As our babies grow into young adults, we try and equip them with all of the information they need to make the right decisions, but even the best-behaved kids can go astray. Truancy is a big problem in the US, with figures reporting that over 6 million children are "chronically absent," with more than 2 million kids missing 15 days of school per year. There are a variety of reasons that a teen might cut class - and it's not always as cut and dry as it might seem.
While some kids say they're going to school and actually go somewhere else, other children might devise reasons for not going in. From fake illnesses to delinquent behavior, it all falls under the same umbrella of not attending class when they really should. Here's what to do if you suspect your child isn't making their classes.
Get to the root
Getting teens to open up can be harder than shucking oysters, but it's important to try and maintain an open dialogue. Sitting down and discussing why they don't feel like attending school is vital to getting to the crux of the matter, but try and refrain from passing judgment. A lot of teens struggle to connect with some subjects, so if possible, try and explain the importance of education and the impact it can have further down the line. Kids aren't always great at looking at the bigger picture.
If truancy has been an ongoing problem, then your child might have let it unexpectedly spiral out of control. According to Tutor Doctor, in a lot of cases, kids fall behind and feel like they can't catch up so continue to avoid classes. There are ways to help them get back on track, from private tutoring to devising a plan with the teacher. Let them know that there is always a way to get through it.
Talk to teachers
Truancy can be the byproduct of bullying. If kids are having issues with classmates, then they may start to avoid some subjects. They might cut class and not tell you, or feign illnesses that seem to coincidentally fall on the same days every week. Letting your teen know that they have someone to talk to will go a long way, as will opening up communications between the school and your family. Every educational facility has safeguarding procedures in place to veto bullying, but if they aren't aware of a situation then they can't deal with it.
Have you had issues with truancy? Let us know how you got through it in the comments.