We often worry about getting into routines and habits for back to school with our youngsters while our teens are starting to become more independent.
However, while they are beginning to think and act like adults, they need just as much if not more guidance on how to be organized and follow routines than our elementary children. In addition, it is also important to instill good habits in your teens now to ensure a smooth transition to from high school to college in the not so distant future.
Alicia on The Communication Center…
There are a few simple elements that need to compiled to make a successful family communication center. This will not only help you teen but will keep your whole family in the loop on important events and scheduling. First of all, make a family appointment book. It can be simple but should include enough spaces to fill in social, work, and other appointments for the entire family. Next, utilize three folders for each individual child kept in a central place like the kitchen, labeled “In, Out, & Read”. This way you can keep track of all school newsletters, permission slips and other school correspondence. Also, put in place a family note taking system. In my family we have a Do&Delegate.list and a two-sided corkboard. On one side we post messages for family members, on the other we post chores/tasks.
Sarah on The Study Center
Today’s teens are facing tougher academics and more rigorous schedules than ever, especially with the college entrance qualifications getting more selective. Have a desk area for them with adequate lighting to promote proper focus. Be sure the computer is in a visible area to keep track of internet usage (like kitchen). As much as we would like to trust that our children are being responsible online, proactive monitoring is the best tactic for keeping our teens safe on the web. In addition, help them make a file system to keep ongoing projects, old homework, and important papers like college admissions help guides or prospective university information. Keep it simple and this will set them on the right track once they get to college.
1.The Student Planner
This will teach them how to prioritize and they will learn how to decide what’s most important. Also, teach them the 80/20 Rule to go along with the how to organize your to do’s. Assess what kind of student they are to figure out what kind of priority system works best. Some teens only need a weekly planner, while others need a daily reminder supplement, like a Homework.pad, as well as a planner- Most teen students need both.
This starts REALLY early these days as colleges are more and more competitive. Be sure your teens are active in any clubs, sports, or associations that interest them. It’s also very important be active in the community. Yes this is great for the admissions, but more importantly it’s helpful to the greater good of your region. Check out your local paper for service events, or get creative. For example, if your child loves animals, have them be a dog walker at the animal shelter or the Leader Dog for the Blind campaign. If the type of service contains something they are passionate about, they will be more apt to stick with the charity throughout high school and life.
Every teen’s car should be equipped with a Collision.kit, as unfortunately, most accidents occur between the ages of 16 and 25. A Pocket.doc is also great for a teen’s purse, backpack or wallet for holding emergency numbers, out of state contacts, and quick medical information if a paramedics arrive before they can get ahold of you. A first aid kit in the car is also helpful for those just in case moments. Educational tools are important too so sign them up for a AAA or insurance company roadside help class (how to change a tire, and what to do in other emergencies while in the car, like if you spot a tornado, or come across flood waters). You might think your teen is smart enough to have the common sense, but in a panic, they may not be thinking clearly. The more prepared the y are better they will be able to handle the situation and the more assured you’ll be.