High school can be an extremely difficult time for struggling teens. There are so many pressures that they have to handle, between social pressures, school pressures, and the expectations of parents and adults around them. Many teens are also trying to understand their purpose and identity during this stage of life, which can make them feel confused and unsuccessful. If you’re trying to help struggling teens succeed, keep these tips in mind.
Help Them Set Goals
First of all, help the teens to set goals for themselves. These goals must encompass things that they are passionate about and excited about. If they end up setting goals that only reflect your projected desires for them, they likely won’t achieve those goals. For example, if you want your teen to get a 4.0 GPA but they’re just struggling to pass their classes, set a more realistic goal that will feel possible and achievable for them. You can encourage them and give them suggestions, but ultimately let them set their own goals. When teens feel excited about their achievable goals, they’ll be more likely to accomplish them.
Invest in Their Success
Next, make sure that you are truly invested in their success. This might require you to take additional steps that you wouldn’t usually take to make sure that they are well taken care of. For example, you might not usually encourage your teen to seek counseling or stage an intervention, but if you’re truly invested in their success and recognize that they need an extra push, this could be helpful. Youth that receive interventions are more likely to graduate high school. Investing in their success in a loving and optimistic way will help show your teen that you believe in them.
Create a Safe Space for Conversation
Finally, make sure that you are creating a safe space for conversation with your teen. During the teenage years, emotions and hormones run high, and it can often seem impossible to talk about difficult topics. However, if your teen sees that you want to provide a listening ear for them and understand their feelings and concerns, they’ll be more willing to talk to you. If you approach a conversation with the intention to correct them and tell them what to do, you’ll already be setting yourself up for failure. Your safe space for conversation should be judgment-free, no matter what your personal feelings are on the matter, and you should always listen and respond with compassion. This will help your teen to open up and be honest about their real concerns and challenges.
So, as you’re trying to guide struggling teens to be successful, remember the tips found in this article. Make sure that you help them set goals, invest in their success, and create a safe space for open conversations. This will improve your relationship and allow you to help them in a much more personal, compassionate way.
Check out these signs you’re dealing with lots of stress in your life!