High school can be a challenging time for both parents and teenagers alike; from trying to fit in and become their own person to learning boundaries and wanting to make their way in the world, your child can feel overwhelmed with this new stage of life. Keeping up with their grades, beginning a job, and driving a car can feel like tough responsibilities in a teen’s life. These new transitions aren’t only hard on kids, though…they can also be difficult for parents and family members. Providing the proper boundaries, firm discipline, and positive reinforcement for your teen can be a process!
Teens and School
In the midst of everything your child is learning and experiencing, school might be the last thing on their mind; so what happens when they start skipping class? Of course, teen school struggles are nothing new; however, leaning toward rewarding your child (versus punishing them) when it comes to sticking with school is crucial.
Motivating your child to stay in school and attend their classes can be a struggle at the moment, but it will benefit your child in the long run – they might not think so right now, though! First, though, you need to determine what is happening in your child’s life that is causing their grades to drop and/or why they are skipping classes.
Teen Failing School?
If you get an email or letter from your child’s school letting you know about their failing grades, one of the first things you can do is speak with your child’s teacher(s). Is there something different happening in class? Are they paying attention? What has the teacher noticed in regard to your child’s behavior? Getting information from a firsthand source that sees your child daily can help determine the next academic steps. The next step would be to speak with your child. Is there something bothering them? How can you work together to complete schoolwork and ensure items get turned in on time? Showing up and being a team can go a long way in helping your child feel successful and improve your teen’s grades, even if that means turning off the television in the afternoons or putting phones away for a while to get homework done.
On the other hand, if you find that your son or daughter has been skipping classes or missing school altogether, you might have to dig a bit deeper. Are they being pressured into partaking in drugs or alcohol? What are they getting into outside of school? Who are their friends, and are they experiencing a bully that might be driving them away? Speak with your child in a comfortable environment, such as after dinner or in the mornings when you have quality time together. Ask them about their friendships, extracurricular activities, and if there’s anything specific they need to discuss – this can then segway into why they feel the need to skip school.
Frustrating Teen Behavior – Skipping School
There’s no doubt it can be frustrating or discouraging to realize that your teen is failing school or that they are skipping classes altogether. However, working cohesively as a team, staying patient, and being open and honest with your son or daughter can help them get back on the right track. If needed, form a new routine for your child! This might look like setting up a routine after school where it’s just the two of you to get homework done together. Maybe it looks more like having weekly conversations with your child’s teacher to ensure they are staying on track and meeting expectations. Whatever you choose to implement to help your child succeed needs to fit you and your family appropriately.
Every child at some point will experience teenage school struggles; whether this is something as simple as not liking a teacher or having trouble waking up in the mornings to be on time to class to more extensive issues like substance abuse, anxiety, or bullying, it’s important that you (as the parent or caretaker) stay front and center in your child’s life. They might not appreciate the discipline and boundaries you place on them at the time, but this will only keep them on the right path and help them finish school.
Leave a Reply