School attendance and grades

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
To adolescents, school isn't only a place to get an education; it's a miniature society. There are rules that must be followed, there's work that must be done, and there's a time for developing relationships with others. Often, when teens say they hate school, they're not referring to teachers, studies, homework, or exams, but to the social environment. They may have trouble making friends, have someone threatening to beat them up, or be in an argument with a love interest. Just as in the adult world, the psychological and emotional demands of school can cause stress, anxiety, and even depression. For some students, withdrawing from school, either by refusing to study or refusing to show up for class, is an attempt to deal with these pressures. Of course, it's important for adolescents to get an education, but it's virtually impossible to force them to make good grades or keep them from skipping school. In most cases, finding out the problem and suggesting a solution is more effective than punishment. If grades are starting to slip, parents should encourage their children seek extra help from a teacher, tutor, family member, or classmate. If children are playing hooky, parents should make an effort to find out why they don't want to go to school. Perhaps it's a simple problem that can be rectified easily with a little advice. However, if the child doesn't respond, shows symptoms of drug abuse, or appears to be depressed, psychological counseling or therapy may be necessary. For more information, consult a health care professional.

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