Have Parenting Questions? Ask a Parenting Counselor for Answers
Do you have some questions for me about my question?
I just read the question reguarding you son. I am an 8th grade teacher so I have seen this sort of thing before.
Oh, really? That's neat you are an 8th grade teacher.
I was bascially wondering why you don't want him to switch to an online school? Also how long has this been going on?
To be honest, he has complained, cried, been upset about school since he was in pre-school. He always did fine at school. He is a very good student and a very well behaved one. He holds it all inside at school and then when he's home, he cries, worries, freaks out and complains to me about it all. I am ok with him doing on line schooling, but his father is dead set against the idea. Won't even be part of the idea because he feels that socialization is so important in the schools.
My first concern with him not wanting to attend a traditional school would be is he being bullied in some way.
I am new to chat but I can just answer your question in here if that would help.
He was being bullied very badly last year but he is in a different school this year and is not a big target for bullying.
I am fine with you answering the question in here if you'd like to.
I have seen many students who were both well behaved and academically on track want to try the online solution for many different reasons.
I also know that children are safest in their homes with their parents. This is the reason he is "letting go" at home. He feels safe to share his true feeling with you because you are his safe place.
Ok, did it work for the majority of the students you knew that tried the on line schooling?
It is about 50%- 50%
I'm concerned about him not being willing to do his school work at home because there are too many more fun distractions at home like computer games and t.v. and all that.
To be successful at online school the student and supporting family must be disciplined and be ready to take the lead in their own education. I am not sure what state you live in but in Ohio where I am the online programs are excellent
I am in Wisconsin.
Some students who just want the online option because they are too lazy to go to school have a tougher time.
Does you son have any trouble going to other places?
Does he have friends that he has "play dates" with?
He does have trouble going to other places. He won't be in an extracurricular activity . We've tried almost everything and he doesn't want to go. My son's problem is not laziness, but rather anxiety. He does have some friends that he has playdates with. Most of the playdates are at our house, but he is getting more able to go to other kids houses. He's an only child and is somewhat socially isolated, but as he is getting older he's getting more social.
I would just getting ready to say that this sounds like a generalized anxiety disorder to me. I have had students in the past have huge difficulty with just walking into the school building. I know you have tried counseling but I must ask how long ago that was and who was the counselor.
Does he currently take any medication?
No, no medications. Therapy wasn't a good fit for him. He didn't want to participate in it. I've thought about searching for another therapist, but it's hard to find a good one for kids.
Is there a children's hospital in your area?
Not in my town, but about 50 minutes from here.
Quite honestly from my school experience it can take 2-3 therapists before finding a good fit.
I am really at a loss here.
I would call the children's hospital and ask them about a therapist. They should have a network of clinicians in the surrounding areas of their location. I would explain to them exactly what you have shared with me. As an anxiety sufferer myself it takes time to make progress. At 35 I still have some difficult times but have a great therapist who I have been seeing since 18
I fear with the middle school years upon us, this could get worse.
I would also suggest asking around at school (counselor), at church (pastor/youth pastor/priest) and friends you feel comfortable with. In all honesty there are so many people suffering who also need help. You are correct when puberty hits this will get worse unless treated properlly
Ok. Yes, I completely understand anxiety as I suffer from it myself and always have, but it sure is different to be a parent of an anxious child. Can I ask if you are on medication for anxiety? But, my original question is about the on line school thing.
This may sound silly but honestly it is better you are taking a serious look at this now rather in 2-3 years when puberty is in full effect and hormones are making things even worse. I would definately suggest professional help at this time. For you husband and the online school I would tell him that with the anxiety under control you son would become more interested in out of school things such as boy scouts and or athletics or whatever is offered to him.
So, do you think on line schooling is worth looking into or just keep him going to the tradiational public school system? I will try to find a therapist for him.
Sure I currently take Cymbalta for anxiety daily. If I ever feel the anxiety raising within myself I take clorezapam. This has been my regimine since my son was abused at a day care and I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the guilt. I can only imagine the stress from being a parent to an anxious child. To help you deal with this stress I would try to find a support group such as NAMI. This is the National Association on Mental Illness. They have group meetings all over the country for people associated with others with a mental illness. In all honesty I would probably allow him to try the online route for the time being. The reason I say this is right now he is getting more anxious daily. If he continues this way I fear depression could set in. I would be sure that when possible you include outside activities as much as possible. For example time at the library or book store as well as things like running errands with you or your husband. By setting a positive example you son will soon model what you do.
The stress is overwhelming and I feel so helpless. I am an anxious person myself and know the struggle, for sure, for sure. I'm just afraid that if I let him do the on line thing, I'll never get him back into regular school. I can't imagine him graduating from a virtual high school. But, I'm ok with it. I'm just worried about him having to face the real world someday.
I'm not sure that my husband will go along with it and I'm not sure I can enroll my son in on line school until his 5th grade year so we have to keep plugging away for the rest of this school year. I just feel so bad everyday sending my son there.
I am sure this is creating more anxiety within yourself. As well as causing issues with your husband. I try to think of it like this... As parents we do the best we can for our children. Some things are trial and error and some an evolving process. I would allow him to do the online thing with the understanding that he will try a different therapist. I am not sure what your insurance will pay for but I suggest a psychatrist who would be able to dispense medication if needed. I know dealing with mental illness is difficult and stressful. Know that he really does appreciate all you do for him but at this time he can not vocalize it. If you must wait until next year explain that to him. Maybe in the mean time he could start with another therapist who might be able to get him back on track and not need the online school in the long run.
I hope I have been helpful with this question. I know it is a learning game and takes time to play out. I suggest you stay strong, find someone you can vent to, find a therapist, and stay open to online school for next year.
OK. Thank you very much.
Does that help you?
Yes, it has helped me. Thank you.
I wish I knew more to tell you but I think it will be partially a waiting game as he continues to develop. I wish you all the luck in the world and if I can be of any more help please don't hesitate to send me more questions.
From a mom to a mom.... you are his everything! His mom, his champion, and his fighter! Keep up the good work!
I'm not so sure I'm his everything. I have lost my patience with him lately and I feel guilty about it. And guilty that I may have passed on my anxiety onto him. Poor guy. As a mom, I feel like I"m fighting this alone. It's hard.
I know what you mean about the guilt
Try not to let it get the best of you... He needs a healthy mom to become healthy himself!