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.

 

What to Do when Your Teen is Struggling in School

By: Aurelia Category: Teen Education

One of the biggest mistakes a parent can make regarding their teen’s performance in school is not knowing the difference between pressure and support. Think about the way you talk to your teen. Do you talk to them in away that will inspire them to want to do better? Or rather do you say things like “Get an A or else!” Often times it’s difficult for a teenager to see the importance of getting good grades and how it can affect their future. It’s up to you to give them some immediate gratification!

Encourage them by telling them that you are proud of them in everything they do. If it’s sports, music, or another hobby; showing interest and approval in their lives will give you a closer relationship with your teen. If you open up doors with them to talking about the things that they like, it will make it easier for them to come talk you about other things, like problems they’re having with schoolwork.

Use your bragging rights! Although they may never show it and may even act embarrassed when you brag about them- they really love it! Making your parents proud is important to pretty much everyone. That alone could be all they need to try harder in school.

What To Do When They’re Still Struggling?

You know that they’re putting the effort into they’re schoolwork, but sometimes everyone just needs some extra help! It’s important for you to provide that help for your teen. Although as parents we’re expected to do a lot, there are many reasons why getting a tutor instead of trying to help them yourself may be a better idea.

Parents and teens tend to clash, a lot. Perhaps it’s just the nature of the age, for some to be rebellious against their parents. Teenagers are at an age where we want to show our parents that we know everything, or at least just as much as they know, because we think we do. Employing a tutor can give young adults a sense of independence.

My experience when my father used to try to help me with my math homework was difficult. I believe that if I had, had a tutor-someone with whom I had nothing to prove, I could have been more receptive to learning. Teaching is not as easy as it may seem, just because you know how to read doesn’t mean you’ll be good at teaching it. Certainly, just because my father knew math well didn’t mean that he was the best teacher for me. Perhaps for someone, but not for me, because I learn differently than my father does. I think differently than my father does. Whether it be because I was young and he was older, I was female and he was male, our brains didn’t process things in the same way. If you’ve tried to help your son or daughter with their school work with no success, you should step down and hire a professional for the job, the ability to teach is a gift, and there are plenty of retired teachers out there who spend their time tutoring because it’s what they love to do. A good professional tutor will have the ability to recognize your son or daughter’s unique learning style and optimize they’re learning by catering to that.

Success in school takes work, that’s your teen’s job. Your job is to provide them with the tools for the job. Handle educational issues calmly and rationally and try not to put any added stress on them if they really are struggling. In case you’ve forgotten being a teenager is hard! Don’t wait for them to ask for help, just hand it out!

By – Grey

Struggling To Help Your Teen In High School? Get help now by clicking here and get your teen back on track.

Keeping Your Teenager In School

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen, Teen Education

The school session is underway, but are you worried that your teen is going to drop out, or does your teen already have a habit of skipping school? Keeping your teen in school is the surest way to keep him or her from getting into trouble with drugs, alcohol, and other life-debilitating activities.

Keeping your teen in school can be harder than you think. In some states in the U.S., a teen only has to be sixteen years old before he or she can drop out legally. The same is true of many schools in Canada. While on the political front, legislation needs to happen to ensure that those minimum ages are raised to 18 in order to keep teens in school, with additional opportunities made available for 19-21 year olds, nothing is going to happen without parental involvement.

So what can you do to keep your teen in school if he or she is not breaking the law by leaving school?

You can make it downright uncomfortable for your teen not to attend school! If dropping out of school means your teen gets to lie around all day playing video games while you continue to provide free room and board, what incentive do you have to keep your teen in school? Not much.

If you have a teen who is thinking about dropping out, has dropped out, or is skipping school days, you need to sit down with your teen and have a very stern conversation with him or her about how that will affect life. Make sure that your teen understands that while he or she attends school, you are happy to help support their educational pursuit by providing food, shelter, and the comforts of home…but if school is no longer on his or her agenda, then the rules of the game must change.

Insist that if your teen drop out that he or she pay rent, pay for food, and get a job. Immediately cancel privileges like a cell phone or internet connection that you pay for. Make it clear that the benefits of living at home come with certain obligations, that just as you have a job to do to keep a roof over the head of your family, your teen has a job to do in getting an education.

If you want to keep your teen in school, you are going to have to take a tough stance. It is something you can make your expectations clear about even before there is a problem. By consistently supporting your teen’s education, by providing positive feedback for the efforts your teen makes in school, and by making it clear how important you think education is, you can help keep your teen in school and motivated to succeed.

If your teen struggles with learning disabilities of any kind, be sure you obtain the supports they need (tutoring, extra help with homework at night, a quiet place to study) to be as successful as possible. Remember, keeping your teen in school does not mean holding them to getting all perfect grades. It’s the effort that counts.

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Teen After School Activities: Band/Choir

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

This is the third article in the series “Teen After School Activities”. You can read the other articles here and here.

One of the most gratifying aspects of joining a school band or choir for teens is seeing the proud faces of their parents when they perform at graduations or school musicals.

Most schools around the country have bands and choirs. They not only perform at special events, but in some areas of the country these school bands and choirs visit nursing homes and the department of education events to showcase their talents.

There was a wonderful movie shown recently, based on a true story, with Richard Dreyfuss in which he was the designated music teacher in school. He taught teens who had never played an instrument before and little by little brought out the best performance in each and every one of them. In addition, he instilled confidence and high self-esteem in these teens. One teen, who was extremely shy, went on to become a congresswoman.

Having teens in a band or choir instills discipline, responsibility, and a keen sense of self-worth as they progress during the school year. Music brings out the best in people, but especially teens who are unsure of their status and who have a problem with socialization.

So too, singing in a school choir can afford a teen the opportunity to go on to develop a love for opera, pop, rock, country, and all forms of musical genres. The show American Idol is evidence of how far a teen can go if he or she has the strength and courage to sing for incredibly large audiences. The experience alone is worth the effort.

After School activities in band and choir can afford teens the opportunity to achieve greatness in whatever they aspire to become, whether it has to do with music or not. Studies have shown that students who participate in some type of music program have better concentration skills and are less likely to get into trouble.

So encourage your teen to join the band or choir at school. Then give them the support they need in order to be successful by helping them plan their activities and attending as many performances as possible. Your teen will feel you value their decisions and that you are proud of them and love them. Nothing is more important to a teen than feeling loved by their parents, even if they’re not conscious of that need.

For further help and guidance check out Helping Your Teen Through High School.

Teens After School Activities: High School Sports

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

This is the 2nd article in a series dedicated to Teens After School Activities. With the school year nearly upon us, it’s time to be thinking about how we as parents can help nurture their desire to participate in various sports and maintain their grades at the same time.

The first thing we as parents need to do in order to help our students be successful in both the sport they’re involved in and in their studies, is to sit down and make up a schedule with them. The schedule needs to include all their activities, including practice times, game times, their work schedule if they have a job, time for homework, family activities, church activities and any other activities they may be involved in, including time with friends. As you can see, these things alone make for a very tight schedule for students. Hopefully this will help them be good time managers when they are adults and learn to not overschedule themselves.

Once school begins and your student is involved in the various sports, it’s then our responsibility to help hold our teen accountable for getting their homework done, making practice and holding down their job. We can do this by being as supportive as possible by: giving them rides to practice, giving them a quiet space to do their homework, helping them with their homework when they need it, or perhaps even helping them out with the purchase of a car they can call their own, if you can afford it.

Another very important aspect in supporting our teens in their involvement in high school sports is to be present at as many games or events as possible. Nothing says “I love you” more to a teen than for them to know you’re behind them 100%. Even in the sport they’ve chosen isn’t one you think they should participate in, if they love it and it’s their passion, or even if they just want to give it a shot, your attendance is very important. And if you can’t make it to a game or event, have a legitimate reason; don’t miss out on these last few chances to show your teen how important that what they’re involved in is important to you too. Once they’ve grown and are out on their own, you’ll long for those days when you we’re sitting in the bleachers, wrapped in blankets, freezing, watching your child win…or lose…that football game. Okay, maybe you won’t miss that part of it, but you’ll definitely miss the days when your child was younger and you still had some say in their decisions and everything going on in their life.

As your teen is going through their high school years, its one last chance at helping them be as successful as possible before they head off to college or into the adult world. It’s at this time in their lives when they really need our support to help them grow into independent successful adults.

For further guidance with helping your teen through the high school years check out High School Stuff: A great source of information for parents, students, and teachers about all aspects of high school life. A former teacher talks openly and frankly about topics such as standardized testing, college admissions, study tips, home schooling, curriculum guides, extracurricular activities, and more.