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Staying on Track This Spring

It is that time of year again-Spring! And although we have been blessed with an unusually warm Winter, as the days begin to lengthen and the flowers start poking through the earth, even the most seemingly apathetic teenager can not help but perk up in anticipation. For children and teenagers, Spring can be an especially exciting time. It means Summer vacation is in sight and the school year is almost over. Almost.
What parents and other adults, at least those not still in school, often forget is that Spring frenzy can make even the most disciplined students lose focus and become sidetracked. So how do we adults help keep our kids focussed and present, at least long enough to do what they need to do, and to do it well?
Throughout the next few weeks, help your son or daughter navigate through the business of Spring by following 6 tried and true tips for staying on track during the final stretch of the school year. Each week, read about each tip and learn how to help your child put them into practice. Keep in mind everyone is different. The most important thing is to find what works best for you and your child and to practice habits that lead to success.

This week, let’s begin with tip number one…

Write things down.

Start by encouraging your child to write everything down. Write with them or for them if need be. Type if writing is not an option. Use a phone app if typing is too daunting. The point is to transfer what is in their head (or what needs to be) onto a piece of paper (or screen). Research shows even just the act of writing encourages deeper processing and prompts recall. Some people have noted better sleep once they have taken 5-15 minutes in the evening to write down the most important things on their mind.
Encourage lists. Not long wordy sentences, but short lists of the most important items such as due dates, tests, peer group project meetings. Consider leaving the non-school related appointments and social events for another list. School and extra curricular school related activities and assignments usually need to take priority at the end of the school year.
Speaking of priorities, once a list has been composed, it is time to prioritize the more from the lesser important items. Read the next blog post in this series to find out how to help your son or daughter prioritize for focus and success…