Setting Goals & Expectations
Help your teenagers set goals and understand that they have options for the future.
Help kids understand how the choices they make now can affect their whole lives. Introduce them to successful people in your community who can explain what it took to succeed. Teens with long-term goals for education or work will be less likely to compromise their futures by engaging in risky behavior.
Let your kids know that you value education.
Stay involved in your children’s education and let them know it is important to you. Explain to them how their education will reward them later in life and that it is so important for them to take it seriously now. School failure is often a warning sign of other problems. If you notice a drop in performance, talk to your teen and his or her teachers immediately.
Stay involved with your teen’s school.
Parents are often very connected to their children’s elementary schools but disengage as the kids get older. Try to stay involved right through middle and high school. Pay attention to the classes your teens are taking and the homework they are being assigned. Join the PTA or other parent organization. Volunteer to be a tutor, mentor, or guest lecturer. Meet your teens’ principals, teachers, counselors, and coaches. Attend back-to-school nights, student exhibitions, plays, band and chorus recitals, and sporting events. If you don’t show up, your kids will be the first to notice.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Runaway Switchboard.
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