Teacher-Student Relationships: Ages 11-18

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Obstacle Course

Most teens will run into a teacher conflict at some point, says Wynns. “Any parent knows if you go to school long enough, it’s inevitable you’ll have that ‘really mean’ or demanding teacher.” Though those experiences aren’t always fun, they can teach valuable lessons about dealing with difficult people, she notes.

After ensuring that the class in question isn’t too easy or too advanced for the teen’s academic abilities, Wynns advises parents to avoid automatically “rescuing” teens who find themselves in a tough spot with a teacher. When parents encourage teens to continue in the class instead of granting them the easy way out (like dropping the course), it conveys a strong message about the parent’s confidence in the teen, says Wynns. Teenagers who see that a parent believes they can handle a tricky situation will often rise to the occasion.

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