At the beginning of each school year, your kids have a chance for a fresh start. And you, their most important teacher, are key to their success. Here are five ways you can help them succeed:
1. Understand that teens are different. You're not parenting a seven-year-old. Your teen wants to be in charge of her time and choices, but she still has a lot to learn. You need to be on hand to help with skills like problem-solving and decision-making. That's help, not do it for her.
2. Give them time to decompress after school. One of the things a group of eighth grade girls said bugs them is when they are picked up from school and their parent (usually mom) immediately asks them about their day. They've just spent seven hours in school and would like to think about something else. So sit tight. If you play your cards right, information will be forthcoming. 7 Tips To Boost Kids' Confidence Before School Starts
3. Encourage student-to-teacher communication. It's time for your teen to be his own advocate. This takes courage, and is an important life skill that will serve her well in the adult world.
If there's a problem with a grade, encourage her to talk to the teacher. Same thing if she needs extra help. She won't want mom and dad online with her registering for college courses, or calling the boss about a performance review. Now's the time to develop that skill.
4. Set preparation, routines, and limits reasonably. This goes for homework, sleep, social media/screen time, sports, lessons and socializing. You're not a prison warden, or standing there with a timer, but ... you know very well that there needs to be a balance. And, as the parent of a teen, it's time for brainstorming and compromise in some of these areas if you want to see any results. 10 Reasons Why Teens Are Angry
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