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School Refusal

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


School Refusal

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Hello wonderful parents and carers!

Recently we have been hearing more and more from parents with young people who have been refusing to go to school. For some, this has been happening for a while, and for others it has worsened with the impact of COVID and aftermath of lockdown periods. There are many reasons as to why a young person may be upset or worried about going to school, it is important to consider whether school refusal is a part of a bigger problem going on in the young person’s life. 

It can be extremely worrying, stressful and frustrating for a parent to cope with a child that is refusing to go to school. It can also be really confusing for a parent trying to figure out a way to handle the situation. We thought it would be helpful to share some resources that ReachOut has available to support parents dealing with their young person’s school refusal. 

If you are someone that likes to read articles, ReachOut has some great reads to support parents with teens’ school refusal: 

If you enjoy watching video-clips, ReachOut has a great one of these too. Lucy Clarke, an author and mother of 3, shares her story of how she coped with her daughter’s school refusal. Watch it here

If you find it helpful to chat and connect with other parents in the community going through something similar, there is a forum thread for parents dealing with their teens' school refusal here, where you can hear from other parents, and join in on the conversation if you feel comfortable. ReachOut even had a psychologist respond to one of these posts, which you can find in our ‘Ask a Professional’ space here.

If you’re wanting to find a more personalised support option, ReachOut offers one-on-one support sessions for parents. If you are interested in signing up or finding out more, head here

Supporting a teen going through a tough time can be tough on parents too. Remember to check-in with yourself and take care of your own well-being, and reach out when you need some support. We would love to hear about some of the things you have tried when dealing with school refusal, feel free to share your experience in the comments.