teenagers not going to school

Mandi - posted on 06/17/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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i have two teenage girls who refuse to go to school they get caught all the time skipping and have been kicked out of two classes a day i know the year is over how do i stop this pattern for next year? i have grounded and taken away stuff?

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Gina - posted on 07/25/2009

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My daughter would not get out of bed to go to school. i do NOT know what kind of laws you have in your state, but in mine, if your child does not go to school they can arrest the parents. So when she would not get up I would call the police and have her escorted to school. I have stripped her from everything, she only has her bed and dresser in her room......NO cell phones, tv, games.....NOTHING!!!! And when she would go to school everyday for a month straight she would start getting her things back. I have 2 teenage daughters and believe me it is hard. Good luck:)

Leanne - posted on 08/10/2009

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Maybe sit down and explain to them, it is your job to go to school, as it is my responsibility to go to work, I know they don't understand that this is the only thing "FREE" in life, is this education and they need to make the most of it, after HS nothing is free. Set up a consequence for their behavior, and reward them when they do well, often time we only see the bad and not the good in their eyes. May tour your local Juvenile Hall let them see what could happen if they continue this behavior. It will be hard but follow through these are tough time in their life and yours stand firm. Good Luck.

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Carolyn - posted on 08/12/2009

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I went through this with my 16 yr old son last year. First semester great attendance, model student. Second semester slowly slipped away. By the time the reasons were known the year was done and out of luck. There are always underlining reasons why a teen doesn't want to go to school. Communication is the key here. For us anyway. Talk, talk , talk until I was blue in the face. They slowly mature and even if you think they aren't listening they are. They will eventually hear what your saying but don't ever turn them away or give them reason to continue. These are the last couple of years before adult hood and it's one road or the other... you may not be able to totally control them but every word you say is gold and guidance to their decision making. Best of luck and I am still talking to mine

Karen - posted on 08/12/2009

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Where I live, that is against the law and parents can go to jail. Also, kids can't get a driver's license if they don't go to school. And if they drop out their license is taken away from them until they graduate or get a GED. As hard as it may be, I would tell them that if they don't follow your rules, then they cannot live with you and they cannot come back until they get a clue and do what you tell them.

[deleted account]

Mandi, I have to wonder why your school hasn't turned them over to the truancy court. If they've got this many absences, it should have been turned over long ago.

Make sure they know that you'll push to get it referred to truancy court if they continue with this behavior. If you don't feel comfortable telling them that, you need to find out the actual school policy is on truancy (and maybe ask why nothing was referred last year). And in court, they will be held accountable and may be sent to an alternative school. Also, most towns & cities now have a day time curfew in effect for school aged children. Maybe your town needs to be more on the lookout for teens during the school hours. You may want to also find out how they are leaving the school campus. The skipping is probably bigger than just your two teens.

Your girls may have already delayed their graduation & if they want to graduate with their friends, you can use that as incentive to get caught up. It's possible, but requires the school, your teen & you working together. It may take summer school or online classes to get caught up. Where we live, one session of summer school is $200 unless you're on free or reduced lunches. So getting caught up can be expensive.

They have a clean slate at the beginning of the year. Hopefully they'll have a great year.

[deleted account]

hello. I'm new here but ... I'm not real sure how to do it with teenage girls my daughter always wanted to go to school (to get away from me I think -- her escape to her friends). anyway when my son was little I bribed him. He really wanted a certain basketball so in order to get it he had to go to school and not miss any days. didn't think it was going to work but he did not miss one single day that year. Yes, he got his basketball!! and made mom proud cuz he also got good grades that year too. :-) just an idea. hope it works if you decide to try it.

Betty - posted on 08/08/2009

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talk to them, ask them why they dislike school so much? are they skipping with other teens who are a bad influence on them?

NATALIE - posted on 08/08/2009

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Hi Mandi, i have been there done all that and even took my 16yr old daughter to counseling for 4 years then she didn't want to go to that so we stopped i had the truant officer, principal, everyone related to education even the school Chaplin trying to get her back to school eventually the school did get her to go back and they worked with her and set up a goal system for her e.g if she achieved 1 full week of attendance they issued her to use library computers in one of her free classes, 2 full weeks and she was the person to help deliver thing to teachers and so on.I suggest you talk with her year teacher or principal and have them work harder with you they did wonders for my daughter she is now year 12 and i went through what you are now going through for 2 years... good luck get the school to help you and keep on their backs don't give up...

Shelly - posted on 07/30/2009

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Mandi,

Thank God this is not something thatt I have had to deal with...But I have to tell ya I was one of those kids...And my biggest reason for skipping school is bordom...I wasn't understanding things and when I would go to the teachersw they would act like they didn't want to take the time to show me or explain it to me so I just gave up...Try sitting down with them before school starts and just ask them what the problem is...Don't do it in a manner that they feel like you are attacking them or accusing them do it in a manner of concern and just let them know that you are concerned about thier futures let them know you don't want to see them have to struggle through life with no education...Or being a single mom trying to just make rent and put food on the table...and the way that this country is going right now the Goverment isn't going to have the money to take care of them...Look for patterns like is it the same class that thier skipping or being kick out of is it the same teacher, what are they doing when thier skipping??? Stuff like that....This is were you need to turn into an investigator and get as much information as you can and then take it to the school and ask for thier help...Talk to the guidance councelors and ask for help and if they try to blow you off b/c of the way your girls past you need to get demanding and if the school doesn't do anything for you go to the school district and if that doesn't help go to the superintendant of school in your state...Show your girls that you are willing to go to the mat for them no matter what....You need to be active not reactive when it comes to your girls...Good Luck and let us know how ya do!!!

Dawn - posted on 07/29/2009

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Do they have any problems learning? Is there more going on then the fact they just don't want to be in school? Just something to think about.

Angie - posted on 07/25/2009

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Walk the girls into school each morning and sit outside their classrooms.....

Mandi - posted on 06/19/2009

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thanks for the ideas it is something to try everything else dosen't seem to work i will give it a try !

[deleted account]

Well you have taught your girls they can do this by your acceptance of them doing it. I know it is hard to hear but you have to get tougher on this one. I suggest first that in August you have a family meeting and unveil a poster called house rules. Say you recognize that everyone may not be clear on the rules as they have just been spoken. Post these rules somewhere you can all see them and refer to them often.The rules should be one liners and address major areas like chores, respect for adult authority, respect for eachother, no kids in when you are not home, curfew, and job ethic (their job is to graduate high school). The most important thing Mandi is to have a matter of fact tone of voice and for you and your mate to be clear on the rules and the consequences. Tell the girls what the conseqences are for breaking the rules and stick to them. If you have trouble with that then get yourself to a teen support group of a counselor and start working.



Now when I faced this with my teens, they played me cause they were willing to be grounded or lose their cell for the day off with friends or whatever they were up to. They weighed the consequences at the moment and decided to do what they wanted. I had to up the consequences until they weighed it more seriously. One thing that worked for us was the weekend report. I devised a report that required my teen to go up to each teacher at the beginning of class on Friday and give them their weekly report. They picked it up at the end of class. The report required the teacher to check off categories like attendance and late attendance, cooperation and attitude and homework incompleted. I allowed the teen activites Friday through Sunday based on that report. Oh, fthey forgot the report- grounded the whole weekend- no report = no activiites. Partially good report- out on Friday night but not Saturday, out on Sun afternoon but not on Sat afternoon. Bad report (any skips classes or any comments of disrespect to teacher)- no activities. Good report= activies all weekend.



Now my teens tested us on this over and over again the first month and because we followed through (calmly with no enagagement of talk about it- they earn what they get just like in adult world), it worked. They settled down. We kept up the report and it became routine. Their grades improved cause we saw weekly missed homework (we purcased an additonal set of textbooks so they couldn't say they didn't have the material). They learned to get the report (reponsibility and self- discipline) and they learned I reap what I sow. The following year we said we would test them the first reporting period and if their progress report came in without unexcused absences and good grades then they could continue without the weekend report- if not, they go back on it. Trust me, that progress report was good! Taking control quietly and consistently and using the other adults that are involved with your teen works.



For more specific ideas to try with teens, become a member of the circle group- "We survived our teenagers! This is group written by moms and dads who sucessfully raised challenging teens and are willing to share actual ideas that worked. Just search for it on the Circle of Moms home page. Good luck with your skipping teens. Let me know how it worked out. Jude

Mandi - posted on 06/18/2009

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yes my husband i and i have been thinking of summer school or something of that sort and when they skip they hang out at the school with their friends that is why they have been told to leave school property when they are not in class but boot camp is something to look into .

Shelly - posted on 06/17/2009

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Mandi,

Have you looked into boot camp?? Yes it is out ragesly priced but well worth the cost. If they don't want to do what is expected of them in your house then you can send them some place that they will be forced to do what is expected!!! Or you could just get to the point of every time that the school calls call the police and turn them in as truent...Do you know what they are doing when they aren't at school? Maybe you should sit down and talk to them and find out whats going on do it in a manner were they don't feel like you are attacting them or accusing them of some thing yes I know with girls thats a tricky one b/c every thing that comes out of our mouth is presevered as threatening!!! Girls aren't they just grand!!! Good luck and let me know how things are going!!!

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