QI am writing to ask you how I should handle my problem with my 14-year-old nephew who refuses to go to school. My sister, whose son I am talking about, has several children from two marriages. She is currently living with a man who is the father of one of those children. He beats her regularly. She has left this man several times and each times swears she will not return. The last time she left, she came to stay in my house with her four children. After one month, she decided to return to her husband, the man who keeps beating her.
QI am a parent of a 13-year-old girl who is in the seventh grade. We live in a small town in Oklahoma. My daughter has lots of friends, is really pretty and does well in school. The problem is she doesn't want to go to school. She actually makes herself sick to keep from going. It has gotten so bad that I have been turned in to the District Attorney because she's missed so much school. I love my daughter and I want her to do well and go to school. I've tried talking, listening and begging and I can't figure out what the problem is and neither can the school.
Q My 11th grader is facing the SAT's and is beginning to panic. During his last school exams, he was so anxious, he couldn't remember anything and is terrified now that the SAT's are coming. He's bright and has always done well in school. How can we help him? Diane Wyshogrod, PhD, Guest Expert answers: A First, it's important to understand that anxiety per se is not a bad experience. It is the body's arousal to protect itself and it galvanizes our whole system.
My first day of high school was probably the worst day of my life. My parents were forcing me to attend a prep school 45 minutes from my home. Out of a class of 110 incoming freshmen, I knew no one. Not a single person. I had spent the last eight years in a class with 30 kids; I had not had to make a new friend at school since the first grade. I don't think I have ever felt as lonely as I did that day, before or since. So of course I entered school that first day with a massive chip on my shoulder.
Amanda, 13 1/2, is not one of the "in" kids whom everyone wants to sit next to."What's wrong with me," she's wondering, "and how will I deal with the anxiety of the first day?" I always hate the first day of school. Not the shopping part - that I like. It's fun to get new clothes and shoes. And I love wrapping all my books so everything looks perfect, and getting all the new notebooks and pens, and cool erasers.
What is it like your first year of high school? Do the teachers go easy on you or are they pretty strict? Do kids pick on the freshmen a lot? A Let me tell you, everyone getting ready to enter high school worries about this one! It's a brand new experience, so it can bring anticipation and anxiety. To be honest, the way things will go differs from school to school. The best way to find out is ask someone who's gone to the school you will be going to. If your friends have any older brother's or sisters that went there, or if any one in your neighborhood went there, ask them how things went.
So there you are, Dawson-like, brain and legs stretched out on some damp piece of lawn under the canopy of the wide Universe. It's you and some fellow graduates, Plato, Locke, Nietche, and the wisdom of the ages. You're half wondering just how deep you can get before you bottom out completely. A delirious cocktail of imagination, confidence and new freedom is raging through your veins: the New World has discovered YOU. And here's an Ally McBeal moment; your theme song comes to a screeching halt in the middle.
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