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18 year old son is avoiding school and isnt seeking outside help

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18 year old son is avoiding school and isnt seeking outside help


18 year old son is avoiding school and isnt seeking outside help

Hi everyone. I am sure I am not the only one in the following boat. I live in Victoria so we are in another lockdown. Over the past week, my sons attendance to online learning (He is 18 in 5 months) has dwindled to zero participation. I know this is contributing to his anxiety as he knows he is falling behind. He gets overwhelmed with things at the best of times, but this is the worst I have seen him. He wont listen to my suggestions of seeking outside help. I am a single mum and my son lives full time with me. I really feel like I am not the male role model that he needs at this crucial time of his life.

Any suggestions from people in this same storm are welcome.


Re: 18 year old son is avoiding school and isnt seeking outside help

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Hi @JOANIE, that sounds like such a stressful situation for you and your son - this is such a tough time for parents and young people. Is your son in year 12 this year? If so, I imagine he must be feeling particularly stressed having to go through lockdown right now.

I feel for you both and I'm so glad you reached out for support.
What a difficult time to be going through for all our young people. I think many of them are worrying not just about today or next week, but also about what their futures will look like. 

It must be so hard trying to navigate this with your son and trying to work out how best to support him. My guess is that he knows that not doing his school work is going to have a negative impact on his studies, so his reasons for avoiding it must be really significant - I imagine it must feel impossible. 

Does the school know that he’s struggling to manage his work at the moment? If not, do you think telling them might be an option? Often schools are able to offer supports or special consideration if young people are struggling. If they already know, have they been supportive?

I’m wondering, do you think your son would be open to talking with you and/or someone at school (eg. the school counsellor) about what it is that makes school work feel so hard right now, and what he thinks might help with that?

If your son isn't too keen on talking to people in person, would he consider something like Kids Helpline or ReachOut’s Youth Forums?

In case they're useful, we also have some great resources on our website about helping teens who don't want to go to school, what to do if a teen doesn't want help and supporting teens during coronavirus.


I hope your son is able to access some support with this as it sounds so upsetting for him, as well as for you. Please feel free to touch base here any time - we're always here to offer support.