If Your Teen Begins to Fail in School
More Information on School Success - Universal Education
Many teens experience a time when keeping up with school work is difficult. These periods may last several weeks and may include social problems as well as a slide in academic performance.
Research suggests that problems are more likely to occur during a transitional year, such as moving from elementary to middle school, or middle school to high school.
Some adolescents are able to get through this time with minimal assistance from their parents or teachers. It may be enough for a parent to be available simply to listen and suggest coping strategies, provide a supportive home ...view middle of the document...
• Lack of connection with the school -- the student is not involved in sports, music, or other school-related extracurricular activities.
• Behavior problems -- the student may be frequently disciplined or show a sudden change in school behavior, such as withdrawing from class discussions.
• Lack of confidence -- the student believes that success is linked to native intelligence rather than hard work, and believes that his or her own ability is insufficient, and nothing can be done to change the situation.
• Limited goals for the future -- the student seems unaware of available career options or how to attain those goals.
When more than one of these attributes characterizes an adolescent, the student will likely need assistance from both parents and teachers to complete his or her educational experience successfully. Girls, and students from culturally or linguistically diverse groups, may be especially at risk for academic failure if they exhibit these behaviors. Stepping back and letting these students "figure it out" or "take responsibility for their own learning" may lead to a deeper cycle of failure within the school environment.
Teens Want To Feel Connected to Their Family and Their School
In a recent survey, when students were asked to evaluate their transitional years, they indicated interest in connecting to their new school and requested more information about extracurricular activities, careers, class schedules, and study skills. Schools that develop programs that ease transitions for students and increase communication between schools may be able to reduce student failure rates.
The Role of Parenting Style
Parenting style may have an impact on the child's school behavior. Many experts distinguish among permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative parenting styles. These parenting styles are associated with different combinations of warmth, support, and limit-setting and supervision for children.
The permissive style tends to emphasize warmth and neglect limit-setting and supervision; the authoritarian style tends to emphasize the latter and not the former; while the...