Keep My Teen Interested in SchoolMost kids, after dropping out, say that school was boring and they weren't challenged to succeed. Though teens must be self-motivated to stay in school, you can do your part to keep your teen interested by following some of these suggestions:
- Focus on the future. Schedule a meeting with your teen and the school guidance counselor to explore career options or resources. Help your child plan a job shadow day (see "Achieving Your Dreams: What I Wish I Had Done in High School.")
- Focus on the present. Ask the counselor if there are clubs that match your child's interests, such as environmental groups, sports clubs, or service clubs.
- Encourage your teen to get involved in school projects and events. The more he or she feels part of the school, the greater your child's academic success is likely to be.
- Get involved in your teen's schooling. Know what classes your kid is taking, how he or she is doing in them; who his or her teachers are, and how he or she likes them. Attend parent-teacher conferences. Attend functions your teen is involved in, such as plays, sporting events, and talent shows. Join the band parents group if your kid is in band, or volunteer at school dances and events (see "Connect with Other Middle and High School Parents").
- Communicate your expectations to your child. High expectations motivate. Tell your teen that, at minimum, you expect him or her to graduate from high school. That's the nonnegotiable least-common denominator. And never rule out college for your teen (see "Talk to Your Teenagers about College").