By Jasmine York
Sometimes teens fall behind in class if they're hesitant to ask their teachers questions to gain clarification on the lesson and an assignment. It’s never too early to teach your child to be responsible for themselves. Speaking up when necessary and solving their own problems are valuable life skills to learn early. Here are three ways you can get them to start communicating with their teachers.
Make Them Aware
Sometimes students are too proud and choose not to ask for help because they want to figure it out by themselves. Help your child figure out if and when it’s necessary to ask for additional help. Encourage your child to seek help if they just can’t grasp the material or continue to misunderstand a lecture or a concept.
Pop the Question
Some students don’t realize that most teachers are more than willing to extend additional help, if needed. Teachers may offer extra credit, accept a late assignment (some credit is better than no credit), or even offer tutoring services. Asking questions is the only way to find out what each teacher will do in each instance. It’s best to wait until before or after class to make these kinds of inquiries though.
A Lesson to Learn: Help your teen learn how to get to the point. They need to be clear and concise with their request or question so nobody’s time is wasted.
Many teens feel embarrassed about asking their teacher for help in front of others. If your child gets shy about raising his or her hand around their classmates, suggest that they write down their questions and ask their teacher in private. Try role-playing with your teen to build up their confidence. The more prepared your teen is, the more comfortable they will feel about speaking up.
By training them to talk to authority figures and solve their own problems, you’re helping your teens grow up to be independent and responsible adults. They’re more able to reach their potential if they learn to use their own voice to get what they want out of life.
The Golden Rules
Always tell the truth. If your teen has missed an assignment deadline and is asking for a make-up, outlandish excuses won’t win them any points. Remind them to just be honest and ask for what they want, respectfully.
Be prepared to do the work. If they ask for extra credit, they need to be ready when they get it to, first, say “thank you” and second, get moving on earning those extra points.
Be prepared for disappointment.
Some teachers will not extend extra credit or offer to let your teen re-do missed or misunderstood assignments, no matter how nice your teen asks or what the circumstances are. That’s just life. It is always worth asking though.