Increasingly, families are reaching out to me to help their teens get organized. School, work, and extra curricular demands can be intense, and even the most “together” teen can find themselves overwhelmed. A few sessions with a professional organizer is often enough to get some new and effective routines in place. Here are my top 3 tips for teens and parents:
Top 3 Tips For Teens:
*Designate a study space and have it ready for action – If you spend 20 minutes gathering supplies, or finding a quiet corner, you have wasted a lot of time that you could have spend tackling homework. Instead, locate a spot that works well for you (a desk in your room, the dining room table, etc.) and keep all of your study materials there. You can even drop your backpack there when you get home from school. Now when it is time to study, you can dive right in.
*Designate a time – Think about your schedule and find a time or two each day that will consistently be available for homework. This predictability will help reduce the stress of asking, “When will I get this all done?” and get you in the habit of making steady progress toward academic goals.
*Mini organizing moment – Begin each study time by spending a minute or two thinking through, and writing down, your top priorities for that day. Rather than diving into the first thing you think of, or the first folder you grab from your backpack, think through what most needs your attention. Just a few minutes of planning will help you maximize your time and reduce your stress.
Top 3 Tips for Parents:
*Praise effort not achievement – A quick comment that, “You seem to be working really hard to stay on top of things,” shows that you see your teen trying.
*Reflect progress not perfection – None of us will ever achieve perfection, so be careful not to make that the goal. Kids will forget to study on occasion, or hand in an assignment late, or forget something at home or school. Change the old adage “practice makes perfect” to “practice makes progress.”
*Model effective time management – Let your teen see you managing your time well, so they have an example to follow. When your kids observe your routines around meals, household chores, and sleep, they learn how to craft their own routines as well.
Feel like you could use some help in these areas? I love to work with teens, parents, and families to help them create effective routines and a calmer home. Contact me today and see how we can achieve your goals!