Dealing with teenagers and how to keep them on track in school

How to deal with teenagers, and keep them on the right track at school.

Attend the Back-to School Night and parent-teacher conferences

Parents who support their teens' academic effort will see better results. Open house events or back-to school nights are great opportunities to meet your teen's teacher and learn about their expectations. Parents and guardians should be aware of school policies and programs, as well as post-high-school options.

Attending parent teacher conferences is another great way to keep informed. In high school, these are usually only held when parents need to be involved to deal with issues such as behavior problems, not meeting grade level expectations or, alternatively, benefiting by advanced classwork.

Visit the school's website

When you discuss the school day with your teenager, knowing the layout of the building and grounds will help you to connect. You should know where the main office is, the school nurse, the cafeteria and athletic fields are, as well as the auditorium.

You can find out about:

The school calendar
contacting school staff
Special events such as dances and trips to class
testing dates
Current grades and Missing Assignments

Teachers maintain websites where they provide information on homework, quizzes, tests, and textbooks. Websites for districts, schools, and teachers often have special resources available to parents and students.

 

Support Homework Expectations

In high school, the amount of homework increases and grades are more important for future college plans. Students who plan to go to college must also prepare for the SATs or ACTs. Many teens are learning to balance their academics, extracurricular activities, social life, and jobs.

A great way to assist your teenager is to provide a place for them to study which is quiet, well lit, and distraction-free. It should also be stocked with all the necessary supplies. No TV, phone or other distractions are allowed, except for websites and homework-related materials. Check in periodically to ensure that your teenager is not distracted.

 

Send your teen to school ready to learn

A healthy breakfast will fuel teens for the day. Teenagers who eat breakfast are generally more energetic and perform better at school.

Breakfast foods low in sugar, high in fiber and whole grains will help your teenager improve their concentration and memory. Send your teen fresh fruit, nuts or yogurt if they are running late in the morning. You can also send a sandwich with peanut butter and banana if you're worried about them being late. Many schools offer nutritious breakfasts before the first bell.

Teenagers need to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to poor performance, inconsistency, and a lack of attention.

Teenagers also tend to have different sleep patterns. Their bodies tell them to stay awake later at night, and get up later in morning. Teens should try to wake up and go to sleep at the same times every day. Before bedtime, you can remind your teen to turn off their phone and limit TV and video games.

Instill Organizational Skills

It will benefit teens to learn and master the skills of staying organized, focusing, and seeing a project through. This isn't usually taught in high schools, so teens could benefit from parental guidance on time management and organization.

Parents and guardians should help their teens organize class assignments in folders, binders or notebooks organized by subject. A calendar can help teens plan their time and recognize deadlines. Do not forget to include any non-academic obligations on the calendar.

 

Encourage your child to develop better time management skills.

You may find it difficult to help your child manage their time when they are busy with school, extracurricular activities and social life. By modeling time-management skills, you can help your child develop these skills. Set an alarm on your cell phone or alarm clock to help your child get up for school if they are having trouble getting up.

Encourage your teenager to start.

Your child may feel overwhelmed if he or she has trouble starting a task or project. Your teenager may delay the task in order to do something else more fun, or that provides instant gratification. Offer incentives and rewards to encourage your child to start a project. You can, for example, tell your teenager that if he/she finishes the big science project he/she can choose the takeout restaurant to eat at tonight.

Plan and help your child prioritize.

Planning and prioritizing become more important as your child grows older. These skills will increase your teen’s productivity and help him manage his time. Your teen can be helped by creating a road map for their tasks, or a step-by step guide on how to achieve their goals. You can help your child plan their projects, exams, and writing assignments. Your teen will eventually learn how to do this by themselves with practice and time.

 

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