I'm Worried My Teen Might Fail School, How Can I Be Proactive?
Not every teenager would do well in school, there are those who get overwhelmed by the difficulties of high school that they feel hopeless about keeping up with schoolwork and their peers. The transitional years, which is moving up from elementary to middle school and middle school to high school, are the most crucial years when children and teens experience the struggles of being in school.
A lot of people are well aware of how increasingly difficult for high school dropouts to be able to have a well-paying job (even a decent one at that) and be guaranteed of a good future. That’s why it’s natural for parents to be concerned whenever their teens might fail in school as their teens can possibly be faced with greater hardships in times of economic instability.
In fact, the EPERC or the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center and Education Week have released a national report that approximately 7,200 students per day in America’s public schools alone have failed to finish high school with a diploma. The decline in the graduation rate is actually very troubling considering that a solid high school education is actually a preparation for a student to enter college and the adult life. This can also be the foundation for a student’s individual success with regards to their social and economic stability.
Common Indicators of Teens Who Are At Risk of Failing School
There are teens who are able to overcome school problems with just minimal assistance from their teachers and parents. It is sometimes enough for a parent to hear out their teen’s struggles and suggesting them with strategies to cope, supporting them with school work in school and encouraging them more to participate. Although not every teen has that positive outlook especially if they have performed poorly in school and have shown behavior problems for most of their student life.
With the following at risk indicators, parents and teachers can be aware of the persistent problems and provide effective intervention.
- Has attention problems since early childhood with a school history of disruptive or attention issues.
- Is always absent five or more days even without health problems.
- Has been retained in their grade level for a year or more.
- Has consistently received poor grades which are below average or barely average.
- Is often disciplined in school for behavior problems or is showing a sudden change in behavior by withdrawing from the discussions in class.
- Has not been involved in school related activities such as music, sports or other extra curricular activities. This student often lacks connection with their school.
- Lacks the needed self-confidence and often believes that they do not have the ability to succeed and that it’s impossible for them to change the situation.
- The student has minimal goals for the future where they seem to be uninterested about their career options as well as ways to achieve these goals.
How Can You Help Your Teens?
Ideally, parents should show support and compassion to their teens. It is still essential for parents to not just establish reasonable expectations and limitations for their teens but also to make sure they support and believe in their capabilities to succeed. Here are a few tips on how to be proactive when it comes to parenting a teen who might fail school:
- Make an effort to understand and reach out to your teen. Find time to listen to your teen’s problems and fears towards school.
- Encourage your teen to actively participate in school activities.
- Meet with your teen’s teacher and school counselor regularly to know what your teen’s issues are and come up with a support plan to provide the student with a learning environment to help them focus.
- Arrange for a tutor or set up a study group to help your teen cope up with whatever subject they are struggling with.
- Establish a home environment conducive to learning where education is clearly valued. Set up a regular study time for them without any distractions and place the computer where your teen can be easily monitored.
- Guide and encourage your teen to think about possible options for their future career. You may want to search more information regarding courses or careers your teen might be interested in.
- You can arrange for a visit to any local colleges or company for your teen to observe and find interest in. You can also suggest to them about trying to consider an internship or even a part time job relating to their interests as well. But do not permit them to have a regular job that may cut into their study time and extra activities in school.
- Always emphasize the importance of a good study habit, perseverance, and hard work in order to attain a positive result in the end.
It is good to support, guide and encourage your teen with any problems regarding school and other issues. But always remember that you can’t always fix any problem for them. Your teens also need to learn on their own in order to figure out how to solve their own problems. Just always assure them of your love, support, and constant guidance. In time, your teen will be able to get back on their feet, ready to face the challenges of school and student life.