Many high school students go through a phase when they wonder if they are college material. Parents place expectations on their children that college is expected, but sometimes don’t realize the doubt and concerns their high school student is facing regarding making important life changing decisions.
Kids go through the thought process of how they’ve gone to school for years and maybe need some time off. Or their grades might slip and they fear they won’t be accepted at a preferred college or university.
There is a lot of peer pressure senior year when kids start to compare ACT/SAT scores and some students get accepted to choice colleges while others may not.
But none of these things should stand between your child going or not going to college if that is what they want to do.
All they may need is some motivation and guidance to keep them on the track to their educational goals. Research has proven that students with trustworthy mentors and/or dedicated parents perform better in school.
Monitoring your child’s progress throughout high school is an indicator of when their performance may be falling. Maybe they need some assistance in a particular course, or to attend a summer program to develop their writing or reading skills. Maybe they are struggling in a course that has led them to question their ability to succeed in college.
Whatever the reason may be for this self doubt, keeping the communication lines open is essential to determine if and when a problem exists and then plan the right course of action. This is not always so simple and varies with each individual student.
Delicately try to open the subject for conversation and see where it leads. Keep communication lines open, but don’t hover or pry. Monitor grades and if progress falls dramatically, try to offer solutions rather than criticism. It is often possible that a few hours of tutoring each week is all that is needed to get back on track.
Often the biggest challenge a parent faces regarding a high school teenager is showing they care without overdoing it. Continue to provide motivation, help when and where you can, and make sure they know they can talk to you.
Continue to focus on college as a positive path, and proceed as normal in the planning required for your child to attend college after high school. Both you and your student will know at some point if the plan should change and can then discuss possible alternatives.
Just don’t give in too easily to their sudden desire to avoid college when it has been something both you and they have been planning all along. Most often it is just a phase they are going through and given a little time and encouragement, they will get back on track.