FAQs for Parents with 12 to 17 year Old Children

The teenage is a very critical phase of one's life. A child goes through both emotional and physical changes and so the role of teachers and parents extremely important during this phase. Parents have a lot of queries which are left unanswered or it is difficult to get a convincing answer.

These days I have heard of digital learning being used as a great tool for teaching different subjects. Do you think I should encourage my child to do the same?

Digital learning tools are certainly a boon today. More and more teenagers are using it for completing projects, adapt new skills, improve on subjects that they otherwise find boring, etc. so what you can do here is give them a particular time-frame for suing a tablet or computer for such sessions. But also allow a little bit of luxury to surf the web for their pleasure.

I am unhappy about the way my daughter is doing in school. She is just an average student but her teacher doesn’t seem to be worried. She says my daughters core competencies and interest lie in sports so as long as she is doing all right on the educational front, I should not be worried?

And you should not! If your daughter is doing average in education but excellent in sports you should be happy. May be that’s what she loves doing. As long as she is getting decent grades, you shouldn’t worry. And who knows may be she will get some sports scholarship to take her through college.

My 12 year old has become very conscious about being chubby. Though she was very good with academics earlier, it seems that this low self-esteem issue is causing problems with concentration. Recently her grades have been going down too?

Try to encourage and talk about that physical appearance is not everything. Other students and classmates would admire her academic performance too. You can encourage her to concentrate on studies while may be joining you for a sports activity like running or swimming that she enjoys.

My 14 year old son complains that he is not really getting well along with his class teacher. I tried asking around a couple of his friends and they have no complaints. But according to my son, the teacher has a negative attitude towards him?

Like other parts and phases of teen life, this is one too. It is possible that things might not be great between your son and the teacher. Ask him to work hard and continue his efforts rather than letting these thoughts get into his mind. Talking to the teacher about your son’s general attitude in class is something you can think about.

I feel that there is too much of pressure and homework these days. For a student of just standard 7, it seems a lot and my son is getting stressed out. I am thinking to talking to the principal?

Before you take a drastic step like this remember that there are probably 20-30 other students dealing with the same pressure. Rather than succumbing to pressure and getting stress, you should focus on guiding your son to balance and work out a timetable or routine for getting the work done. Speak with other parents on how they are coping. If you all agree on the same factor, then maybe consider taking things forward.

I am encouraging my 13 year old daughter to make a time-table or routine for getting her everyday tasks done, but she seems to have a mind of her own. She does her homework late at night, but manages to wake up early for school. I am worried this might take a toll on her health?

A teen is someone who loves his/ her share of independence. A timetable is a really sensible way to plan out your activities. And if you daughter is doing her homework and completing tasks on time, you should not be worried. Sleeping for 8-9 hours at this age is healthy. So if your daughter is getting that amount and is well rested that should be sorted.

I have a 15 year old student who was always good with his grades. I had taught him earlier too and he was straight A-s. But this year, I am noticing that his grades have slumped and his attitude in class too is not focused. Should I talk to his parents?

Before talking to his parents, try and see if you can talk to him. Maybe there is something at home or one the relationship front that is bothering him. You could casually suggest him ways on improving his grades and encourage him to take part in class activities and discussions to see if he’s actually grasping what is being taught in class.

Weekends have become a major reason for conflict in our family. My 14-year-old daughter barely does her homework till the last minute and then is up on Sunday nights finishing it off. How can I convince her to wrap up early?

Rather than arguing you can simply cite examples of her friends who finish homework early on Friday evening or Saturday morning. That ways she has the entire weekend to hang out with friends and family.

My daughter is very focused and detail-oriented. So she’s already talking about high school and wants to shift from her existing school. On the academic front, I feel both schools are good, but I don’t want to impose?

The best way to go about this would be leaving the decision with her. If she’s already so detail oriented and focused on academics, she must have worked out the pros and cons. So how about having a fun session where she has a mock debate with you on why she should choose the school of her choice.

Recently I noticed that my teenage is son is very distracted and when I ask him about his goals, he is rather blank. At the age of 15, is it too early for me to be asking him to focus or have certain objectives in terms of academics?

At 15, he would need to sort out his priorities on the academic side. What subject would he take in the future what are his academic and personal strengths and weaknesses, extracurricular activities, etc. You can also ask the school counselor to guide him by taking a few tests that help him understand his core competencies.

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