Please help with my 17 year old who refuses to return to school.

"I have a 17 year old boy who's now senior, last year of school for him; who was doing fine in school until senior project is due finally turns it in and failed.  Now he refused to go back to school because he said that he has failed so what's the point he can't graduate now. I try every reasoning with him but he refused please help!!!"

Asked by Vikki after reading the article, "When Your Child Refuses to Go to School":
In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school, Teen issues, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 11, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Thank you for writing to with your parenting concern. It can certainly be frustrating for parents to stand by and watch a child make poor decisions. As you well know your son's decision to drop out of high school can have negative consequences throughout the rest of his life.

Unfortunately, your son may have the legal right to decide to end his pursuit of a high school education without your consent. Be sure to contact the school or seek legal assistance to find out about the laws in your state.  

You can continue to gather information that will aid him in his decision making such as contacting the school to see if he could qualify for an exception such as receiving an extension to redo the project, however the final decision to complete his education lies in your son's hands.

Sometimes it helps for teens to talk with someone outside the situation. An unbiased opinion from a counselor in your local area might help your son to hear some of the reality of what you have been trying to tell him all along. A counselor could perhaps help to determine if there are some underlying issues that are holding your son back or affecting his decision to quit.

Would you be willing to have him speak to a counselor in your local area?

Trained counselors are also available by telephone. At the Boys Town National Hotline, counselors work 24/7 to talk with parents and teens about tough life situations. Counselors provide the support and encouragement necessary for callers to determine the options available and to begin to establish a plan to solve problems.

If you are interested in the talking with a counselor at the Boys Town National Hotline, feel free to call our toll free number of 1-800-448-3000.

In addition to providing support and encouragement, counselors can also search to see if there might be counseling agencies or other resources in your local area that could possibly provide you or your son assistance.

Your son is always able to contact the Hotline as well. Please feel free to share our number with him and to encourage him to call to talk about any issue that might be troubling him or causing him concern. In addition to our Hotline, we also offer an online opportunity for teens to connect at

Thanks again for writing to

Linda, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
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