1. Keep calm—Teens are famous for inducing angst in their parents. When your teen is all tied up in knots, make sure you breathe deeply and feel the ground under your feet. When you’re calm, you can better handle your tornado teen.
2. Create daily goals—Have your teen create SMART goals for homework assignments, where each goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. Too often teens try to do too much only to sag and bail. The SMART framework will move your teen in the desired direction.
3. Use a timer—Have your teen set a timer for 30 minutes of studying. When it goes off she can take a 5 minute break–no Facebook, Twitter or texting. When she does this three times and she can take a longer break. Research shows that 30 minute study spurts are optimal for attention, retention, and efficiency.
4. Look ahead—Have your teen write assignment dates and exam dates on a wall calendar. Get them out of her head and onto paper. This also lets her know that you know what’s coming.
5. Give your teen confidence—When she cries, “I can’t handle this!” say, “I hear you. I also know you’ve handled difficult things before (name one).” In this way you’re mirroring her two sides: the one that feels she can’t and the one that knows she can and will. If necessary, help her break down tasks into small, manageable steps.
What are your tips for helping your teens? Share here!