I have organized this page into the major issues that concern parents of teenagers rather than details about my class. There is also a STRESS AND DEPRESSION link for the most serious concerns. For information about my teaching, please refer to other linked pages on this site.
Throughout this site, I use the word parent to mean any caregiver. No matter who takes care of the child, that person is parenting.
Please note: I am speaking as a parent and a teacher, not as an expert in psychology or medicine. Please seek help from our counselor or contact me with concerns about your child's well-being, and we can find help together.
This page is organized from most common to least common.
- Parental Stress (Take care of yourself)
- Fixed Mindset Problems (Giving up when facing obstacles)
- Communicating with a reluctant or defiant child
- Possible drug abuse and next steps
****Please know that you can communicate with faculty, staff, or admin. if you have concerns about your child, as well. We're here to be a part of your team.****
WOW, is it stressful being a parent sometimes. We are not perfect, and neither are our children, but sometimes we just feel overwhelmed with a lack of confidence or with problems our children may be having. Whatever the case, we can only be good parents if we keep ourselves healthy. We have to remember to take care of ourselves.
FIXED MINDSET PROBLEMS
More AP and Pre-AP students are tempted to quit than students who have never been labeled as gifted. The label of "smart" is a burden to students with a fixed mindset who feel their label is threatened when they face a challenge and possible failure. As parents, we want to protect them from this stress, but we need to work instead on changing their mindsets and not letting them quit. Here are some great mindset resources. Reading Carol Dweck's book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success was life-changing for me as an educator and as a parent. Everyone should know more about it.
Anxiety is a life-controlling problem students contend with and one that can lead to depression. In reading my students' work, I see an overwhelming feeling of being misunderstood by their parents. These two resources can help see their point of view.
Being introverted is not exactly the same as being shy. I am an introvert, and yet my class is very social. I do this to help students grow into their voices in a safe space. If your child is extremely stressed, I can make accommodations that decrease throughout the year as they become more comfortable with taking risks. Please contact me if this is a concern. In the meantime, if your child is an introvert and you are not, these are excellent articles for building empathy.
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CHILD WHEN THEY ARE RELUCTANT OR DEFIANT
As a parent, I can safely say that sometimes it feels like we don't know how to talk to our children when they are being quiet (or defiant). I also know that it can give parents the feeling that their children don't want them around as much as they used to. As a teacher who reads students' reflective writing and as a researcher on this subject, students need their parents now more than in their other years and tend to feel like they don't matter anymore while their parents feel like they are just giving them the space they need. The articles below will help reach that balence of respecting their need for independence while still showing you care.
POSSIBLE DRUG ABUSE AND NEXT STEPS
Drug and alcohol abuse are still upsetting student lives, so parents naturally have concerns that their children could be using them when they begin to act differently. How do we know if new behaviors are due to brain and hormone changes or to dangerous influences on their bodies? Hopefully, these resources will help. You might also want to visit the stress and depression page of this website for more possibilities. The following list is for narcotics, but diet pills and prescription drug abuse are becoming more prevalent, so I researched those for this website, as well.
This is one of the hardest parts about being a parent. I know that I'm still learning as I go. Here are some great articles and resources I found in my research.
The article below is an excellent resource for disciplining children who are at-risk for running away.