3 Tips to Enhance Your Tween’s Success at School
School starts soon, so your child won’t be grabbing popsicles from the fridge or binge-watching Stanger Things all day long. That makes it time to chat with them about what specific grades they want to achieve, how they learn, and how to manage their lives.
Most middle school and junior high students take six or seven classes, each with an attached emoji. You remember – you loved science and hated PE, or you enjoyed Art and endured English. Aside from preferences, your willingness to fully apply yourself affected you. My parents didn’t sit us down and discuss grade goals, but I wish they had. I wish they’d asked for specifics rather than overlaying a general expectation to do well. I suggest you sit with your child before school begins and ask them to set goals – to predict and commit to their success in each class. Have them verbalize – I can earn an 82 in math, 95 in LA, 85 in science, 96 in history, etc. And then chat about how they will do it: Commit to a homework time, submit work on time, pay attention, ask for help, track assignments, etc. No one’s success is accidental.
A teen that I coach told me she learns best by listening. Another one said he needs quiet when reading. And a third retains info by doing projects and using flash cards. What helps your child learn and apply information? It matters because you want to create an ecosystem at home that supports their learning style. If they do not know how they learn best, this free and simple 30-question assessment will help them discover if they are a visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic learner. After the results, they’ll find suggestions to enhance it. Ask them to share their takeaways with you. You can take it, too, to learn more about yourself. (I am not connected to this learning inventory.)
It’s no accident that Steph Curry, an NBA point guard for the Warriors, has made 3,117 three-pointers and makes 42.8% of his attempted three-pointers. He was born with X amount of talent, but it was all him building the desire to reach excellence and devote himself to it. Conversely, he had to refuse to do the things that would derail him. While he is wildly accomplished, he had to learn, just like us, that creating habits, routines, and patterns supports success. Our goal is not for our children to be outliners like Steph but to help them develop solid sleeping habits, eat healthily, regulate their emotions, exercise daily, stay organized, and manage their time. It’s a step by step learning process on the road to adulting.
You have the capacity to help your adolescent discern their strengths and influence their trajectory. You see so much that they don’t. Keep in mind that they thrive and evolve easier when they voice their action plans rather than being told what to do by adults. Empower their autonomy and confidence this way.
P.S. You may need a personal pep-talk about your changing role when school’s in session, too. Take time and do all the things to prepare yourself. You know your mask goes on first!
©2022 JoAnn Schauf, MS, LLC Your Tween & You | All rights reserved.