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A Clean Slate: Helping Your Teen Start Over After Misconduct On Their Permanent Record

No parent wants to hear that their teenage son has seriously misbehaved at school, but it does happen to even the best of parents. Cheating on tests is just one example of serious misconduct at school. If your son has serious misconduct on their permanent school record, how can you help him wipe the slate clean?

Meet With School Administrators & Faculty

Parents, administrators and teachers can should meet together to discuss the misconduct and what is being done in therapy to help the student’s behavior to improve. Your teen may or may not be invited to early discussions, but certainly should be as solutions are discussed. It is helpful to include your student’s counselor in these meetings, as they can be helpful in understanding any underlying emotional issues affecting school behavior. Once solutions are agreed upon by the you and school administrators, your son should be brought in to face the consequences of his actions and play an active role in restoring their trustworthiness at school.

If part of the solution recommended for your teenage son is therapy, consider whether or not a residential treatment center would be helpful for him.

Use Appropriate Consequences at Home

Teens need to know that there are consequences for their misconduct both at school and at home. Appropriate consequences should depend on what parents feel is important to their particular home and situation. For example, many teens may lose their prized electronics if they misbehave at school or at home, and this is usually a big deal for them.

Along with appropriate consequences, it is important to foster healthy communication with your teen. Ironically, good communication needs that clean slate to start from. Then you can apply skills such as listening, respect, and sharing to help your son feel more connected to you.

Make a Plan to Help Your Teen Regain Trust

Once consequences have been decided on and instituted, find a way to help your teen feel that they have a clean slate to start from–not just at school but at home as well. A clean slate gives them a fresh starting point and helps them want to work on rebuilding the trust they’ve lost. It’s important to stop bringing up your son’s mistakes. Remember that teens {and even adults} make mistakes. And that’s how we all learn.

If your son continues to have problems in school, be sure to find out what is really going on. There may be problems with friends, self-esteem, or other unresolved emotional issues. This is where a therapeutic boarding school like Sundance Canyon Academy can help.

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