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Creating Academic Success for Teens
YourPBC.org is all about sharing perspectives. So we are posting the work of national education experts and bloggers on the topic of parental involvement in schools. Here is a post by Sandra Dupont, a licensed marriage and family therapist:
More than just being about grades, the educational process offers teens the opportunity to learn about social skills, personal responsibility, respect for authority, as well as how to manage their time, how to gather and retain information, and areas of interest to them. It is essential that you support your adolescent in having a positive and successful school experience.
At the start of the school year, check in with your teen by asking what they think of their teachers and how enthused they are feeling about each of the subjects they are studying. Once school is underway check in daily or weekly, depending upon the self-motivation of your particular child, by asking about their assignments and what they're are learning.
The following is a sample of a "School Performance Agreement:"
We believe you are capable of producing excellent work if you put in the time and effort. Therefore, we are expecting you to achieve A and B (and/or C) grades this year.
We will help you to achieve this by providing you with a tutor or homework helper, if necessary.
We want you to learn the most effective work habits to support your success and are therefore setting the following rules:
1. Homework is to be done 1st, after a short break when you come home.
2. You can and should take breaks every 45 minutes.
3. Homework will be done in kitchen or common area, and not in your room.
4. Facebook, Tumbler and instant messaging will be off limits until after your homework is finished.
5. Cell phone will be placed in KITCHEN and not used until homework is finished.
You need to get enough sleep to do well in school, be successful, and feel good about it. So we are expecting you to be in bed at ____ pm Sunday through Thursday.
Friday and Saturday are "late days" meaning you can stay up later, but not past ____ pm.
We will review these expectations and rules after the 1st semester with you and make adjustments based on your performance. Our intention is to support you in doing your best and being your best.
If your teen expresses continuous feelings of helplessness or hopelessness about a class or classes this could mean a couple of things:
• They need assistance beyond the time spent in class to understand the new information, and thus a tutor may prove helpful.
• They may have a learning disorder that needs to be better understood, like ADD, dyslexia, or a sensory processing disorder. There are tests as well as treatment designed to help overcome these challenges.
• They could be struggling with depression, bullying, low self-esteem or even substance abuse. These are all situations that would benefit from a consultation and/or treatment with a trained mental health professional.
Between extracurricular activities, homework, body changes and peer pressure, teens have a lot on their plates. Self-injury and substance abuse is on the rise among teens and pre-teens. Drug addiction is often based on the user wanting to get away from painful feelings, such as anxiety or depression. By waiting until problems with your teen have escalated, the issue becomes more complicated to solve.
The Internet now allows parents the opportunity to seek support for their child or family before the onset of a mental illness has occurred. There are various services available to aid you in supporting your child. Keywords to Google include your city--along with Teen Therapist, Teen Substance Abuse Treatment, Teen Depression, Teen Anxiety, Learning Disorders, Tutors, Solutions to Bullying, and ADD treatment.
In closing, since not every student learns at the same pace or in the same style, it is important that you understand your child's experience. Your teen's success in school is the doorway to endless possibilities for their future.
Sandra Dupont, LA Teen Therapist, is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in supporting sensitive and artistic teenagers. She can be reached at 310-951-5678 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is: www.losangelesteentherapist.com.