes, we tried meds for that, too).

Advice? Has anyone successfully navigated a similar situation? TIA.

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