Do you have a teen that isn’t very organized? They are back to school by now, whether they attend a public, private or homeschool. And you may notice early on before the school year gets to far into the thick of learning, that your teen needs a little help with organizational skills. Even if being detailed and organized isn’t your thing, you can still teach them a few tips to help them make their life a little easier.
Here are 9 tips to get you started:
- Teach them organization – Your teen doesn’t automatically know how to organize theirself, they need some training and help. Show them how to write down goals for the week (keep them manageable), help them to schedule their time and keep to the goals and tasks they have created.
- Let them plan their school week or be responsible for their homework – I know not all teens will be ready or responsible yet to plan their schoolwork for the week. You may have to work together for a while until they gain your trust. Once they are ready, this will really help them to become responsible and self-learners. This is a task that is important for them as they are growing into the adult world. This privilege will help them to feel more in charge and control of their time and lives. When we first started this, I told my teenager what needed to be done each week and it was up to her to get it done by the set-time. She looked at what needed to be done and broke it down into what she could do each day.
- Planner – Buy them a planner to keep track of their work, schedule, chores and any other important details. Show them how to use it and help them to keep using it. Show them tips and tricks on how you keep your schedule and then let them use the tips they need and come up with some of their own. Remember, we’re trying to teach them to be independent and to grow into responsible adult.
- Keeping track of time – Provide them a separate clock if needed. They can “check-in, check-out” if this helps them keep on pace with their work. If this is a distraction for them, don’t use it.
- Give them their own space – If you have other children, especially younger ones, giving them their own space will help them to feel more independent and that you are trusting them with their work. This space shouldn’t be touched by any of their siblings. You should set some parameters, such as keeping it somewhat organized and clean.
- Color coordinate – Provide them the supplies they need to keep organized. Some teens like to color coordinate their subjects.
- Don’t let them bite off more than they can chew – This goes back to planning and teaching them organizational skills. If it seems like they aren’t getting their work done as you like, don’t be critical, review their schedule and help them to rearrange their planning. Give suggestions at first, remember again, we want them to try to figure things out, we just need to give a little guidance sometimes.
- Distractions – A part of the agreement for letting them be responsible for their time, is requiring that they put phone time, texting and social media off until work is completed or for a set time each day.
- Check off completed tasks– Be sure your teens are marking off what they have completed, mark off the goals they have accomplished. For them to see what they have been able do on their own will make them feel great.