Arthur C Woods
4 min readSep 22, 2021


Can My Teenager Perform Better at School?
by Arthur C Woods

When I was growing up, I remember being told by many teachers that I was not doing my best work and that I was not “living up to my potential.” I remember seeing this written on report cards and being discussed in many parent/teacher conferences. For many years I was told that I had potential — but that I was not, in fact, achieving that potential. And while there may have been some truth in that, it was frustrating to hear that so often.

I mean what was I supposed to do? I was not properly motivated — I was not properly organized. The teachers did what they could — my parents did too, but ultimately I was left alone to try to figure out how to perform better academically. And I could not figure it out. Truthfully, I’m not sure I even wanted to figure it out.

I didn’t care about school. I didn’t care about learning. I just wanted to hang out with my friends and play video games all day (My first video game system was an Atari 2600, in case you want to try to guess my age). I didn’t make plans — I didn’t think about the future (Unless it was figuring out when the next Super Mario Brothers game for the NES was going to come out). I only lived for the moment. My entire mindset was about the present and what I wanted right now.

To be honest though, I’m not sure my experiences in middle school and high school were really all that different from many teenagers. Especially at that age, its very easy to get caught up in the here and now and to put the future off for another day. So, as I project my experiences on to this question, “Can My Teen Perform Better at School?”, I believe that the simple answer is “Yes.” That said, I think that it may be important, as parents, to ask yourself three questions before you move forward…

(1) Should my Teen Perform Better in School?

Depending on the type of parent you are, and the academic expectations you set for your teenager, its at least possible that your standards could be too high or potentially even too low. You may need to do a bit of soul searching here and ask yourself why you need your teen to do better.

(2) Does my Teen Want to Perform Better in School?

Is your teenager happy with their current grades? If given the proper support and motivation, would they want to perform better? As I think back to my middle school and high school experiences, I would have wanted to do better — I just didn’t have the skill to do it on my own.

(3) How Can I Support my Teen in Performing Better in School?

There are several different ways that as a parent you can support you teenager in their academic pursuits. Working more closely with their teacher is always an easy option. You can also hire an academic tutor to work with them on their trouble areas. You can provide more oversight and encouragement at home.

All that said, I would suggest that one of the best things you can do for your teenager is to hire a Life & Productivity Coach — one who has experience working with middle school and high school students — one who can help them embrace the mindsets and methods necessary to perform at a higher level.


So it's certainly not wrong to wonder if your teenager can be performing better at school. I would also just encourage you to ask yourself if they should be performing better and even if they want to be performing better. And as you answer those questions, decide how you as their parent can best support and encourage them in their pursuits (And don’t forget to let them play video games sometimes too).

by Arthur C Woods

Are you the parent of a teenager? Click below to schedule a free, no obligation, consultation call with Arthur to discuss how he can work with you and your teenager to help them achieve greater success at school and at home.

Arthur C Woods is a Life & Productivity Coach for Teenagers and has over a decade of experience working with middle school and high school students. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at a private high school and also sits on the board of directors of a large youth camp in Pennsylvania. For several years, Arthur and his wife, Elizabeth served as foster parents to teenagers and even spent some time working for a residential treatment facility for teens with severe behavioral dissorders. Arthur has a Masters Degree in Student & Family Ministry.



Arthur C Woods

I help students become extraordinary leaders, so they can influence and inspire their generation.