Homework, household chores, after-school activities and hanging out with friends—teens have a lot on their plates, and it’s no wonder that they can get pretty scattered when it comes to managing their schedules. But parents can do their part to help get their children on the right track. Here are some simple ways you can help your teen stay on top of things.
Set a Good Example by Being Organized Yourself
Kids do as they see, so if their parents are messy and unorganized, they’re going to think that’s the norm and adopt these poor habits themselves. If you want your teen to get organized, be sure to get your affairs in order first. Clear out the clutter from your house, and show your teen that it’s important to have a clear space in order to concentrate on your tasks. You can even make a game out of it by challenging them to see who can get a room organized first.
Set Boundaries and Expectations
Let your teen know what you need and expect from them. If you ask them to put their dishes in the dishwasher after dinner, make sure they follow through every night. If you don’t commit to the boundaries you’ve established, your teen will start to cross them, so be firm and explain to them why you need them to step it up.
Set Up a System
It’s hard to get teens to clean their rooms and finish their homework before they go out with their friends, but establishing a clear system will help encourage them to complete their chores and responsibilities. Schedule regular times for studying, doing household chores and other activities on a calendar so your teen becomes accustomed to this routine. Make sure that during these times, their phone is turned off and there are no other distractions around.
Make It a Creative Project
Using fun, colorful supplies might get your teen excited about organizing their school work and personal affairs at home. It doesn’t have to be expensive—many dollar stores carry cheap school supplies that you can pick out together. Multi-colored highlighters, pens, sticky notes, binders and folders will let your teen take a creative approach to organizing their life.
Encourage Them to Use a Planner
Planners or personal agendas help teens stay on top of homework and activities because they have a personalized place to write down all their commitments. When looking for a planner, find one that has enough space for daily entries plus a month-to-month calendar for the big-picture view. That way, your teen can be accountable for their ongoing responsibilities.
As you can see, it’s not too much of a challenge to help your teen stay organized. By keeping organized yourself and setting up a system that works for your teen, the two of you will be able to ensure that everything in their life runs smoothly.
Feature Image: Anthony Delanoix