What to do with a 13-year-old?

My friend, worried about her 13-year-old son who doesn’t want to go to school, asked me for advice.

I hesitated, remembering some of the complicated conflicts and issues I had with my two children when they were teenagers.

Finally, I said, “Let’s call Fayteen and see what she has to say.”

Fayteen, too, remembered the difficulties she had with her own son. And, when my friend confessed that she felt guilty because she had yelled at her son, Fayteen and I both laughed and admitted that we had yelled sometimes, too.

Fayteen listened to my friend and gave her some suggestions. But, finally, she said, “Tell your son that he has to go to school. But, also tell him that you are on his side. You’re going to find out why he doesn’t want to go to school. Maybe someone is bullying him. Maybe he has a good reason for not wanting to go to school. You’re going to help him find a solution.”

–Joy

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