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How to help your adult daughter go to school

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 It's hard to watch your children suffer, no matter how old they are. If your daughter is now an adult, and is suffering because of an addiction, it's hard to know what you should do. On the one hand, you want to take care of your daughter and solve all her problems. On the other hand, her presence in your home is destructive to her and to the rest of the rest of your family.

 Getting your addicted daughter out of your house can lead her to the help she really needs and provide peace for the whole family.

The below points could help if 

  • your adult seems upset or worried about going to school
  • your adult refuses to go to school
  • your adult has had problems with school refusal in the pass
School refusal is different to ‘wagging’ or ‘jigging’ because it stems from a teen’s anxiety about school. They might be worried about their school work, interacting with other kids, dealing with teachers, playing sports or being away from their family.

Another way you can help?

  • Try to speak to your child about what’s been happening.  Check out How we can help your adult daughter for advice on how to do this.
  • Let the school know what’s going on. You could talk to your child's teacher, year coordinator, deputy principal or the Wellbeing staff. If the first person you contact at school isn’t helpful, you can ask them to refer you to someone else.
  • Seek support from other group of other parents. Who are going through or have already gone through the same dilemma you are now facing. You need support when you have to say no to your child or when your child breaks promises made to you, and parents who have faced similar situations will give you comfort and good advice.
  • Set a deadline for your child to move out. Be realistic about the steps he 

  • needs to take, which may include finding a job, seeking help for his 

  • addiction, and finding a place to live. 

  • Also, be realistic about the time these 

  • steps will take. But set a deadline and don't change it

  • Find out about the school’s attendance policies and procedures. This will help you to avoid any legal or financial penalties while you try to address the problem.

  • Cooperate with the school and your child to improve their attendance.
  •  Working together with the school will give your adult daughter best chance of overcoming their anxieties about school. 
  • Focus on trying to make school a structured and predictable part of your teen’s life. Some practical steps could be to ask the school to:
    • share lesson plans with you and your child
    • excuse your child from activities that make them anxious eg. reading aloud
    • let you know if there will be a substitute teacher
    • organise regular meetings with your main contact at the school.

If you feel like you’ve tried everything

If you’ve tried chatting to your daughter

 their school and school refusal is still an 

issue, it may be time to look into flexible 

learning options or to seek professional 


  • Ask the school if there are any options for gradually transitioning your child back into full-time schooling. This may involve changes such as shorter school days or fewer subjects.

  • Look into alternative schooling options. These options are different for each state and territory but may involve homeschooling or distance education. Check out your state or territory’s Education Department website for details.
  • Sign up for One-on-One Support and get some personalised support. The support sessions will help you to understand your child’s school refusal and assist you to create an action plan to help your teen.

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