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16 year old son - is it time for him to finish up at school?

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16 year old son - is it time for him to finish up at school?

Super star contributor

Re: 16 year old son - is it time for him to finish up at school?

Hi @lucille, I have to say your son sounds amazing, and he is lucky to have such caring and aware parents. 

My daughter is 15, and we had huge problems with school really since 4th grade. Social issues. She finally started with distance ed which she manages, but just wants leave school altogether. 17 is the age here in NSW. She is smart, and writes poems and short stories and has created her own minecraft server, coded and programmed everything, all self taught. She just gets bored with the curriculum.


I think @Ngaio-RO has offered you the best advice based on your situation. I understand distance ed wasn't the right path for him, and we are looking at other Pathways for next year, and TAFE is the one my daughter is looking at. She's been out of school for nearly 18 months now, and I have to say she did lose most of her school friends, but 2 have stuck by her and they are very close. Your son's best friends will stick with him. 

 You've taken away any shame by talking about it openly with others which is just fantastic. As Ngaio said, often leaving 'early' comes with a negative connotations which can be damaging to our kids mindset. Often leaving school is the best thing, so why not celebrate it and acknowlege the achievements made? 


All my daughter's schoolwork is done online, and as long as that is done, she's allowed to go online and chat with online friends. I wish friendships were face to face and outdoor like mine used to be, but I've grudgingly moved with the times. She does seem to get from her online friends, what I do from face to face interactions with mine. (I sound like my mum who used to whinge we spent too long in front of the tv if it was turned on before the news at night!) 


Keep in touch and let us know how it's all going.


Frequent scribe

Re: 16 year old son - is it time for him to finish up at school?

Thank you Taokat for your lovely supportive reply.  I want to look into Distance Ed but at the moment I think he might just need a break.  I think he probably might enjoy doing his work online...not sure. At present, he just wants to finish school and get a job, which is he legally about to do here in QLD.  My husband and I are so sad that he won't complete Year 12 but we don't let him know this.  We feel that he has done enough, we have done enough and the school has done enough.  He has nothing left in the tank so to speak.  Thank you for sharing your daughter's story.  It is so helpful to hear that we are not alone in our struggles.  We are definitely making sure that he doesn't feel any shame about finishing up and we are very open to looking at all options with him. We just want our son to be happy and healthy and to make his own way through life...probably slowly..but that's okay. 

Super star contributor

Re: 16 year old son - is it time for him to finish up at school?

As @Ngaio-RO has said before, your warmth just radiates from your messages. I completely understand that you'd like him to finish Year 12. I feel the same for my girl! I think we are lucky these days that school isn't the only way our kids can get an education. 


I agree with you, that your son has done so well already with it all, and he's legally allowed to leave school, so forcing him to stay wouldn't be the best thing for him. I go through waves of acceptance and non-acceptance so to speak, but I know that the pressure applied by society of what is 'normal'. What 'should' be normal is doing what's in the best long term interests of our kids. At any stage he desires he can go back and do his HSC at TAFE, or anything else he chooses to do. I keep telling myself that too! School really isn't the be all and end all, and it doesn't define their future. In saying that, if and when you think he might be willing and able, distance ed has been a great option for us. It got my daughter back into schoolwork after refusing to attend school for 3 terms. 


I love what you say you want for your son in life, as I have the same wish. If it comes to it that she ends up living in a tent, and her heart is content and she feels happy with where she is, I will be happy! Yep, slowly is absolutely okay! Sometimes it is essential! Smiley Happy


I really admire that you are aware of what may upset your son, and are able to keep him unburdened from your worries.  

Prolific scribe

Re: 16 year old son - is it time for him to finish up at school?

Hi lucille, I just wanted to say that from what you wrote about your son, he sounds happier being away from school. He seems very sensitive which makes being at school extremely difficult. I was like that at school too. It sounds like removing the thorn (current school environment) may heal the pain moreso than the band aid over the thorn (medication). 

I hope he will find happiness and perhaps he can do Yr 11 and 12 at night school when he feels a quiter environment with less and more mature people.

Active scribe

Re: 16 year old son - is it time for him to finish up at school?

Just come across your situation that you had with your son in 2017.
Was wondering how he is getting along today ?.
I have a 16 year old son in similar situation . Has severe anxiety was bullied at school ( by a teacher ! ) My son threatens to take his life when he is pressured and anxious . Seeing medical professionals .. Just encouraging him to school, which is a new one is so stressful for myself and my son.. He just does not want to go.. I'm a single mum with another 15 year old son whom enjoys school..
Hope all had turned out well for you

Re: 16 year old son - is it time for him to finish up at school?

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Hey @Fleurry 


Just checking in here to say thanks for introducing yourself to the community and to let you know that I've responded to you in more detail here