Wake Up ... Please....

@byfaithonly (10716)
United States
February 27, 2007 6:53am CST
I am desperate and need help! This is the situation: my 15 year old son hates school, he's really really smart and the school gives him all kinds of opportunities to be challenged and go forward, it's not that he's bored, he just hates going, hates being told what to do, hates having to get up in the morning. I'm at my wits end. It's not like when he was little and I could pick him up, put him in the car, and take him to school. I've tried punishing if he doesn't go, I've tried rewarding if he do go, Neither made a difference! This is my question besides if anyone has suggestions. Is it right for parents to be punished if their teenaged kids refuse to go to school? I don't think it's right, I do everything I can, have spent the last hour every 10 minutes trying to wake him up but I am the one that will get in trouble if he keeps missing school. p.s. this picture is him when he was sweet and little.
25 people like this
60 responses
@brihanna (381)
• United States
27 Feb 07
Teens do need thier sleep-actually up to 12 hours a day. Thier brains are doing a huge amount of growth during this time. Have you spoken with school councilors? Maybe there is something going on in class (bullies, or a girl, or a teacher that is targeting him?) I would start there. Don't expect him to tell you about it, caz he won't-you need to address it with the school. If there is not an issue at school, or on the bus, or on the walk to school. Then I would revert to making his bedtime earlier, or taking away certain things. I have a child who is 16. She is expected to be out of bed by 6:30, and downstairs by 7:00-we leave for school at 7:15. If she misses these times, she loses her computer privledge that night (or phone/tv, etc) She does not have to go to bed earlier, just has to be in her room without those devices. After a few times, she gets it. Or, because she is so bored with nothing to do, she goes to bed. Good luck, those teens are hard to deal with-but ultimately, it is your responsibility to get him to school.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Feb 07
I did not know that teens needed 12 hours of sleep, I always thought it was 8. I have tried all of those things you have and it doesn't work.
2 people like this
@maribel1218 (3085)
• Philippines
27 Feb 07
I really think most of teenagers at that age really loves to sleep a lot! I still remember at that age I sleep so much too and It was so hard for me to wake up in the morning too! I really think your reward and punish style is great but your son really does want to sleep maybe he spend so much time awake in the evening with computer games that's why he was sleepy in the morning. Here in my country there are time schedule for classes in the afternoon maybe you can try to enroll him on a afternoon class if there is available schedule for that so he can have sleep in the morning and he will not missed school.
5 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Feb 07
Oh I've tried getting him to sleep better, remodeled his bedroom, took all the tvs, games, sterios out (now he sleeps in the livingroom). He tossed and turned, banged on the walls, anything but sleeping. Afriad our schools don't work like yours, great idea though as it might help some mine is expected at school at 7:30 in the morning and if they are late they get detention so he figures he might as well just not go - he's going to get in trouble either way. I tried homeschooling too but he would never do the work.
3 people like this
@sedel1027 (17851)
• United States
27 Feb 07
Maybe school doesn't challange him enough? That was my husbands problem. He never wanted to go to school and he is very intelligent. It just was not enough for him. Something that was my brother problem - staying up too late. You may have to get him in the bed earlier to help you getting him up in the morning. Have you tried making him responsilbe for getting up and going ot school? After he gets everything taken away and he can't go anywhere and he has extra chores, he may get the picture.
4 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Feb 07
No, as I said the school does everything they can to challenge him, I can't make him sleep, I have made him responsible.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Feb 07
Man, that is a tough one. My son is in his second year of preschool and he just cant stand it when he doesnt get to go to school. Even on sat and sun he still gets very upset that he cant go. I am not sure what I will do when this happens as I know I hated it too. I would sugest looking into a vocational school. Thats what I did. I was 17 when I graduated high school and college at the same time. Most of the let you enroll about 15-16 and you take your vocational training, and you can pick whatever you like, and your high school/ college courses at the same time. Its very hands on so he might realy enjoy it, he might be waking you up. I would at least check in to it. You do get an actual high school diploma to not a GED.
3 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Feb 07
Our school system has a partnership with the local junior college and when he's 16 he can go there - the hands on stuff is much more interesting to him. Right now I am just holding my breath and doing the best I can until next school year.
3 people like this
• United States
27 Feb 07
Its almost over only a few more months, I am sure that everything will turn out fine, I will be praying for you that you guys make it without getting into trouble.
3 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Feb 07
LOL few more months - if I survive that long we will be fine I'm sure and I do very much appreciate all the prayers I/we can get. I do see as I get older it is harder to deal with "teenaged boys and hormones"
2 people like this
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
27 Feb 07
It seems your punishments have not been affective, it's time to try a different one. Not all punishments will work for every kid, and even something that worked a year ago, may no longer be enough motivation to get him out of bed. My suggestion, find something that will motivate him, You said he's 15, Tell him every day he misses of school, he will have to wait that much longer to get his driver's licence. Not enough motivation? If he misses any more school except for illness, or a miss out of necessity, he is grounded for a week for each day, no phone, no t.v. no computer, no friends etc. I know, it's sounds extreme, but he's not getting the message, and obviously doesn't believe you will do anything to him. You've got to find something that will make him want to go to school. Good luck!!
3 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Feb 07
No, doesn't sound extreme at all - have tried them all. I have even gone to cutting out what I do for him - he doesn't go to school I don't wash his cloths or cook his meals. Response to that was he ate sandwishes commenting maybe I would take that away next then he could turn me in for not feeding him. When he ran out of clean cloths then he had another excuse not to go to school - no clean cloths. I ground him and he leaves anyway - I have reported him as a runaway 5 times now for doing that, local police suggested that, it's on record I'm trying to do something.
3 people like this
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
27 Feb 07
ahh.. He sounds alot like my older brother. I remember he ran away countless times, we had a rough childhood, but he was the only one whom rebelled like he did. THe only thing you can really do is pray for him. (although I do believe the truant officer may help as well). My older brother did eventually graduate, he's married now to a christian woman and they have a beautiful little girl. He's been pushing against my parents all of his life, but is finally coming around. Just continue to pray for him, He'll come around eventually. God bless!
3 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Feb 07
Oh, I do pray, and pray, and pray. And have many others praying also. I know there is something big in the works here - sad thing is he's not a bad kid. This is the kid that 3 years ago he came home and caught me crying. A pastor friend had said something unmeaningly that hurt me. My son got on his bike and rode 3 miles to find the pastor and told him what he had done - he was defending Mom! Of course Pastor felt bad then but he said Shane wasn't disrepectful at all and he thought it was great that he would stand up for his mother like that.
3 people like this
@Destiny007 (5820)
• United States
28 Feb 07
No, it isn't right that parents be punished for the decisions of the teenagers. On the one hand, states try to discourage disciplining your kids, as it may damage their poor little psyche's. So without the necessary discipline children tend to become very independent and hard to handle. Yet on the other hand the government expects you to be responsible for your kids actions, because you are the parent and the child is only acting in the manner that he was raised. The way children are raised today is much different from the way I was raised. I would no more had thought of missing school, or sleeping late, than I would have thought of back talking and outright rebellion that we hear so much about today. There was a time that when the parents said you will do this "or else", that the words "or else" had real meaning, and no one wanted to be one the receiving end of it. These days, if you try to reprimand a child, most likely they will just laugh at you, or they will have some smart remark. In Missouri, if your child has enough unexcused absences in a quarter, the parent can be fined and jailed. The child can also be placed in Foster Care. One of the Foster kids that we had was notorious for going into the school by the front door and out the back when her mom took her to school. The missing school along with her mom not being able to make her mind is what got her placed into care. If your son hates being told what to do now, then how is he going to ever be able to have any kind of career? As far as I know, everyone has to answer to someone whether it's paying a bill, working a job, or even collecting disability.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
28 Feb 07
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I needed some support - I was starting to get an attitude because so many people are thinking I never talk to my son - that was the first thing I did. I am thinking like you and it is true you say something and they just laugh because they know there is nothing you can do after a certain point. And I was raised the same way, there is no way on earth I would have ever talked back to my parents or any adult but then I knew my father's lashing too. I realized, was one myself, that there are many abused children in the world that need protection but they have taken all control away from parents but then hold them responsible. As some suggested though I have a call into the truant office (not called that but same thing) am waiting for them to call back.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Feb 07
It is highly possible that there may be a bullying problem at school. Parents and even teachers can often be highly oblivious to this fact, or may simply not want to admit it. Your child certainly wouldn't want to admit it. I happened to be a very smart child as well, but I HATED school. Why, because for years, I was bullied. I told no one, kept the problems to myself. But I dreaded school, especially certain classes in which some of the problem children and myself were corralled together. Of course, children are naturally rebellious, but your child's rebellion may also be because it is the only way he can release the pent up emotions residing within. I may be totally missing the mark on this one, but it is definitely an option worth exploring.
3 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
27 Feb 07
This is very possible, the pent up emotions part that is. I know it's not a bulling problem as he tends to be the bully including with adults - he will push the limit with anyone. The scarey thing is he's so smart he sometimes does it without the other person even knowing.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Feb 07
That's really rough because he is a big kid now. I have a 13 year old and an 11 year old. I have trouble with the 11 year old -- he is very smart - one point away from genius level, but he hates school! And he misses way too much. My husband is disabled and let him get away with staying home too much this year - we got a letter that he had missed 16 days this school year and that they are now requiring a note from the Dr for any further absences. We finally set upon a contract that seems to be working -at least for the past 2 months. We wrote down exactly what was expected of him and what the consequences would be. If he does not follow through then it is on him - it is his choice to follow the rules or not, so it is not us, but him that determines whether he has privleges or not. We were very specific in the contract - we focused on the positive behaviors not the negative. He puts forth the positive and all is well. He chooses NOT to follow the "positive way" and then he has to deal with the consequences. Also, I would have a talk with his principal. Ours would be more than happy to come to the house to get him if need be. Of course he is in elementary school - not sure how the jr high/senior high principal would react to this. Being brought to school by a school authority though might do the trick for you. Or call the truant officer yourself for a home visit and talk - let your son see that this is serious and it is on him now. I hope you can help change his ways! I feel for you because I know all the mess we've been going through.
3 people like this
@jammyt (2822)
• Philippines
28 Feb 07
Hello. I think he has a reason a lot deeper why he does not want to go to school. Why dont you sit down and talk about it. Maybe something is bothering him. Maybe there's something in school that he isa running away from. And if he says there's really nothing and that he just does not want to, explain to him the consequences of not being able to have a proper education and how it will affect his future. I believe there is nothing in this world that cant be talked about --- provided that you are both open minded and welcomes any ideas that come to mind. Goodluck!
3 people like this
• United States
28 Feb 07
Oh my gosh I know what you are talking about. When I was a child I hated school. Still do (that is why I never went to college). My cousin hated it even more than me and they ended up in court. Do I believe this is right? NO I don't. They sent the truant officer to my house cause I couldn't get doctors notes for when my kids were sick (old docs office didn't take you if they didn't think you were sick enough - no appointment no note). I got so fed up with it all I have been trying to homeschool them for the past 4 years. I say trying cause it is not going as well as I hoped but that is something entirely different. Have you thought of homeschooling? As far as getting your son to school; I wish I had ideas for you. Sorry I can't help more.
3 people like this
• United States
27 Feb 07
I think it is unfair for the parents to be punished for their kids not going to school. Last year I got fined because my 10yr old didn't turn in her exsuses..that was unfair...I'm sorry you are having a hard time with your son...have you ever thought of homeschooling or cyber school this could be a option for the both you you. I wish u the best of luck.
@brihanna (381)
• United States
27 Feb 07
Teens do need thier sleep-actually up to 12 hours a day. Thier brains are doing a huge amount of growth during this time. Have you spoken with school councilors? Maybe there is something going on in class (bullies, or a girl, or a teacher that is targeting him?) I would start there. Don't expect him to tell you about it, caz he won't-you need to address it with the school. If there is not an issue at school, or on the bus, or on the walk to school. Then I would revert to making his bedtime earlier, or taking away certain things. I have a child who is 16. She is expected to be out of bed by 6:30, and downstairs by 7:00-we leave for school at 7:15. If she misses these times, she loses her computer privledge that night (or phone/tv, etc) She does not have to go to bed earlier, just has to be in her room without those devices. After a few times, she gets it. Or, because she is so bored with nothing to do, she goes to bed. Good luck, those teens are hard to deal with-but ultimately, it is your responsibility to get him to school.
3 people like this
@resasour (378)
• United States
28 Feb 07
Wow! Alot of advice here already, and most of it I do not agree with. Let's see if I have the right idea here, bear with me. He hates school, or he hates getting up so early in the morning? I bet getting up early is a major copout. That wont work so well when he grows up and gets a job, but wait! He is already grown! (or so he thinks) He doesn't want to go to school because YOU want him to. Why should he? His older brother did not finish school and he is getting along just fine! Who cares what the law says! The laws are stupid. Parents are stupid too. He is grown and can make his own decisions.. any of this sounding familiar? I hate that age... 15-17 is worse than the "terrible twos!" Well, he does have a sense of right and wrong,that's why he doesn't want to go to school late. He doesn't want to get into trouble....hmmm... Apparently whenever anyone tries to talk to him about school he just shuts down. He doesn't want to hear it. It goes totally against his idea of sleeping in late, and then goofing off the rest of the day. (fun, fun,fun) school is boring. (no fun there) I realize that you are a single parent. So I really hope the truant officer guy thing works for ya. If not, or if they wont help you, is there a grown male relative that can come over for a couple of mornings? Like maybe his older brother? A grandfather? An Uncle? Even your pastor? I am a female, and I had both parents, but I went to a school that I absolutely hated. I hated the school, the teachers, everyone there. But it was the only school in my district at the time, so I had to go. Only, I didn't. I rebelled. I cut school all the time. Then one morning, my dad (who was always gone to work) woke me up and informed me that he was taking me to school. He said, today I will trust you enough to let you out at the door.However, I have instructed the school to call me if you don't show up to class. And if you don't go to class, then tomorrow I will not only bring you to school, I will sit in class with you all day. And we will do this everyday, until you get it through your head that you have to go to school. Ok, I threw a fit, but he took me to school. The next morning he woke me up again. Said the same thing. I told him he did not need to take me, that I would go, but he took me anyhow. The next morning he woke me up, and he gave me the option to go on my own, and told me if I did not do what was expected of me that the next day he would be in class with me. That cured me. It worked because I knew that he really would sit in my class with me and I did not want that humiliation in front of my friends. I think, if you had a male figure to do basically the same thing to him that he would get an attitude adjustment real quick like. So that is my suggestion... If there is no male figure to help, you will have to do it yourself. So after goading him up and getting him in the car, instead of dropping him off at school, I would park the car, and when he asks what your doing, I would say I am going to sit in class with you. I cant depend on you to be responsible enough and grown up enough to get yourself to school, and you have no respect for me or the law, but since the law says you have to go to school, then I will go to school with you to make sure you do what is required of you. Trust me..he will flip out. But I bet it will work.. And you will probably never have to get out of the car.. though you might have to threaten him with it a time or two more before he decides it isn't worth fighting over and goes on his own. Good Luck to you.
• United States
28 Feb 07
Great response! What you wrote really makes sense. I hope she has some luck with this advice, it's a LOT better than mine...
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
28 Feb 07
Dear Mrs byfaithonly, please give him some more time to think. and also from my opinion is you're not supposed to punish him if he didn't wanted to go to school. because it will make him think that school is a must. maybe you must share a little more time together. from my point of view maybe you're a little bit too hard with him. so try to be more patience and also try to understand him a little. maybe starting by asking why he doesn't want to go to school. and maybe you can got answer's from him i hope my advice could help you a little Regards Kei
2 people like this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
28 Feb 07
Dear Kei, I have done all of this to no avail - the problem is school is important, I don't want my son digging ditches the rest of his life, plus the law says he MUST go to school, they could fine me as much as $1000 for him not going to school. I do think this is important as I am a single mother and the only support for the family. I don't have that kind of money to pay out so he can sleep all day. faith
1 person likes this
@Randync (544)
• United States
27 Feb 07
Take him to visit a group home or youth detention center, and show him what he is facing if he don't go to school. And speak to someone at the school about what some options to try with him would be.
2 people like this
27 Feb 07
First, Fear and threats are never the answer - not really inspirational. Second, don't teach your child to view those less fortunate than themselves as lesser beings - teach them to help those worse off. Third, why rely on schools and other outside agencies to offer options? You're his parent, that's your job!
2 people like this
• India
28 Feb 07
make him understand what going to school will give him. show him examples around yourself and himself. do not smack him because it will create an image of a ruthless enemy in his mind for you. so explain him properly the hardships of life and how he will learn to overcome all these sufferings by going to school.
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
28 Feb 07
Tel him if he hate school that much then you will home school him. I did that with one of my boys in middle school. They hated that even worse than going to school. They ended up going back to school and making good grades. Anyways if you can or want to try that it might work. I don't see why a parent of a 15 year old should be punished for their child not going to school.
2 people like this
@yorb24 (2180)
• United States
28 Feb 07
Well what kind of social life does he have? A number of kids (even ones that hate school) will just go to see their friends to be able to socialize. Is there any hobbies that he enjoys? Maybe if he connects with more people his own age he would be willing to. If not and I were you, I'd probably try to contact a therapist on what to do with this situation. Good luck.
27 Feb 07
I myself had a similar sort of son, the teacher and his reports had him to be quite bright, but for some reasons known only to him self, refused to take final exams despite every ones advice, he as now left school with no qualifications,only fit for manual labour,he seems to want to learn the hard way.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Feb 07
No, that is not right. It is not like he is a small child. He isn't and should be made responsible by the school if he is late. They are putting the blame on you and that is not fair. And also he knows as far as the school goes they are not going to do anything to him. If the school would give the child consequences for being late he would start paying more attention. You have done everything you could possibly do to get him to school on time. As far as the attitude your boy has that is called being a teenager. That doesn't excuse him but just helps you to understand that all teenagers go through this.