Middle and high school is a busy time for students. At this level of school, a child has already begun forming their personality. This means they have their individual quirks and mannerisms. Likewise, they also have their own specific group of friends. Regardless of all of this, it’s important to keep your child excited about their education. Here are helpful tips to get your teen ready for the new school year.
First, teach them how to be organized. This group of students gets a lot of homework. Learning how to use a planner is a life skill they will carry throughout the rest of their life. Buy them a planner that has a monthly view, as well as days where they can write assignments, due dates, and relevant information. Teach them to organize their paperwork in a way that makes sense to them. All homework that is due goes in front of their folder, for instance, while notes from teachers and/or other school staff go in a separate part of their planner.
On another note, help your teen develop excellent time management. It’s fine to go out with friends on Friday night, but not when you have yet to start your research paper. Don’t allow your teen to put things off until the last minute. The result of this is never favorable. Teens that sacrifice study time often see poorer grades as a direct result. If your teen is struggling in school, sit down with them. Help them prioritize their time. If homework is taking too long, open up dialogue as to why. Do they transpose numbers or letters? This is dyslexia. Maybe they have struggled with reading. There are programs that can help you find the answers.
During these years, too, there may be a lot of drama in your teen’s life. They may be up against peer pressure by their friends to try a dangerous substance, such as alcohol, or dress a particular way. You, the parent, has to be the voice that rises above the noise. Make sure your teen knows they are beautiful and accepted. They need to understand that they don’t have to change for anyone. If they receive this message, especially from their parent, they will be less likely to fall prey to the peer pressure.
Also, teach your child how to be prompt. In Sleeping With Strangers, Eric Jerome Dickey quotes: “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is never acceptable!” If your child has a geometry class at 10:45, encourage them to be in their seat by 10:35. This means they are ready for the teacher to call attendance. All their materials are under their desk and they are ready to learn. If your child shows up to class at 10:50, however, this is disruptive to the class. The teacher doesn’t care why the student was late, but they do want the student to be on time.
Finally, know your child’s friends. I’m not saying lurk around every corner, mom, and dad. In fact, that alone would creep any teen out! Instead, be an active parent. Show up to every music recital. Be present at every soccer or volleyball practice. Have an open communication with your child’s teacher and anyone in their life. If you do this, you’re going to know when your child is bottling something inside. They may be too embarrassed to tell you they are being bullied, but the best friend (whom you have a direct communication to through your child) will tell you and you should trust it.
Being a teen isn’t easy. This may be the time when children rebel against a school, but don’t let that happen. Encourage your teen to be social and active. They have so much to look forward to with the new school year!