As your child progresses through the school years, the increasing academic demands, social pressures and other obligations like CCAs or other achievements can be quite draining and demoralising. The early teenage years is also the time your teen starts to discover more about themselves and their interests. Navigating through these years can be tough yet exhilarating at the same time. We have some tips to share, to help you in guiding your teen to make the most out of these years:
#1 – Help them Form Effective Organizational Habits
A weekly or monthly planner helps them to take note of upcoming deadlines and prepare in advance for tests, exams, or important events. Do not forget to include non-academic tasks as well! This allows them to manage their time well and efficiently.
Encourage your teen to make a to-do list. Just 5 mins to draw one up. Whether it's a daily list or a weekly one, such lists help them prioritise tasks according to urgency and importance, paving the way for a more effective day or week ahead. Who says there's no time for play, when you have planned out your tasks already?
#2 – Share your Experiences
As your child begins navigating through life as a young adult, hearing your experiences and the struggles you faced can help alleviate a lot of the uncertainty they are facing. Simply knowing that you faced similar challenges can help them feel that such trials can be overcome. While sharing, you can emphasise that learning isn’t a chore but an experience and a journey. Since we learn in every stage of life, you can also share what you are learning currently as well! All these help motivate your child and reassure them that they are not alone.
#3 – Assist to create a Conducive Environment for Focus and Study
A well-lit and tidy workspace/study area allows for greater focus. Some space for your teen to keep school stuff, assessments, planner and to-do lists nearby so everything is in reach. Managing distractions is also important - the less distractions, the better the studying!
Not enough space? Just setting aside a permanent spot is a good start, so that there's somewhere for your child to shift gears to a more focused mindset.
#4 – Prepare your Teen's Body and Mind
Have a healthy nutritious breakfast! Studies show that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast provides your teen with the much-needed energy for school. Food rich in grains, fibre and protein aid to improve your teen’s concentration and memory.
Besides food, sleep is as important. 8-9 hours of sleep is very important to allowing your teen to be alert and ready to take on the day. A lack of sleep is linked to decreased performance, reduced attentiveness and might even affect their short-term memory. Sleeping well allows your teen to have enough time recuperate and rest. So, encourage healthy sleeping habits!
#5 – Find External Help, if needed
Parents are not all-knowing. Sometimes, the help your child needs is beyond your ability. For instance, your child may be unsure about the subjects/specialization to pick in Upper Secondary, Polytechnic or University, or whether to pursue the JC, Polytechnic, or IB route. Some need extra help for subjects they're not coping well in (see the list of tuition services Start Tuition offers). Lost? Don't hesitate to reach out to your network of family and friends. Some of them already have resources, contacts or advice for you, having gone through something similar already, or, have first-hand knowledge to share.
Hopefully, these strategies give you some help to provide the much-needed support to your teen as they navigate through school and will help them in life too!