What to Do if Your Teen Wants to Drop Out of High School

Mother and daughter talking
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The decision to drop out of school is a major life decision that your teen may not see that way due to their lack of life experiences. Nevertheless, it ultimately is your teen's decision. Yes, they need your signature to drop out, but only until they are 18 years of age.

If your teen comes to you with the paperwork to drop out of high school, explain that you need a little time to understand the full scope of their dropping out and get information on what services are offered to a teen drop out in your area, like GED classes.

Be very clear when talking to your teen that while you may sign the papers for them to not attend high school, you do expect that they will get a GED as they will need it to get a job. Then proceed to call the high school guidance office and get the information you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Talk to your teen about the information you've acquired and help them make a plan for the immediate future. Then sign the papers if your teen still wants to drop out. Be willing to take your teen to sign up for GED classes and to take them to class when needed.

Understand that while high school is important, your relationship with your teen is more important. Do not let your teen's decision to drop out of high school drive a wedge in your relationship. If your have been taken by surprise with their decision, take what time you need to calm down so that you can talk to your teen rationally.

Work through what your teen will need to accomplish together.

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