Maybe you missed the calls from school. Maybe the school didn’t communicate clearly. Maybe a long, difficult academic struggle has finally become a crisis. Whatever the reason, your teen is on the verge of failure or says that he’s decided he is dropping out. How do you respond?
Get my anger under control.
Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Avoid blaming yourself, your kid, or the school. You'll be able to communicate better with your child and the school without pointing fingers. If you are worried about losing your temper, adopting this Goal can provide practical help for communicating with a teen under pressure: "Fight Fair" With My Teen When We Argue.
Sit down with my teen and ask for his/her side of the story.
Get the facts, if possible, but don't browbeat or nag, but try to find out what's in your kid's head. Use open-ended comments such as "Tell me more..." or "I need more information..."
Call the school to set up a meeting with the administration.
Prepare ahead of time. What do you want to accomplish? What will the next steps be? Be prepared to listen without becoming hostile. Adopt EduGuide Goal "Advocate for my At-risk Teen."
Tip: Explore alternative options. Would a different type of high school education be better for your teen? Talk to your school's guidance counselor to find out what options the district offers. See EduGuide Goal "Investigate Education Options for my At-Risk Teen."
Remember: Teens must be active participants in any decision about their future because they are the major stakeholders and need to own the solution.
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