Teens - schoolwork & truancy



Believe it or not your adolescent will benefit from a structure to completing their schoolwork, as a younger child does. Talk through some ground rules with them. Perhaps strike a balance where they do their harder subject before they go out to see friends or relax in front of the TV. If they find a subject particularly easy, that's the one you allow them to do later in evening. Ideally getting them to sit down to do all their schoolwork before any leisure activity makes things easier, but often you'll find your teen digging their heels to that suggestion!


Encourage them to do some sort of sporting activity to burn off any stress from school. Going for a swim a few times a week, taking a dance class, or even kicking a ball around is better than nothing. Many teenagers have a fitness problem that tends to run down their energy levels - already run down enough from late-night phone calls to friends!


Liase with your children's teachers. This will help you know what's going on with them at school. Take every opportunity to go to parents' evenings, etc. Get involved as a parent volunteer - extra hands are always needed and you'll get a real feel for the atmosphere at the school.


Encourage your teen to have a good relationship with their favourite teacher. In casual, and regular, conversations explore with them what they think about their various teachers. You'll quickly work out their favourites. Suggest they chat with them individually from time to time to strengthen that bond.


Research shows a chaotic home life is distracting to children who are less likely to do their school work. Try to organise your home generally so it's not chaotic and there's a reasonable schedule that is followed.


Your teen will find their schoolwork easier to complete if they've been eating healthy food rather than junk-food and are getting enough sleep.


You are a role model when it comes to a general education. If you never pick up a book, show interest in a news topic, or occasionally take up a hobby, you are showing your teen that being interested in the world is not important.


*TRUANCY – Government figures just released show truancy is on the increase despite millions of pounds having been spent trying to stop truancy. There are many core reasons for truancy. The most common reasons include: children coming from homes where the parents lack parenting skills or, e.g. have mental health and other difficult issues; children have got involved in a drink and drugs; children with unidentified educational difficulties; and children who are being bullied will often avoid school.


It's imperative you take any notice from the school about your child truanting seriously. Teens who truant regularly have been shown to have a much higher chance of being unemployed in the future and having problems with drink and drugs.


Even if you have problems with the school, e.g., believing it’s not the greatest school, it's important to work with them on this matter.


If truancy has come as a surprise you then you need to check whether your teen is being bullied or has got involved with drink and drugs.


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