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What is the next step after flaming out?

13

Replies to: What is the next step after flaming out?

  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 2,794 Senior Member
    Your requirements are not "basic." They are for a kid you don't trust, with good reason. Education is the least of your worries. Mental health should be first. Is she depressed? Anxious? Is there an undiagnosed learning difficulty? Could she be addicted to video games or drugs? I'd start with the psychiatrist who prescribed her ADHD meds and have her evaluated for other issues before letting her go back to college.
  • mstompermstomper Registered User Posts: 828 Member
    Our son, who had uneven grades in a competitive magnet program but very high test scores stopped going to classes both semesters last year without telling us anything was wrong until the end of the second semester. He just couldn't get it together to write papers. We had him tested over the summer, and he tested low enough
    in written expression for it to be considered a disability. No wonder he seldom turned in papers during high school. Even be thought it was laziness. It must have been confusing to have things come easy and suddenly hit a wall. I'm sure your D and our S will turn the corner even if it isn't as soon as we'd like.


  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    Regarding counseling, I would ask your daughter if she would be willing to try it. Don't force her to go.

    Sounds like some time off would benefit her. I wouldn't criticize her for dropping out or pressure her to go back.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,335 Senior Member
    Sure you could do counseling if you like but you ask "what next" and if I were in your shoes what next would be to work for a couple years and then see if she still wants to make a third attempt. I would turn over that process to her. We had two families that went through the 2x thing and ultimately both those kids after being on their own for a couple years went back to college and did very, very well but both sets of parents took a big hands off position with the kid's.
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 5,872 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    Within 2 weeks we learned that she had 1 class that she had not attended at all. Of course she had not told us. We learned that she had missed several other non-class but essential meetings.
    She is not abusing drugs, she does take ADHD med.
    We are not going to allow a repeat of last year and are removing her from school.

    How do you know all of this given the school's privacy rules? Can you disclose sources and methods?

    If true she's obviously not well.

    How are you going to broach the subject with her without further alienation. You have been spying on her, which she will certainly view as a betrayal, and will likely at least make her more careful.

    More logistically, If you've already paid the semester, exactly how are you going to remove her from school short of obtaining a guardianship order if she doesn't agree with your conclusion.

    You've received great advice about what your daughter needs. However, I think that you need therapy too in order to get professional advice about how to guide your daughter into productive therapy while doing minimal damage. I think you need this most urgently.

    I should add that a number of years ago, in a local HS, there was a girl who committed suicide while her parents were in the guidance office trying to figure out why the official transcript didn't match the grade reports they were getting. The grade reports apparently had been doctored by the student. The girl obviously couldn't face her parents.

    I would want professional help in case your D is depressed and potentially feels that she can't face you.

    Good luck.
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 2,654 Senior Member
    You've received great advice about what your daughter needs. However, I think that you need therapy too in order to get professional advice about how to guide your daughter into productive therapy while doing minimal damage. I think you need this most urgently.

    It may not be the case, but I couldn't help but wonder if family issues are involved. I also burned out in college and went into the military after my sophomore year. Much of that was due to overly-controlling, overly-critical parents that I needed to get away from. Of course, they thought they were perfect parents, and were furious with me for dropping out. When I got out of the service, I was more mature, disciplined, and itching to go back to school. Maybe the most important factor was that I was totally independent, and I was going back to school because I wanted to, not because other people expected me to.

    My daughter didn't get her degree until she was 29. She went to art school right after HS. It was pretty clear she hated it, so it was no surprise that she dropped out after a year. She bummed around at odd jobs for a few years, got married, and eventually ended up working part-time and going to school part-time until she graduated. (Not sure her post-degree job is any better than her pre-degree job, though.) Sometimes people need to do things in their own sweet time.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,335 Senior Member
    I would not presume she is "not well" I think having her talk to a therapist if nothing more than for her to have someone to talk to about why she doesn't want to be in college right now.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,624 Senior Member
    Rereading this thread, there is something that looked familiar and something that @blossom said that seems to be on the right track:

    "You need a conversation (with a family therapist in the room if you need a neutral party) to ask her what she wants and how she plans to get there."

    I think that this is entirely right except that she might not know yet what she wants.

    To me, in high school kids seem to think about colleges as largely abstract dream-like entities. "Yale", "Wellesley" and such are names which are bandied about as great places. However, a high school kid is not necessarily going to understand what it really is like being at university; the day to day reality of dealing with laundry, doing homework, taking tests (often very difficult tests), dealing with some nice and some arrogant classmates, having piles of homework that you have put off and don't get to until the last minute, having to get yourself to class on time (it is not like high school where classes are back to back), and so on. Also, they don't necessarily know what is that it really means to major in "x". Their hopes and dreams will be affected by expectations from parents and peers and might not be realistic.

    At some point some kids run into a wall when they realize that they don't like what they are doing, and they don't want to do it.

    Someone I know who went to a very demanding university said: "You have to want to do it". I have said similarly about very demanding schools: "You have to know why you are doing it".

    My personal reaction when hitting this wall was to have a terrible semester, get really scared, work very hard for three or four semesters to graduate, then work at a job for a couple of years to figure out what I actually really wanted to do, then go back to school and finally do really well.

    I am wondering whether your daughter might have hit the same wall. If so, the best approach is probably for her to relax for a while, then see a bit of counseling and work at an okay job for a while (maybe even a year or two). At some point she will figure out what she wants to do, and will most likely do it very well (whatever "it" is). This will probably at some point imply a return to university or college with a much better sense of why she is there.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 11,202 Senior Member
    Yes!

    "... the best approach is probably for her to relax for a while, then see a bit of counseling and work at an okay job for a while (maybe even a year or two). At some point she will figure out what she wants to do, and will most likely do it very well (whatever "it" is). This will probably at some point imply a return to university or college with a much better sense of why she is there."

    @DadTwoGirls, I really like your last paragraph so I reposted it. OP, give your daughter some breathing room. Let her regroup emotionally by taking time off school & working for a bit. She can always go back, once she's ready and really wants it.

    This site is full of stories about kids whose road to a college degree -- or simply a job -- is full of twists and turns. It can be very worrying and frustrating for parents. But many, if not most, of these kids find their way.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,813 Senior Member
    The question is what is the next step for a student like this. We have considered options ranging from the military to NOLS to requiring her to get a job and save to return to school in the future.

    The military is not a rehabilitation service.

    What is your daughter saying? Surely she has some idea about why she's struggling. Was the work too difficult? Is she suffering from depression? Is she worried about having to declare a major soon? What does she want to do?
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,487 Senior Member
    Our D flamed out in what would have been her final term at the U. She had to repeat the year at our expense with a lot of support from a caring physician who administered weekly treatments to help her physically be able to handle that last term of her final year. Even now, 5 years later, she continues to be under that physician's care.

    It does take a village and will mean the world to your kid to know that you love the kid and will get through whatever it is together. Wishing you and your family the best as you navigate these challenges.
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    @simba9 -- I also crashed and burned in college but my parents were anything but controlling. I don't have an explanation for why I C&B'd even now other than I simply wasn't interested in anything that I didn't want to do. Fortunately, at that time the industry was desperate for microcomputer/PC programming, which was something I was very interested in doing. I see a lot of that type of attitude in D18. DW is the exact opposite: if she needs to do something, she'll knock it out.

    I still dislike slogging through stuff I don't want to do.
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