19 Answers

My teenager is not getting up in the mornings to go to school. He has his alarm set, we wake him up and his friend comes over to pick him up. But so far this year he has had more days off than what he has been to school. He is a good kid and is at the top of all his classes but he just doesn’t see the relevance in going to school because he isn’t learning anything. Any ideas on how to get him motivated?

Posted anonymously, 10th March 2019

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  • Sometimes you just can’t fix this. Try offering other solutions. Apprenticeship, training courses or jobs maybe

  • I was in a similar situation myself when I was in high school. It was more to do with me and how I was feeling in myself, my period had started and I wasn’t coping. I would look into what’s happening with him in his life in general, school may not be the issue, just a symptom of the problem

  • I’d have to agree with a lot of the comments-sounds social. Perhaps he is being bullied, as they always make up some other reason as to not to go. If he states he is bored and not learning contact the school and discuss with them how they can get hi motivated again. Good luck.

  • It sounds like there is something else going on here, maybe something social or related to his mental state. Is there a staff member at school that maybe able to help or perhaps a family member or trusted friend that your son may open up to?

  • Speak to the year level co ordinator. There could be something your son is not telling you. He might be bored not challenged so the school should modify his learning. My son stopped going all together but due to anxiety ADHD bullying he now attends a school for kids with difficulties and goes part time. This is achievable for him. No pressure. Try to keep communication channels open with your son and ask him what would make him happy at school.

  • I’m dealing with the same thing. It’s hard. Because sometimes in my heart I don’t blame them! All those personalities and hormones bursting at the seams and your child finding their place amongst it all.
    I try to listen without scolding. Just nod and understand. Give little lights at end of each days tunnel. They can choose dinner tonight. Choose an activity they enjoy to do after school whether it’s sport or sketching in house. My daughter loves drawing so I enocourage it and remind her that’s there after school.
    Count down to weekend… like Hey it’s only two days to the weekend!
    Or seven school days to the holidays. Trust me I say these last ones for my benefit too! Count down!
    Your not alone.

  • Ask for him to get extension work (You a ask the teachers) as it sounds like he is not being challenged enough.

  • Maybe your son is more advanced than the school is actually teaching and is simply bored. If he is getting good grades at school that may be one of the causes. I know a girl whose parents has the same issue a lot. She missed school a few times (+was sick a few times she caught every bug going around the school) but she still got A for every subject. She was simply bored. Near the end of the school year (she was in year 8) they had her assessed. She was so far advanced that she went straight to year 8. I’m wondering how long before she will be bored again and her parents have the same issue again.

  • I can relate in some sense as I have the same issue with my daughter. Every day she says she hates school and doesn’t want to go and we argue but in the end, I believe by law that they have to attend school to a certain age so I have explained she doesn’t have a choice until that age. When she is old enough she can make the decision but until then, she has to go to school. Again, similarities where she says she is not learning anything so I have had discussions on changing schools or even finding out if there is a trade/VET subject or alternative school she would like rather than the conventional. It is hard when they say no to everything. I do worry that there may be bullying at school but teenagers don’t always want to discuss this. I have now talked to other parents who have suggested perhaps seeing a psychologist…maybe this is something you could also consider. I wish you all the very best.

  • Sounds social related. Teachers or kids harrassing him? Does he have good friend base at school? If he’s needing more challenges,talk ti the school about extra credit

  • Is your son bored at school?
    Is he being bullied?
    The school should be working with you to get your boy engaged at school.
    Just hope he won’t lose friends by not attending to school.
    Hope you find a solution with the schools support.

  • Maybe find out if there’s an underlying issue elsewhere that he hasn’t voiced

  • Working with the school to address engagement is always a good idea. The school should be actively working to find way to engage with your child and looking at all options for engagement. A conference with school may be beneficial with everyone working together.

  • If he is doing well academically, then there must be something else going on. Either he needs to be set more challenging work, or there might be some social aspect of school e.g. bullying that is keeping him away. Speaking with his teachers and peers might shed some light on what is going on.

  • As a retired secondary school teacher, my first thought is whether or not your son is being bullied. It must be very hard and stressful for you as u cant force your child to attend school. Discussions with the year level co-ordinator are essential. I wonder if the co-ordinator would consider visiting your son at home on one of the days he doesn’t attend. That way they could have a meaningful discussion away from the school environment. Maybe there is one subject he particularly hates and he could change to another subject? Or perhaps it isn’t the school work that he finds boring, but something else is bothering him. It would be so helpful if he would be willing to talk to a psychologist about his worries. I wish you all the best as it is a difficult time for all of you.

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