Expatriate families have so much to think about. From where to live to finding work once they relocate to ensuring that their family is able to assimilate into the local culture, adults in these families are often overwhelmed with concerns that take up the bulk of their time and attention.

Unfortunately, far too many expatriate children fall through the cracks as a result. While their families do the best they can to offer emotional support and nurturing, it can be difficult to balance that – and all of the responsibilities of parenting outside your native land – with providing a quality education for your child. Because of this, many expat kids end up doing poorly in school or opting out of finishing high school. 

Choosing not to finish high school is not a death sentence for a child’s future, but it is a significant roadblock that can take years to overcome. Not sure if you should let your child make that decision? Here are just a few of the many reasons why your child should stick it out through the entirety of high school – and why your support is so important in encouraging them to do so. 

Preparing for Life After School

Obviously, the biggest benefit that students receive when they stay in school through graduation is proper preparation for the world that lies beyond the halls of their high school. In most international and Indian high school environments, this is a primary focus. Children learn about the career opportunities that today’s world offers and how to best prepare for them, as well as learning important life skills and basic building blocks of knowledge that will carry them through the choices they make for their future. 

Children who graduate from high school are far more likely to go on to college than those who do not. Even those who return to school later or obtain an equivalent certificate are far less likely to secure a university degree afterward. If higher education is a goal for your child, it starts with the foundations that high school supplies. 

Likewise, kids who attend high school until graduation will likely make more money than those who do not. Studies have repeatedly proven that students who obtain high school diplomas are far more likely to secure jobs with livable wages than those who do not. The future success of your child’s career and their financial stability really does begin with successfully completing their secondary education.

Developing Important Peer-Related Social Skills

Another critically important aspect of secondary education and specifically high school education is the development of social skills. Teens need to interact with their peers to develop their first meaningful relationships, understand their role in society as a whole, and examine their feelings about friendships, romance, sex, and more. 

It is also crucial that these examinations of self and community are done with guidance from adults that can be trusted. A good high school environment is one where students are free to socialize during certain portions of the day, but where they are monitored at all times to prevent dangerous behavior. Likewise, these environments should be home to professionals who help students process and understand their feelings about themselves, one another, and the world, such as guidance counselors. All of this may be just as important as the actual classroom instruction students receive. 

High School Graduates May Live Longer

Did you know that there is a correlation between graduating from high school and living longer, healthier lives? It’s true; students who achieve all twelve years of their initial education are statistically more likely to live longer than their peers who do not, as well as more likely to be healthy along the way. Obtaining an education may literally give your child a longer, healthier life – now, that’s a reason to keep them in school!

Remember – High School Children Still Need Your Support

In many cultures, children stop being viewed as children once they hit puberty. While this is fine for religious purposes or to encourage children to participate more in the home and community, it is important that modern parents look at the science behind child development when assessing their parenting. 

Children do not stop growing and developing until their early twenties. Some studies even suggest the brain is not fully formed until around age 25, meaning that high school and college are crucial developmental periods for children and young adults. Therefore, it is critically important that these older children continue to receive love, support, and guidance from their parents and authority figures well into their late teens and early twenties. 

It can be difficult to see your older teenager as the child they once were, but the reality is that they are still very much a developing child. Providing them with ongoing guidance is part of your contribution to their future, just as choosing an excellent school was. Continuing to guide them into adulthood by encouraging their ongoing participation in high school and higher education will help them continue on a path toward success for their future.