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NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Stress - School - Goal Setting - Time Management

Blog: Ignite Your Energy and Grow Your Life!
Helping Your Teenager Get The Goal Habit

This past September, at the beginning of the school year, my son was hit hard with the Epstein Barr virus & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  He's already missed quite a bit of school, and to top it off, it is his senior year in high school and he's got lots of responsibilities not only academic but for college prep as well.  Although he's always done well in school, he fell way behind in his coursework and had difficulty catching up.  This has been very frustrating and discouraging for him.  Like most teens, the concept of setting goals and getting organized does not come easy (even though his mom is a professional organizer!) to him. Going to school suddenly became a stress filled nightmare. 

For most students the need to get organized is a very difficult concept to master.  In elementary school and somewhat in middle school, teachers work with their students to help them stay organized.  In high school the onus is on the student. He has to keep track of his assignments, his grades, and make up missed work and exams. This can be overwhelming for many teens. Teaching your teenaged child simple goal setting techniques can help alleviate this stress and help boost their academic success.

The most important tool they will need is a good planner.  They should choose the planner themselves so it is something they will work with.  A simple daily planner book usually works well, especially if it has the days marked hour by hour so they can plug in various activities. If your teen loves technology, a PDA or SmartPhone might work best. Whatever they choose, make sure that your teen begins high school with the goal to be organized. Because it takes at least six weeks for a new behavior to become a habit, you may have to support them in staying on track for awhile. Don't nag and don't bribe.  Reward them for setting and achieving their goals but let them do it themselves.  Resist the temptation to do it for them or help too much. 

Another option, if you're constantly butting heads with your teenager, is to hire a specialist or tutor to help them learn basic organizational skills.  We hired an educational consultant who works specifically with middle and high school children to teach Andrew organization skills.  Her approach and understanding of how teenagers think has been instrumental in helping him get back on track at school.  It also minimized friction at home and helped boost his self confidence.  I'm happy to say that as the winter break approaches, he's just about caught up for the semester and will be able to enjoy the holidays! 

posted on: 12/11/2007 9:30:00 AM by Robin Stephens
category: Time Management

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Ignite Your Energy and Grow Your Life!

by Robin Stephens

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