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Helping Troubled Teens Prepare for College


Teens who have misbehaved, struggled with school or even fought against low self-esteem will find it challenging to prepare for college, but with a little guidance and a lot of support, a degree is attainable. Education is a key part of preparing for the future, so parents need to provide assistance when it is time to start preparing for admissions.

Facts About Troubled Teens

When parents think of troubled teens, promiscuity, poor grades, drug use, criminal activity and similar problems come to mind. The problem is that many parents assume the only factors are the extremes.

According to Mary Beth Adomaitis of LoveToKnow.com, troubled teens include children who have low self-esteem, struggle with attention disorders, fight against mental health conditions and do not have any direction in life. Troubled teens are struggling with school due to a wide range of problems, not just the extreme behaviors.

Mental health conditions, especially anxiety and depression, can lead to actions that parents often associate with bad behavior, but the teenager may just be struggling to find a way to cope with his or her depression or anxiety.

Helping Children Reach for College

While troubled teens have challenges to overcome, it is still possible for them to reach for college and strive to attain a better future. Parents will need to work with their kids to help them get accepted to college.

Getting accepted to college starts with grades. Mary Beth Adomaitis suggests finding a boarding school that focuses on solving the problems teens are facing. Boarding schools can help with behavior modification, or problems such as low self-esteem, because children receive more one-on-one help from teachers and staff.

Parents who can't afford a boarding school, or who do not feel the situation is severe enough, can still help children reach college. Providing help and finding useful resources are steps parents can take to make it a little easier for their kids to get into college.

Writing an Admission Essay

Since admission essays and written works are part of the impression students make on the college, taking time to practice can help. Parent should encourage their teen to write a personal statement at admissionsessays.com. After writing the statement, teens will receive feedback and advice to improve their writing skills. Following the advice on personal statements, essays and other written works for admission can give teens confidence and improve their skills.

Parents also need to help teens make a plan to get ahead in classes. While boarding school can provide the one-on-one attention, parents can provide the help children need in other situations. When the problems are not related to criminal behavior, promiscuity or disrespect, parents can take charge of the situation without professional help.

Setting aside a quiet study area and requiring daily homework sessions before allowing them to enjoy other activities gives the teen a structured reward system. Making it easy to focus on studies gives the troubled teens the ability to bring up their grades. Whether the problem relates to attention problems, low self-esteem or difficulty understanding material, setting up a quiet area to study and removing distractions can make it easier to focus.

Troubled teens are not always the children who follow stereotypes. Working around the problems and helping children prepare for college, parents are getting to the root of the problems that is causing the struggles. Teens need guidance and help, particularly when it is time to start thinking of college and the future.


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Teen Paths is here to help you help your teen even when things like therapy, wilderness programs, self-help programs, boot camps, charter schools, brain-washing or fear tactics have failed
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If you feel you need to speak to someone right away, we recommend you contact Dina Dalton, our Family Crisis Intervention Counselor by calling 1-800-429-5922. Say you were referred by TeenPaths and your call will be handled immediately.


If you'd like to talk to other parents who finally found solutions to similar concerns, please email us at Caring Parent

True re-enactment about a teen who succumbs to the pressures of girl culture, desires to be popular, and ends up a drug user. She then finds the help and support necessary to change her path, regain her self esteem and make working choices in her life. The script for this movie was actually written by the teen who was lost and found her way back. -- To top it all off, she portrays one of the teens in the movie.

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