Encouraging your high school student to do their best isn’t as hard as you may think. It does take time and effort, but it should become part of a daily routine that both you and your teen can enjoy more than dread.
These suggestions can help you along:
- Talk to your teen about school. Know what classes he/she is taking, what does your teen think of the teacher and/or ask if your teen feels he/she is learning anything. This is excellent dinner table conversation if you can keep it light and positive.
- Set the expectations. Teens need a clear map of what you want them to do. You would not do your teen any favors by not telling him/her what grades you will be expecting. Send a clear message to your teen about the grades you expect to see in each class. Set consequences for poor grades as well as rewards for good grades. Keep your expectations in line with what your teen feels he/she can do.
- Help him/her establish goals. While your teen will need to keep his/her goals in line with your expectations, he/she may have a goal that he/she feels is important too. Learning to establish goals teaches independence, one of the things your teen needs to learn to become a successful adult.
- Have what they need at home, or a way to get it. Resources are important for high school students. Your family should have library cards and a way to access the Internet for homework. Without these things, your teen could be at a disadvantage. It is also a good idea to set up a mobile homework center.
- Stay involved. Show support for your teen’s school by attending parents' nights and other activities or functions. Sign up for the school’s online grade reports and/or have a list of teacher’s email addresses. Always be respectful to your teen’s teachers but do not be afraid to ask them tough questions. Learning in a classroom is a two-way street. Please be your teen’s advocate when necessary.6.
- Set a good example and show him/her your love of learning. Modeling active learning behaviors like reading or taking classes shows your teen that school is just the beginning and gaining knowledge should be enjoyed.
- Praise your teen for a job well done.