In preparation for our Lynn Lyons, Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents, event coming up next Monday, September 18th, we will be posting a series of articles from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
1. Act as a cheerleader and supporter for your teen – provide the necessary supplies and show an active interest in the content your child is learning, but allow the teachers to handle it if your kid fails to do the homework correctly or regularly.
2. Recognize that children learn in different ways and have different work styles – some do homework all at once, while others need to take frequent breaks. Discuss with your child the working conditions that will lead to the best homework outcomes.
3. Work WITH your child to develop a schedule that will allow time to complete homework, work on projects and study for tests – while still attending activities, getting adequate sleep and having time for play.
MAKE TIME FOR “PDF”
4. Don’t underestimate the importance of non-academic achievements. Challenge Success emphasizes that kids – regardless of age — need playtime, downtime and family time (‘PDF’) each day. Research show this acts as a protective factor for long-term academic engagement and overall well-being.
5. Allow space and rejuvenation between activities. Encourage teens to unwind by listening to music, reading for pleasure and spending time with friends. Kids need time to reflect and dream, explore the world, develop interests, make friends and craft an identity.
6. Schedule high-quality family time multiple times a week to give kids the experience of unconditional love, acceptance and support. Eat meals together, take walks, swap stories and practice family traditions.
EMBRACE A BROADER DEFINITION OF SUCCESS
7. As a family, discuss the characteristics of success that you value most (e.g., compassion, integrity, health). Remind your kids that success is measured over the course of a lifetime, not at the end of a semester.
8. Explain that there are many different paths to success. Talk about your own path, including your struggles and failures.
9. Examine the subtle messages you send your kids. If your first question after school is, “How’d you do on the test?” you may be implying that grades matter more than anything else. Instead, ask, “How was your day? Learn anything interesting? Did you get to spend time with friends?”
10. Help your teen find the right-fit college or post-secondary opportunity. Debunk the myth that only the most prestigious colleges will lead to success.