Just as the regulation of sleep cycles for teens in particular is instrumental in overall adolescent well-being, so too is time management. Not only are teens undergoing enormous changes, both emotionally and physically, but they have the added weight of having to keep up with the proverbially hectic junior high or high school schedule. Parents might need to get involved with stress management for teens if they seem like they are stressed. Here are a few tips to help your teen manage her time such that she makes the most out of her academics and extracurricular, but keeps her stress levels low, too.
While almost all teens exhibit similar behavior patterns, you can’t forget that your child is an individual with individual needs. If your teen cannot manage her time well, then don’t make the mistake of setting too rigorous a schedule for her. It will be too difficult to stick to, especially initially, and that sets up your child for failure and even more inadvertent stress. Try establishing flexible time frames for homework, chores, and play, not strict, set hours every single day. This way, your teen will have more breathing room without procrastinating too much.
2. Don’t allow your teen to be overly committed to extracurricular.
Sometimes the biggest time drains in a teen’s life are the activities in which she engages outside of school. While sure, you want your child to be as involved in challenging hobbies and causes as much as possible, it is easy for things to get out of control. Time management is also all about knowing when to say no. Communicate with your teen about the activities about which she is actually passionate. Being more involved in one or two activities encourages confidence, competence, and intellectual interest. Being overcommitted only fosters stress.
3. Emphasize the importance of free time and play.
Even if your teen is interested in both school and extracurricular activities, it is important not to structure one’s time such that there is no room to just relax. Encourage your teen to not just spend time with friends during free time (which is, of course, very important) but also to engage in relaxing activities for their own sake. A few examples include biking, walking, reading, or simply spending time at a local park. Television and the Internet can be great, relaxing diversions, but since their use often goes unchecked, they can be time management destroyers.
Remember, in the final analysis, time management is all about life management. And life management’s main goal is to avoid unnecessary stressors. Follow these basic tips and time management won’t seem like such a daunting task after all.
Teens enjoy being busy. Make sure they enjoy sleeping and rejuvenating their bodies as well by falling asleep faster and more peacefully. Have teens listen to Indigo Dreams: Teen Relaxation Music at bedtime or between activities.