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Why a Tween May be Having School Trouble

by Lori Sciame | May 13th, 2013 | School, Tweens

classroom doorThe tween years can be filled with problems that may cause decreased performance at school.  From not getting enough sleep to being unsure about his or her sexuality, a tween may begin to let his or her grades dip. This post explores several of the reasons why a tween may begin to fail at school when he or she has done well in the past.

Not Enough Sleep Leads to Falling Asleep in Class!

When children are young, parents and guardians enforce bedtimes.  As a child grows, he or she may fight for later bedtimes, as doing this feels more grownup.  A tween, however, needs his or her sleep just as much as a younger child.  Just because a child has entered sixth or seventh grade does not mean that he or she should stay up until all hours of the night.  Research shows that children of this age need as much as ten hours of uninterrupted sleep to function at peak performance; therefore, a parent of a tween needs to be strong and enforce a proper sleeping schedule.

No Breakfast Means Decreased Learning!

Parents/Guardians listen up!  Tweens need to eat breakfast, and if they are too lazy to get it for themselves, you need to make it for them.  I am all for responsibility, but choose your battles wisely.  I would rather fix a late riser breakfast instead of punishing him or her by withholding food.  You don’t have to fix anything elaborate; cereal, toast with peanut butter, or even low fat granola bars with milk and or juice will help to ready the brain for learning.

A Self-Conscious Child is a Preoccupied Child

As early as 10, a child’s body begins to change.  Secondary sex characteristics begin to emerge, and a child who is in the dark about what is happening is more likely to feel upset by puberty.  And just like a hungry child, a child who doesn’t understand these changes may begin to do poorly at school due to preoccupation.  This is why it is so important to talk to your child about sexuality from a young age, beginning with the correct names of body parts, moving on to puberty, then to reproduction, and finally to teen sex issues such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.  (Believe me, establishing open lines of communication concerning sex with only enhance a parent’s relationship with his or her child).

The Bully Disrupts Learning

When I entered a new school at the age of 11, I went from being a straight A student to a C student, all because of bullying.  At that time, I was told to endure it, but children today do not have to endure bullies.  If a tween suddenly begins missing school for no reason, and his or her grades drop dramatically, find out if bullying might be the cause.  Bullies can be stopped through the proper school channels.

As you can see, there are many reasons why a tween might have trouble at school.  The most important thing: keep talking with your child; that will help establish the reason for the change.

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