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Stella M
08-01-2012, 10:18 PM
Here's the deal.

Dd13 wanted to attend school; after many discussions we allowed her to. Her reasons were sound.

Issues at school have triggered off her anxiety/perfectionism to an extent that disrupts the rest of the family, including siblings.

She is getting CBT to help over the long term with both. School has helped as much as it is able, which is not much.

She swears blind she does NOT want to home school again.

Bringing her home will cause problems. Disruption to siblings, plus she doesn't want to come home. She doesn't want me to school her. Homeschooling two is significantly easier and allows me to focus on my dd14. Plus, she doesn't want to come home...

Leaving her at school without seeing some significant improvements in her coping ability soon - and we haven't seen any in over 3 months - will cause problems.

Taking her out of school will reinforce that she can't cope and feed into the perfectionism/anxiety.

Besides giving her away, and I'm only sort of joking, I can't think of any good options.

If this was your teen, what would you do ? Besides go back in time and refuse to let her school, of course!

farrarwilliams
08-01-2012, 10:36 PM
Hugs. My own knee-jerk reaction is ultimatums, even if given in a less ultimatum-y fashion - these specific things have to change or you have to come back home. But I don't have teen kids yet and have learned that that's not the best way to deal with anxiety-ridden kids. I feel like I face this very thing on a micro-scale with Mushroom all the time. If you get some bigger kid wisdom, please share it!

Deli76
08-01-2012, 10:45 PM
If I may ask, what kind of disruptions? You dont have to answer. Maybe she is trying to find her own way? Is she independant? Maybe it will be good for her to realize that perfectionism means something different for everyone,and she can learn what it means for her. She is a teen. She is feeling out the world. Her hormones are raging. She doesnt know if she is coming or going. She doesnt know what to think or feel. Maybe there is something she is searching for and needs to find it. Being a teen as we all know, is not easy. Finding your place in the world has to be THE most hardest. Ds is in one of the most biggest districts here, and trying to get the schools help on anything is just rediculous and takes forever and a day. Thankfully he will be a junior this coming year. He is almost done. But the school systems have gotten much worse, comparing ds kinder to dd's kinder, 9 yr difference. Big reason why dd is being homeschooled. Keep an eye on her, keep an open line of commmunication, and try to be objective when she does come to you. Sometimes ds comes to me and my first reaction is to blow up, but i have to take a deep breath and remind myself that I was MUCH wilder than he was, and just talk. Its so difficult, but you will get thru it. I havent had any experience with a hs'er wanting to go back to school, but hopefully some of my ideas will help. I wish you the best.

dbmamaz
08-01-2012, 10:51 PM
No advice here. My daughter made everyone's life hell for several years. Its better now .. .

Stella M
08-01-2012, 10:53 PM
Farrar, never ever let Muhroom go to school. Not even if he begs you.

Deli, thanks for the input.

Disruption - drama and tears every morning, refusing to go to school quite often, multiple meetings with school, too tired to engage with sibs or do a fair share of the household chores, taking up our time, emotional energy and money to an extent where there isn't enough of any of those things for the other two sibs.

I guess I am unsure when to pull the plug.

Stuck between two camps - mainstream says let her stay in school and battle it out because it's important she learns how to deal with, um, school anxiety.

Homeschoolers say bring her home, you as the parent make the decision.

I think school is stupid and also think it prepares you for nothing but dealing with school, BUT I also think it isn't as simple as parent makes the decision, especially for teens.

Stella M
08-01-2012, 10:54 PM
No advice here. My daughter made everyone's life hell for several years. Its better now .. .

Yeah, but how did you survive it ? I am serious, I can take maybe one more day before I explode and/or run away with the other two kids.

dbmamaz
08-01-2012, 11:08 PM
we really didnt talk much. she kept begging to have her pc in her room, so she could hole up there and never see us, and we kept refusing, until she started community college and we got her a laptop so she could take notes and stuff. since then she would pretty much only come down for dinner.

I did have to wake her up still, sometimes, and it was always a horrible experience. She made a point of blaming me for everything and taking every opportunity to be mean to us. I used to say it seemed like she left her room only to eat and be cruel to her brother (especially him). She came swinging at me once. She was going to move in with my mom for a while, but my mom backed out, and then she was suicidal as in i drove her to the hospital in the middle of the night. and througout it all she kept telling me i was a lousy mom who didnt love her . . .

it was just awful and I just took it, idk. It helped that my husband would kinda crack jokes about her - to make me feel better. at one point i went to a therapist for me who basically assured me I was a good mother, and that this was within the normal range for teens. She was also in therapy for several years. Of course, the first therapist happily blamed everything on me, and my daughter bragged to me that she had the therapist believing lies . . .

people kept telling me not to take it personally, but i couldnt figure out how. I finally got there, but then she felt i didnt care because i wouldnt engage in arguments with her.

she has many fewer chores than the boys do, she gets to opt out of family activities . . and honestly i'm not always sure that was the right choice, but i didnt see another path at the time. I needed space from her.

I have to say tho . . . if she is refusing to go to school in the morning, that would be it for me - either you go to school willingly or you are homeschooled. You cant play both sides of that fence. My daughter was actually pretty responsible about getting her work done, moreso once she was in community college, though.

Ok, one last thing - at one point I remember reading that, if your teen daughter is driving you crazy, she is probably depressed. I wasnt sure what to do with that, but it probably was true. I saw another article about greeting every negative with love, making sure that they know you are loving them when they are at their worst. i was not able to do that.

but i guess i wonder if things would really be easier if you forced her to homeschool? or if she's just being a difficult teen and would be either way?

Stella M
08-01-2012, 11:37 PM
I have a lot of trouble with the idea of forcing kids to do anything, through having been forced to stay at school by my parents. Ironic, huh ?>

Anyone who is comfortable with this idea of forcing - how did you get comfortable with that ?

Probably depressed - yes, because she is at school and school sucks for smart, sensitive girls. Why the heck she wants to be there I have no idea.

Get therapy for self. I am thinking at this stage that alcohol is more of an answer. Cheaper.

farrarwilliams
08-01-2012, 11:42 PM
The thing I hate about situations like this is that either way, the child is forcing you into a place you're not comfortable - either you have to force her to go to school and deal with the anxiety or you have to force her to stay home. Both are battles. I always want to find a third way in situations like this... an out of the box solution. But sometimes I don't succeed.

Stella M
08-01-2012, 11:45 PM
Yes, I am looking for the third solution and not finding it.

I guess the third solution is to be patient and endure until she works it all out, but frankly, I'm done. Not a drop of patience left in me.

farrarwilliams
08-01-2012, 11:48 PM
I don't mind strong-arming a kid for some things - safety things, things where I'm 99% sure it's best for the kid and the universe. It took me years of dealing with difficult kids in school to feel comfortable with it, but I learned to get there by seeing that I needed to be comfortable winning a battle of wills with a child in order to get to deal with the really important stuff instead of the nonsense stuff.

I try not to strong-arm kids in regards to things I'm less sure about - like this - and when I have out of frustration, I always lose. It serves me right too.

lynne
08-01-2012, 11:52 PM
How was her anxiety when she was homeschooled? If school is causing it, I think I would pull her back out.

I've often wondered if my kids would ever be able to go back to school since it's so relaxed here. To put them back in school and have the stressful rushing around in the mornings again and the homework stress in the evenings would be so overwhelming to them.

Maybe if you take her out and homeschool again, the anxiety would naturally diminish and there wouldn't be the household stress that you're describing?

Stella M
08-02-2012, 12:04 AM
She still deals with anxiety at home.

It's just easier to deal with without school, kwim ?

Maybe school is brainwashing me. I feel like taking her out is letting her avoid her problems, not solving them.

I don't know how to make home school an attractive option either. It's not like we can go and homeschool around Europe or something.

lynne
08-02-2012, 12:14 AM
It does sound like a difficult decision. I'm not really sure what I would do. I was always a pretty anxious kid and school stressed me out quite a bit. I think I would have liked the option to homeschool but it wasn't there so I dealt with school the best I could.

lakshmi
08-02-2012, 12:33 AM
She still deals with anxiety at home.

It's just easier to deal with without school, kwim ?

Maybe school is brainwashing me. I feel like taking her out is letting her avoid her problems, not solving them.

I don't know how to make home school an attractive option either. It's not like we can go and homeschool around Europe or something.



What would she be like without YOU and DAd around? You could send her somewhere? For realz... maybe an exchange of some sort.. And she could work to raise the money.

I disagree with ultimatums they never seem to work for me.

If it is depression, masking itself as anxiety, then would school be triggering it or something else? and it just looks like it is school.....

.

farrarwilliams
08-02-2012, 12:37 AM
It's true... boarding school is oddly good for some teens. I'm guessing it's way out of the budget though.

Stella M
08-02-2012, 01:37 AM
Yes. Way out.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
08-02-2012, 09:24 AM
I don't have a teen, but you have my sympathy. My son is driving the whole family up the wall right now. My daughter took me aside last night and suggested (seriously!) that we trade him in for a different kid. If there were a school situation that would work for him, I think I would gladly take it right now. But being home is the best choice for him, so we have to make the best of it.

My only idea is to "think outside the box" as Farrar said. Can she be homeschooled using classes outside the home (coops, reading/writing groups, etc.) so that you aren't doing the actual teaching? Is there some sort of alternative school, like a Sudbury Valley school, around?

Pefa
08-02-2012, 10:14 AM
Stella - you will both survive. FD had blue ugly dreadlocks (I think of them as white girl dreads not the cool I took trouble over these but just the I refused to brush my hair mess) and was really really hard on everybody around her. We got through it.

I'll post something more specific when I'm not running late for fourteen different things. You and she are creating the adult she will be, it's not a pretty process, but the end result will be worth it.

Isabel
08-02-2012, 10:33 AM
Have you seen the Teenage Liberation Handbook? In case you haven't read it, it's not radical in the way it sounds - teens are advised to listen to their parents' advice - it's more about them investigating the options and taking responsibility.
Maybe you and Arwen could read it together and then you could encourage her to be in charge of her education (with you as guide and facilitator).

ginnyjf
08-02-2012, 11:46 AM
Ugh, Stella, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. You're in a no-win situation: Either she stays in school and struggles with school anxiety and you have to cope with the daily trauma of trying to get her happy little butt there every morning or she comes back home and everything will be mean ol' mum's fault because you didn't let her stay in school.

At this point, I would say your mental and physical health trumps everything else, even though you want her to have some autonomy. Choose which path is going to cause you the least anxiety/trouble/stress and go with that. I wish there were a third option for you, say a long kids-free vacation somewhere. *hugs*

PrairiePoppins
08-02-2012, 11:50 AM
I really liked the book "Kids, Parents and Power Struggles" (http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Parents-Power-Struggles-Lifetime/dp/0060930438). It's written by the same author as "Raising Your Spirited Child".

I think my advice would be to have a brainstorming session. At a cafe so that no one shouts ;-) On a big sheet of paper, make lists of what works, what frustrates her, frustrates you, what you worry about, what she has on her mind, etc. A way to process what you see as the big issues and possible solutions. Maybe seeing it broken down in a classic Pros and Cons list will help her be more rational about this.

Sionnon
08-02-2012, 05:34 PM
I just wanted to voice my sympathy that you are going through this. My kids aren't teens...yet. But I worry about encountering much the same issues with my boys. Some good suggestions have been made, but I agree I don't know how you force a teen to step up and take some responsibility. Power struggles are the worst. I agree if she is choosing public school then she needs to GO to school. Taking her choice out on the family isn't acceptable, but I don't know how you fix it.

Mostly I just wanted to add my support and hope someone has a magic cure :)

Stella M
08-02-2012, 06:03 PM
Aw, thanks all. Virtual sympathy is good!

PrairiePoppins, that's a good idea. I'll try that on the weekend.

And check out the book.

lakshmi
08-02-2012, 06:19 PM
Stella - you will both survive. FD had blue ugly dreadlocks (I think of them as white girl dreads not the cool I took trouble over these but just the I refused to brush my hair mess) and was really really hard on everybody around her. We got through it.

I'll post something more specific when I'm not running late for fourteen different things. You and she are creating the adult she will be, it's not a pretty process, but the end result will be worth it.

Got the images... and you 'made it through....


Ugh, Stella, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. You're in a no-win situation: Either she stays in school and struggles with school anxiety and you have to cope with the daily trauma of trying to get her happy little butt there every morning or she comes back home and everything will be mean ol' mum's fault because you didn't let her stay in school.

At this point, I would say your mental and physical health trumps everything else, even though you want her to have some autonomy. Choose which path is going to cause you the least anxiety/trouble/stress and go with that. I wish there were a third option for you, say a long kids-free vacation somewhere. *hugs*


Agree with Ginnyjf


I really liked the book "Kids, Parents and Power Struggles" (http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Parents-Power-Struggles-Lifetime/dp/0060930438). It's written by the same author as "Raising Your Spirited Child".

I think my advice would be to have a brainstorming session. At a cafe so that no one shouts ;-) On a big sheet of paper, make lists of what works, what frustrates her, frustrates you, what you worry about, what she has on her mind, etc. A way to process what you see as the big issues and possible solutions. Maybe seeing it broken down in a classic Pros and Cons list will help her be more rational about this.

Going to read the book.. but would likely still shout in a cafe.. considering i shout all day long... no matter where I am. I blame it on genetics.. but not really sure where it came from.

Avalon
08-03-2012, 12:44 PM
Is it possible to take just a few classes at a school in your area? That could be the middle road between school and home that you're looking for. In high school here, you can arrange to have "spares" or take less than a full course-load. Considering her anxiety problem (which is certainly a medical issue), the school could accommodate her on a part-time basis?

I've never dealt with anything like anxiety, so I have no idea what that's like. In general, though, if I had a difficult, frustrating teenager who refused to stay home and insisted on going to school, then I would absolutely let her go. I would not stand in her way. On the other hand, if I thought that attending school would cause her harm (like if she was addicted to drugs and that's where the drug dealers are), then I would personally tie her to the bed and sit on her to prevent her from going.

I think you're kind of stuck because she doesn't want to stay home, but going to school IS causing her some harm, but it's not clear if staying home would actually solve it. It's like a real, honest-to-goodness dilemma.

Rainefox
08-03-2012, 09:58 PM
What about cyber school or a correspondence type school like the American School as an option? She can be at home, but YOU aren't her teacher.... Sometimes cyber school can be a little more flexible than b&m schools. I can sympathize with you and your daughter.....I have four adult girls (2 daughters and 2 step-daughters who lived with me in their teens) and I have pretty severe anxiety myself. If she is still insistent on attending public school I would be inclined in these circumstances to let her do that and I am no fan of b&m schools. I'm also no big fan of CBT.....does your daughter have a therapist apart from the CBT? Medications? And I do NOT mean sedatives or benzo-type drugs! I take an SSRI and buspar daily and that is very helpful.

Pefa
08-04-2012, 06:28 AM
Ok still nothing like an answer here but at least a few more words of encouragement. FD and I had a two hour drive to go pick up BOO at camp yesterday.

At one point she mentioned how frustrating it is to have all the people who knew her when she was at her worst look at her now and tell her "Wow, you were so awful then and so amazing now too bad you couldn't have just skipped that stage and gone straight to the amazing."

Her response is "Listen, I'm who I am now because of who I was then. You think I wouldn't have skipped it if I could have? For whatever reason I had to be that person then and I am lucky I had people around me who didn't like me, but they did love me and they had faith in me even when I didn't. Building blocks people, it's all building blocks."

dbmamaz
08-04-2012, 10:48 AM
I hope that my daughter some day appreciates what I didnt do during that time period . . . i remember hearing so many ppl saying 'oh, remember what you put YOUR mom through at that age' but i dont remember being like that . . . i mean, i purposefully failed my classes, but my mom and i had such a bad relationship, i wouldnt talk to her. in fact my sister actually pointed out to my daughter once . . . back when we were still talking to her . . . my daughter would complain to my sister about me not being loving enough, but that i'd offered to drive her to an informational session she was interested in . . . my sister pointed out to my daughter that our mom wouldnt even drive her to doctor's apts, let alone informational sessions,a nd she should take advantage of it. (i had to drive my sister to all her dr apts as soon as I could drive, so she would have been 14 then).

sorry . . rambling . . .

Stella M
08-04-2012, 06:34 PM
Adding 'building blocks' to my collection of stay-calm mantras!

Magnolia School
08-07-2012, 08:21 PM
Wow, I really feel for you and I couldn't imagine knowing what to do in that situation. My own kids are still much younger. It did occur to me though, that she may be caught between not liking school, but also wanting to be independent and not wanting to leave her friends. You telling her to stay home may be reason enough for her to refuse to do so, and staying home may represent a capitulation. I'm just thinking this because I was always incredibly stubborn myself and wouldn't give on things, even though I knew it would be to my benefit. Maybe to stay home would be sort-of a failure in her mind. Also, do you think maybe there is something going on at school that she hasn't told you about? I'm thinking bullying or some such here. Just throwing out thoughts which may or may not be helpful.

Ayem
08-08-2012, 02:22 AM
Farrar, never ever let Muhroom go to school. Not even if he begs you.
Disruption - drama and tears every morning, refusing to go to school quite often, multiple meetings with school, too tired to engage with sibs or do a fair share of the household chores, taking up our time, emotional energy and money to an extent where there isn't enough of any of those things for the other two sibs.

I guess I am unsure when to pull the plug.

Stuck between two camps - mainstream says let her stay in school and battle it out because it's important she learns how to deal with, um, school anxiety.

Homeschoolers say bring her home, you as the parent make the decision.

I think school is stupid and also think it prepares you for nothing but dealing with school, BUT I also think it isn't as simple as parent makes the decision, especially for teens.

Haven't read the whole thread yet, but this is where I'm at with my 14 yo. He's at school but I wish he wasn't and things are certainly a lot more peaceful without him at home. Yet he's happier at home and I'm happier when he's at home. He hates school, but he doesn't want to stop going.

Part of it is who he is and part of it is the culture of schools.

Sigh. No solutions, I am just going to be reading this one closely.

He's my first teen so I was wondering whether it was just me needing to learn to parent a teen. I don't know what's normal teen and what I should be worried about sometimes.

Stella M
08-08-2012, 03:36 AM
I think it's personalities, Ayem.

My first dd is happy at home and we have very little teen drama with her.

You have my sympathy :)

The last week things have smoothed out a lot; the psychologist and school are communicating and dd13 is getting herself up and off to school.

Maybe she knew I was all out of patience ?

Pefa
08-08-2012, 07:34 AM
I'm glad things are a bit smoother.

It is so tough because, in a situation like this, there are no right decisions and, as in all things parenting, there are no do-overs.

What does her therapist say? Is there a place for medication? It's tough to learn new behaviors when you're struggling physically. Physical therapist friends are always very clear when they work with new surgical patients that even if you aren't using any pain medication at home, you take your pain medication before therapy. I think brain stuff is similar.

What does the family as a whole say? Is there room for "equitable" which isn't the same as "even".

If you are out of patience that's ok too. Sometimes knowing you've pushed folks too far makes you focus on the situation rather than the drama which I think is helpful.

I wish I lived closer so I could make you a cup of tea, or offer your dd a bed to sleep in when everybody needed a break. I've always thought that the medieval practice of fostering teenagers was brilliant.

Stella M
08-08-2012, 05:51 PM
Fostering sounds good. But only for the difficult ones.

Neither psychologist nor GP will consider meds at this stage, and I'm OK with that.

Equitable but not even ? Hmm. that can be todays food for thought. Thanks Pefa.

Shoe
08-08-2012, 08:26 PM
Here's the deal.

Dd13 wanted to attend school; after many discussions we allowed her to. Her reasons were sound.

Issues at school have triggered off her anxiety/perfectionism to an extent that disrupts the rest of the family, including siblings.

She is getting CBT to help over the long term with both. School has helped as much as it is able, which is not much.

She swears blind she does NOT want to home school again.

Bringing her home will cause problems. Disruption to siblings, plus she doesn't want to come home. She doesn't want me to school her. Homeschooling two is significantly easier and allows me to focus on my dd14. Plus, she doesn't want to come home...

Leaving her at school without seeing some significant improvements in her coping ability soon - and we haven't seen any in over 3 months - will cause problems.

Taking her out of school will reinforce that she can't cope and feed into the perfectionism/anxiety.

Besides giving her away, and I'm only sort of joking, I can't think of any good options.

If this was your teen, what would you do ? Besides go back in time and refuse to let her school, of course!Being a dad and not a mom, late in the conversation without having read other replies, but facing an earlier version of a similar situation (my daughter desperately wants to go back to school, we've refused public school but are sending her to a private school this year as a homeschooled student), but I have huge reservations given her previous schooling experiences-I'd let her know that the situation is disrupting family life and that if together we can't work out a solution (to which I will give a good faith effort), she needs to come home again. Then, really try to work out the issues, come up with a solution and give it 3-6 months...and if it doesn't work, bring her home. She is still a minor under your care and you have to do what is right for her and the family as a whole.

That's what I would do (plan to do if things don't work out), but what do I know?

EDIT: I would continue with whatever therapy seems helpful, but I think I would find it easier to deal with problems homeschooling than have to try to deal ith problems at home from public schooling and whatever issues might arise in school.

cutillo2014
09-22-2012, 02:05 AM
13 is a very tough age--- Best advice I EVER got hands down was to read 'Yes, your teen is crazy' and to have our teens (3 at once) all read 'yes your parents are crazy' ... and I've worked with teens in youth programs!
These books saved our family through the teen years-- it wasn't easy but the understanding we gained from these was immeasurable and we came through it stronger than ever. For your teen it's all about trying new identities and figuring out how to be comfortable in her own skin.
Besides the books-- our daughter had a very tough time in her early teens so we found a great therapist with a solid track record to help her work things out in a safe and private space. She's now in her early 20s and has told me she's glad we took the time to do that for her--- everyone just needs to know they matter... so based on my experience get the books and find a counselor for your daughter and family.

Stella M
09-22-2012, 01:06 PM
Thanks for the suggestion, will check out the books.

Callie Williams
10-02-2012, 11:48 AM
Consequences. Natural and or logical. Teen wants to go to school. Teen wont get up. Teen gets in trouble or kicked out for truancy. We're here to guide them not do for them. As teens they're ready for bumps and bruises and w/o them they never learn to fail and become risk averse. I look for opportunities for my son to be challenged. I'm there to help him work out the issues, but at this point I'm not going to make decisions for him. I feel I've been too protective though because he doesn't challenge himself. Working on that.

Glad things are smoothing out for you. Trust me though consequences make everyone's life easier.

Stella M
10-02-2012, 05:08 PM
Yeah, she's had a pretty severe anxiety diagnosis in the meantime, which complicates things. Thankfully we now have a therapist who is supporting us to get dd better, as well as to help her live with the choices she is making.

Someone up thread recommended ditching the CBT and going straight through to a psychiatrist and that's been the best bit of advice we received.

No resolution on the school thing yet, but getting there.