High school is a critical springboard into college and adult life, and while it’s meant to be a period of learning and growth, it can also be a trying time for the adolescents navigating it.
It can be hard to pinpoint precisely what issues lie behind teenagers’ struggles in school, but a handful of key issues rise to the top that every parent of teenagers should be aware of as they try to help their children succeed to the best of their capabilities.
5 Reasons Why Teens Don’t Reach their Potential at School
By Issac Church
By learning and understanding these reasons of why teens don’t reach their potential at school, you can change the path for your child to succeed!
Social, mental, and emotional difficulties
Teen years are incredibly turbulent, with raging hormones, constantly shifting social landscapes, romantic relationships beginning and ending, physical and mental changes and development, and much more.
But while these kinds of changes are expected, they can also be exacerbated by mental health issues like depression and anxiety. (which continues to rise among teenagers.)
Thus, it’s important for any parent to be keyed in to their teenager’s mental and emotional health. Be open and available to them, and to seek outside help if more serious conditions start to surface and affect their daily life.
Gaps in knowledge
The curriculum for just about any subject in school is additive – it takes knowledge and concepts from previous years and builds on them further with each subsequent course.
And while this type of curriculum makes a lot of sense, it also means that, if any key concepts are missed or not fully understood, it can be almost impossible to succeed at higher levels in that subject.
The new information and concepts won’t be fully understood, and then the process continues to snowball as the student falls farther and farther behind.
So if your teen’s report card has suddenly taken a dive in certain subject areas, it’s worth considering that they may have missed something from the previous semester.
With that in mind, you, a teacher, or even a tutor can work backwards and catch your teenager back up to speed.
Memorizing facts instead of deep processing
Sometimes knowing the facts is good enough to get through certain courses – or even entire years in school.
But as your teenager moves through high school and into more difficult classes, this becomes more difficult to get away with – and their marks will suffer for it.
The key to overcoming this is for them to improve at deep processing – actively using the information they learn, rather than just remembering and regurgitating it at the appropriate time.
And while this can be a tough skill to master, having your child focus more on English coursework is one potential way to improve their deep processing skills so that they can achieve even higher.
A lack of previous (healthy) failures
While failing is generally seen as a negative outcome, it’s also a vital learning experience.
If your teenager has generally done pretty well in school but is now having a much more difficult time, it might be because they’ve never struggled before and they aren’t sure how to cope with it.
Never having failed means they probably don’t have a solid strategy for dealing with academic difficulties – if they’ve never had to study, they won’t know how to start when it suddenly becomes necessary.
If this seems to be the case with your teen, make sure that they have the right resources available to teach them how to strategize and overcome this new obstacle.
Why Teens Don’t Reach their Potential at School
The pressure to succeed affects us all, but it can be especially apparent among teens making their way through the social and academic labyrinth that is high school.
As a parent, though, you’re in a unique position to keep tabs on your teenager’s situation and identify the potential underlying problems holding them back – so that they can clear these final hurdles and be every bit as successful as they can be.