school refusers

a resource for parents 

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School Refusal
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Christmas break

Hi everyone,

If you are like me - you will be looking forward to the Christmas break. In fact,I let my son finish school last Monday (a week before he was supposed to - before activities start). Already he is a changed boy - relaxed - a bit too relaxed perhaps as sleeping in seems to be the main activity at the moment! It is just so lovely not to talk about school!

I am still confused about his attempt to harm himself - but I learnt a big lesson from that in regard to how not to let the school put pressure on him. I think I got swept up in their constant requests for him to finish assignments and study for tests. I also believe his father added to this by sending him an email that the coordinator had sent to us as parents and said he was concerned that our son was not academically level with his peers and that he would struggle with next year. My ex thought it would 'make him wake up to the fact that he has to start putting in'. I totally disagreed and told him he should not have sent him that - as when you are down ....that just makes things so much worse. But this is where my ex and I differ in our understanding of the situation.

Thanks Simon for setting up this site.... linking with others going through the same kind of thing has saved a lot of parents, including myself from feeling like they are going crazy. Now as I oversee the posts....I sadly keep reading so many stories that are the same and how the support just isn't out there and how the schools just don't understand. And with the statistics out there - we know that there must be more than just our child in our schools suffering from this kind of anxiety...and yet we are always made to feel like we are the only ones...ever!!
But some of us have learnt from experience and can help those of you who are just facing this for the first time...there are ways to get support and there are ways to get the school to listen better. There is hope...and there is a way forward.

I hope you all have a relaxing time - if possible - over the break. We get a long break down here of 6 weeks - but I know it's quite different elsewhere. I know also that sometimes a break is not relaxing as you start to wonder if your son/daughter will go back to school. It's tough - we can never quite relax.
There is always someone on here to offer support - so even if you start to worry next week - everyone on here understands - so feel free to come on here and share your frustrations. Someone might have a good method of surviving the day before school starts again - and remember - there are some good 'light at the end of the tunnel' stories on here - so anything can happen.

Take care - enjoy Christmas. I will pop by the forum frequently
best wishes
Linda xx

Re: Christmas break


How true what you said.
When it does happen and you first bring it to the attention of the school, you're made to feel as though you're the first person in the whole world school refusal has ever happened to!

For me, when it happened to my daughter, I felt about an inch high and the shame nearly drove me to give up totally.

Even family and friends didn't help with some of the comments they made.

In the last couple of years, I have been approached by 3 different people who were no help to us at a difficult time, to tell me that they were now experiencing school refusal with their own children.

I honestly think noone can judge another. What does it cost to listen and empathise with someone in difficulty?

Christmas break is great. We get just under 3 weeks here so it's lovely.

I'm sorry your ex showed an email to your son that upset him. I have to agree that 'hitting someone when they're down' is not on. Hopefully your son will have a good rest during the holidays and that things will improve in 2014.
Happy Christmas all.


Re: Christmas break

Hi :)

Totally agree with you both the school look at you in shock that this is happening i think they are just trying to pretend that school refusal does not exist and that it is all in us parents heads, you can see them saying to each other without actually talking "if it was there child they would" what exactly!!! they good at giving us the 3rd degree but wonder how as an individual they would feel if it was there child, yes i no they are only doing there job and so are we as parents or trying to. I have been on this journey a year and a half now and it has taken over a year of different timetables, tests, meetings, only to be getting to a steady pace. The most support i have had is from this group it is just so comforting to no u are not alone, some of the posts i read on here leave me in tears including this post too, its such an emotional rollercoaster although i have learned to cope better now and am stronger with the school and regained my daughters trust, most of it down to reading all the previous posts on here and the advice given to me especially by you linda.

So would just like to Thank you all and wish you all a Merry Xmas from the UK xxx

So glad your son is feeling more relaxed now Linda enjoy your holidays xx