Is Your Teen Stressed? Teach Them How to Manage Their Time, Schoolwork, and Leisure Activities

I hear from many parents that their child is stressed out with schoolwork, tests, finals, finding time to study, and extracurricular activities.

I know I mentioned in our previous Organewz issue that I would talk about filing systems, but I feel that I must talk to you about assisting teens and preventing stress overload in our children.

I do not like seeing overstressed children and teenagers. Stress takes a dangerous toll on us-we must prevent it early on.

Sit down with your child and do these three things:

1. Pick out a paper or electronic planner for them to record their appointments, assignments, and to-dos. I like using a paper planner in conjunction WITH something electronic to record all phone numbers, addresses and set appointments.

2. Talk about your child's priorities and map them out. What are your child's priorities? Typical student priorities are academics, family life, after-school activities, friends, relaxing, religion, pets, etc.

Have them rate their priorities according to level of importance. Then track the time they've been spending on things. For example, does the amount of time spent on schoolwork reflect the number 3 that your child gave it?

Draw a schedule with your child. Put the days of the week on top and the time of the day on the left hand side. Draw squares for the chunks of time that are occupied currently. Much of the time will be "school". Include squares for travel to and from school time, wake-up and dress, snack time, and after-school activities.

Once you draw it all out, you can see how much time is left. Having this visual really helps to see when is the best time to sign up for another class or hang out with friends.

3. W.A.D.E. through tasks (Morgenstern)

Sort through the piles of to-dos

Write it down-write down the task at hand. A test, a paper due date, a dance rehearsal. Get it in your planner.

Add it Up-Estimate how long it will take. A dance rehearsal that is an hour really can be an hour 1/2 when you include travel time. Overestimate.

Here's an example-A final exam in 12 weeks requring 200 pages of reading. If you read 20 pages a week for 2 hours, you can get it done with 2 days of review time.

Decide when to do the task based on your time map.

Execute- Do it. Reward yourself. Take babysteps and start the project. Work in 30 minute increments. Silence your inner perfectionist!

It is my hope that with these tips and recommended resources for teens time management, you can help de-stress your child and provide them with the skills they need when homework overload hits!

Rebekah Slatkin is a professional organizer with a website dedicated to getting you organized. Go to http://www.best-organizing-products-supers tore.com and read helpful organizing product reviews and her ezine.

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