Do you have a teen who is not ready emotionally or academically for college? The most important role of a parent is to work with that teen to break down barriers to college admission and success, if college is the goal. The underachieving teen and those who have limitations may be failing or doing average work but have the capability to achieve academic excellence. Some famous people could be role models for them.
A famous political figure earned a C minus in high school and later went on to attain master’s degree. A student who had a C minus average and a 14 on her ACT graduated from college and has a lucrative career.A Los Angeles schoolteacher took her low achieving class from the bottom to the top in District test scores. These examples show that such students can make it to college, although they may need parental guidance to steer them in the right direction and remove obstacles.
Some of the barriers for those not ready for college are poor feelings about themselves, influence of friends, drugs and alcohol, crime, poverty, laziness, boredom, and lack of parental or school guidance. Parental help for these teens can assist with some of these issues
First, parents need to love listen and motivate their teens by spending quality time with them. They can learn what inspires the teen and find out more about the teen’s needs.
Tutoring may help some students with academic problems. The student who scored 14 on the ACT had tutoring help in remedial math in college. This indicates that help for teens may need to continue into college.
They can achieve success by being aware of any drug and alcohol issues and seeking help. One parent and student solved a problem by consulting a physician on the alcohol issue.
Another way they can help is to discipline wisely to create certain boundaries and praise teen only when deserved. Showering a teen with praise creates problems and does not send the right message.
Parents can monitor all activities, allowing the student to participate in the decision about time spent on TV, homework, computer and recreation, thus giving the teen some control. A vital necessity is to keep in contact with the school.
They can get to know the teen’s friends and parents. If the teen hangs out with others who think getting good grades is not “cool” parent can talk with the teen about success, pointing out that being different is a challenge worth undertaking.
Journaling is used by some teachers as a help for teens in crime and poverty areas. Students write about bad experiences, thus releasing these thoughts from their minds. Parents could suggest this program, if indicated. In addition, the school lunch program helps hungry children who otherwise might not do well in school.
The successful teen may have a better choice of schools, while the teen who has not attained full achievement might look at smaller schools where the requirements for admission are not as strict. Fortunately, both types of students could have the same chance of long-term success, especially with parental support.