How to keep a teen in school?

Depending on the location, many teens are not required by law to stay enrolled in school. But every mom wishes for her child's success. How can you help your teen see the value of a good education?

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8  Answers

42 5

We struggled with our son, as did Dian, in much the same ways. I finally dropped him from his neighborhood high school and took him to a drop-out recovery program at another high school, closer to where I taught (right, I was a teacher). My son was very intelligent in many ways, but he just would not/could not conform to the public school mold. He graduated with his class (the neighborhood high school) only because of the different kind of instruction (self-paced, computer-based). He went on to graduate from a technical college and found employment that paid equal to a starting teacher's pay.

If you are struggling to keep your teen in school, please never lose sight of the fact that this person was once the infant, the toddler, the pre-schooler who was so cute and so precious. Continue to love your teen and cherish every day you have with your child.

Leukemia took my son seven months ago. Before he died, he apologized to me for all the trouble he had caused me when he was younger. I would relive every minute of those troubles if I could just hug him again.

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12 1

So, so, so sorry for your loss. I simply can't imagine. I'll be hugging my boys today. Thank you for the reminder. Hugs to you.

42 5

Thank you. I used to cry my eyes out when watching Steel Magnolias because my daughter has type 1 diabetes. I caught a few moments of the film last night, where Sally Field's character is raging over the loss of her daughter because one's children aren't supposed to die first. As you may imagine, my tears last night were for a different reason.

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14 30

I once thought that my 25 year old would never finish high school but he did and went off to college and found an amazing career he also opened up a business with a few friends, The high school years were very tuff on me. the screaming in the morning and yelling at night the skipping of school and be suspended several times. I knew that in my heart he was an amazing child and would one day find it on his own and finish school. The day his little sister graduated pre-school he was graduating high school some times it just takes a little longer than most, I am so proud of him :)

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We need to remember that our teens are still our children and they do as we say (with explaination and communication). Teens need encouragment, they need support, and they also should be involved in school or community activities. There is a saying, "An idle mind s the devil's play yard." We need to be honest with them and tell them that most people struggle in life when they don't have an education. It's not a theory of mind but it's proven time and time again. Also, in order for them to suceed they need emotional balance which means if they are angry this could also be a factor of them dropping out. So be committed and lets not give up on or teens.

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5 15

I understand what you are saying Aerica and it makes complete sense. However, when you have a 13 year old failing all of his classes because he simply does not care to do the work in the class, what do you do? Because I have tried everything I can think of but I can't make him care about himself or his education. I have gone so far as to sit next to him in school all day, taken away his access to a social life, etc. and nothing seems to phase him. He also has ADD and is in the 5% of children who do not respond to ADD medication. I am so frustrated and at the end of my rope, I don't know what to do and I am afraid that as soon as he figures out he can drop out of school at age 16, he will.

12 1

Our middle son is also ADD and I've tried all the tricks and tips as well, with no luck. He knows that dropping out isn't an option, it's and end to a decent future. He is 16 and was diagnosed at 10. Drugs didn't work, nagging doesn't work. I've let him fail a few classes without causing issues for him because in the end, if he has to do a 5th year of High School, he flat WILL. Using natural consequences works best. He has to make up those credits in order to graduate. Bummer, dude, should have done that homework, huh? I followed him around in 6th grade all day, too. Didn't phase him. They have unique minds that simply work differently. Be patient, be supportive but don't let him believe that quitting is an option. In our current world, it simply isn't. Good luck.

42 5

Our son also was ADD. We fought the doctor to get it diagnosed, but he dragged his feet because he felt too many parents were asking for a label for something that wouldn't help the child anyway. I recognized ADD in my son when he was about 7, but it took us until he was in 8th grade to get it "officially." I had researched relentlessly, making copies for a packet I put together to give his teachers. It's doubtful many of them read much of it. One particularly disagreeable man heard "ADD" and immediately thought "special education = limited capabilities" with regard to my son. He even stated, "I noticed that he had reading on his schedule; what is his reading level?" My son had CHOSEN a reading elective because he thought they would be reading some really great books; he had taught himself to read before he was four and was always at least two to three years above grade level in reading. But his English teacher was so quick to assume that he had limited capabilities. The only teachers who had anything nice to say about him were his other elective teachers (theater arts and homemaking). I fought for this boy constantly. As a teacher, I overstepped my bounds when parents of a boy whom I suspected was ADD came for a conference. I told them that he was presenting all the signs I knew so well and that THEY needed to request a special ed evaluation. Of course, he received the diagnosis and the resultant additional help in getting through school. If your child doesn't get an IEP, maybe you can get a 504. These wonderfully bright ADD kids just need to be accommodated differently. They don't fit the public school mold.

42 5

Actually, I asked the school psychologist about ADD when my son was still in first or second grade. She was a long-time friend. She jumped on my back witht the question, "Where did you come up with that?!" It was still a fairly new label back then. And there really wasn't anything schools were doing to help ADD children.

12 1

Thank you, Mary, for helping everyone understand these brilliant and talented ADD kids. Our boy is not ADHD, just ADD and has a hell of a time concentrating on homework and chokes on tests but absorbs all he reads, all he hears, and understands what is taught in school but seems to lack the ability to work through the "prove it" standards which require writing and testing. If they'd just TALK to the boy, they'd see he has the education they GAVE him; if only they'd listen. Instead they flunk him and I let them because our educational system doesn't have enough money to take the time to hear what these brilliant minds have to offer. Sad, truly sad.

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243 64

I currently live in Japan, and have been here for nearly 30 years. High school is not compulsory in Japan. Most teens who do not pass the high school entrance exams take night school courses to earn the equivalent to a GED. Many more work at either part time or full time jobs. Some go into a vocational school or apprenticeship. Some prefectures (like a state) have programs for specialized careers.

Some kids prefer to get their education from the school of hard knocks. That might mean that the kids digs ditches or makes burgers for a while. There's nothing wrong with that. Some kids don't learn well in school, but do better on their own. As parents, we should try to learn how our child learns best and encourage learning in that way. Unless the kid wants to learn about science and architecture through arson, things should be fine. ☺

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i would realy love too see my 16 year old son finish i high school i fell it is very important

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464 0

A crummy part time job can scare them into school submission.. seems like teenagers always learn best from a reality check..

But if they are not into school activities or into college and what that has to offer, then they may not be the college type...and then school attendance should become a requirement for a fun life outside of school..to keep them out of trouble until they are an adult..

Good grades, and or some shown effort, equals after school activities and friends over, etc.. etc..

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10 22

I've read all the responses so far... and can sympathize. My son does not have ADD however. I've done the "college is not an option" thing... it's expected... since all my kids were little. Like another mom here, I've taken the x-box with no improvement; he has no social life to take away. At some point, it truly is THEIR decision, and it seems/feels there's nothing I can do about it. Anyone got any advice that's worked in a situation more like mine? I'm tired of feeling helpless.

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12 1

You start when they are 3, making school the utmost of importance. If you believe it, they will. I told my kids all along that college wasn't an option, it was going to be required of them. They don't even think it's a possibility to not finish High School. That's a foreign concept to them. If someone else drops out, they assume there's either something deathly ill about the, they come from a terrible family or a mental illness is involved or drugs. I have one in college, who loves it. I have two in High School, who love it. They're all boys. No drinking, no drugs. They're just really level headed guys. One way to help them stay in school is to help them get involved with their school. If they're part of the bigger picture (debate, theater, band, cheer-leading, clubs) they tend to feel like they're needed and that is VITAL to their staying put. Share your experiences (mostly the good parts) and what you miss about High School. Relating to their pain, frustration and the demands of the work will also keep you tied to the situation. If they believe you care and will be there for them, they'll stick with it. Good luck, all.

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