My Teenager is Failing School and Doesn’t Care

by | Oct 23, 2023

For parents, it can be extremely frustrating when a student hands you their report card or progress report and it is filled with D’s or F’s. You may even be saying: “My teenager is failing school and doesn’t care”! While you may want to begin managing their homework and free time to help improve their grades, this can actually deteriorate your relationship with them.  Not all high school students understand the importance of maintaining good grades through high school. I want to discuss some ways you can help change their attitude about school work to help improve their grades!

The Environmental Effect

The first thing I want to discuss is the importance of a student’s environment for completing work. Most notably homework. A student’s life is filled with distractions, whether it’s the TV, their phone, or video games. Creating a stimulating environment that encourages motivation is important for getting your student engaged. If a student is under constant stimuli from distractions, they will not produce the best work possible.

Having a room separate from these distractions is the first step in getting them motivated. So, a room without a TV should be prioritized. Make sure this room has a space for them to work as well. Whether it’s a table or a desk, they should sit upright in a chair to accomplish their work. A couch is not a good option for a student as they can become too relaxed which may result in them falling asleep.

Organization is Key

Many students grow despondent of school and completing work if they are not organized. Organization is more important than you think when it comes to stimulating student interest. Executive functioning is a learned skill that is essential to improving student organization. Most students learn these skills in middle school but many will continue using their bad habits into high school. If you believe organization is a problem with your student, I recommend checking out our executive functioning coach where they can develop these important skills!


A student may feel inclined to “not care” if they feel that they are not being properly accommodated in the classroom. Not all students learn the same and many of them qualify for accommodations to make the learning environment more accessible and enjoyable for them. Accommodations include the following:

  • Extra time on tests
  • Access to technology in the classroom
  • Verbally taken tests
  • Seat position in class
  • Extra time to complete assignments

Furthermore, discussing the possibility of accommodations with your student is a great idea. A student may be hesitant at first but it’s a great way to build confidence!

A Smaller Class

A smaller class environment is another option to consider. The typical classroom nowadays has twenty or more students in it which doesn’t accommodate every student. A smaller class may benefit your student as they’ll get an individualized education. Our school: The Tenney School specializes in a one teacher, one student model which works wonders for many students. I recommend checking out a smaller class environment if your student is struggling with focusing in their current class.

Tutoring For All!

The final tip I want to share is tutoring. Tutoring can be a great way to get your student back on track. It’s also a great way to get them interested in the subjects their struggling in. Chances are a few tutoring sessions can make a huge difference in their grades. They’ll start to enjoy school, and you’ll start seeing better grades. It’s a win-win!

So, if you’re interested in getting a tutor for your student, I recommend checking out our services! We offer tutors that specialize in one-on-one instruction. All of our tutors are teachers at our private school: The Tenney School! You can also get tutoring from the comfort of your own home via Microsoft TEAMs.

To conclude, I hope this article was able to help answer your concerns of: “my teenager is failing school and doesn’t care”. If you have your own ideas or tips I recommend reaching out to us via our contact page and starting a conversation!


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