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Parents’ Influence on Drop-Out Rate for Teenagers

In the life of the average teenager, school is seen in many different ways, and all too often unimportant. Each year thousands of high school students drop out of school. Each year the possibility of having a brighter future is thrown away, without a second glance. If the statistics on the subject are so very negative, why are the numbers still rising? Furthermore, why don’t the parents step in and have a say in this situation? Perhaps they do. Parents are often the major role in why their child drops out of school.

The generalization that all parents care about their child’s academic well-being is just that- a generalization. In reality, not all students have parents or guardians who insist that education be a top priority. Many mothers and fathers encourage their children to do well in other aspects of life, so that formal education need not be a necessity. The following is an example:

“Wednesday you have dance practice all morning, so you will not be going to school”-Mom
“But there is a huge Geometry test that morning…”-Daughter
“Stay focused on what gets you farther. If you succeed in the dance competition, you won’t need Geometry in the future.”-Mom

The idea of extracurricular activities and sports is to encourage students to find things they like and perhaps want to do in the future, but it does not replace the skills that are learned in the classroom. Unfortunately, many parents don’t understand this and push their children to be the best at everything else while the child’s grades suffer, and the skills remain unlearned. Often in these situations, the child drops out to spend more time in the area that the parent wishes for them.

When a child gets a good grade, more often than not he or she wishes to share it with his or her parents. The child expects the parents to beam with pride, praise him or her for it, and tell him or her that they are proud. But what if the parents don’t offer any kind of praise? Why bring home good grades, if no one wants to see them? Why get them at all? Why would you do anything at all, if there was no one there to watch you, praise you, and care? The following is an example of this:
“Hey, Dad! I received an A on my project!”-Son
“Okay… can this wait? I’m watching television.”-Dad
“Whatever….”-Son
In the above situation, the son was excited about his score. When his father showed no interest, the son lost his interest as well. No one likes being ignored. This situation happens so often. Now the son might simply give up trying and drop out.

In logical order, a child should graduate school to get a job and then make money. However, sometimes students are forced to give up on their education early, in order to financially support their families. In some situations this is not the first choice for the parents, but all too often the parents are the ones who decide that this is to happen. The following is an example of this:
“Your part time job isn’t bringing in enough money, so you will have to get a full-time job and quit school.”-Father
“That’s not fair!”-Daughter
“Too bad, start making this family some money, or get out. It’s your choice.”-Father
Often parents give the child an ultimatum, saying that there are too many mouths to feed and if the child doesn’t work, he or she won’t be provided for. The idea of being out on the streets is terrifying for anyone, especially a teenager, so naturally the child would obey his or her parent’s wishes and drop out.

In this world there is a medley of reasons as to why a student would give up his or her constitutional right to an education. Some have good intentions, some have bad intentions, and some are not even his or her intentions at all. As sad as it may be, not all parents care about education. It is a terrible injustice, but parents may be the number one reason teenagers drop out of school.





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