How many of you struggled with homeschooling your teens during the end of the year? School is almost back in session, and families are facing the need to prepare for distance learning in the fall… Whether parents are trying to work from home, or they are keeping the household going while everyone is at home, there is the issue of handling the constant requests for help and interruptions. Let’s face it, right now, parents are wearing many hats, including productive business professional, homeschool teacher, chef and professional cat herder.
What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be the chaotic mess we all experienced in the spring?
Have you ever noticed how a day can just disappear before your eyes if there is no structure or plan in place? Or that you can feel “stuck” or directionless when you don’t spend your days working, at least in part, towards some purpose? This is especially true now after months of stay at home orders, and continued time at home. It is difficult to keep up with a routine if it’s not already established, and when a routine now feels like Groundhog Day, it’s just harder. This new reality is affecting our teens, who feel like their normalcy was taken away, and find refuge in spending hours and hours on their phones or playing video games. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make their day any easier. In fact, all the time spent watching videos and refreshing timelines ends up adding to their discontent and feelings of aimlessness, which only adds to their unhappiness during tough times. So, is there anything we can do about it? Choosing the right summer activities for teens can be the key to find a way out boredom and unhappiness.
Most teens and parents are probably a bit burned out from the transition to online learning. And while it’s great that kids continue to make progress in schooling, spending so much time in front of their computer screens working on worksheets on their own can definitely get a bit boring. We’ve been hearing from parents about their need for creative learning activities for teens, and how incorporating learning into activities like cooking, nature exploration, and even photography or videography, have made a significant positive impact on their teens’ demeanor and outlook on this “at home learning” thing we’re all trying to figure out.
Whether teens realize it or not, they set goals every single day. From going to the movies with their friends, to planning a school project, to getting in some extra workouts to try out for the varsity team. The question is, do they know they’re doing this, and do they know how to do it in a way that actually helps them achieve their goal. So, you might be thinking, how can I help my teen set goals effectively, and help them improve their chances of success?
As adults, we understand that goal setting is an important life skill that can make your days productive and build your confidence as you make progress towards your goals. We hear stories all the time about successful people, and how they regularly set goals. And we would love it if our own kids would “get it” and see how important it is to set goals effectively.
Has your teen ever had a big science project or paper to submit at school, assigned at the beginning of the semester and they somehow forget to work on it at all until one or two days before it was due? How did that go? A little crazed, rushed, and probably with not great results, am I right?
How could that been different? Well, one way to make sure that your teen to make progress towards an end goal in a way that is more efficient, is to make it measurable.
Does your teen seems to always get stuck not knowing where to start, no matter what small or big goal they are trying to achieve?
Living spontaneously and in the moment is a great thing. But it’s not great if you end up spinning your wheels because you don’t even know where to start.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Teens have SO much going on! So much earlier than we had to. College prep, varsity sports, volunteer work/community service, the list goes on and on. They will need to build some pretty solid planning skills and habits to get through all of it.
So what’s the key? Goals have to be actionable. That is the only way to make sure they will know what steps to take, and don’t waste valuable time spinning their wheels.
Does your teen really have time for all those activities? Or, are they totally overscheduled? Or is it a combination of too much to do, but also way too much time lost to electronics and other distractions? Time management is a constant source of discussions in most homes as we try to teach our teens to take ownership of their own activities and accomplish everything they are trying to do.
I know my teens find it challenging to fit it all in. And as much as we all agree that having downtime is valuable to recharge, sometimes their free time is wasted in things that don’t make them feel rested, refreshed, and ready to tackle school and extracurricular activities. Plus it’s critical for teens to also have downtime that they can count on to relax and recharge.
Does your teen come home complaining about yet another school group project? Most likely they’re worried that they’ll end up doing all the work, or it’s going to be chaos, or they’ll end up with a bad grade because someone didn’t contribute.
School group projects are meant to teach our kids how to work together with many other personalities and skill levels. This is a very useful skill to have for high school and college, and it prepares them for “the real world”. But year after year, school group projects end up being a huge cause of stress and worry for some kids.
We hear all the time that to improve our chances of reaching our goals, we should write it down. We tell the same thing to our teens, as we encourage them to start thinking about the future. But when you write down a goal, how do you know if your goal is specific enough to define what you really want to achieve?
Is any description of a goal good enough to keep you focused, stay motivated, and actually improve your chances of reaching your goals? The first step is to make sure your goal is specific.
Teen SMART Goals is an easy to use app that helps teens reach their goals, every time! Define your goals, create your own action plan, and track your daily progress easily.
Teen SMART Goals is all about empowering teens through a proven process. Through SMART Goals, teens become experts at setting, breaking down, and achieving goals. Our App aims to develop grit, a growth mindset, and avoid burnout. Teens will learn to get organized, track their own progress, find what’s missing, and quickly make appropriate corrections. By connecting goals to an inspirational image, rewards, and perspective into progress towards long-term goals, you help your teen stay motivated.