Dropping Out of High School – Should you let your kid do it?

Your teenager hates high school. It's useless for him. He wants to drop out. Should you let him?
Well, let's talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed
marriage and family therapist with Teen Therapy Center and the non -profit organization Child
and Teen Counseling. And by the way, if you or your child or your family could benefit from talking
to a therapist, feel free to give us a phone call. We'll give you a free phone consultation. Our
contact contact info is in the description below. Let's jump right into today's tips on teens
question. Hi Kent. Hello. It's the end of another school year and my 16 year old son is failing
all his classes again. He wants to drop out of school next year because he says it makes him miserable.
He gets bullied. He hates his classes and he thinks high school is generally pointless. He says
he wants to get a job and maybe he'll go to community college at some point. I'm wondering if it's
right to let him do this. What

do you think? Excuse me There's a lot of factors to consider with this number one. My questions
go to you know, what's leading to this You know constant failing of classes. Is there a learning
challenge that has not been assessed or addressed? Is there some neurodiversity issues that
needs to be accommodated for? all this can be done or assessed for through a psychological testing,
either through an IEP program to the school system, or privately through a psychologist, which
costs more money, but you may get a more thorough testing and evaluation. That may help provide
the accommodations in high school and maybe even going into college that may help your child
start succeeding where they were failing. But also, you're talking about this kid's getting
bullied, he's feeling alone, you know, he's just hating high school. So is dropping out of high
school, a possibility? It might be. I'm not, I'm not saying yes or no, but it's something to consider.
And the reason is, there's a program through

California, they have a brand new name for it called the California proficiency program, the
link is below. And in a nutshell, if your kid is 16, or has completed 10th grade, they can take
this test. And they've graduated high school, it's a high school diploma from the state of California.
And when do you want to do this. If you think high school is pointless, and it's not going to work,
and your kid has plans to do something else. If your kid is just going to sit at home and play video
games all day, this is not a good plan. However, if he can satisfy two of the following three aspects,
number one, employment, is he getting a part time job doesn't really matter where, as long as
it's something to get up in the morning and go do that he has purpose has meaning, you learn a lot
from a job more in a job than probably any class you take in high school. So I think this is a positive
step. Another thing to consider is his social life. Does he have some kind of organized social
activity, whether

that's the Kung Fu class, whether that is volunteering somewhere with other teenagers, it
really doesn't again, doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's something that he finds some
enjoyment in. And the third thing is, is his education. Now that could be taking a small handful
of community college classes just to get his feet wet. That's a possibility. Again, if you have
that testing, you may be able to get some accommodations to help him with test taking or whatever
that is. But also it could be a trade trade school, whether it's carpentry, plumbing, electrician,
you name it, we need people to go into these fields, there's there's a lack of people going these
fields. And again, I don't know if you've had to hire a plumber lately, or an electrician, but
it's expensive. They do pretty well, because there's not a lot of people going into these fields.
And if your kid is someone who doesn't really like, you know, taking tests and writing, but they're
really handy with things, this may be

a path to go towards. And you can start taking some of those classes at community college until
maybe some some schools yet to be 18. But just to get him primed. So when he is 18, he can jump into
mechanic school or electrician school or whatever that has. So again, it's, it's education,
it's social and employment, if you can handle if you can get into at least two of those three pots,
and start stirring in there, maybe this is a great way to go. I've had several clients do this.
And they just the relief off their shoulders. I don't have to go to high school. I don't have to
deal with the bullies. I don't deal with all this stuff. Also, you know, if there's a lot of emotional
heaviness with him, maybe him talking to a therapist, maybe help for him too. Anyways, it's
a big question. I hope you know, we scratch the surface on here and Tips on Teens, hopefully it's
helpful. If you have more questions about this, give us a call. I'd love to talk to you more. And
if you have questions for me,

you'd like me to answer here on Tips on Teens, email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter
.com or just join our Facebook group, Tips on Teens. We love your questions from there. Again,
my name is Kent Toussaint with Teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit 501c3 organization, Child
and Teen Counseling. Thank you guys for your questions and I'll see you next Wednesday at noon.
Bye -bye.

For certain students, the traditional high school setting may not be conducive to their well-being and growth. Factors such as social challenges, neurodiversity, or learning differences can significantly impact their educational journey. In such cases, it’s crucial for parents to consider alternatives that better suit their child’s needs.

Addressing learning issues begins with a comprehensive evaluation to determine the appropriate support framework, which may include obtaining a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP). These tailored plans can provide invaluable accommodations and resources to empower students who may have struggled previously.

If you’re contemplating the possibility of your child dropping out of high school, it’s essential to approach the decision with careful consideration and preparation. We recommend establishing a structured plan that encompasses at least two of the following components:

  • Employment Opportunities: Engaging in meaningful work not only fosters practical skills but also instills a sense of purpose and responsibility in your child.
  • Social Engagement: Ensuring that your child has a supportive social network is vital for their emotional well-being. Encourage involvement in organized activities such as sports, classes, or volunteer work to nurture meaningful connections.
  • Continued Education: Exploring avenues for further education, whether through community college courses or vocational training programs, can open doors to fulfilling career paths beyond traditional academia.

While considering the option of your child dropping out of high school can be daunting, it can also present an opportunity for positive growth and development. However, it’s imperative to have a well-defined plan in place and to advocate for your child’s needs throughout the process. By doing so, you can pave the way for a successful transition tailored to your child’s unique circumstances and aspirations.

That’s the topic in this Tips on Teens.

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.