By Nichole Banks “You’re ruining my life!” Teen Independence
My kid’s grades dropped! • A teen starts to wonder if they are: • Physically appealing • Intelligent • Popular • Stylish • One out of every ten public high school students will fail one subject or an entire grade level each year. • An NIMH-sponsored study of 9- to 17-year-olds estimates that the prevalence of any depression is more than 6 percent in a 6-month period, with 4.9 percent having major depression.
Making excuses and threats Making excuses for incomplete work: • Will teach a teen that they should have an excuse on why they cannot accomplish some of their goals and this behavior can continue into adulthood. • Threatening a teacher to increase a grade: • A teacher gives a student the grades that they earned. • Talk to the teacher calmly to see what steps can be taken (tutoring, study halls, etc.) to raise your child’s grade scores.
Questions?? • Have you talked to your child lately? • Sometimes a huge decline in grades is a scream for help. • WHY won’t our teen talk to us? • Most teens want to communicate with their parents but get frustrated when they never have an opportunity to talk.
What can we do? “We are all given two ears and one mouth, to remind us that we should spend twice as much time listening as talking.” • Ask. • Listen. • Understand.
How can I understand? • We all have been a teenager and went through that period of our lives. • “Back in the day” we didn’t have all the same issues or problems a teen deals with today. • Even if we don’t understand everything they are going through: • Make time to listen • Try to help them come to their own conclusions • Remember, sometimes an issue can be escalated in a teen’s mind because hormones are higher than they are used to.
Negatives don’t make a positive. • Try to not use words “don’t”, “stop”, “never”, and “no” several times in a conversation. • These words can make you sound like you’re “nagging” and will keep a teen from talking. • Try to focus more on positive behavior • If a teen is only noticed for misbehaving, they will try to always “break the rules” to get attention. • Aren’t you proud? • Acknowledge their accomplishments.
Teenagers need to learn to accept responsibility for their own actions. • Teachers and parents want the same thing: • Want them to excel academically • Succeed as an adult • If your child’s grades are declining: • Speak to the teacher and child in a calm manner • Learning disorders might need to be addressed or explored • Find a resolution that works for all parties • This helps the teen feel more involved and show them that everyone wants them to succeed.
References: • http://www.about-teen-depression.com/teen-depression.html • http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/index.html • http://singleparents.about.com/od/parenting/ss/independence_7.htm • http://understandingteenagers.com.au/blog/2010/07/5-mistakes-adults-make-communicating-with-teenagers/ • http://www.womensforum.com/my-teen-is-failing-school.html