When your teenager doesn’t want to go to school, try the following steps:
Step one: Ask them why. Make sure they know that you are going to use their answer to determine whether or not you will make them go that day. Often when asked a teen will respond with a non-answer like, “School sucks” which gives you no insight to why they are resisting going. So, offer them incentive to be upfront with you by letting them know you will consider letting them stay home if their reasons are appropriate.
Step two: Evaluate the reason they gave you for not wanting to go. Usually a teen will only want to miss school for one of a few reasons. Either they are in a fight with their friends, or embarrassed about something to do with friends (maybe they got caught in a lie); or, they are unprepared academically for a test or a class and don’t want to affect their grades because of it. While neither of these reasons seem like a good reason for missing school, and thus jeopardizing their education, it is important to understand the whole story.
Make sure you know why she’s reluctant.
Maybe your child participates in a sport or other extra curricular activity, and between practice and games or events, they did not have time to complete their homework, and feel ill prepared for a big test. In these instances, it might be good as a parent to let them take a day off, or to talk to them about adjusting their obligations so that this does not become a long term problem. Taking time to evaluate the problem allows you to fix it well.
Step three: Determine whether or not they have to attend that day, and what you are going to do to keep them up to speed academically, as well as solve the issue so that they can return the next day. If your child is having a social problem, you need to determine if it is a solvable social problem. Sometimes rumors start, reputations are damaged, and esteem starts to erode as a result. Switching schools might be a better option than forcing your child back into an uncomfortable situation that could ruin their view of relationships, and taint their education. Other times, you need to help your child learn the valuable lessons of dealing with friendships gone awry, and help them face their problems and take care of them. You and your teen are the only ones who can determine the seriousness and severity of the problem and how it will be handled.
Just make sure that if your child does miss any school that you make sure they study, get the work they missed and have it caught up in a matter of days, and that they do not make a habit of missing classes.