difficult child won't go to school...need advice ASAP

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by STRESSEDTOMAX, Jan 7, 2008.




    I haven't posted in a few weeks but my difficult child today woke up and refused to get dresased and has refused to go to school. He is locked in his bedroom and weeks ago he threw away the gadget that opens the locks. I have decided to stay calm and ignore him even though I am furious. I know that to fight with him would get me nowhere. My husband is in N.Y. and I just hung up on him. The first thing he does is want to blame it on his sleep schedule, which, of course, leads back to me. It is not the sleep it is the defiance. I was going to ask the next door neighbor to help me physically get him in the car but my husband doesn't "want them involved in our lives". Well, I'm just one person. I do not want him home from school-this is a bad precedent to set. I have called the school and alerted them that when I finally get him there, he is most likely not going to be happy and will need to see the psychologist. Any ESH would be appreciated. Right now, I am going to make myself a cup of tea. Thanks.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did your son give you a reason? Does he normally have trouble transitioning back to school after the weekend?
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Why doesn't he want to go to school? With my little guy (whose school refusal started at age 3, by 6 we were physically dragging him to school, he is now homeschooled), it was anxiety and getting picked on by the other kids for being 'different'.

    Both my boys have trouble with the sensory input at school. Also, if it is the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), maybe have him design a morning routine that will allow him to get to school.

    If you can't physically get him to school, I would suggest printing some worksheets out from one of the 100s of online school sites and having him sit at the kitchen table and do "schoolwork during schooltime".

    husband's can sometimes take a while to get on board. Especially if he is frequently gone for work, he isn't in the trenches 24/7.

    Sorry your day has gotten off to a rough start...
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't know what you've said to Tommy at this point, but if it were me and my difficult child, I'd let it go. Non-issue.
    There is probably a reason behind his intense desire to not go today. May take a while to figure out what, tho. In the meantime, tho, the more of a "deal" you make about it, the more he realizes this is a hefty card he can play.
    Spend the day at home. See if you can't figure out why he is refusing school, but don't make a big issue of it. Make the day a tad boring so its not tempting to do it again, find a few worksheets he can do, but don't go overboard with telling him about it.
    As for forcing him, in my humble opinion, don't. You can't do that forever, its a very short-term fix, and depending on your difficult child's size and strength, you won't be able to do it for long, most likely.
    There's likely a valid reason for today...just try to make its so its not so appealing to skip again when he's feeling better tomorrow and work to getting to the bottom of what's going on that makes him not want to go so badly.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Truthfully I don't see the point in physically dragging him (even
    if it is possible) to the school. That will up the ante and it
    surely is not a solution that difficult children would remember with fear and trepidation. As a easy child I tried that once with my Mother and much
    to my complete surprise my Dad (not the disciplinarian or even the participant in the unpleasant side of family rearing) came
    into my room and said "DDD you are going to school. Get yourself
    dressed and ready in ten minutes. In ten minutes I will come back to your room and take you to school...even if you choose to
    stay in your pajamas. Do you understand?" I cried and cried as
    I got dressed for school. BUT I was a major easy child. Even that method
    would not work with a difficult child because they would then decide to strip
    to their BVDs and prove they were the boss.

    Quietly analyze what difficult child values most in his life. Quietly figure
    out what you can remove as a consequence for this power stand.
    Does he LOVE his bike? easy child 2? Cartoons? Best friend?

    Life is made up of "cause and effect" "choices and consequences".
    We all have to do things in order to move forward. If you don't
    go to the grocery store = the family will not eat well. If Daddy
    doesn't go to work = the electricity might not stay on to keep
    you warm. etc. etc. Children have to go to school because (1) it
    is the law; (2) humans have to learn or they are the same as cats
    etc. etc.

    Think about your approach, confer with your husband and then DO IT!!
    Do what??? I don't know. DO what you and your husband agree is the
    right thing to do so you are a united front and little difficult child does
    not get the impression that he is in charge. He isn't. He will
    not be. He can not be. Once he finishes school he can get his
    own place and be totally in charge. NOW..your home, your rules.
    LOL! DDD
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, I guess if I were in your shoes, after alerting the school, I would just sit back and wait for him to come out. He's going to come out eventually. He's going to get hungry or need to go to the toilet or hopefully he'll just calm down on his own. If that means he goes in at noon, so be it. You'll have a much better chance of a less violent drive to school if he's calmed down and comes out on his own.

    Later today, you should probably take the knob off his door and replace it so that he can't lock himself in again.

    My difficult child 1 was VERY prone to this type of behavior when he was younger, and still gets this way to a certain extent when medications wear off. I have to watch my interactions with him in the evenings, otherwise he very easily spirals out of control and becomes very challenging. When he gets like this, the more I push for control, the more he fights back. When he's on his medications (stims), though, he's much different, and much more pleasant and cooperative.

    Good luck -- I hope he comes out soon and that in the mean time you can take some deep, relaxing breaths and enjoy that cup of tea! :smile:
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    At 6, I'd be wondering why he doesn't want to go. Did something happen yesterday to make him that unhappy? It is rare for little ones to not love going to school.

    As to your husband, I think I'd tell him to take a long walk off a very short pier. He either needs to come up with some viable alternatives or quit hampering your efforts. If he can't do either, then I would just do what is necessary when he's out of town and tell him after the fact. He can deal with it when he is home.

    by the way -- Once you get the bedroom door open, change the handles around so he can't lock himself in again. It's really pretty easy to do.
  8. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    You are doing what I used to do in this situation. I don't think my difficult child (now 12) ever actually stayed home all day. I just ignored her and she would calm down and go. Of course I did not allow anything fun to happen while she was home and there was some kind of consequence if she was late.

    Now, it is a little different because I think she is just tired and not wanting to get up. So I tell her I will take away her IPod if she doesn't get up. Works every time. Back in the old days, when she was so defiant, she would have yelled "I don't care!".

    I hope he calms down and comes out soon.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    PS - I'd change the doorknob quietly, perhaps while he's gone or asleep. My difficult child's would take this as a new challenge and would likely cause another round.