Helping Your Teen to Manage Schoolwork and Household Issues on Lockdown

Letter from our School Counselor

Families with teens experience high amounts of stress even in the best circumstances. Aside from rapid biological changes and keeping up with the latest social trends, teens have a developmental need to establish autonomy. Many parents notice these changes and search for ways to accommodate developmental needs, such as independence, while balancing responsibility and discipline. Unforeseen challenges can further complicate family matters and increase tension. Here are a few tips to help your family adjust to the unforeseen challenge of life on lockdown and reduce family stress.

General Household Issues

  • Have a family discussion that includes every member’s input. Discuss important issues that need attention for effectively maintaining your household such as chores, space, and family time.
  • Explain expectations and negotiate chore times as part of a routine or schedule instead of an on-the-spot demand. This is a far more effective approach with teens. An example is to say the dishes need to be done by 9h00 or before you watch TV.
  • Offer options where possible; “Would you like to mow the lawn or clean the bathroom?”

Schoolwork

  • Take a similar approach to completing schoolwork; help them understand expectations and manage their time. Some teens will need a strict schedule while others do better with flexibility; you know your teen best. Set them up for success by working with their learning needs.
  • Discuss and agree on school expectations and goals ahead of time so you avoid a fight when a reminder is needed. Let them participate in goal setting with your advice acting in the background as a guide.
  • Subject tasks vary in difficulty and duration depending on individual strengths. Aim for task completion instead of tracking time. If he completes his maths in 20 minutes today, there is no need to force an extra 30 minutes; he may use an hour for tomorrow’s task.
  • Break down projects and big tasks into smaller goals to be completed each day.
  • Avoid studying difficult subjects longer than 45 minutes at a time or back-to-back. This effects their ability to retain information as long-term memory.
  • Make sure he takes breaks that include nutrition and/or sleep between long study sessions.

Mrs D Butt

Northwood Counselor

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