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Sad and disappointed: when to give up on a child's education?

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Replies to: Sad and disappointed: when to give up on a child's education?

  • tkoparenttkoparent 168 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 24
    I'm with @mom2and. Unless the option to return to school is causing stress for your daughter and she herself makes a final decision to cut the thread, I see no benefit to withdrawing. We are in a somewhat similar situation, albeit at the high school level. My daughter has been on a leave of absence for the past year, after being diagnosed with epilepsy and depression last fall. She has been attending an online school in the meantime and is doing very well, although at a slower pace, but with September on the horizon we are going to have to make a decision what to do about the brick and mortar school - it's an IB school, so if she does not do her junior year there, there's no possibility of returning later. I think she will decide to let it go, as the online school really does suit her well, but it needs to be her decision, as I think she would interpret any decision made by us as a sign that we don't think she can do it - it might relieve her stress about what to do about school, but I think it would create a whole new set of worries. It sounds like your daughter is trying hard, so maybe don't do anything that could push her further off-balance right now? I think what I would do if I were in your shoes is just push the whole thing to one side, both in your own mind and in your discussions with your daughter, and see how things play out over time.
    edited July 24
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  • AlmostThere2018AlmostThere2018 1301 replies46 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @cypresspat -- what a great story about your D. Love people finding their own way to happiness and fulfillment.

    OP -- You're a great parent. Reapeat: you're a great parent. You're doing what you should. Focus on her health and college will be there when she's ready.
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12797 replies167 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    About the update: I don't think for your daughter that was a small step! I think it's a major step forward. Happy for you both and keeping my fingers crossed it's just the first of many steps along the way toward confidence, satisfaction, independence and even college graduation.
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  • SweetgumSweetgum 14 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm sort of there with some of you all. My 18 yr old just graduated from high school with much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth. My kid has generalized anxiety disorder and has no intention of going to college right now, although there is definitely a big part of me that wishes she would.

    I think letting your daughter lead is probably the best thing (aside from continuing her therapy and mental health care). They say that the brain does not finish growing until around age 25, and especially with kids with ADHD and anxiety it may take a little longer. That is GREAT that she figured out a way to get that test taken. If having going back to her original college in her back pocket is comforting to her then I would let it ride. If it is hanging over her and making her anxiety worse then maybe it is time to withdraw and let that go. If it were my daughter I would try to leave the door open. My daughter tends to paint herself into a corner if given the opportunity so I am always trying to leave her a way out. I would probably encourage her to take her time and try on a few different scenarios and figure out what she is interested in. College is great, but where she goes to college is not the be all and end all, so if she ends up somewhere else, or doing something else entirely, it's okay. There are many different paths. She just needs support to find hers and you are doing that by seeing that she gets the mental health care and giving her some time and space.

    @cypresspat thanks for sharing your story. It gives me some hope for my kid too!
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  • compmomcompmom 10691 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are many ways to do college, including p/t degree completion programs in-person and online, other online degrees (many state universities and reputable schools have them), as well as schools like Goddard and Union Institute which have attendance for short periods per semeste and work with a mentor professor at a distance.

    Brown is a great school but if there is a way to forget about it until the 5 years is up, that's better than stressing over it. If it is very much on your daughter's mind she could withdraw and then reapply. I know a young woman with severe depression who took medical leaves and took a class or two at her local state u., then returned to finish her final year. I think she suffered with that path, honestly.


    I wonder if your daughter needs more intense or different treatment. I'm sure you are on that.

    I have personal experience with this kind of situation. Life often tends to work out but not in the ways originally imagined. College is not a life goal priority compared to health. But the two aren't contradictory.
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12797 replies167 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Sweetgum Be glad your daughter has enough self-insight, and is confident enough to express her desire to postpone college. My son didn't. We sent him off, now it sometimes seems like a lamb to slaughter. No, It did not end well. So be glad. The decision to postpone college will save you a lot of heartache. I know from my own experience.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1351 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'd separate the school from the other issues. While I have no experience with any of the issues you mentioned, I think it's great they are being addressed. That's the main point.
    In terms of school, the "dream" for many kids is to go to an Ivy league school and then get a great job. The road is filled with potholes. No one ever talks about that. Maybe her dream has to change and she'll go to a school with less pressure or take just a class or two for many years to get her degree. Maybe she'll never graduate from college. It's all good. We can't plan our kids futures. Personally, I'd move into support mode for her issues and think about college as a separate path.
    It's great she had five long years to get school things to a point of going back or not. Just remember as a parent sometimes your wishes and dreams for them, can actually add to their stress. We all want the best for our kids. As parents sometimes the dream has to change. I wish your daughter all the best. Not so much for going back to a specific school but that she finds a way to be happy in the life she's in. Have you also talked to someone about your dreams and how you are working through this? Wishing you all the best. I hope and suspect things will turn out well in the end.
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