Quarantine fatigue has resulted in steady increases in levels of stress and anxiety, as well as loss of productivity and motivation for all ages, but especially for young adults and teens. Teens have lost social connections, the excitement of team sports and other extracurricular activities, and the structure that comes from attending classes or going to work in person. Understandably, parents are struggling to find ways to boost motivation and build confidence in teens.
Have you heard the saying “Work hard, play hard”? It used to be that if you worked hard at school, extracurriculars, and work, you could at least look forward to rewarding fun by spending time with friends, going out to dinner or movies, or enjoying your downtime doing whatever got you energized. But the restrictions of the pandemic have taken away a lot of our opportunities to “play hard”. All of this combined makes it much more difficult to muster the motivation to get anything done.
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.
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.
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.
Always running late? Homework doesn’t get done? Chores are regularly forgotten? Teen procrastination can create so much stress and anxiety for parents, as well as the kids doing it. They may think they’re good at working under pressure, but in reality they’re just piling on the stress that will lead to burnout. While some procrastination is completely normal, the teenage years are the perfect time to work on building new routines that will prepare them for the increasing challenges of high school, college and beyond.
Back to School can be a good thing and a bad thing… The beginning of the school year can be exciting: starting in a new school, challenging new classes, seeing school friends more often. But it can also be chaotic, disorganized, and challenging. Shifting from summer to a rigorous school schedule can be a painful transition, for parents as well as teens. Early wake-ups, homework, school projects, after-school clubs and activities can fill up a day pretty quickly. This year our oldest is starting high school, which means we also have a totally new routine to get used to. So, it’s totally understandable that a few things will fall through the cracks as students and parents adjust to the new demands.
We talk a lot about SMART goals for teens on this website and on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages because we are big believers in everyone’s ability to improve their chances of success. But, I also realize that learning how to define each goal as a SMART goal is not so easy if you haven’t had any practice doing that. The very first time I sat down with my own kids to turn their goals into SMART Goals, it took quite a few tries and discussions back and forth to walk them through the process that would give them a “stretch goal” that was also defined in enough detail that they could now work off of their activities list or action plan. I even looked for examples of SMART goals for teens, and honestly I didn’t really find much to go on.
This summer is flying by! At least that’s what it feels like at our house. It seems like the end of school only gave way to tired teens and tired parents. We tried to give our kids time to recover, sleeping in, extra time with their friends, knowing that the first month they would still be pretty busy with tennis camps, dance competitions, chores, and family activities. And now we’re halfway through the summer, and it seems that we’ve fallen into some bad habits of too much time in front of electronics, and maybe not enough motivation to get away from them.