How to Handle Poor School Performance in Teens


There may be many reasons why your teen is not doing well in school. As a parent, of course you want to help your teen improve grades, but before you do that, you might want to investigate the cause of the drop in performance. The following may be a list of steps to consider taking before you pressure or punish your teen to do better in school.

Handling Poor Performance

1. Ask your child. Your teen might give you certain reasons for a drop in grades: “I don’t care about school,” or “getting good grades isn’t going to help me later in life.” However, even these answers might not be thorough enough. You might need to gather more information. At the same time, your teen might be very forthcoming about why grades are low. If you feel your teen is sharing the whole story, then you can decide what to do depending upon the situation. However, also consider the remaining steps below.

2. Talk to his or her teachers. Discussions with the principle, school counselor, and teachers’ aides. Find out what’s going on at school and become an active participant in your teen’s education. You might get information that points to behavioral or emotional concerns. You might discover symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or even the simple fact that your child needs glasses. Of course, if mental health, emotional, or behavioral concerns exist, seek out the suitable professional support to appropriately address the problem. If signs of bullying, mental illness, or suicidal ideation are present, schedule a mental health assessment for your teen.

3. Limit the use of the phone or Ipad. There has been plenty of research that points to the negative effects of technology on teen’s, and school performance is one of them. Recent research has been pointing to the effects of phone and Internet use on a teen’s mental health. For instance, a teen’s concentration, memory, and energy levels can be affected by the consistent interruptions of texts. Furthermore, too much time on social media can expose a teen to online bullying and risky use of the Internet.

4. Ensure your teen’s physical health. Help your teen get the right amount of sleep at night. Healthy sleeping and eating patterns can facilitate a healthy mind. Along with this, taking good care of the body with exercise, yoga, and long walks on the weekends can also help with better brain functioning. Of course, having fun at the movies, spending time at the beach, and hanging out with friends is a necessary part of staying psychologically and emotionally healthy, and this in turn facilitates a fit academic life.

5. Have your teen assessed for depression or another illness. As indicated above, you might want to schedule an appointment with a mental health provider. You can also have your teen assessed by that professional to uncover whether your child is suffering from a mental illness. It’s common for teens to hide their symptoms from parents and teachers. However, with the right diagnosis, a teen can get the right support, which in turn, may lead to future remission.

If you’re concerned about your teen’s school performance, consider the above steps. If you feel strongly that mental illness, bullying, or poor physical health are not playing a role, then perhaps simply applying the right pressure on your teen will do the trick.