Being Behind Pace to Graduate Doesn’t Mean Your Teen Can’t Do It


“When I first entered the Liahona Treatment Center, I felt like my chances of getting into college were limited. Now, I can see that I have a journey to share--one of resilience, perseverance, and hard work.”

If you have a troubled teen, especially a previously troubled boy, a therapeutic boarding school like Liahona can help your teen get back on track academically and socially. We can also help your teen find the gems in their story that can get them into college, including how they share their journey.

In this article, learn how Liahona Academy can help your troubled boy get back on track to graduate from high school and into college. You will also learn about the reasons why teens might not graduate in time and some solutions.

4 Reasons Why Your Teen is Falling Behind Pace to Graduate & Some Solutions

While there are many reasons why a teen might fall behind on their journey to graduating, here are four of the most common reasons.

1. Lack of meaning/significance attributed to education

As we talked about in a previous article on resilience, if you would like your teen to be resilient and stick through things, you need to foster a sense of purpose. Teens easily lose motivation if there’s no underlying purpose pushing them forward. This may especially be true as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and shapes our new sense of “normal.”

Here are some ways to get your teen to find meaning/significance in education:

  • Ask them what they would like to study and what they enjoy when it comes to academics. If they say that they hate everything, then talk to them about a time when they did like school. What made school enjoyable then?
  • Encourage them to pursue their hobbies and interests. This can help your teen understand that it’s not always about the content/what you’re learning, but having a desire to learn. Doing this can also help them find meaning for greater things, like life itself.

Trying out these two tips if you suspect that your teen can’t find a meaningful purpose to education can help your teen realize that ultimately, education is about learning and growth. It can also help them find a deeper meaning to what they’re doing daily.

2. Procrastination

Another reason teens struggle with staying on track to graduate is due to procrastination. With procrastination, a major issue is usually a lack of behavioral reinforcements. For example, some teens can’t imagine the consequences of not having a high school diploma or a college degree because there aren’t any reinforcements for their present behaviors besides maybe a lousy grade.

How you can help your teen with procrastination:

  • Behavioral modification therapy techniques: In upcoming articles, we’ll focus on a lot of techniques from behavioral modification therapy. In these articles, you’ll learn about the different types of reward and punishment, as well as how to get your troubled teen to change unhealthy and toxic behaviors.

3. The Environment at Home

Teens failing in school often indicates that there’s a lot more going on in their personal lives, especially in their home lives.

Some of the things that can impact a teen’s academic success include an ongoing or previous divorce, arguments between spouses at home, a family member managing substance abuse or mental illness, and lack of support within the family for educational goals.

How you can help your teen with issues stemming from their personal life:

  • Talk to them! Ask them what’s going on at home that might be a factor in their lack of progress. Let them be honest with you. Be ready to hear some things that may make you uncomfortable.

4. Mental Illness or Substance Abuse

Another common reason teens might not be doing well in school or falling behind are unmanaged mental illness or substance abuse. Common mental illnesses or learning disorders that can impact their education include ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses.

How you can help your teen with a mental illness or substance abuse:

  • Find out what’s going on by talking to them and by having them screened for a possible illness or disorder.
  • Help them manage their disorder.
  • Simply be there for them!

How Liahona Can Help Get Your Teen Back on Track to Graduating and Into College

At Liahona, we can help your troubled boy find their purpose, meaning and help with thoughts and behaviors that hinder their ability to graduate. With the help of professional behavioral therapists and a structured daily schedule, we use tried and tested techniques to help teens get back a sense of self confidence that will help them succeed.

If your teen is falling behind in school and might not graduate on time, contact us today to see how we can help them get back on track.

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