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Parenting & Education in Ireland

Refusing to go to school

re : Refusing to go to school           reply
14/09/2012 19:45 - Teenage Issues
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Hi Becs
It sounds like your son has had a lot of bad school experiences so his confidence in his own ability at school is probably very low. It may not be so much as ´won´t go´ but instead he probably believes he ´can´t´. Having recent enough diagnoses of ADD and Dyslexia, he has not yet learned how to tell others about his struggles, nor has he learned yet how to overcome the daily obstacles he faces. My first port of call would be the school - speak to his Year Head, speak to the Principle; ask for a meeting. School refusal is very serious and all hands need to be on board to get him the support he needs both in school and outside. The other really important thing is to find a different way to speak to your son so that he can talk and you can listen. He is really struggling inside right now and really needs you - obviously you´re trying your best but somehow the two of you are coming up against each other when he really needs to feel you´re on his side. The best approach is to ask him for a time when you can speak to him - so he has control over the right time - and then start by saying you´re really concerned about him, its clear that he´s not happy, obviously there´s a problem and that you´d like if somehow you could all (parents & son) talk about it and try to find a solution that works for everyone. As a peace offering you could consider giving back his laptop, as this consequence is not achieving your aim, and is only creating a further barrier between you.
Then listen to his side - without interruption. Encourage him to talk, let him know you really want to hear his side, you want to understand, you really want to help him. Once you´ve really truly heard him, ask him for his suggestions, brainstorm some solutions about what can be done, and what his options are. Write them down, even the crazy ones, don´t judge any at this stage, and add your own. Then together work through the options you´ve written down and make a plan of action.
So - I would encourage you to 1. speak to your son, 2. speak to the school, 3. continue to follow-up with the clinic he attends - if possible get back in touch with the professional who assessed and diagnosed him and ask for help.
Best wishes, Mother Hen



re... : Refusing to go to school           reply
01/10/2013 12:44 - Teenage Issues
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Sorry I was browsing and just spotted this section on School refusal. My son also 15 has started since only beginning of this year with it since Sept he hasn´t made it in a full week last week he only made it in to see the counsellor in the school. Like you all we are at our wits end he has an appointment with the family support centre next thursday for this. Do you notice it is mostly all boys that suffer from this. I think it is because they don´t talk things through like girls? He use to be so out going and happy in his life and now suddenly this has started. How he is going to sit his junior cert I don´t know. The school have been great I have to say and say it is a day to day thing and it is something they have seen numerous times before. Doesn´t make it any easier though :(



re... : Refusing to go to school           reply
28/09/2012 16:03 - Teenage Issues
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Hi, Thanks for all the advice and feedback. The school are fully aware of the situation and very supportive they have school liaison officer who I touch base with regularly. He has been back to school but hasn´t made it through a full week. I understand its very frustrating for him so I try to be supportive and communicate with him in an honest and open way. I know he trying and making an effort. He attended Lucena quite a few times I usually have to contact them for an appointment but they are very quick at coming back to me. I have contacted the Educational Welfare officer numerous times over the last year and half and there is not much they can do, there are no alternative options for cases like this and you are very much on your own. Socially he seems a lot better and has made friends in school and outside of school from a film camp that he did this year. We seem to be heading in a better direction so fingers crossed. Best of you luck to you and your son. I am based in Dun Laoghaire.



re : Refusing to go to school           reply
25/04/2013 12:39 - Teenage Issues
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hi, no advice to give you, just wanted to say i understand the frustration.
i have been having the same problems with my son also 15 since he started secondary, some mornings i have to almost wrestle him out of the bed, the stress this is causing within the family is unbearable.
he understands that he needs an education to give him the best chance in life, but just hates school.
i have been checking online to see if i could find some help as i feel at this stage that he is wearing me down.
he is a bright kid, picks things up really easily, but has very low concentration span.
he has it in his head that he is going to make it as a footballer and while he is very good, their are 1000s of kids who want to do the same, which means the chances of any one of them making it is very slim.
i wish i could have him hypnotised to like school and if i though it would work, i would send him to see someone.
he is a healthy kid, no medical problems.
i just don´t know what to do anymore.
i would welcome advice or the name of somewhere i could get some help with him.
it saddens me no end that he will not have a complete education.



re : Refusing to go to school           reply
17/09/2012 10:32 - Teenage Issues
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Hi Becs, I feel your pain as my 15 year old son has been refusing to go to school since jan 2010. It all started off quite slowly at first and progressed. Earlier this year after the intervention of the Education Welfare officer and the school I finally managed to get him to the Lucean Clinic. He attended there for a few months and he went back into school for a couple of hours each day in May. He was due to sit his Jnr Cert in June but couldn´t. The Lucean Clinic signed him off at the end of April which was a massive mistake on their part as we are now back to square one. He began this current school year really really well. And I thought, yes, we are on the right track but after 4 days it all broke down again. I had to go back to the GP for a referal, but thankfully we have an appointment again in the Luceana. The Dept of Education don´t really want to know. But I do strongly recommend keeping in touch with the school, as I have done right from the start.
Has your son been socially excluded by his friends, as this does not help the situation, my son has and this has made things a whole lot worse.
Where abouts are you based. I´m in Wicklow.



re... : Refusing to go to school           reply
15/11/2013 14:30 - Teenage Issues
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Hi I am having the same problem with my 13 year old daughter, her doctor has referred her to CAMHS but she is refusing to talk to the doctor their. She says there is no problems at school and like some of the other teens referred to in the conversation says she just doesn´t like it, she doesn´t want to do home work either. I am at my wits end trying to get through to her, nothing helps. She rarely does a full week in school
Jenny



Refusing to go to school           reply
12/09/2012 16:21 - Teenage Issues (Locality: Dublin South)
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My son is 15 he has had issues with school since he started in first year, as a result of this we changed schools mid way through second year. This didn´t help but did lead to us getting help and as a result my son has being diagnosed with ADD and mild dyslexia, for which he is now receiving help for. He started back into third year in Sept and for the first two weeks was really positive and putting great effort in. Getting notes from his teachers to that fact, all very positive. Now out of know where he is refusing to go to school his attitude has completely changed from positive and happy to angry and aggressive. He cannot give me any reason for this and he just states he doesn´t want to go as he doesn´t like it. I have confiscated his laptop etc and told him he will get it back when he goes to school. Sometimes I think I am getting through to him then bang he just refuses to talk. I have contacted the clinic he attends but the doctor only works part time so I am waiting for a call back to try and arrange an appointment. I just don´t know what to do any more. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.




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