Getting a call from your teen’s school saying they’ve missed class is never fun, especially when you dropped them off that morning. But if your teen is acting out and skipping classes, there may be underlying problems that need to be addressed.
Communicate With Your Teen
If your teen is skipping class and acting out at school, it’s possible that something is bothering them. Casually start a conversation with them about school and how things are going—don’t push them to tell you anything if it’s not happening naturally. Your teen may not be willing to give up information right away, but if they want to talk about it they will come to you, especially now that they know you are interested, supportive and caring.
Consider Dropping the Punishment
Your teen has likely already been punished by teachers for skipping class so there’s no need for them to be punished a second time when they get home. Instead, make the home a supportive place to focus on what your teen needs. Figure out what they need to handle their feelings so next time they want to act out and skip class, they know there is a better alternative.
Meet the Teacher
Head right to the problem area—the classroom. Arrange a meeting with your teen’s teacher, counsellor or principal to talk about your teen’s recent behavior, grades and attitude in class. They may have insightful information and suggestions for how to help your teen, since they’re the people experiencing your teen’s negative behavior head on.
If your teen is skipping class because they’re struggling or don’t enjoy the subject material, find a way to motivate them. You may have to get creative or include teachers in the process, but it’ll be worth it for you teen to stay in class and learn the material. Look into getting them a tutor, or spend an extra hour with them on their homework every night. Your support could be enough to get them to stick around for second period.
Feature Image: Jason Devaun