One day he makes the decision to attend, the next he doesn’t and most days in between he attends only a few classes. I’m talking about my teenage son, who suffers from social anxiety and low self-esteem and simply refuses to face his fears head on and just attend school.
I’ve had to enter the land of tough love. I let him suffer natural consequences of his choices; from bad grades, poor attendance record, risk of not graduating, etc. But his fear overtakes him more than these natural consequences and he still refuses. It’s not like I can pick up my 200 and something pound manly teenager and make him go to school. So, I’ve got to experience the joy of tough love. An ultimatum; you either attend everyday/every class on time or you are removed from the home and attend shelter life. When I release the power of my teen to make his own choices (whether it’s attending school, behavior, doing drugs, etc), I release the power of him to be able to blame – and as parents of a teens, you usually get the brunt of the blame.
Of course, you have to fulfill the consequences – that’s where the tough part comes in. the love part is easy (well, when they have those brief non-teenager moments), it’s the tough part that’s tough. But how much easier is it under your roof than when their older and could be heading to jail for their bad decisions. We don’t have bad kids, we have good kids who make poor choices.
Discovery: Raising a teen is tough!
Becoming: Crazier each day I deal with one.