No parent wants to see their teen struggle in high school. So, if you are worried about your teen’s academic and social performance dropping, it may be time to step in and figure out how to help.
Adolescence is a difficult time, and the pressures of high school, friends, work and growing up can make a teenager wish he or she could just return back to the carefree days of childhood. However, if you are the type of parent that asks themselves, “How do I help my teen struggling in high school,” you can put together a plan to turn your child’s high school experience around for the better.
Identify any Problems
Sometimes, there’s more to a declining academic performance than just entering the teen years. Sometimes, undiagnosed learning disabilities or behavioral and mental conditions can bubble up in adolescence.
Conditions like ADHD, low self esteem, abuse trauma, substance abuse and more can turn the direction of a teen’s high school life downward. Even stress and anxiety in teens can create new and difficult problems without the right coping skills. It’s important to ensure that your child is not struggling unnecessarily with a condition that can be treated. Addressing the problem quickly could make all the difference to your teen.
Meet with Teachers
Your teen’s teachers have a front row seat in seeing just what your teen is having problems with. Meeting with teachers, counselors and faculty can give you greater insight into how to best help your teen. Is it friends distracting them? Are they being bullied? Skipping class? Trying hard but just not performing well? All these insights can help you work together to correct the problems before they drag on too long.
Teachers may suggest some solutions that you hadn’t thought about or that you didn’t know were available. Take advantage of any school programs that may help, like after school tutoring or study hall, as well as the counselors there.
Help Out Socially
Like it or not, your teen’s friends play a big part in their life. If they are being a distraction, bullying your teen, or simply encouraging bad behavior like skipping class or drinking, you need to know.
Getting to know your teen’s friends can help you gain more insight into your teen by seeing what kind of kids accept them and what kind of kids they identify with.
If your teen’s friends are a bad influence, see about helping him or her make new and different ones by enrolling them in extracurricular activities or helping them in starting a new hobby.
If your teen’s friends are good influences, make sure to foster those bonds by hosting movie nights and other social events, volunteering to drive to the movies and other things that ensure your teen has a good group to support and identify with.
No matter what your teen’s struggles are with high school, they won’t resolve themselves. As an active, involved parent, you can really focus on the core of your teen’s problems and work together to improve them. There are numerous resources out there, from schools to book to online forums and articles. Just because they are growing up fast, doesn’t mean your teen won’t stop needing you to guide them as they transition to the adult world.