During the school year, keeping teenagers focused on everything that needs to be accomplished in a day can be a challenge. Here are some ways you can help them:
1. If you have trouble getting your teen up in the morning, buy the most annoying alarm clock you can find and put it far from the bed. That way they are forced to get up and turn it off. Limit their access to electronics as the day winds down to get their mind to relax, providing a better night's sleep, making it easier for them to get up in the morning.
2. To keep bathroom time to a minimum, place a timer inside and set it for 15 minutes. Teenagers are notorious for getting lost in the shower. Once the timer goes off, time's up—period. This is great for siblings who share a bathroom.
3. Help your teen navigate their school roster by copying their schedule on a copy machine to fit in a wallet or backpack. They can also keep a copy in their locker.
4. List activities on a large calendar and color-code them. Keep the calendar in a central location in the home for all to see. Use a different colored highlighter for each member of the household. This is a great way to make sure everyone knows where they have to be and when, as well as assisting parents with carpool schedules.
5. My son never liked sitting at a desk in his bedroom when he was in school. Determine where your teenager would be prefer to do their homework and study. It might be a dining room table, kitchen table or even a comfortable couch with a loveseat. The important thing is that they like where they are working and are productive.
6. Help your teenager develop good time management skills by mapping out a weekly schedule of responsibilities. If they have a larger project to get done, schedule out blocks of time that will enable them to complete the project on time.
7. Provide organizing tools such as a clothes hamper in their bedroom, hooks on the back of the bathroom door for towels, and containers to hold desk supplies, sporting equipment or other items for easy access.
8. Create a chore chart that schedules blocks of time for them to do their own laundry, take out the trash, do some light housekeeping or any other responsibilities you want to assign to them to teach them responsibility and lighten your own load.
Utilizing physical organizational tools and good time management tools will help your teenager to become an organized and productive individual.