Listen to How to Help my Teen Who Hates School Part 1
If you haven’t yet listened to Part 1, go listen HERE!
In part one I talked about understanding current school myths, like:
- Myth #1 Your Teen NEEDS to be Successful at School to Succeed in Life
- Myth # 2 Your Teen Needs to Go to College
- Myth #3 If Your Teen Struggles in School, There’s Something Wrong with Them
- Myth #4 School is the One and Only Answer for EVERYONE
- Myth #5 School is Preparing Kids for the Future
It’s Time to Empower Your Teen
If your teen hates school, it’s time to empower them.
Often times teens simply blame school, their teachers, or even their friends and this is disempowering.
Sometimes they make excuses like, “it’s boring” or “it’s pointless”.
Bottom line is, if your teen’s blaming or making excuses, they’re in the victim mentality, and one of the best ways to get teens out of the victim mentality is to empower them.
The problem is, we often just tell teens that, “School is what it is, and you can’t change it, so just deal with it.”
This is disempowering.
I want to share the message that, if you have a problem with something, you have a responsibility to do your part to try to fix it.
Maybe your teen could talk to their teacher and tell them, “Hey, I’ve noticed that I learn better when I get to interact with others.” Or “I really enjoy your class when it’s more interactive.”
Bottom line is, one of the reasons the teens hate school is because they feel powerless about it.
Have Empowering Conversations
One of the most empowering things that you can do for your teen is to give them a voice and help them process their thoughts through conversation.
This is why I’m such a proponent of having empowering conversations with your teen. Treat them like an adult, who can think and problem solve, and they will start to act like an adult who can think and problem solve.
If you want to have empowering conversations, you’ll need to listen to your teen. A lot of parents struggle with this. I’ve heard that because you have 2 hears, and only one mouth, you should listen twice as much as you speak.
If you want to have empowering conversations with your teen about school, here are some great questions you could ask.
- What are the disadvantages of school?
- What are the benefits of school?
- What might be an alternative that you could do, rather than school?
- What might be an unseen cost of this?
- What might be an unseen advantage of this?
Bottom line is, teens are way more capable that we give them credit for.
Help them activate their capability and their creativity by empowering them through conversations.
There ARE Alternatives when it Comes to Education
This might come as a shock to some people, but there ARE alternatives to school.
Your teen could go get a job. They could travel the world, with you probably, they could focus more on trade schools than traditional schools. They could sit at home and play video games.
Bottom line is, there are lots of alternatives when it comes to education.
I personally feel that teens benefit and learn more from being out in the real world, working, playing, traveling, and/or providing service.
Put the Burdon on Your Teen’s Shoulders
We’ve created a bad habit of adults taking care of teens and doing all the work. The problem is, this is disempowering to teens.
Instead of figuring out an alternative for your teen, but that task on their shoulders. Let them be responsible for their education and choices.
When my kids tell me that they hate school, one of my favorite answers is, “If you present me with a better alternative to school, I’m all ears.” Another favorite response is, “What’s something productive that you could be doing instead of school?” I also like to ask, “If you didn’t have school, what would you be willing to do with your time?”
It’s okay if your teen doesn’t have any ideas when it comes to coming up with a better alternative to school. If they can’t come up with any alternatives, they can keep going to school.
Trust Your Teen
Trust your teen. They are the key. They know what they need. They know what they love. They know what interests them the best. They know what they are passionate about.
Unfortunately, most teens are taught not to trust themselves and to look to the adults for the answers.
If you trust your teen, they will start trusting themselves.
When you teen learns to trust themselves, they will have access to their own wisdom. They will get better at trusting themselves and fixing their own problems.
Let Them Fail
I know it’s hard, and I know it’s scary, but it’s VITALLY IMPORTANT!
Sometimes you’ve got to get out of the way and let your teen fail.
This might be letting them fail at school. This might be letting them try something that YOU know won’t work, just so they can fail and find out for themselves.
Let Them Try New Things
One of the problems that teens have is that they don’t know what they want to do. They don’t always know what they like and don’t like because they haven’t been allowed to try new things. I have a client who desperately wanted to learn how to play the guitar. But, after years of guitar lessons, and even thought they are pretty good, they decided that they didn’t want to pursue the guitar anymore. They would have never learned that if they hadn’t been allowed to try it out.
I have another client who wanted to fix and flip dirt bikes and create a YouTube channel around that. After a few months, they found out that wasn’t what they wanted to do and moved on.
It’s okay. They don’t have to knock it out of the park on their first attempt.
Let them learn from their own experience.
Let them engage in some good old fashion trial and error.
Want to Master the Inner Game of Parenting?
Step 1 – Go take the parent trap quiz!
It’s free, easy, and will take you less than 3 minutes.
Step 2 – Use your quiz results to focus your energy on growing in the area indicated by your quiz results.
Step 3- Come work with me to help you up level your parenting!