Click on the underlined text to view our comments
on what's right or wrong with the letter.
The Wrong Way
We know you're bright because you were tested at the age of eleven when we saw that you weren't performing up to potential.
It is now the end of tenth grade and you're still getting by just barely. We've provided tutors, bought more books, offered incentives like rock concerts and everything else.
If they kick you out of this school, don't think you'll get a better deal somewhere else. At least where you are now they're willing to work with you and go along with your lateness, your eccentricities and the three earrings in your right nostril.
Just give us a hint, why don't you? Let us know what else has to be done to get through to you.
The Write Way
Having said that, both your dad and I would like to make a few suggestions that we think will make your life easier.
We know that you want to succeed in school. Your teachers, you and we, your parents, all know that you have the potential to succeed.
Maybe instead of us lecturing to you, you should be the one to answer the question. If you could have your wishes fulfilled, what support would you ask from us, as your parents, and from your teachers? And, finally, what demands do you think you should place on yourself?
Use at least several of the following principles when you write your letter:
Open with a positive statement. Don't use guilt as a tool. Be specific in stating what you think needs to be done. Offer your support. Don't attack. Invite your teen to dialogue with you. Conclude by expressing your faith in your teen's ability to overcome challenges.