The Three "S"s: How To Make the Most of What's Left of 2018
As the weather’s growing cooler in the Northeast, Crimson Coaching’s phone lines are heating up! Parents: whether you're fretting about your child’s first middle school progress report or his looming early college admissions deadline, these tips will help keep him focused and ready to meet whatever comes his way.
Sunday marked the end of Daylight Savings time and, with it, the beginning of longer nights. Let Mother Nature help usher your teen into bed earlier. While the American Medical Association recommends that 14- to 17-year-olds get an average of nine hours of sleep each night, less than one-third get eight during the week. With more sleep, mornings may be less painful – and your child’s grades might even improve. If you can convince your teen to do just one of the three tips here, choose this one. With enough sleep, everything else seems more possible!
A sophomore who attended my time management talk last week asked how she could fit more sleep into her day. After drama rehearsals and dinner, she starts her nightly four hours of homework at 7pm. With some questioning, I discovered that this fifteen-year-old was taking FOUR Honors / AP classes. My advice? Recalibrate expectations for this year and set priorities when picking classes for next year. Choose two -- acting as the lead in this spring’s musical; getting straight A’s; taking four AP classes -- but accept that doing all three at the same time is unrealistic. Too often, the ingredient that gets short-changed in students’ busy schedules is sleep. Instead, help your child to understand and set realistic goals in the context of her own aptitude and a 24-hour day.
Once teens set priorities, they often need guidance in following through to achieve those goals. Concentrating on one task at a time helps. If, for example, your son has identified raising his chemistry grade from a D to a B as his most important goal of the semester, he’ll need to put extra work in every day to do so. Counsel him against overloading himself with the additional – and less important, according to his own priorities list – goals of increasing his precalc grade from B to B+ and whittling down his time on the mile and spearheading a new Habitat for Humanity group. While he needs to maintain his other grades and extracurricular commitments, focusing extra effort on one priority at a time will help him realize the greatest gains in the least possible time.
Though I’ve written the 3 “S”’s for teens, they work just as well for adults. We’ve still got two months left in 2018. What better way to help your child to make the most of it than by practicing these tips alongside her! Take a moment along the way to drop me a line and let me know how it’s going or just to get some emotional support!
Dr. P. (Dominique Padurano, Ph.D.) is an author, speaker, educator, and Founder and Head Coach of Crimson Coaching LLC. Crimson Coaching™ provides expert academic assistance in all subjects for students aged 5 to adult.
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