Parenting My Teen

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Helping Your Teen Succeed in High School

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Education, Teen Must Read Articles

You know your teen can handle the work, you know your teen knows what to do, yet you watch your teen fall short of meeting a certain educational goal. Many parents have witnessed this over the course of parenting their teens and many parents find it hard to endure a teen whom they feel isn’t trying their hardest. If you observe your teen refusing to do homework or making more out of an assignment than there really is, this is often a way of expressing their confusion, frustrations and at times, anger.

Under-achievement in teens can be caused by many things:

Emotional discomfort. A teen who has experienced a life changing event (addition to the family, a family loss, divorce…etc) is very likely to go through a period of educational underachievement.

High parental expectations. Many times parents put too much pressure on their teen to make a certain grade, excel in a certain subject or sport or perhaps pick a certain career path and this can have a negative impact on the teen. If the academic pressures on your teen are too strong, your teen may feel the need to rebel.

Undiagnosed learning disabilities – there are time where a mild learning disabilities is missed in lower level schooling or there could be a physical hindrance such as poor eyesight or hearing difficulty.

Peer pressure. Pure and simple, there is good peer pressure and there is negative peer pressure. Many teens feel that the smarter they are, that some of their friends won’t like them. They may feel the need to perform at a certain level to feel accepted into a certain clique of friends.

If you notice your teen becoming an underachiever, first check in with your teen to see if there is something that you can do to help. Communicate with your teen about how he or she is feeling about school overall and ask them if there are any problems.

You can then speak with your child’s teacher at school to see if there are areas where extra help would be beneficial. Many schools offer free tutoring services. There are many times that an underachieving teen has hit a downward spiral because they are disorganized and find it hard to keep up with the schoolwork and other activities they are involved in.

While it may be hard for some parents to digest, not all children are academically inclined. Even if your child isn’t a scholar, that doesn’t mean that they can’t excel in many other areas. If you tune into your child, you can help them find out exactly what they are good at and passionate about. Letting your child know that doing their best is good enough and if their best IS a C then that is OK will go a long way with your child. It will encourage your child to try their very best and it will alleviate some of the pressures that they feel which may cause your child to rebel or shut down completely.

Many teens that are underachieving will see that it will affect their self esteem in a negative way. If you teen has low self esteem, offering them emotional and comfort will help them greatly. The best way to let your child know that you love them is to shower them with acceptance. Make sure that no matter what grades your child brings home, that doesn’t mean that you love him or her any less.

Help your teen manage his/her schedule better. Make sure that they have everything they need to stay as organized as possible. Help them to set goals for themselves as it pertains to school (grades, study habits..etc). You can even suggest that your teen start up a study group and offer to host it at your home.

The key here is to try everything that you can and to find out why your teen is not living up to their potential in school. If after working on this and tackling it from many angles, you feel your teen isn’t making any process, you may then want to consult a professional to see if there are some other issues causing the problems. You can seek professional support from a school counselor, doctor, therapist or clergy.

As a proactive parent we must seek resources to help our child take an interest in learning, growing and becoming independent. Being an informed parent is one of the 1st steps to ensuring your child has a brighter future.

Struggling To Help Your Teen In High School? Get help now. The Real Life Guidance to Helping Your Teen In High School report is available for easy and instant download to your computer.


Getting Your Teen Through High School Takes Understanding

By: Mary Lutz Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Education

The high school years tend to be a blur for most parents. Surprisingly, it’s not because these years go by really fast, although this is part of it, but it’s because of all the changes that occur within your teen during these years. These are the adolescent years when your teen’s body changes both physically and hormonally. These changes can cause a whirlwind of things such as changing moods, changing friends, dating relationships and much more. It’s hard for parents to keep up with it all, which can make tensions at home stressed.

All parents naturally want to help their teens throughout their high school years, but most don’t know what to do when all of the above mentioned changes occur. Many make the mistake of trying to control the situation and “hold on” tighter to their teens, which just pushes them further away. The best thing you can do when these changes occur is to continue to be involved in your teen’s life, but take on a more “mentor/guide” type role. Let your teen know you are there for him when he needs you.

In the meantime, try putting yourself in your teen’s shoes…if you can remember that far back, think about the things you went through as a high school teen. Below are a few examples of the things your teen is going through. Learning how to understand what your teen is going through will help you relate to her when she comes to you for advice.

  1. The Dating Game – As a high school teenager, your teen will no doubt begin to meet new people and want to start dating. The thing about teenage dating is that when two teenagers begin dating, they feel like this relationship is real love. However, as adults who have been there, we tend to look at it as “puppy love.” In most cases, these relationships don’t last – and we know this…but your teen doesn’t. Just sit back, watch and wait. When your teen experiences trouble in paradise, be there for him/her to talk to. When your advice is sought, give it. Otherwise, let your teen learn some of these “lessons in love” on his/her own.
  2.  Friends – As your teen enter high school, he will probably have a closer circle of friends than he did when he was younger. This is because your teen is maturing and beginning to form those life-long friendship bonds with other his age. However, just because your teen has a certain group of friends that he prefers to hang out with doesn’t mean that there won’t be arguments that occur between your teen and his friends. Try not to get involved in these arguments unless you are specifically asked for advice. Your teen needs to learn how to work through problems with his friends on his own.
  3.  Rebellion – Rebelling is just a part of being a high school teenager. All teens do it at one time or another and in their own unique ways. They rebel against their parents and other authority figures because they are trying to gain their own independence. While you should continue to enforce your family rules on your teen, just understand that this is a part of growing up. Sometimes it helps for parents to pick their battles if their teen isn’t doing anything wrong, but is merely being argumentative. However, if your teen’s rebelling is putting himself, or anyone else, in danger – you need to put a stop to it.

The high school years can be rough, but you and your teen will get through them. Just try to give you teen some space and let him figure things out on his own, when possible. Be there when needed, but let your teen come to you. And, try to always put yourself in your teen’s shoes to help gain a better understanding of what he’s going through at this stage in his life.

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