Help! I can’t get my teen to go to school.
The good news and the bad news is that this is not an unusual problem. At least 5% of children refuse to attend school or remain in class an entire day and some studies show that some form of chronic absenteeism affects 28% of youth some time in their lives.
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College was a truly unique experience for me. Suddenly, I had only two rules in my life: Don’t get arrested, and pass your classes. Coming from a fairly strict family, I was thrilled with my newfound freedom. I remember approaching my new life with a sense of carefree abandon, eager to learn and experience all that I could.
College is obviously a different world from living at home with a loving parent or two, and there are certain skills that can help a teen transition from high school to college, and even from college to adult life.
This is my “Top 5”, but is by no means an exhaustive list; actually, I would like to hear some of your suggestions!
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I am definitely a ‘type A’ personality; growing up, perfectionism was a trait I had early on. Trying to be the smartest in my class started when I was in kindergarten. My mom still has a picture of me at age 5 with my first student of the month award. I’m not sure why I tried so hard to be perfect; maybe it was being the first born that drove me to dread disappointing my parents or maybe it was just my temperament. My parents had expectations that I would be courteous and obey rules at school as well as finish my homework on time, but never did they tell me I needed to be number one. That was something I came up with all on my own.
Perfectionism may not sound like such a terrible trait. When we hear that term, we think of people who are smart and successful, but as I work with teens more and more, I’ve noticed that perfectionism is not without some downsides. Those teens who strive to be ‘perfect’ may naturally be the most intelligent or the best athletes, but often they are overextending themselves with homework and advanced placement courses or extracurricular activities at the expense of sleep and friendships. Read full post »