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Vaping, weed, non school attendance and disrespect….. please help!

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Vaping, weed, non school attendance and disrespect….. please help!


Vaping, weed, non school attendance and disrespect….. please help!

Our 13 year old boy started a new friend group 12 months ago. He went from a sports loving, family focused, happy, relaxed boy to now school non attendance, vaping, angry young man. Who recently got stopped by police in possession of cannabis. We have an older daughter who attends school, is working, doing well in assignments and generally a very easy person. My husband and I are both feeling incredibly lost with parenting this new version of our son. At the moment we have cut off money to him, but he threatens with never attending school and disappears each day to hang with friends. We have had meetings with the school, that he refuses to attend, we’ve offered counselling, ‘not going’, Doctor’s appointments ‘not going’ and have open conversations about his behaviour. So far he still comes home in the evening as hungry. We are trying to remain positive, loving and supportive but just feel like the daily narrative is the same.
Us: We’d like you to attend school today
Him: give me cash and I will

We have complied in the past only to find out he isn’t attending. We offer lunch money onto a Spriggy (card no cash out), ‘nope, not going to school’. We have blocked his phone as well, however free wifi is everywhere so that doesn’t work.

We need some helpful, understanding advice. I’m struggling the most emotionally and mentally. My husband is better as enforces the rules, and both of us stick to them. We are worried he will just disappear, staying with people we don’t know. We both would love to have our old version back but know this is the new new that we have to evolve with. Thanks.
Super frequent scribe

Re: Vaping, weed, non school attendance and disrespect….. please help!

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Hi @Susan-flay1 and welcome to the Parents Forum. Hopefully this will be a good opportunity for you to connect with other parents, and gain some support, and insight into the issue you are having with your son.

Firstly, I'm so sorry that your family is having to deal with this, it must be incredibly stressful and scary for you.

Do you have any other family members or friends you can lean on for support, even if its just for a chat?

Would you consider getting a mental health plan through your GP and seeing a counsellor or psychologist to help you with the mental and emotional impact this is having on you? It's very understandable that this is causing you to feel so worn down, it does sound like you have tried multiple things to try to reach a resolution.

Secondly, Parent Line offers over the phone advice, and can also provide referrals for services, so they may be a good resource for you. In addition, here is an article on school refusal in case it has some tips you may not have yet tried, it also has some info about Reach Out Parent's One-On-One Support. Also, Relationships Australia offers family counselling if you think that may be an option for you. 

Take care of yourself, and please know that you are not the only parent going through this sort of stuff.