Does Your Teen Want to Drop Out of School?

More and more parents are facing either their teenager wanting to drop out of school or their young adult wanting to quit college. In some situations, it can start as early as middle school — your young teen will start skipping classes saying they are stupid.



Raising teens is challenging, especially with rise of technology and social media influencers. Many young people believe that within a few clicks they can be the next YouTuber or (dare I say) Kim Kardashian. 


The emphasis on education seems to have taken a backseat to what teens are viewing on their social platforms with the majority of their time.


Reality is, with the increase of screen-time, teens are dealing with depression and anxiety (doubling since 2019), and if left unattended, this can pile up into other major mental health issues that force them to drop out.


-Does your teen tell you they don’t need school?
-Do they tell you what they are learning is stupid or dumb?
-Do they tell you what they are learning they will never need for their future?
-Do they say they have no friends at school or maybe the teachers are mean?
-Do they say their classes are too hard or too easy?


5 Reasons teens want to drop out of school


Since the pandemic and the increase in remote learning, more parents have had challenges with keeping their teenager not only enrolled in school, but interested and involved in school. Online school and online learning has been extremely difficult for many teenagers. The lack of socialization and face-to-face communication with not only their friends, but with teachers has created young people to become more isolated — and hooked to social media.


1. Loss of interest 


Teens can loss interest in academics for many reasons, especially over the past several years when they have been unable to participate in extra-curriculum, join school clubs, sports and attend events.


Maybe your teen has a passion in the arts or for acting? The lure of fame and money has become stronger (again) as social media greatly influences our young people. They have a belief that an education is not important.


Entitlement. In some wealthier households, teens believe they don’t have to complete their studies, since they will always be taken care of — financially. 


2. Bullying and cyberbullying


If your teen is a victim of bullying or cyberbullying, this can be a very serious concern. It means they feel unsafe in their school environment. 


Bullying occurs for many reasons and it goes beyond the one isolated instance of harassment either because of teachers’ inability to control, or problems arising from the teen’s own personality or learning abilities.


Cyberbullying is very destructive for a teen’s mental health. If your child is a target of online bullying or possibly a sexting scandal, it’s important you get involved as soon as possible.


3. Substance abuse


Is your teen smoking pot regularly? Not able to get up in the morning for school? It may have started out as vaping and has now escalated to smoking THC.


A lot of teenagers leave school and studies due to drug addiction and substance abuse. Alcohol addiction is also another reason that explains why teenagers drop out of school and college.


4. Special disorders


Is your teen struggling academically? Many learning differences go undiagnosed and it can leave your child with challenges in school — to the point that they want to give-up or drop-out. Teenagers can develop certain disorders like dyslexia or ADHD — if they are suffering from these conditions, it makes it harder to focus on their studies.


In some cases, the underlying problem may go undetected both by the teachers and parents, and the teens may face criticism for their poor performance at school. A lack of empathy and inability to cope with increasing academic pressure may make them opt out of school.


5. Home and family life


There are no perfect families, however teens that belong to households that are experiencing extreme discord, possibly family violence, maybe a contentious divorce and/or abuse — makes it hard for the teen to focus on their studies.


Sadly, sexual abuse has also been another factor — whether it’s abuse at home or otherwise that has caused young people to drop out of school.


With all these above reasons, it’s important to encourage and motivate your teen or young adult to finish their education. There are many reasons why teenagers drop out and college students quit, but there are many better reasons for they to finish.


Whether your teen wants to go to college or to a trade school, helping them understand that you want them to happy and successful in whatever their goals are is imperative. Quitting is never an option — not all teens need or want to go to an Ivy League school, we always like to remind parents — “What did you pay your electrician or plumber the last time he visited your home? Or your HVAC? Even if they want to attend cosmetology school — these are all careers they can succeed with.”




Are you struggling with your difficult teen or young adult wanting to drop out of high school? Maybe out of college? Maybe they need life skills or social skills? Have you exhausted your local resources? Contact us to learn more about how behavior modification programs could help.

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