Understanding Kids and Truancy-3Dr. Rich Patterson

  1. John Maxwell, an international leadership expert says, “Anything worthwhile, is uphill. Anything!”  By helping kids to learn to stick with things even when they may not like them particularly, to find the value in something regardless of your opinion.  Have you ever had a job that you didn’t particularly like?  It can be a long career if you don’t find ways to make peace with it and still move forward.  By looking for the skills that are applicable beyond the event or position itself, you develop skills that will by available to you when you need them in other situations.
  2. If the child has bad habits that cause them to not be themselves, like drugs or alcohol, then those items must be addressed first. We cannot reason and work with kids to get them to see something better if they are not fully functional and in a healthy state.  Get with an addiction counseling program to deal with these challenges first to put things in a bit of a neutral state first.
  3. Remember that eventually kids grow up to be adults, so in the meanwhile, we need to be our best as adults.  A discussion will be had at some point, if you are also having problems or setting a bad example.  Work on your own addictions, show your child some of your self-discipline by learning a new language, or playing an instrument.  Help them to see that by making difficult choices during those short moments of indecision, we can lead ourselves to higher ground.
  4. Finishing school in a traditional public or private school is the best education for kids. Work hard to keep kids in these settings because they teach so many skills that will serve them lifelong.  However, if you feel you have really tried and are losing ground, look at some of the alternative schools.  But remember, in many cases, not all, but in many cases, the programs they offer are less then the education they would get in a traditional school program.  That will come back to bite them later in life oftentimes, when they need skills that they didn’t really learn in the first place.  A diploma isn’t just a diploma.

    African American father and son talking