How Parents and Teens Can Work Together Through High School
Do you believe parents and teens can work together to help each other get through the difficult high school years?
Good - me too.
In this article, we’ll cover tips and techniques for teens and parents to get along and succeed – together.
High School Can Be A Real Challenge For Families
These competing goals often lead to tension between parents and teens throughout high school.
Parents are already busy and shouldn’t take on the role of becoming a high schooler again.
And, students are ultimately responsible for deciding their own destinies.
So how do we make this all work? Read on…
How Parents Can Let Teens Grow Up On Their Own (But With Support)
Parents can offer a lot of guidance throughout the process. But, it’s ultimately on each kid to take up the role of adulthood. There’s no way to FORCE kids to be responsible, only to encourage them.
So parents, consider this advice. Know your own “primary purpose” in life. Use that to give clarity to your efforts. Help your kid use their time effectively towards their goals.
Your primary purpose as a parent is not to live your child’s life, but rather to ENABLE it. So, consider yourself an enabler, not a do-er.
Remember - it’s about our teens!
As teachers, parents and mentors we can never allow our own fully-developed adult personalities and desires to overshadow the still-growing wants and needs of our students.
That’s hard to do sometimes. Keep reading for more tips…
Tips For Parents To Support Their Teens In Time-Management
Here are a few of my tips for parents to ENABLE their teens in time management:
First of all, help PROTECT your teen’s calendar.
Teenagers are barraged with opportunities and demands for their time. These range from final exams to birthday parties, book fairs to computer clubs, climbing trips to cheerleading teams.
The list of activities and assignments goes on and on.
Try to clear time for teens to choose what they want to do, because they will definitely have plenty of stuff that they have to do.
I have never met a non-busy high schooler.
Your first goal as a parent should be subtracting from your teen’s schedule, and protecting it from new obligations.
As gatekeepers to the family calendar, this is something parents should always be aware of.
How else can parents help teens succeed? Keep reading to find out…
How Parents Can Help Teens Develop Common Sense
There’s a lot that parents can do to help with “common sense” things (that might not be “common sense” to teens.)
Parents can help teens in dozens of little ways. Like teaching them to leave on time for commutes, avoid traffic. Or tips on organization and cleanliness…
Kids often need repeated, kind-hearted reminders on everything from doing their dishes to leaving on time for piano lessons.
Parents, don’t take it personally if you have to repeat yourself with them every week. Teens are still learning how to manage all the demands on their psyche made by high school and modern life.
As you know, it’s nearly overwhelming even for battle-hardened ADULTS… so show your teen a little extra patience this week.
After all these years of tutoring I deeply respect even the “average” high school student. Every teen I’ve met seems so busy with the rigorous demands on their time and attention.
What if you can’t do it all on your own? Here’s someone else who can help:
Parents - Call In An Expert If Your Teen Needs More Help
As a tutor, I also often hear from parents that their teenagers simply won’t “hear” advice given by their parents - no matter good the advice is.
Sometimes parents come us for tutoring, simply because teenagers usually listen more to OUTSIDE perspectives from new sources.
It’s nothing personal! Just something about the dynamic of teenagers and parents that seems to be universal and timeless.
So, parents - if you need a little outside help, remember that you can always call in an expert.
And, if you have an idea for a new course that you want me to make, let me know! Drop me a line in the comments section below.
I’d be happy to consider your idea for my next online course!
So, what else can parents do to help their teens? Keep reading…
How Parents Can Help Teens Get Better Sleep
Moving on to my next recommendation for parents, I want you to help your teens with their SLEEP.
It might sound a little silly to be setting bedtimes at this age… but you have to make sure your teens are going to bed at a reasonable hour.
Make sure they aren’t secretly staying up late on computers, video games, TV or social media - like my little brother always did!
Help Your Teens Put The Screens To Bed
If there is a computer, laptop or TV in our bedroom it’s easy to remain hyper-stimulated late into the night. When teens are connected 24 / 7, it’s much harder for them to relax and drift to sleep.
Also, the light emitted by screens is PROVEN to interfere with your brain’s sleep chemicals.
Computers, tablets, and phones cause trouble with our sleep schedule… but teens may not be fully aware of this problem.
What happens if teens don’t get enough sleep? That’s what we cover next…
Sometimes Parents Must Be The Backup Alarm Clock
Also, occasionally (or perhaps frequently) you will need to be the backup alarm clock for your teenager,.
This is NORMAL in many families because:
- High schoolers are overworked.
- Teenagers’ bodies demand a lot of sleep for growth.
- Teenagers sometimes stay up WAY too late.
- Most teenagers aren’t great at waking up and getting out of bed… they just aren’t.
Homework is a frequent sleep-stealer. So are social media, video games, and the internet.
Keep an eye on this stuff to help your teen.
Try to balance the need to set limits with the need for teens to make their own decisions. Of course, they also need some fun free time. But let’s make sure our teens are getting good sleep each night.
Sleep isn’t the only thing that matters! Keep reading for my next tip…
How Parents Can Help Teens Stay Balanced
Parents - help your teens with balance. This is one of the timeless rules of time management. Keep them from getting overloaded in any one direction.
Sports, academics, hobbies, health - all have their place for teens.
Try to prevent any unhealthy obsessions from taking root. Help your teens see their weak and strong points with clarity and empathy.
Talk to your kids. Find out what is on their mind, if you can. But don’t pry or making them feel self-conscious.
It’s not easy, but no one ever said being a parent was!
I just want to say - if you’re a parent of a high school teen, you really impress me already. I’m here to help any way I can.
But unfortunately, there’s another pressure that teens can fall victim to…
How Parents Can Help Teens Resist Peer Pressure
Parents - try to help teens resist PEER PRESSURE.
But also - recognize the incredible amount of importance that social life has to teens. You have to respect it.
For many teens, the opinion of their peers is life or death.
As an adult, it can be tough to relate. But, try to see matters from your own eyes when you were 15, 16 or 17.
Be there for your kids. Let them know you’re there. Always remind them, but never be too pushy.
Try to let your teens choose when they come to you for help. This shows how much you respect them. And, it will help them build up their confidence and independence.
It’s not just peer pressure. Teens can make mistakes on their own as well. How can you prevent a crisis!? Keep reading to learn how…
How Parents Can Prevent A Crisis For Their Teens
As a parent, be the BACKUP PLAN for your teenagers, but don’t tell them you’re the backup plan.
On important matters, parents should have a backup plan if your teens drop the ball.
But don’t let them know that you have a backup plan ready. Try to minimize your own interference.
Then, if your kid stumbles or makes a mistake, you can be ready to step in. You can lend a hand to prevent disaster. And they will appreciate it.
Best of all, you’ll help them at a moment of crisis - without taking over their life.
Is there anything you can do to encourage them to grow up? Next tip, coming up!
How Parents Can Help Teens Develop Long-Term Perspective
High schoolers are very smart, but often weak with long-term perspective.
Don’t blame them! Teens are still developing. It’s impossible for them to have a complete perspective of the world at the age of 16.
Help them figure out what their time is best used for. But again, don’t force your personality and goals upon them.
For most teens and parents, getting into college is usually the obvious main goal.
But is college the only goal of life? Keep reading…
How Parents Can Help Teens Achieve Personal Fulfillment
College is NOT the only goal - personal fulfillment is the true long-term goal of life, isn’t it?
And surprisingly, that’s often lost and forgotten in the scheme of things as everyone jockeys for position to get into college.
Remember that your kid’s definition of ultimate success is probably different than yours. Sometimes you’ll disagree a little, sometimes you’ll disagree a lot.
Quite possibly, your teen doesn’t even know yet how they define personal success.
Again, don’t blame them. They are only 16 or 17 years old. Teens simply haven’t had the chance yet to get the amount of experiences that an adult has.
So, how can a parent help teens discover themselves? Keep reading to find out…
How Parents Can Help Teens Discover Themselves
The most important thing parents can do to help is ENABLE their teens to DISCOVER themselves.
Help your teens find the passions and goals that will drive them through college, career and adult life.
It’s easy to run around like crazy chasing the what we’re “supposed” to do. Tasks, resumes, agendas that are handed down to us from “society.”
But trying to make society pleased with us is an impossible task. It leads to unhappiness in both the short term and the long run.
Always feel free to “rewrite the social rules” for your kid. When it comes to the long game of life, happiness and fulfillment the most - much more than any external definition of success.
So - listen to what your teens are saying about their schedules. Hear their feedback on their time and energy. It can be challenging not to hear what you think they should be saying!
Deep down, we know this already, because we love the teens and students we’re here to help and guide…
But it’s easy to forget in the midst of our competitive culture. A culture that forces us to try keeping up with the Joneses. A culture that turns our kids into commodities.
Is it inevitable? Or is there anything we can do to protect our kids from the rat race? Keep reading…
Encourage Your Teen To Be Happy and Fulfilled
Never let the rat race get the best of you. Never let it get the best of your kids and their dreams.
Keep passion, fulfillment, and happiness as your central goals for your teens. Don’t fall for the age-old traps of money or prestige in the eyes of others.
Let’s help protect our teens’ schedules from obstacles. Enable them to try, succeed, and fail on their own merits.
Over time they will grow into young adults who can manage their time efficiently without the need for our oversight –
Because they will have big goals and big dreams that they want to accomplish on their own. They won’t need us. They’ll be self-motivated and fulfilled.
I have one final question for you…
Parents And Teens - Tell Me What You Think!
So, that’s what I think as a teacher and SAT / ACT prep tutor. But, I’ve never actually BEEN a parent, just a teacher.
So, what do YOU think the role of a parent should be?
How much should they be involved in their teenager’s high school schedule and time management?
Is this a time for parents to control and lead the schedule, using the benefit of their more mature perspective to make wise choices for their teens?
OR, is high school intended as a time for teens to make their OWN mistakes and learn to live independently?
I can see it going either way, so I want to know what my readers think.
Please take a moment to use the comments section and describe the IDEAL role of a parent or guardian. How involved should they be in their teenager’s schedule and schoolwork?
There’s no wrong answer, I just want your feedback on this article. Leave a note in the comments, and I’ll see you in the next pst!
Make this year your most productive year ever! Get the complete Time Management for Teens Online Course or order the book on Amazon today.