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How to Talk Your Teen Out of Quitting High School

by Tiffany Raiford

It’s easy for you to see what a huge mistake dropping out of school would be for your teenager, but it clearly isn't as obvious to him. In his mind, perhaps touring dingy clubs in his rock band is a perfectly legitimate reason for dropping out of school because he’s planning on becoming rich and famous once he’s discovered. Your job is to talk him out of dropping out of high school before he makes one of the biggest mistakes of his life.

Tell her you will help her succeed in school and then do it. For example, if she wants to quit school because it’s too hard, find her a tutor. Help her with her homework. Talk to her teachers about finding alternative ways to help her learn. If she wants to quit because she’s having serious problems with the kids or teachers at school, take her out of that school and find her another one. Find her a home-school teacher, a magnate school or a work-study program that better suits her.

Paint a picture of his financial future. According to Kids Source, your teen will earn $200,000 less in his lifetime if he drops out of high school than his friends who graduate from high school. Additionally, he will earn approximately $800,000 less as a high school dropout than those who graduate from college. He is also more likely to end up on welfare if he drops out of high school -- high school dropouts account for more than half of all welfare recipients, according to DoSomething.org.

Talk about her risk of going to jail. According to Kids Source, more than 82 percent of prison inmates are high school dropouts. Point out that the stresses of not having enough money and not being able to get a good job, or any job, make it more likely that she will turn to drugs, alcohol or crime as a way of life.

Work to ensure your teen does not drop out of high school, advises Kids Source. Help him make up the work he missed in school, drive him to and from school daily if that’s what it takes to get him into class and prevent him from skipping school or find professional help for any personal problems he’s having. For example, if he seems depressed and that is the cause of his desire to drop out of school, find him a doctor who can treat him.

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