Helping Your High-Schooler Finish School

Helping Your High-Schooler Finish School

“I’m quitting.”

These are words a parent dreads hearing when it comes to their child deciding they want to quit high school.  The drop-out rate for teens in the U.S. has hovered around 10% for the past few years.  While most states will not allow a minor to quit high school without a parent’s consent, some allow students to quit at age 16, regardless of parental consent.

Anyone who spent time in high school remembers feeling overwhelmed, awkward, and lost at times.  Before you, as a teenager would say, “freak out” about your child quitting school, follow these tips to help your child finish school.

1.  Research the law.  What is the legal age to quit school in your state?  In some states, if a child quits school at age 16 he or she will lose their driver’s license until they are 18.  Find out whether it is even a possibility for your child to legally quit.

2.  Ask why. A child wanting to quit school is symptomatic of a larger problem.  Is your child being bullied at school?  Is he so far behind in coursework that he won’t finish on time anyway?  Does she have a best friend who quit school?  Remind them that you remember how difficult it was to plow through school.  Have an honest conversation with your child regarding why they want to quit.  Once you have the answer…

3. Determine your options. If your child is behind in coursework, take time to visit with their guidance counselor.  Often there are summer courses, online classes and correspondence courses your child can take to get ahead.  If your child is being harassed at school, speak with a principal or person in charge of discipline over the phone.  Making an in-person visit may embarrass your child or make them more of a victim of harassment.  However, asking a principal to keep an eye on potential harassment may help.  If a school official isn’t aware there is a problem, they can’t fix it.

When your child brings up the desire to quit school, recognize the cry for help they are making.  Take time to communicate with him or her to find a resolution you can both agree on.

Photo Via: timeinc