Teen Cutting Class? Truancy? Failing in School? Always in Detention?
When parents feel that they’ve done everything they can to help their teens and they’re still getting into a lot of trouble, they can’t help but wonder if something else is wrong. What can parents do if their teens have problems cutting class, struggle with failing grades or are always in detention? It’s probably time to step back and reevaluate the situation. Look at the possible underlying reasons why your teen is acting out in school.
There are many possible reasons why teens are struggling in school. Too many times, people try to solve the symptoms without taking the time to understand the problem. While addressing the symptoms is important, it is not enough to help teens get back on the right track. The best way to know what is causing your teen to struggle in school is to ask, as well as be sensitive about the answers that are not said out loud. Parents can sense if there’s something changing in their teens, they often just ignore their instincts and attribute these red flags to normal adolescent behavior. Here are a few common reasons why teens always get in trouble in school:
Negative peer influence – Peer pressure can make a teen do something they wouldn’t usually do on their own. Many teens are influenced by their peers to shoplift, drink, engage in dangerous activities, and make other poor choices. Negative peer culture can alter the way a teen looks at himself/herself. Being accepted or not being accepted into a group can have an effect on a teen’s self-image and turn what used to be a happy, friendly child into a depressed teen with poor self-esteem. Even teens who grew up in a strong, positive family environment are not always immune to the effects of peer pressure.
Fear of failure – Most teens do well in their studies during the first part of the school year and then begin to have problems towards the middle part. Perhaps the academic load has become too heavy and they got left behind. Rather than ask their parents and teachers to help them cope with the subjects they are having difficulties with, they just act like they don’t care.
Stress – Teens undergo a lot of changes in their life during adolescence. At times, their busy schedules put them under a lot of stress and they tend to make poor choices because they’re not coping well.
Emotional problems – Needless to say, teenage years are emotionally tumultuous times. Teens who have problems at home, experience rejection from peers, or are being bullied by other children may not have enough skills and maturity to handle the problems well. Usually, the first signs of emotional problems are related to performance in school.
Behavioral or mood disorders – There are some disorders that only surface during early adulthood or adolescent years, and there are disorders that get worse during teenage years because the symptoms were previously unnoticed. There are some disorders that come with other types of mood disorders which make it even harder to diagnose until the symptoms are already too pronounced. For example, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) usually only surface during adolescent years and they usually come with other disorders like ADD/ADHD. Many parents who didn’t know that their teens had ODD or ADD/ADHD could not understand why their teens are acting the way they are acting.
Parental support and involvement is very important in raising well-adjusted teens. When dealing with teens who are always getting in trouble at school, it’s important to understand why this is happening. It may take some time and effort to find out the underlying issues, but it helps parents make important adjustments to their parenting style in order to fit their teen’s needs.
In cases where teens have an undiagnosed disorder, several kinds of intervention may make a big difference in your teen’s attitude. Medication, together with therapy and counseling can help your teen focus and become happier and more productive in school and at home.