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Parents and Teenagers: 7 Mistakes to Avoid for Back to School Success

Aug 14, 2008
It's that time of year again. You see it at the mall; hear the ads on the radio, and even in the whining of every student. It is "Back to School" season! Whether you are a parent that welcomes the return of normalcy, or one that hates to see the summer end here are 7 mistakes to avoid having a poor academic year.

1. A negative attitude

Yes, academics today are tougher than when you were in school. So much so they actually increased the SAT testing scores! Yet, that does not mean that we need to take an "I can't" attitude when it comes to school. As a parent, your words and attitude can send a strong message to your teenager about school success. Does your teenager need any encouragement?

2. Lack of planning

Many parents and teenagers start the school year off with great expectations and the desire to have excellent grades, land the lead part in the school play, and then try out for varsity. Yet, goals can only be accomplished with proper planning. As a parent, help your teenager set realistic goals, and then make specific action plans on how they can accomplish them.

3. Giving up too soon

It happens every year around Fall Break. The excitement is gone, the weather is colder and students' attitudes can take a dip. Does your teenager have the tendency to give up too soon? As a parent, you can help your teenager stay on track by not letting them give up. If they are at an impasse, then work together to find a different route to help them accomplish their goals.

4. Disregarding the social aspect

For many students, academics and extra curricular activities becomes their full time job. They spend countless hours studying and preparing for their exams, often into the wee hours of the night. Then they buzz from school to their extra curricular activities. Remind your teenager not to lose sight of the social aspect of these years. It can be at time to make some life long friends, so encourage your teenager not to miss it!

5. Refusing to get outside help

Many families can feel overwhelmed during the teenage years. Many parents especially feel they lack the knowledge needed to help with homework, and teenagers may feel like they are just not able to grasp what is required from them academically. In addition, there can be a lot of social incidents that can make parents and teenagers feel unprepared. Seek the help from outside services that can benefit your family.

6. Chaotic home environment

A teenager's home environment can have a significant influence on his/her success at school. Whether there are issues with marital issues between his/her parents, or even just a chaotic morning, many teenagers can bring their home concerns to school. Often, just having a regular morning routine can make a difference in your teenager's school day. Also, seek the help of a professional counselor regarding any emotional concerns you or your teenager may be experiencing.

7. Forgetting to breathe

Families today are extremely busy. With commitments to school, church, athletics, and other extracurricular activities, it is easy for families to feel disconnected in the process. As a family, carve out some time on a regular basis to just be together. Your time together can be as simple as watching a movie together, or grilling in the backyard.
About the Author
As a parent, are you looking for more ways to help your teenager have a better school year? Then I invite you to visit http://www.parentingyourteenager.com where you will find more helpful tips and tools for a great year.
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