Getting to the Bottom of Your Troubled Teen’s Academic Struggles

Do you constantly clash with your troubled teen about school-related issues?

If your child is struggling academically, you have likely tried everything you can think of to get them back on track. Eventually, parents may resort to begging, nagging, bargaining and punishment — all of which is often in vain.

The fact is, grades matter. Colleges and employers consider students’ GPAs, and without a high school diploma, your child is more likely to be unemployed and develop a substance abuse problem, and significantly more likely to go to prison. Research indicates that dropouts have more health problems throughout their lives and are statistically more likely to die earlier.

teen academic struggles

The first step to resolving your child’s academic struggles is identifying why they’re having problems in school.

Why Teens May Struggle in School

Today, teens face academic challenges for a variety of reasons. The issue may be something as simple as vision problems, which can be easily resolved with a visit to your optometrist. Other external factors include physical ailments, conflict in the home, poor diet, insufficient sleep, a new crush or bullying. If your child is spread too thin with extracurricular activities and family commitments, their schoolwork may also suffer.

Sometimes, however, your child’s problems are internal. Learning disabilities, neurodevelopmental conditions and mental illness are all common causes of teen academic struggles. Emotional, mental and neurodevelopmental conditions often go undiagnosed in adolescents and teens, and for many parents, problems in school are the first clue that something may be wrong.

Fortunately, these problems are easily identified and addressed, once you understand the underlying cause.


Common Approaches to Academic Challenges for Troubled Teens

Seeing a qualified medical or psychological practitioner is the first step to identifying your child’s underlying problems. Some of the most common conditions that cause academic challenges are oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD and attachment issues, many of which relate directly to some type of trauma.

Often, a mental health professional can provide the help your family needs to get your child back on track academically. However, if the challenges continue, parents may want to consider a residential academy program suited to their child’s challenges.


How a Residential Academy May Help a Teen Struggling with School

Residential academy programs provide a unique mix of services and opportunities for troubled teens who struggle in school. Your child will receive the help they need emotionally and mentally while attending school and enjoying social and recreational opportunities. In an environment where your teen feels safe and supported, they have the opportunity to focus on academics.

Elevate Academy, a part of Utah’s Heritage Community, caters to students who have struggled in school and in life, due to anxiety, attachment issues and similar challenges resulting from adverse experiences. Our program transforms young people, getting them re-engaged in life and providing the skills they need to succeed.


If you’re ready to empower your child and help them learn to function better, contact us today. We look forward to telling you more about Elevate Academy and how we can help your troubled teen overcome academic struggles.