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Sep 6, 2012

Helping Your Teen to Balance His Schedule

Diane Kummer

   I remember my children’s teen years, and sometimes I wonder how we lived through them. Someone always had to be somewhere, and as much as I tried to keep a rein on activities, many times I felt like screaming, “WHOA!”

   How do you help your teen to bring balance into his schedule? How do you train her in time management skills that will be useful now and the rest of her life? We’ve found some helpful resources for you.

   It helps to have a plan. Simple as that may be, it’s true. Whether it’s an old-fashioned calendar, an app on the phone, or a computer-based scheduler, your teen should learn to map out his daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. It’s great training and you’ll have one more set of eyes keeping track of piano lessons, sports games, part time work schedules, and church activities.

   Remind your teen that his first priority is spending time with the Lord each day. Building this time into his schedule goes a long way towards actually accomplishing the goal. Your example in this area cannot be overestimated in its impact. There are many good devotionals and teen Bible studies.

   Most of your teen’s time will be taken up with his academic studies. Do your best to reinforce to your teen that academics can’t fall by the wayside or be crowded out by other endeavors.  You’ll most likely want to set boundaries on the time each day that your teen spends working (make sure you know your state’s child labor laws and work permit regulations.) If your teen is involved in a sport, drama production, debate tournament, and so on, have him find out ahead of time from the coach or instructor what the average time commitment will be so that these hours can be factored into the week’s calendar. Other ideas for balancing your teen’s time can be found in this HSLDA high school email newsletter, and suggestions for time management resources are also available.

   Looking ahead to job and college applications, it will be helpful to document the extracurricular activities that your teen takes part in.

   Lastly, and most importantly, limit outside activities to those that your teen (and your family) can reasonably participate in and still maintain a peaceful and joy-filled home!

-Diane

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