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15-Year-Old Son Failing School and Becoming Aggressive with Mother


My 15-year-old son is failing many of his classes and does not care. When his teachers offer to help him make up missed work after school, he doesn’t show up.  I have been in consistent contact with the school’s staff, and I have taken away privileges like his phone, TV, gaming system, etc. Nothing seems to work.  

He is disrespectful, leaving the house without permission and calling me names.  And now he is becoming physically aggressive. I even had to call the police when he attacked me one time. I am a single mom without family support. We do see a psychologist and a psychiatrist once a month. What else can I do?



We are glad you are accessing help for you and your son. We encourage you to also call the police when your son leaves your home without permission. You are responsible for his safety until he is an adult. If he leaves, call the police and report him as missing. The police will pick him up if they see him and return him to you. This will hopefully send the message that it is not OK to leave without your permission.  

There are agencies that help at-risk youth. Programming includes mentoring, tutoring ​and independent living skills. Often there are also substance abuse prevention programs.  

For yourself, seek parent support groups in your community so you know that you are not alone in your struggles with your son. Parents in these groups have often experienced what you are going through. They can offer you suggestions that helped their child, which you in turn can use with your son. We can provide referrals for locating these services in your area.