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Mom Upset After Spouse Calls Out Daughter For Taking Too Many Days Off School For Mental Health

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Taking care of your mental health should be a priority. But, when the steps you take aren’t working, it is time to try other measures.

Talking to a professional might be a good way to start.

Redditor Independent_Tip_6550 encountered this very issue with their wife. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.

They asked:

“AITA for suggesting to my wife that my daughter (15) is taking too many mental health days from school?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My daughter is a sophomore in high school. My wife is a major mental health advocate and I like to think I am too.”

“I believe in taking mental health days once in awhile if the stress and emotions with work/school are reaching a breaking point. BUT I do think there’s a line somewhere.”

“Here’s the sitch, since quarantine ended and my daughter started going back to in person classes last year, she has been taking a number of mental health days since my wife told her that’s okay.”

“At first I was completely fine with it and I was understanding. I know high school can be rough especially having to deal with what the kids are dealing with in school these days.”

“Well it’s gotten to the point where it seems every other week or once every 3 weeks my daughter is taking a day off school, citing mental health. I think my daughter is starting to abuse this.”

“Wife and I tried talking to her about going to therapy if she’s really struggling this much, but she won’t go. So honestly I think she’s just taking advantage of her mom being so lax about this.”

“Also, we haven’t seen huge changes in her behavior. She still seems to be a happy 15 year old for the most part.”

OP wants to support their daughter.

“It’s important to care for your mental health, but my daughter needs to learn she can’t skip school/work anytime she feels a little sad.”

“I think my wife is enabling this so I had a talk with her. I told her that I think we have to put some sort of rule in place with these mental health days because she can’t be missing as much as she is.”

“My wife scoffed at me and said ‘how dare you question your own daughters mental health’ I love my daughter and I want the best for her. But I know she’s always been a little trickster so I think she could just be taking advantage of this.”

“I want to reiterate that I’ve had a talk with her about her mental health, asking if she needs anything from us, every time she takes one of these days. She says she’s fine every time.”

Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors agreed OP was the a**hole.

“NTA, especially since you daughter refused to go to therapy. There has to be a line drawn somewhere, otherwise it will be just the abuse of privilege. Mental health is important, of course. Maybe there is something happening in the school.”

“Have you tried talking to her?” ~ lioness-2208

“If she misses too many days without a doc note the state will likely cone after you for truancy.”

“My step kiddo almost got in trouble. She missed s week due to Corona scare. We had no doc note, but the negative test eventually we worked.” ~ PolyPolyam

“What state are you in if you don’t mind me asking? I’m CA and you have to miss like a ridiculous amount of school. I didn’t go to school for at least 1/4 of my senior year and it wasn’t an issue. My sister was not there often either and had no one said anything.” ~ juneXgloom

“My daughter, now 26, cut 4.5 days of school her Jr. year without me knowing. In PA, that warranted an actual hearing in Juvenile court.”

“When she told me it was 4.5 days, I kept telling her to quit lying, it HAD to be a lot more than that…come to find out in court, that it was, in fact, 4.5 days.”

“I was shocked! I apologized to my daughter for not believing her, but I was still pretty annoyed about her skipping school at the time!!” ~ Lovehatepassionpain

OP needs to have a longer conversation with their wife and daughter.

“Talk to her again. What is a ‘mental health’ day? How does these mental health days help her? Is she feeling stressed? Depressed? She should be able to answer these questions if it has something to do with her mental health.”

“Whether she can answer not, if she is missing so much school she should see a therapist. Either she has a serious problem she can describe to you, or she cannot identify it and needs help with that.”

“Oh. NTA.” ~ Legitimate_Mess_6130

“I gotta ask, does it really matter (aside from the legal perspective)? Is she keeping up with her coursework? When I was in school (and remember I did not live in the US, so laws were different), we had a 75% mandatory attendance policy. I figured if I missed one day every week, that would still get me to 80. Accounting for unexpected illnesses, it was usually 1 day per 2 weeks that I skipped. Got no complaints, did pretty well in school. Parents signed whatever absent letters the school required. I have no regrets.”

“I have taken at least one day off a month every month at work, sometimes more. No one complained as long as my work got done. Sometimes you just need a break from school The question to ask is, is it working for your daughter? If yes, why aren’t you supporting her?” ~ definitelynotjava

“This is smart and makes so much sense. I have a feeling OPs kid needs that break to stay happy and healthy, and is most likely looking forward to it every week.”

“I don’t at all understand this panic about missing a few days a month – if being present every single day to do a bunch of tasks is “prepping you for adulthood”, then the problem is the way adulthood is being defined. It’s not about dropping out of society. It’s about knowing your own limits and taking care of yourself.”

“I have to think the people who are so up in arms about mental health not being a ‘thing’ are hugely overworked and burned out. And for what??” ~ emmakobs

Mental health days are important.