Going to School

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by kaynlyss, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. kaynlyss

    kaynlyss New Member

    My 7 yo daughter flat out refused to get out of the car and go to school this morning because she did not like the out fit I picked for her, and refused to pick one herself. We had a HUGE fight, I tried to stand firm, and she was more stubborn than I....I feel sooooo exhausted from the battles, and at a loss as to what to do with her. I just want to LOVE her, and I cant even like her sometimes, what happened to my sweet little girl?

    Finally her stepdad came and out of fear of the consequence he would give her, she finally complied and went to school an HOUR late...which made me 2 hours late to work!

    Any suggestions on how to get my defiant child out of bed, dressed, and at school on time?
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board!

    I remember those days...and I threatened to take her in her jammies if she wouldn't get dressed. I would have done it, too, and she knew it. Miss KT didn't want to be seen in her jammies outside of the house.

    I'm a big believer in logical consequences, so when Miss KT either lost or left at school every single jacket/sweater/sweatshirt she owned, I took her to school (in December) without one, and told her she needed to find one. She did. I let her teacher know this was a "learning experience," just so I wouldn't have to get yet another phone call from school.

    I prepped the night before as much as I could, which meant Miss KT had her clothes on top of the dresser ready to go. Everything but the sandwich was packed for lunch and in the fridge waiting (I hate soggy sandwiches).

    Has she been diagnosis'd with anything? Is this a new development for you? I found that I had to mean what I said and say what I meant, and stick to the stated consequence. It hasn't been all beer and Skittles around here, but we have survived! So far...
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! Mary has given you some good food for thought.

    I'll add some questions in the hopes that we can point you in the right direction for help.

    Has she ever been evaluated by a mental health professional?
    Does she have long-standing school refusal?
    How does she do in school, both academically and with peers?
    Any other behaviors you're seeing that concern you?
    Any speech or developmental delays?
    Any sensory sensitivities (for example, clothing tags, loud noises, food textures)?
    Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

    One book that has helped many of us on this board parent our extra-challenging children is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. You might want to pick up a copy at your local library or bookstore.

    Again, welcome.
  4. idohope

    idohope Member

    Fighting that very same battle this morning (and the day before...). I don't have the answers yet. Physically forcing her to go (eg dragging her to bus crying or to the car) is not an option. She is too big and strong and it is emotionally draining for us and her and physically dangerous at this point (someone will accidently get hurt).

    Our plan this year, developed in concert with us and her therapist, is to really try to take the pressure off of her and stay calm and dont push in the morning. We will be setting up an appointment with her school so that the school can impose consequences if they are concerned about the number of times she is late (eg miss recess to make up work etc).

    Typical things dont seem to work. We can try to lay out an outfit the night before but that can result in either a battle the night before or no guarentee that that outfit will be acceptable in the morning.
    Our work schedule is taking a hit here and it is very very difficult and stressful. We still need to address the underlying anxiety and that has not happened yet. But we are working towards it and trying to get thru every day and get her to school each day at this point.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has she ever been evaluated?

    Does stepfather hit her? I would advise against that if he does.

    I think she could use a neuropsychologist evaluation. Something is driving her behavior. She isn't just waking up each day to drive you nuts :tongue:. She is probably honestly afraid to go to school...and you need to find out both why that is and what is wrong with her.

    Answering the questions in the above post will help us a lot. We really don't have much info and without knowing anything about her it's hard to give suggestions.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    When my difficult child 1 was younger, we had similar battles. It was driven by his anxiety, not by willfulness (that's just how it was expressed). As we sought treatment for his mental health issues, we also learned some parenting strategies that have helped. The books mentioned above are very helpful and I recommend you look for them in the library. You can also get them on Amazon.

    For some kids the feeling of having no control over a situation can be a big trigger. There are so few things they get to decide for themselves, sometimes it's helpful if we can structure their day so that they feel they have some say in what's happening to them.

    Clothing issues can be worked on the day before. "Let's figure out what you'd like to wear tomorrow." Or, "Which outfit do you want to wear tomorrow: A or B?"

    And sometimes we have to just let clothing issues go. That's also an option. You've probably heard the expression about "choosing your battles wisely." That applies here.

    Maybe she's feeling rushed in the morning -- that can be a trigger for some kids, too. Maybe there's something going on at school that has her worried or anxious: another student, the teacher, an assignment. We learn to be good detectives with kids like this.

    Some kids can respond to positive reinforcements. Making the morning routine a rewarding one, and turning it into a game can work for some kids. "Let's see if we can get breakfast finished before the big hand gets to the 3!" "If you can get dressed before the clock gets to 7:30, you can pick out a treat to take to school today." You get the idea.

    But ultimately, you'll want to find out what's driving your daughter's resistance in the morning, and to do that you may need to seek some professional help.

    Good luck!
  7. kaynlyss

    kaynlyss New Member

    Her bio-dad has been diagnosed with some sort of personality disorder, and I know his mother has always had issues with depression. Her bio-dad has abused drugs for as long as I have known him, which was the ultimate reason behind our divorce. He has never played a consistent role in her life in any way.
    My (now) husbands company offers an Employee Assistance Program, which I took her to a family therapist through. We only had 2 visits with her, which were free through this program, and then decided to try and find someone in-network with our insurance to save $. Anyway, this woman was leaning more toward anxiety than add, or adhd. Which seems to make sense.
    Kay has always been "difficult" but things have definitely gotten worse through triggers like her little sister being born, and when her bio dad did live here extreme anxiety to go stay with him, or his family (I think more because she didnt want to be away from me, than she didnt want to see them).
    We have had some issues with abuse in the form of verbal and some physical that she has witnessed with her step-father and I's relationship, which we have successfully worked through, but may still be affecting her. There is a lot of tension as you can imagine because she just flat out doesnt listen, is argumentative, and careless and unfortunately her step father has run out of patience for this behavior.
    In the end I know that she needs some counseling as does everyone in the house to really work through the issues that are driving her behavior, as well as to find some parenting strategies that will help us all better cope with her behavior when she has a flare up.
    She is an otherwise very bright little girl, has always done well in school (with the exception of her teacher this year telling me she is disruptive and always talking). She has problems finishing her classwork and often has to bring it home, but not because she doesnt know how to complete it, it is just hard for her to stay focused.
    I am still looking for a healthcare provider that can help us, its been a bit frustrating and Im thinking about taking her to a pediatrician to get a physical and rule out any medical problems that way and hopefully get a referral from him.
    On other subjects this morning was a breeze, we picked out her clothes last night, made sure she had a bath the night before, I gave her lots of love and helped her with her times tables the night before.

    Sorry so long winded...:)