Be friendly, curious, and cooperative when talking to a teen about where things got off the rails. “It’s not about being in trouble or getting off the hook,” you might say. “It’s just about figuring out what’s going wrong so we can solve the right problem.”
Students who are having trouble keeping track of expectations may need to contact their teachers for information on specific assignments or for general pointers on where and when to look for homework information. As a parent or carer, you can coach them on how to contact their trainers. Start by pointing out that teachers almost always aim to support students who are looking for it. You can also offer to provide feedback to an instructor on a draft email explaining where the student has been lost and what they have already tried.
“For many students, the ability to ask for help is not fully developed,” said Ms. Katz, “or it can feel like an admission that they have done something wrong. It is so important to normalize and praise self-advocacy. “
Other approaches make sense for students who know what to do but don’t do it. They may find it difficult to maintain motivation and need support on that front, or they may be inundated with responsibilities like caring for younger siblings that make it impossible to complete their schoolwork. This is where parents and students want to work together to create a realistic plan for addressing the top priorities given these circumstances. This could mean reaching an agreement on where to direct the teen’s energies or exploring what additional support could be put in place.
In some cases, academic problems can be linked to mental health problems. When there is a question about whether a student has depression or anxiety; Drug consumption; If you have other important emotional or behavioral concerns, speak to your school counselor or family doctor for a proper assessment. Treatment should always take precedence over schoolwork. “When you are depressed,” said Dr. Braaten, “a lot of leadership coaching isn’t going to help because that’s not the problem.”
Some students have subtle learning or attention deficits that didn’t become a problem until the school went online. Under normal conditions, Mr. Johnson said, instructors can tell when a student is switching off and gently bring their attention back. Unfortunately, “teachers really can’t do this effectively with Zoom.” If this is a problem, parents should consider reaching out to teachers or school staff to find out about the problem and get advice on how to move forward.
Step back to see the big picture
“We all need to make ourselves easier,” said Dr. Braaten, “and clarify what the students really need to do and what not.” Well-meaning parents may hope to motivate students by emphasizing the importance of high grades, but this can make it harder for children to recover from a significant setback.