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Parental rights

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Parental rights

Hi my son turned 16 a month ago but had been planing his move before that with the help of the so called guidance counselor at his school. He has decided that our home is “unsafe” for him and that he cannot live here anymore. I can assure you that this is not the case and he has a problem with rules, restrictions, consequences, doing his school work, being respectful and all the rest of the horrible things I’m sure every other parent does to their children. My question is now that he is 16 what rights do we have as his parents?
I do not agree with him that the best place for him is living with his 18 year old gf and her family instead of with family. I would prefer he still be at home but I also cannot force him to do that. It seems that I have no ability to have any say in what he does now and I am struggling to find where i have any rights as a parent to parent my child. The system is being manipulated by my son knowing exactly what to say and who to say it to so that he can do whatever he wants. I am hoping I just haven’t looked hard enough for a solution and that someone could point me in the right direction to find where my Legal rights have gone??

Re: Parental rights

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Hi @Oneofeach and welcome to the forums.  It is obvious from your post that your situation is incredibly hard to live with daily and must be so difficult for you and your family.  I would love to congratulate you for persevering throughout this and not losing sight of helping your son get the best life-long outcomes.


Whilst I am not able to give you any legal advice around your rights, I totally understand how difficult it can be to get any concrete information about this for a number of reasons such as the fact that it might differ state by state.


One thing that does seem to be common to all states, however is that parents do have the right to participate in decision making around these types of situations – but how this is handled might differ depending on where you live.  Have you contacted any of your state government departments to ask about this?  Maybe talking to someone about the exact process in your state might give you some clarity?


One of the things that struck me from your post was when you talked about the school guidance councillor and the advice that has been given to your son.  I can only imagine how hurtful this must have been for you and your family.  I really hope that this has not turned you off the idea of seeking external help to get resolution with this situation.


Have you considered talking to Relationships Australia (you can find them by following this link)?  They offer a mediation service that can help resolve family disputes.  It might help to have an impartial third party that hears both your and your son’s side of the story and help you communicate after hearing both sides?


I am so happy that you found these forums as there are amazing parents in here who have had similar experiences who might be able to give you their perspective on your situation.  @taokat and @Zoesplace in particular has spoken beautifully on this in the past.


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Re: Parental rights

Hey @Oneofeach how are you traveling? What were your thoughts on @Nick-RO's suggestions?