What are you supposed to do if your 16 year old refuses to go to school?

Trudy - posted on 03/06/2010 ( 160 moms have responded )

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I try to get my 16 year old son up to go to school but he rufuses what am i supposed to do? DSS is trying to get me for educational neglect.

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Tracey - posted on 12/22/2012

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my 15yr old daughter is being bullied in school, she is 16 on the 11-1-2013, the last time this happened was on the 17-12-2012 she came home from school in tears and shaking uncontrolably i was heartbroken and angry, this bullying has been re-occuring on and off for the last 2yrs and the girl involved is never punished, i have been to the school repeatedly about this and in my honest opion i feel im being fobbed off, my daughter now does not want to return to school and to be honest i dont want her to go back as she feels when she reports this to a teacher they dont listen and think she is the one to blame, she is due to start college in september but has asked me if she could have home tutoring until she finishes school unfortunatley we cant afford home tutoring is there anything we can do as we are at our wits end.

Mary - posted on 12/17/2012

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My son is 17 years he does not want to go to school. we have been through so much. He hanging out with the wrong people. I talk to him try to give him advice he does not listen i want the best for him he so smart and he works but how can you force a child to school.

Angie - posted on 11/07/2012

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Is it possible to look into a tutor something that the local social services offers for low cost or free of charge or any community programs for youth his age until his ITC placement? I wish you the best and I pray everything works out for you and your son.

Amanda - posted on 11/07/2012

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i work full time can't do home schooling he starts college tomorrow , he's doing 2 days a week for his maths and english then he will do ict when a placement comes up, once that comes up he will go to college more.

Amanda - posted on 11/05/2012

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if your child refuses to go to school do they expect you to drag him there. chances are he's bigger and stronger than you.. my son was put out of school and didn't get back in on appeal because the school said he's disruptive not violent or anything like that he's class clown, he's very brainy and they put him out right on top of exams, my point is he has been out of education since march 2012 and he's only just starting college 1.5 days a week now, i kicked off with ss and county hall because like you if i didn't get him to school i would be prosecuted but ok for them to keep my son away from education for nearly 8 months, i would ask the school to call a meeting with county hall with you there and get them to tell you how they suggest you get your son to school. don't let them bully you into believing your the one in the wrong, what have they done to help you resolve it, have they tried talking to your son to find out why he doesn't go to school, all questions they need to be asking your son.

Angie - posted on 10/05/2012

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Sometimes children learn differently I have two that went to traditional public school and one I am home schooling now as traditional westernized learning just didn't suit him and caused more issues and problems to try to force him to go- try other options beloved such as homeschooling online there are very inexpensive sites that you can use for your sun (yes I said sun). Some as low as $50 monthly and he can still get a good education and ease the tension of sitting caged up all day in a mini prison. Its working wonders with my sun and I and he is much happier and I am much more satisfied with his progress, he's doing well, has his 'freedom' and a happy teenage young man. Sometimes traditional education just doesn't blend well with certain children especially after they become teens and young adults. Blessed be I pray you work it out with your sun, I can tell you love him.

Amanda - posted on 10/05/2012

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my son was permanently excluded from school for his disruptive behavior, he goes to alternative when it suits him, he is now meant to go to college, but he still thinks after all appeals etc he can get back into school can't get it into his head he will never get back into school, now i'm the bad one because i won't contact ofsted, dss can't do you it's not your fault he won't go to school,

Krissy - posted on 09/19/2012

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my 14 year old refused to go to school and i called the cops and told them and they offered to come pick her up and escort her to school. she was up and ready and went to the bus stop bc she didnt want the cops taking her to school. try that.

Jessie L - posted on 09/19/2012

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Ask them what you can do!!! there should also be a truancy

officer in your area. Or call your local police officer they should be able to direct you in the right procedures to follow.

Kim - posted on 09/19/2012

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I can relate to every story...my son is 16 and for a long time I could not keep him from school...now I have to almost throw him through the school doors...he leaves class and he is so slick that he will still be on campus and know one can ever seem to locate him...I have called the police til I am blue in the face and the results are bascially zero...The officials want you to control your children but wont help when you are trying...instead when the children are getting into trouble the first thing that is said is it's the parents fault...I say hell to the no...i am tired and i am not going to be stressed...I dont know what else to do..I am tired of taking time off work...being late for work...following him to school even to classes...he just decided he is going nowhere fast...

Rinz - posted on 08/21/2012

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I been having the worst problem with my daughter for almost 2 years now from 4.0 to 2.0 since she meet her 17 yrs old boyfriend, All she wanna be is to be with him. She refuses to go to school for almost 3 days now been calling the school about it they said a officer will call me or stop by at my home so far nobody show up. She been chasing the boyfriend the problem is the boy is not ready to commit with her because since he is 18 now by law he can't. I took her to the Psychiatrist but they count help her, Couple of moths ago I have a Cps on her case because i found empty bottles next to her bed, been saying she wanna die, called 911 one time because she want to get off the house to chase the boyfriend again. But when the cop talk to her she act so good that even the cop thinks nothing wrong with her. She have been lying just to get what she want now it's hard to believe if she still telling the truth. Is so painful to see from parents to see the kids that you raise use to be good and now saying all she want to be is with him. I really need help also, I called a case manager this morning see what can they do to help me. I have two more boys 14 & 12 so far they are a good. They supposed to look up to her because she is the older sister but they are looking at the worst example.

America3437 - posted on 09/15/2011

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I have a gait belt that will assist you in lifting him if you would like I will send it to you. This is a lifting device not a hold your pants up/ whip your kids belt! Call the police and have him escorted to school.

Angela - posted on 09/15/2011

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Good response, America3437! But I didn't have a car. And even if I did, how does a single mother whose son is a great, big strapping 16 year-old actually get him into the car if he has other ideas? How in fact does she even get him from A to B within the home? How can any parent (including fathers too in some cases) expect to successfully pit their physical strength against a big strong teenager with a mind of his own?



I'm glad for your mother's sake that the judge turned things around. But it just goes to show that the Law is unfair to parents in most cases.

America3437 - posted on 09/15/2011

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I would put him in the car and take him to school, walk him straight to the principal and at least then you made sure he got there and the school sees that you are trying and maybe they could let DSS know that you make every attempt to get him to school.Only option left is to withdraw student and homeschool? I skipped so much school that I lost all credit and there was really no way to get me to go. The school sent Mom and I to court where the judge told me he would throw my mom in jail if i skipped again. Made it about two weeks and I went to lake with friends and when I got home judge was in my living room and my mom was in handcuffs. After he learned my mother had even walked me to class he personally drove me to school and signed my release papers to drop out so that my mom didn't go to jail. he understood she had done all she could do and it being the end of my junior year there was no way I would get the credits to graduate anyway. Mom tried and now I wish i would have just went to school!

Angela - posted on 09/15/2011

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I had this with my son. If it happens during their last year of compulsory schooling in the UK the authorities don't do much about it generally (he's now 28 so it was a while ago and I don't know exactly how the Education Department deal with this stuff now - my experiences may be well out-of-date). I think when the Law insists that the parents are accountable for their children failing to attend school and those kids are teenagers and wilfully making their own minds up, regardless of parent's wishes - then the Law is an ass. How can anyone (especially without a car or a partner) enforce school attendance from a tall, strong young man who wants something different?

The best advice I've seen on here is to ask your son why he doesn't want to go to school. Before you do this though - give him a cautionary tale about another teenager who was also asked the same question .... Say that this other youth just kept repeating, over & over again "I don't go to school because I don't WANT to ..." Then explain that this other person showed by his answer that he NEEDED school because he was failing to express himself adequately. School doesn't just educate in book-learning - it gives personal and social education as well. A teenager who says he simply didn't want to go to school without elaborating further is in desperate need of education to express himself more fully. And yes, there WILL be a reason!

My son wanted to stay off school because friends of his weren't attending. Many of these friends were a year older, having "officially" left school and were spending their days in unprofitable unemployment having social get-togethers (usually at my house) and generally having a whale of a time! His grandparents took him on a short holiday and he left the key to his attic bedroom with one of his friends who refused to hand the key over to me! It was that bad. With his bedroom being on the top floor of our house and because I had younger children to attend to (and I was a single parent) it was quite difficult to physically force my son to go to school. They even phoned me from the attic bedroom on a cellphone to the house's landline downstairs to ask me to take up a tray of refreshments! Like they could bunk off school and have room service!

Fortunately my son went back to school although he didn't do too well in his exams and assessments. Nowadays he has a really well-paid job and is doing much better career wise than his 3 siblings, all of whom finished school and went to University. But that's life. There are no guarantees that your own son will have the same outcome.

I wish you the very best of luck.

Angie - posted on 04/29/2010

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Go to school with him and sit outside his classroom if you have to. DSS is right, it is your responsibility to make sure your child is being educated and you have to do anything and everything to assure that it happens.

Deanna - posted on 04/28/2010

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Severe consequences, I suggest. Which only you know what that may be for your son....whether its taking away the Xbox, or a special event....or whatever will get your son's attention! Then of course, stick to the consequences. Also ensure he gets to bed at a decent time at nite. Teens need their sleep!
My daughter isnt a morning person either, and can sleep right through her blaring alarm clock. But once awaken...she knows to get her butt in gear, if she wants her cell phone that day, or go to that special event the next day, whatever the "special" thing may be at the time!! Maybe even video tape your attemtps and his refusals to get out of bed, so DSS, knows your trying!

Carol Currie - posted on 04/28/2010

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I live in Maine. Truancy laws are not enforceable. I am broken-hearted right now, as my not-yet-16 year old decided that he would not come home because he doesnt like our rules or expectations. This time, we are giving him nothing except the clothes he left with. His music player needs a charger... too bad. He doesnt have a cell phone: too bad. I have not slept in 5 days and have been physically ill over this. But it isnt the first time he has done this. I can not put in print the names he called me.
The last straw: when a 14 yr old girl called his ("my") cell asking him to help her buy drugs. I called her mother calmly to inform her and to tell her this is why I did not want my son at her house or with her daughter. Less than 4 hours later, this same mother had a pool party at the hotel where they are living temporarily! Way to parent!!
Having been through DSS here because of my son's antics, I would discuss with a caseworker the problem that you have with your son. Make it clear to your son that they will take custody of him. Be proactive and work with them -- don't let it be a black mark against you; rather let them help you make it clear to your son that his behavior is not acceptable. And then prepare to work on mending your broken heart for the next few years. I am merely going thru the motions to survive for my younger two... Best of luck to you, Trudy!

Deb - posted on 04/02/2010

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Are there truancy officers in your town? I'd get them involved. At least you can show DSS that you are doing everything possible to get your child to school. A friend of mine had that issue and the officer would come to her house every morning and escort her son to school.

MRS DARLENE - posted on 03/27/2010

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HAVE YOU ASK HIM WHAT IS THE REASON WHY HE WILL NOT GO? OR IS IT SOMEONE THAT'S BULLYING HIM IN SCHOOL. THERE MUST BE A REASON FOR THIS. HAVE YOU TRIED TO GET ENFORCED WHERE AS HE WOULD BE LOCKED UP AND MADE TO GO TO SCHOOL, THERE ARE COURTS THAT CAN HELP YOU IN THIS MATTER. GOOD LUCK AND HANG IN THERE. SOMETIMES AS PARENTS WE DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWER BUT WE CAN SHOW TOUGH LOVE.

Otcpharmacist - posted on 03/27/2010

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drive to some really bad neigburhood to let him know the consequences of no education. take away all his games, videos starting with the favorites,

Dianna - posted on 03/27/2010

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take him to visit the local jail. Let the guards tell him & show him the quality of life provided there for the inmates. make sure there is no medical issue, physical/emotional. try a new school. maybe there is something going on there - he can't express to you or anyone else. Try to find a counselor for him to talk to about his problem. Try to find him a Male Mentor who can show what possiblities there are in life. go visit some Colleges with him to show him the reward of completing high school. This may work if he loves to watch sports or is interested in a certain topic. Like computer games -take him to a university that specialized in that topic.

Dawn - posted on 03/25/2010

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Silka, I was in the same boat. My son is Bipolar. He wouldn't get up for school. When he did go, he would sleep in class. if the teacher woke him he would just walk home. I was so mad at him. I didn't know what to do. His doctor suggested an alternative school. So, I put him in there. He did the same thing. Then I took him to see a sinus doctor, he had infections all the time. I found out he had sleep apnia, and enlarged tonsils. it was causing him to not fall into a deep sleep. I thought he just stayed up all night and didn't care about school. he is now going back to his regular school and he is going to graduate as a Junior. I feel bad that all these years it was him and here it was medical. He is 18 and getting his tonsils out.

Melissa - posted on 03/25/2010

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There is always a reason why a kid does not want to go to school. You don't know if he is being threatened or feels left behind In his class. Boys don't deal with failure very well. If he is struggling in an area .. that is enough to want a way out.

Debbie - posted on 03/23/2010

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My son (16) was the same way. I drive him to school, so I gave him the option in the car at a certain time or walk, almost 2 miles. He missed quite a few days, and was called into the guidance office. he is now on a contract with the school that he cannot miss anymore time. it is working, so see what that can do.

Jeannie - posted on 03/22/2010

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Maybe theres soming going on at school a bully or he's not understanding his work. Talk to him maybe you can figure it out together ! Now if he's staying up to late and just won't get up because hes tired squirt him with the long stream of a water spraying bottle!!!!! That gets my 13 year-old up.

Rebecca - posted on 03/21/2010

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Then he'd have to find a job...can't just sit around /sleep all day. He has to contribute to society like everyone else. If he doesn't want that..then kick him out. If he doesn't move out on his own...Then pile all his things on the lawn and let him go. He is under your roof..You are the boss...if you don't like what he is doing then fire him...that is the way it works everywhere...only moms give a second chance...work doesnt...good luck!!

LaTosha - posted on 03/21/2010

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You should cover yourself. As parents we do our best to guide our kids to do what is right, but often that is not enough. You should show him tough love! Contact the tuant officer at the school and provide all the information to prove you are doing your best. Once you get a court date present all the information and turn it over to him. I have three boys, therefore I am not telling you anything that I woul not do. I am also in education and have parents call me all the time regarding this issue.

Glory - posted on 03/18/2010

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your son has no choice...he has to go...how about these schools where you just go and take the classes that you need just to get your diploma..I think they are called selective schools...something where he does not have to go for eight hours

Toni - posted on 03/18/2010

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Why, what is his reason for not wanting to go to school. I would respond according to his answer. Maybe an alternative time to attend school or even changing schools. But I would work on the core problem first.

[deleted account]

I know a lot of people have said a lot of things but have you talked to him to see why he has such a problem with school, and see if there is something going on there? Have you tried to make compromises with him.

My 16yo was unhappy with his school so I made a deal with him that if he goes to school gets good grades at the end of the year I will send him a school of his choice but he will have to work with me and give me a list of three schools. Otherwise he will stay where he is miserable. He has been doing better not the greatest, but he also gave me a list of schools and is looking forward to the end of the school year.

Just a different perspective.

Stacey - posted on 03/17/2010

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call the cops & the school. but if you threaten to call them be prepared to follow thru, you can't make idle threats...good luck

Melodie - posted on 03/14/2010

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I had that problem. His dad tried with no luck so I had the truancy officer here & he couldn't get him to go (according to our county [very old] law, even a child from 4th grade can drop out). The school ended up dropping him. Wish I could give you some kind of positive advice.

Kim - posted on 03/13/2010

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If he does not want to live by your rules and nothing you do is working, put him out of your house. I would take my key, give him 2 change of clothes and tell him to get out. I would let him be out for a few days and when he asks to come back home I would let him know the only way he can come back is if he goes to school. My friend did this and it worked.

Dawn - posted on 03/13/2010

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Try talking to him privately and if that doesn't work, look for a good counsler and see if he can work with him to get him to go to school. Pray for the Lord to help you get through to him. I'll pray for you.

Gloria - posted on 03/13/2010

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well i was that kid at sixteen well probably worse and i don't think there would be much you could do how ever with my 16 year old i use complete embarasment as punishment you know dress in your best flanel nighty and drag him to school with some messed up makeup things like image are really important in high school and the big kiss good bye is well the worst gets your point across too might help good luck

Jennifer - posted on 03/13/2010

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Sit him down and watch the jail shows! Hmm doesn't look like a good life everything you get is easy come easy go three hots and a cot is that what you want even if you don't go that route you will struggle financially for everything does the child want a car home moneyin the bank well GO TO SCHOOL, easiest way to get and keep what you want

Felicia - posted on 03/12/2010

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I don't know if your son's school has this but I did it a couple of times. It's called shadowing.....You go to school with your kid, to each class. Heck, I even sat right next to him. lol It embarasses them pretty bad, but oh well.

BERTHA - posted on 03/12/2010

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MY FOURTEEN YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WAS DOING THE SAME,CUTTING SCHOOL I WENT AS FAR AS THREATENED TO PUT HER OUT,WHEN IT CAME TO ME TO ASKE HER GRANDMOTHER TO TAKE HER IN .WHEN SHE WENT TO LIVE AT HER GRANDMOTHER,SHE STARTED IMPROBING NOW SHE IS A HONOR ROLL STUDENT.ANOTHER THING THAT WAS NOT WORKING WAS THE FACT THAT I WORK LONG HOURS AND MY DAUGHTER WAS BASICALLY LEFT ON HER OWN,SHE WAS FALLING IN WITH THE WRONG GROUD.SO LOOK FOR HELP WITH OTHER FAMILY MEMBER OR CHANGE HIM TO A DIFFERNT SCHOOL. HOPE THIS WILL HELP YOU. BERTHA

Mary Jane - posted on 03/12/2010

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I have the same problem I talked to the school to see if there was anything wrong like maybe he was getting picked on or if there was a problem with a teacher and thats why he didn't want to go ... that was the first step ... found out nothing then talked to him and asked him why he didn't want to go he said he just doesn't fit in with everyone and that he felt that it was a waste I even went as far as talking to his friends

Angie - posted on 03/12/2010

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I agree with all the other mothers by calling your local police station- I have a 15 year old with a very similar problem and my 20 year old used to behave like this too- for one thing is DON'T PANIC I know it's hard when you are facing the state & school district with them reporting you- however you must document every incident & get the law on YOUR side YOU are the parent & HE is the CHILD under your roof school is NOT an option is a REQUIREMENT if you have to make arrangements to follow him class to class until he gets it in his head he WILL go to school and graduate. Factor in puberty & the sense of how you felt @ 16 sometimes they are changing from teens to young adults & trying to find their own sense of independence & individuality etc. CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPT. & let them know your situation & take him to the station - that will put a chip in the wall of stubborn- TRUST ME-

Debra - posted on 03/12/2010

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at first threaten to go to school with them everyday, then follow through with it, if this doesn't work or is too much then go get an officer to write them a truancy ticket to keep your butt out of the slammer, and if that doesn't work drop them from school an make them do housechores from 8-3! this includes no going outside till 3p.m. then if you do let them go somewhere give them a curfew mine is at 8p.m. sharp or they can't go anywhere for the next 2 days.

Julie - posted on 03/12/2010

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we have an officer asigned to each school out here, I called him and he took her to school. That never happend again!

Marion - posted on 03/12/2010

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o.k tell him it's his life hit his pocket u lay down the law(1)rent(2)food(3)light bill and any other bills u have or out the door let the DSS pick up the result of 100% tried and keep a diary just in case they think ur at fault.best of luck mom.
if u feel any way treathened keep the cops close to ur chest he wil love ya for this:)

Rachel - posted on 03/12/2010

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depend on where u live some states legal dropout age is 16 u can all ways try getting a chins which is child in need of services i know i lost my oldest cuz of this gl everyone

Tracia - posted on 03/12/2010

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have you concidered homeschooling? it isnt for freaks or troublemakers..it is for any child that seems to be having trouble with conventional schooling. you dont need to be a rhodes scholor or a professer to pull it off. god knows I am not lol. all 4 of my kids combo-ed the homeschool and public school. I now have one who teaches at a foreign language school in spain! my elder daughter found h.s. too much of a distraction and ended up "graduating" homeschooling with almost perfect scores...ditto with the 17 y/o....its something worth a try. you can tailor the curriuculum to meet any need they have, worth checking into

Elle - posted on 03/12/2010

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I assume this an ongoing thing. Does he act out in other ways? Any chance he is depressed? It may be time to tell him the the cops will come and take him and see if that works. Not a long term solution obviously. I would look into him get a full work up by your doctor to rule out things such as thyroid imbalance and then take him to a counselor.

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