When school becomes undesirable it can lead to many different kinds of challenges. Teens tend to act out and become defeated when school becomes a struggle and the idea of quitting on your own terms seems better than failing at something altogether.I have encountered three main reasons why school becomes undesirable. Of course more reasons are out there but these have been the most consistent and recurring.
1. Bullying – I could do several long posts about bullying and really that would still be the tip of the iceberg. The truth is that bullying ruins lives. In today’s society we are seeing kids hurting themselves and even committing suicide over bullying. If I can get you to take one thing away from this it would be to take bullying as a LIFE OR DEATH situation. You probably think I’m being over-dramatic here but when it comes to the potential costs do you really even want to take that gamble? Bullying does not build character, it weakens character and resolve, and is a major reason why school becomes undesirable.
2. Educational Issues – Let me be clear, in no way am I blaming educators or parents here! The truth is, educational issues come up. Not all kids learn at the same pace. Not all kids learn in the same way. Visual learners can struggle with lecture and “busy” work just like auditory learners can struggle with projects and assignments of that nature. Knowing your kid, knowing how they learn, what engages them, what they find interesting or struggle with will go a long way towards resolving educational issues.
3. Lack of support at home – The absolutely best practice here is to make school engaging and firmly non-optional. Take the time to realize that school ends after 6 hours but educating happens over a lifetime. Kids who are well prepared, have parents and educators that are actively involved in their education, and are crystal clear that school is their JOB right now, will perform better. When kids know someone is involved and routing for them they will try hard to achieve that positive recognition from you. GIVE IT TO THEM! Hell, give it to them when they do something mediocre and at the same time teach them how to improve it. Set standards and expectations and don’t waiver on them.
Positive reinforcement works 10x better than negative reinforcement.