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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3140
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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My nine year old son complains about stomachaches many mornings

Customer Question

My nine year old son complains about stomachaches many mornings when I wake him for school. I have taken him to the doctor and they have run blood tests and I have a scope scheduled for the end of next month. My concern is how much school he is missing and that he almost never has this complaint on the weekend. I feel he may be 'faking' his stomach problems but when I push him to try and get ready and see how he feels once he's there, he gets hysterical and insists he is hurting. When kept home, he seems fine an hour or so into the morning but when I suggest he get dressed and go to school late, he says he is still not feeling well. This is becoming a very difficult situaton for me as I don't want him to keep missing school. I do not allow him to get up and play when he stays home. He is only allowed to read and do classwork in his bed on a tray. How should I handle his continued complaints and missing school?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.

JACUSTOMER-cj3k91r3- :

Do you know if he is being bullied at school?

JACUSTOMER-083o357j- :

I have asked him several times about those types of things. I says no. He says he doesn't like the principal but insists he has no issues with kids at school or on the playground.

JACUSTOMER-cj3k91r3- :

I believe it is something that is going on at school that is making him this upset. When he says he doesn't like the you know why? Was there a problem between them? How does the principal act toward him? I believe you need to investigate further on the school end to see what is happening. A call or email to his teachers to get a sense of what is going on and how he is acting while in school

JACUSTOMER-083o357j- :

I have done that and the teacher says he get along with everyone. I did press him about the principal and he just says she is 'mean' to everyone. He is easily upset. I have to leave work now. will check this again when I get home. Thank you.

JACUSTOMER-cj3k91r3- :

I feel like we are missing gut says he is having some difficulties either with his school work or another child. I would stay on it with the teacher and maybe even request a meeting with the principal.

JACUSTOMER-cj3k91r3- :

Since you are having everything check

TherapistJen and 3 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
Since you are having him checked medically and anything physical is ruled out by the doctors, it is important to stay on it with the school to find out what is going on. He is entitled to a learning environment free from any stress caused by teasing, bullying, meanness or anything similar.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What helps ease stomach discomfort? I've tried ginger ale and tums and pepto and prilosec and hot pads....nothing seems to work until suddenly he's okay. He doesn't eat very well either. On his terms, which I allow due to wanting him to eat. When I say on his terms I mean that I don't force him to eat at designated times. I let him have toast after supper if he didn't eat well but not dessert; that type of thing.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
I can't comment on the medical aspect of things, but once he is cleared medically by the doctors who are doing the additional tests, and you know there isn't a medical reason for the stomach issues, then i would consider getting him in with the school counselor or a therapist outside of school. He may need that safe place to explore his feelings to get to the crux of the problem.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My main question really is how best to handle his not going to school day after day when I have no solid evidence that he is truly sick. I feel like he is playing me but considering how he cries and carries on when I insist he get dressed and go to school and if he continues to not feel well he can go to the nurse at school, he just gets more and more 'dramatic' and I feel like I'm being mean or unsympathetic. Ultimately he gets to stay home and within an hour or so he is sitting up reading. Should I just get a note from his doctor that we are exploring this problem? I will continue to try and get counseling for him either with his school or perhaps through my work if they cover it. I'm beginning to hate mornings. This week he has missed 3 days already, not sure what this morning will bring...
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
As a parent, I would not have my child stay home. He is learning that the more he carries on, he eventually gets his way and can stay home. As the parent, you are the boss and it is not ok for any child to miss school on a regular basis.
I would go through some very difficult mornings while getting him to school, but staying home should not be the option. At the same time, get him the psychological support he needs to delve into the larger issue.
Mornings will not be easy, but be firm and empathic while setting the limit that staying home is not an option.

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