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Don't Drop the Ball: Encouraging Teens To Stay In School

If is likely that most teens want to quit school at some time or another.  Perhaps they're not doing well and feel that they just can't make the grade.  Or perhaps they are doing so well that they feel they don't need to learn anything else.  Either way, it is in everyone's best interest for kids to graduate with at least a high school diploma before going out into the world.  Here are some tips to make that happen:

  • Set aside some time to talk with your teen about his decision. 
  • Ask him why he wants to quit school
  • Review with him the laws in your state concerning mandatory school attendance.  He may not have the option of quitting at this time.
  • Brainstorm with him on ways to overcome his problems with his current situation.
  • Consider other options.  Can he transfer to another school?  Would he prefer to be home schooled?
  • Work together to gather information on all the options you've discussed.
  • Offer to meet with his current teachers and school administrators to discuss his concerns. 
  • Even if he says he does not want you talking with the adults at his school, consider doing it anyway.  They may be able to give you some suggestions.
  • Explore programs available in your area to encourage students to stay in school.
  • Ask your child to agree to continue in his current situation for a period of time to allow you time to explore other options.  Depending on when you are having this conversation that could be through the end of the term or the end of the year.
  • Help him get a realistic view of what his life would be like if he didn't finish high school.  Consider difficulties finding work, no opportunity to go to college, etc.

Remember that ultimately you teen can just stop working and flunk out no matter what you do.  That is why it is so important to listen to what he is saying and help him make a decision that both of you can live with.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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