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Originally published October 7, 2019. Republished on August xx, 2022
Since school is starting for many places this month, I thought this would be a good time to write about school and teens.
School — both junior high and high school — will fill up a large part of your teenager’s life, and there are many things you can do to help this part of their life run smoothly. Also, the habits that they learn here will transfer to college and throughout the rest of their lives.
As your child gets older, your part in their life will become less about giving commands and more about giving support. Here are some ideas on how you can help your teenager get the most out of school.
Speed Reading: A Goal
This is a tangible skill that will help your teenager study more quickly. The amount of reading material they’ll be assigned during this phase of life is significantly larger than the amount they received in their younger years. There are many ways to speed read, so do some research and encourage your child to try a few. He or she can decide on the method that works best for them.
My father enrolled me in a speed-reading class when I first got to college. It was incredibly helpful so I can see how it would have been good in high school too.
Encourage Learning to Focus at School
When your child was younger, they may have been able to get away with not fully focusing on the material at hand. Learning to focus is important as they enter their teen years.
Help your child to figure out how to remove distractions when they are having trouble focusing. Teach them to remove possible distractions one by one, such as turning off the music, powering down their smartphone, or closing any windows that open onto a loud, busy street.
Remember, sometimes difficulty focusing or concentrating could mean there are other issues like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. If you are concerned, consult your doctor.
Encourage Regular Study Time for School
Your teenager will need to learn to study regularly if they don’t want extra stress because they procrastinated until the last minute. As a teen, my parents got me in the habit of studying as soon as I got home. It really became important when I went to college. I scheduled classes early and studied as soon as I got out. On many occasions, I was ready to have fun in the evenings because I had already finished my work!
It’s also a good idea if they develop the ability to schedule or set aside a certain amount of study time each day. This might be 20 minutes per day, or it might be three hours per day. What’s important is not so much the amount of time, but the consistency.
Encourage Inspiring Friendships
The individuals your child chooses to spend time with will change their course of direction over time. If your child selects friends who inspire them, have strong characters, and encourage them to work hard, your child will generally walk down the same path. If your child has more friends who are interested only in having fun, your child’s grades will likely suffer, as could their future.
Aim for Good Nutrition
Nutrition plays an important role in giving the brain its power. Although junk food is a common part of the life of most teens, teach your child to keep most of their food intake healthy. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grain carbs, and healthy fats should be your child’s main source of nutrition. Consider supplements if your child is a picky eater, or if their diet is lacking in any way.
If you are concerned about your child’s nutritional status, you should consult your doctor or a nutritionist,
Although your teenager’s routine is sure to be different than when they were younger, it’s still an essential part of keeping their life running smoothly. Talk to your child about regular meals, regular bedtimes, and getting enough sleep each night. This will give their body a chance to know what to expect daily, and their bodies will then provide them with better results.
Having a routine will also help with the scheduling of regular study time.
Pro-Tips: You Are a Role Model
You will be your teenager’s greatest source of help as they go through these challenging years. Take every opportunity to share your wisdom with them regarding how to live it well. With your efforts, your teenager will be sure to glean a lot from their school years and have a good foundation for whatever their next steps are.
Loving Life — The Reboot!