Teen wont go to school

Ngaire K

New Member
I wrote 3 months ago distraught when I got my 15 year old son put in jail overnight for destroying a trellis in my back yard with an iron bar cause he didnt want me telling him what to do. Since then we have come a long way... he told me in the police cells that all I ever did was tell him what he did wrong, which I took on. Read a few great books on Parenting Teenagers that have got ME back on track, I praise him and appreciate him again (cause he aint all bad, lol). He told me after the jail incident that he didnt want to fight with me anymore, and for the most part he has stuck with that, and it never gets like it was.

I have (mostly) stopped yelling, got myself back on track... I decided when he got out of jail that one of us had to make the first move to let it be different, I was the adult so it was up to me. So I let him start again, and he took my lead and its been SO much better. I am making sure I spend time with him, to help his insecurities, and confidence (to "refill his emotional tank" as my book says)... the books have helped me see where I had been going wrong and I corrected.

I am doing my part.. being supportive, encouraging, spending time with him, which is eating into my time for myself (I'm trying to work on prioritising here). He has been truant lots this year.. he finally made a decision for HIM that he wanted to go back to school and get the best grades he can to increase his chances of getting into the polytech farming course he wants to do next year. The first day back, he'd been there 1 1/2 hours, got into a fight with a bigger kids, and ended up with a broken nose!!!! UNBELEIVEABLE. Needed surgery to put it back in, more healing time. Then decided he couldnt bear going back to school, dealing with fear.

We met with his guidance counsellor and got his time table changed so he doesnt have to be in the same class as this kid... this morning was the first day, and he refuses to get up, says hes tired.

I dont know what to do here.. everyone else is making changes to make life better for him except him. I told him its up to him too, no one else can do his part. I know its his responsibilty.... I so want him to be happy, and successful, and education is such a huge part of that... I dont want to be worrying about him the rest of my my life (yeah I'm being selfish here too, I've spent so much of the last 5 years dealing with him).

I'm exhausted, I'm spending so much time looking after everyone else... there's no time for me. I've really noticed over the last few weeks what a rescuer I am, a caretaker.. I don't know how to say no when people are in trouble and REALLY need me... then they turn round and make bad decisions and I think "why did i bother??". I need some time out, my days arent my own any more cause my son has been home for SO long.

I feel STUCK.


oh doll, you're 16 y/o sounds like my 16 y/o, except mine has an off switch where as my 10 y/o son does not. I too have read the five love languages of teens, but still have had a hard time regaining respect from difficult child I. He wants to drop out of school and failed this past year. difficult child II of course has added his own flavor to things, so I can relate to the "what about me" feeling you're having. Hang in there and know you can always come here for support :cool:


You may have answered these questions 3 months ago so I'm sorry if you need to repeat yourself.

What kind of doctor diagnosed him with ODD and Sensitive Personality Disorder?
Has he ever seen an adolescent psychiatrist?
Has anyone mentioned anxiety and/or depression as possible dxes?
Is he on any medications?
Is he in therapy?

Sorry you continue to struggle.


Former desparate mom
<span style='font-size: 11pt'>Truthfully, if I got my nose broke at school, I might not want to go back. I'm sure there is teasing and badgering going to go on. Is there any chance of alternative schooling to help him get past this and prove to himself he has what it takes to get a good education and follow his dream?
The anxiety or depression that makes going to school so difficult can be overwhelming. Offer him some choices. If he chooses to quit school, he can get a job. It's one or the other.
On the other hand asking him if there is anything you can do to help him want to get up and go to school may provide some ideas of what he needs to fill his emotional tank.

You have a tough road with a difficult teen. Don't give up yet. You are doing all the right things. Carve out time in some small way for yourself. Schedule it like an appointment every week. </span>


I have to agree with Fran. Any other options? That would be a tough situation to face for any kid. Can't say my difficult child would go either. Hang in there. I feel so bad for your difficult child, he must be really struggling.

Ngaire K

New Member
Thanks to all who replied.
Well he went to school today :smile: I do understand his anxiety about going to school. He has always suffered anxiety about school, mainly about seperating from me, and doesnt handle any meanness from other students (he was bullied a lot in intermediate which is when he started having rages).
This year is just so important, its exam year, the ones that will go on his CV for future job prospects. He was getting teased when he went back after getting his nose broken, all the "manly" bull, being told he was weak becasue he came off worse. My heart breaks for him. Kids can be SO MEAN.
I spent all morning on the net yesterday looking for alternative education solutions. I know if this doesnt work I WILL get him hooked up on correspondance and do it from home, but I'm aware that I need time out to regroup so I can be emotionally there for him so its a tough one. But at the end of the day, his qualifications are what matters, and I will do what I have to.
We are talking lots, our bond is back, that makes it alot easier, and he respects me again too. I'm just worried for his future.
Phychiatrist diagnosed him, he definitely has anxiety issues, he is off to his first therapy appointment after school today, he finally saw he needed to go to help him sort some stuff out, YAY!!! Not on medication, was never advised, tho I was told it was an option. His problems have always seemed to be based on things that have happened to him (hes had such a rough life, dad died at 9, grandparents moved overseas within a year later, got bells palsy soon after, then bullied and teased as a result). I've always seen it as a last resort, its never got bad enough for me to contemplete it.
Thanks again for reaching out, I feel so overwhelmed at times trying to support him (pretty much by myself, I dont have much support), I feel for him so deeply.

Ngaire K

New Member
:frown: He bunked with the bad friends today, who've been getting him into trouble, that I'm trying to keep him away from (they all go to the same school). A window got broken in town, he got put in jail, charged with breaking bail conditions (staying away from the two boys) and destruction of property. He is in a bad space, depressed, wanting to disappear. Now we are back in the court system again, and we havent even got out from the last stuff he did with these kids.
I dont know what to do with him... he keeps making bad decisions cause he is so inept socially, low in self esteem, finds it hard to make friends, doesnt feel included.
I thought we were coming out, light at the end of the tunnel.. now I'm plunged back in :frown:


Well-Known Member
Now it is up to the court systems to decide what to do. All you can do is provide the courts with the information you have, doctor notes, diagnosis, and what you have tried to date. Request an evaluation from the court. Perhaps residential treatment is appropriate.

HUGS! I know it hurts a mommy's heart.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Really you're not in this mess. difficult child has created it; you're in the emotional fallout of his poor choices.

How you react will get you through this. difficult child is old enough to know that this is "his" problem. You have given difficult child the tools needed to dig himself out of this hole - will he use them this time around?

Something to consider. Hope you're feeling better about things today.