Time management is a skill that any teen will need to learn to help him succeed. No matter how intelligent or skilled your teen is, he needs to be able to effectively manage his time to help him maximize his potential. He will need to have the discipline to learn to prioritize effectively. As a parent, here's what you can do.
- Help your teen learn to prioritize. Not everything is of equal importance, though it may seem that way to your teen. Remind your teen that his priority is to learn at school and complete his schoolwork. Family time is also important, more so than time spent with friends on tweeting online. School work should come first, over watching TV or surfing online. Enforce the rule in your home, so your teen knows that he can't turn on the electronics until his work is done.
- Limit activities. Don't overload your teen with activities. Extra curricular activities are fun and help make your teen a more well rounded individual. After school work and volunteer programs look great on a college application form. However, if it cuts in on your teen's schoolwork or he seems stressed or overworked, you may need to step in and help him cut back. Part of being organized is knowing what you need to put time on, and what needs to go if you can't fit it in anymore.
- Have a system. Help your teen be organized. For example, provide a quiet and private workstation for your teen. Teach your teen to make sure that it is organized, so he doesn't waste his time rummaging or looking for things, which is a big time waster.
- Give him a planner. Place a calendar in your teen's room or in the family room, so your teen can write in his activities. This will keep the family posted on where everyone is, and will help your teen make sure he doesn't forget anything. If having a planner or filofax is to old school for your teen, a blackberry or other digital organizer can help him get organized.
- Avoid chemical aids. Steer your teen away from using energy drinks or drinking caffeine to get that extra boost to get him throughout the day. This will only teach him to depend on chemicals, which may later lead to addictions. If he's tired, he needs to rest. Make sure your teen is getting enough rest, so remove distractions in his room so his bedroom becomes his place of rest.
- Set an example. Children learn by what they live, so you have to practice what you preach. Don't nag your teen to be organized and not be flakey, if you yourself constantly forget appointments and are late for meetings. Your teen will learn best from the example you set.