Did you get a worrying report from the school regarding your teenage child? Teenagers go through many changes rapidly. It is not uncommon for grades to slip during this time. However, don’t overlook the signs of a bigger problem. As a parent, It is always best to be proactive. By acting early and decisively, you prevent problems from accumulating. Nevertheless, what are you supposed to do?
Getting your teenager the help they need is relatively straightforward. First, start by identifying the underlying problem. Unless you know why the issue began, you will just treat symptoms.
We suggest involving a tight network of people to support your teen. If possible, include the other parent, teachers, and external support networks.
Once you identify the underlying issues, you can develop an action plan. Everyone in the support network must be on the same page. The more cohesively you all act together, the more effective you will be.
1. Talk To Your Teen Openly And Honestly
Before you let your mind run wild, try talking to your child. Sometimes, it is that straightforward. Believe it or not, teenagers can be very insightful. Simply asking them could be all you need to do.
Ask About Their Workload: Is your child experiencing symptoms of burnout? In the modern world, many children report feeling overwhelmed. Not only do modern teenagers need to keep up with the obligations of school, but they also have a lot more on their plates. Once you include extracurricular activities, a social life, and a job, they work just as much as most adults.
Do They Know Why They Are Having Trouble?: Be direct when speaking to your children. Although we dance around issues in front of toddlers, teenagers do not need to be kept in the dark. Teenagers know why they are struggling most of the time. Letting them know you care by asking means more to them than you understand.
2. Seek Out Medical And Behavioral Support If Needed
After speaking with your teenager, it is time to turn to professional help. Hopefully, you are able to solve the problem before you get here. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out that way.
There is a litany of medical professionals available to support you and your children in their education.
General Practitioner: If you already have a general practitioner, ask them for advice during your next checkup. They may have some suggestions. You might also get a referral to a specialist.
Pediatrician: Pediatricians specialize in treating children and teenagers under the age of 18. Because of their focus on the age group, they identify specific age-related problems more easily than other doctors.
Psychiatrist: If your teenager or doctor suggests the problem could be related to mental health, see a psychiatrist. Much of our culture puts mental health in a negative light. It does not need to be that way. Seeking out support for mental health can be life-changing.
A psychiatrist may recommend specific medications to assist with any biological imbalances. As teenagers grow older, underlying neurochemical imbalances often begin to surface. Medication can be the most effective treatment if this is the case.
3. Get the Teachers Involved
It should go without saying, get the teachers involved. Your teenager’s teachers are most likely around them more often than you are. The demands of the modern world keep us busy with work. Teachers are a vital asset with anything regarding your children’s education. It’s imperative you always involve them.
Monitor Classroom Behavior: Ask the teacher to keep an eye on your teen. They may find out some important information that you would not have been able to learn otherwise. Plus, if your teenager suffers from behavioral abnormalities, the teacher will catch them.
Homework Support: Perhaps, your teenager may be struggling with homework. Do they have other obligations that are distracting them? The teacher can let you know how your teenager’s homework performance has been.
Learning Styles or Location: Every child is unique. Not everyone learns in a classroom setting as well as everyone else. Maybe, your child would perform more adequately in an alternative learning location?
4. External Support
Finally, getting support outside of institutions is always recommended. Of course, do not neglect teachers and medical professionals. However, tutors can be great at helping blast through mental barriers.
Tutors: Are you interested in finding a tutor in Washington DC? We do not blame you. Tutors can greatly improve your child’s comprehension. A single tutor in Washington DC may be all it takes. For example, teens that need one on one attention learn very well with support from a tutor. Tutors also give your teen the chance to build a bond with someone outside of home and school. Being a teenager can be confusing emotionally. When given a chance to speak to an outsider, many teens open up.
Individual Education Program: Individual education programs provide children with special needs the support to learn effectively. If you believe your child needs more support, talk to your doctor about one of these programs. You will need to get an evaluation for your teenager. This evaluation determines if the teenager requires additional support at school.
504 Plan: These plans are another way for children with special needs to remove barriers to learning. Talk to your pediatrician about the details. It could be game-changing for teenagers struggling with specific issues.
5. Changes You Can Make at Home
When children reach their teenage years, it’s not uncommon for parents to give them more independence. Most of the time, this does not create any issues. Nevertheless, some teenagers need more structure.
Create a Routine Schedule: We suggest creating a routine for your teenager. Perhaps, they are having a problem managing time. Time management is an essential skill for adult life. Teach them the value of a routine by helping them create one. Ultimately, routines are only as effective as you are consistent.
Check Their Homework Before Bed: Before your teenager goes to bed every night, check their homework. This way, you know they got it done. Teenagers may not even try to forget their homework. It’s easy to stop thinking about school once you get home. Checking it before bedtime will give them a friendly reminder.
Enforce Bed Times: Lack of sleep is becoming a huge issue in many schools. Most teenagers need to wake up before 7 AM so they can get to school on time. Despite this, teenagers stay awake until midnight or later. Enforcing a strict bedtime can alleviate any sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation contributes to many issues at school.
Monitor Social Media: Obviously, you want to trust your teenager. We hope you never need to monitor their behavior. However, it is the best thing to do sometimes. The easiest way is to track their communications on social media. Then, you’ll know if anything suspicious is up.
Helping Your Teenager Succeed at School
Parents must learn how to teach their children to be independent. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for both the parent and the children. Teenagers, who were once honor roll students, become lackluster pupils.
What is the cause of all this? There isn’t a blanket answer. Nevertheless, we were all teenagers at one time. Give them some slack. As long as you continue to put effort into being the best parent possible, we feel certain your teenager will be just fine