08-18-2021 03:47 PM - last edited on 11-17-2021 04:22 PM by Philippa-RO
My 14 year old daughter hates school. She thinks it's a waste of her time and literally does the absolute minimum but sometimes she does nothing. She won't complete assignments, homework and sometimes just won't bother to go to a class but sits in the toilet block instead.
She attended a private school from grade 7 to 10 and loved it from a social aspect but did as little work as humanly possible. She asked to go to a government school because she knew a couple of girls there so we thought it was worth a try because nothing else was working and she was the one who instigated the move. So we moved her. It has made no difference. She says she likes the school better than the previous one (because there are less rules) but just hates school.
We have worked with both schools to bring about a change. They have been so good offering different classes and pathways to get where she will be happy. It makes no difference. In her head she just wants to leave and work. We've told her she is better to finish grade 12 and she only has just over 2 years left. She's just not interested. We don't have a clue what to do next? We've tried talking to her, friends and family have tried talking to her, peers and older young adults have tried talking to her. None of it has helped. She simply doesn't care.
Any ideas or help would be much appreciated
08-18-2021 09:39 PM
Welcome to the forum and thank you for reaching out for support today.
That sounds like an incredibly frustrating situation to be in as a parent, I can hear that you have been trying your best to look after the needs of your teen and try to accommodate them, but it sounds like nothing has been working.
I want to let you know that you are not alone in this, there are a lot of parents who have reached out on here to seek support for school refusal. I would recommend having a look at this guide on our website around school refusal for teens. In addition we have these threads (here and here) in which parents have discussed similar situations that they having struggling with.
What supports does your daughter have at school? Has she been able to speak to anyone such as a school counsellor around her school refusal?
Besides showing a desire to want to leave school and work, has she specified any specific reasons for her lack of engagement with school?
What sort of supports do you have yourself during this difficult time?
From where I stand, it really sounds like you are an excellent parent who is trying to do their best to support their teen. I know it may not feel that way sometimes, especially if they don’t seem to be responding to anything that has been tried. But simply because you are still trying and working away at this shows a lot of guts!
08-23-2021 10:29 AM
KEEP ENCOURAGING HER. THATS ALL U CAN DO AND SHOW BY EXAMPLE HOW TO KEEP COMMITTMENTS. LOVE HER , SHE WILL CHANGE, MAYBE NOT FROM THE SCHOOL ISSUE BUT AS SHE GROWS UP. I WAS MUCH THE SAME AND I HAD AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM, SEE MY PARENTS WERE TOO EASY GOING BUT LOVING. I WOULD JUST KEEP ENCOURAGING HER AND GET HER A PART-TIME JOB AT A SUPERMARKET SAT MORNINGS, THAT WOULD GIVE HER A RESPONSIBILITY, PLUS A SKILL.
WHAT IS GOING ON AT SCHOOL AND WHO IS SHE BECOME FRIENDS WITH. ENCOURAGE THE GOOD FRIENDS TO COME AROUND AND VISIST VICE VERSA. FRIENDS PLAY A BIT PART IN HER LIFE AT 14 called PEER PRESSURE. PLEASE KEEP MAKING HER GO AND TELL HER SHE NEEDS WHAT SHE IS TO LEARN FOR THE FUTURE.
HOPE THIS HELPS.
08-23-2021 10:54 AM
Thank you so much for your response.
We love our daughter so much and know there is an awesome adult in there!! She has amazing friends and she has a part time job waitressing. Everything in her life is positive except for school! She just hates it and doesn't want to go. She goes but doesn't participate in anything. We've explained that she has incredible potential but all she sees is the fact that she is happy at work (because she gets paid for her skills) but not happy at school because it is " a waste of her time". We are grateful that she still speaks with us and is still connected to us but she gets so upset at having to go to school it creates a horrible negative atmosphere for our family.
Your response gives us hope given you have been through something similar. Thank you!
08-23-2021 11:01 AM - last edited on 11-17-2021 04:21 PM by Philippa-RO
We are having counselling and the reason she hates school is she believes it's a waste of her time. She has a part time job waitressing and she loves it because she is paid for her skills. Although having a part time is wonderful and shows she has a brilliant work ethic she has made the connection that she would much rather work and get paid than sit at school all day and not get paid! She is very intelligent but would rather channel her energy into her job that her schooling. There is no bullying issues - she is very strong and up front with us regarding these things - we have always had open discussions with our children about all the usual teenage topics. Bottom line here is she thinks school is a waste of her time period! We are organising counselling for all of us at this time.
08-23-2021 11:13 AM
I went on to be successful and yes I was headstrong and I have headstrong kids. Getting around them sometimes is a battle but instead of nagging or saying you should, found what works best is WOULD U LIKE TO DO ..... OR WOULD U GIVE ME AN OPINION ....Head strong children need the WOULD not the should or nagging.
Anyway I hated school I went and didnt do much but loved life when I left and became successful at many things.
08-23-2021 02:30 PM
Hi @Maria46 ,
It sounds like you've been able to get to the core of your daughter's dislike for school, which is a great step in the right direction. Does your daughter have any ideas of what she would like to do for work in the future?
I'm glad to hear that there is no bullying at play, it sounds like you and your daughter have very open lines of communication.