3 Tips For Helping Your Teen Get Organized

As teens transition from middle school to a private high school, their schedules get busier and they have more responsibility. By helping them to get more organized, you will help reduce their stress and also set them up with great organizational and time management skills they can use in college. Here are three tips for helping your teen get organized: 

Help Create a Schedule

Having everything your teen needs to do for school in a given week written down and scheduled can make a world of difference in their organization. Have them try different scheduling options based on their preferences--a day planner is a great option for most, but perhaps your teen would rather use an online calendar or just a simple handwritten to-do list for the week.

The schedule should include:

  • Due dates for essays and other assignments
  • Test dates
  • Sports practice and games
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Any other scheduled events

From there, work with your teen to figure out how much time they need to spend studying and doing homework for each class. Schedule this time into their calendar, making it feel less negotiable and more definite.

Set Up Progress Checks

While it's important to allow your teen to develop independence and responsibility, they could still use your help sometimes when it comes to accountability. One way to offer this is to schedule progress checks on a weekly basis. Once a week (perhaps on Sunday nights), sit down with them and go over their tasks and schedule for the week.

Try to foster an open, non-judgmental tone during this time to encourage them to be honest with you about how they are faring with organization and school. Are they behind on anything? Do they need some extra time for studying this week? Are they overwhelmed? You can then help them adjust their schedule as needed.

Cut Back Activities as Needed

These days it seems like everyone feels over-scheduled and too busy, including teenagers. While it's tempting to pack too many extracurricular activities into their schedule to make them competitive when it comes time to apply to college, this can actually backfire. If your child is too busy they may experience anxiety and stress, and their grades may suffer as a result. Simply letting your teen know they can remove something from their plate if they feel overwhelmed may help them feel more focused.

Spending a bit of time upfront helping your teenager become more organized can only help you both in the long run.