(during the summer vacations)
This has been a big one for us… summer holidays in Spain are 3 months long! And as such, finding ways to keep Kayla motivated are not easy. We live in an area with lots of kids, which is great (of course) but it also means that they socialize A LOT!! The girls are at the pool almost everyday, or in the social club drawing, listening to music etc. etc. etc. All those great things that a bunch of 13 year old girls love doing.
The schools do send home a bunch of work for over the holidays, as well as a few books that the kids must read and then write book reports on. So it’s not only me that thinks that their young minds should not be allowed to turn to total mush during the holidays. There must be something to it 🙂
The big question is, how do you get your teen to do what is required of them without a huge fight? Without those rolling eyes, or that whiny voice? Well, here are some tips are tricks I’ve found that just might help.
- Establish ground rules early on – sit down with your teen and agree on a reasonable schedule which you both can be happy with. Perhaps 30 minutes of school related reading per day and an hour or two a week of active work on any assignments that may be due for after the holidays. ( You may feel that your child needs more or less time, this is only an example.) Enforce the schedule as far as possible, and come to an agreement about consequences for not sticking to the schedule.
- Create a reward system – small treats (a new lip gloss or pack of Pokémon trading cards) or extra privileges can do wonders when it comes to convincing a teenager to put in a little extra study time!
- Get rid of distractions for the periods when studying should be happening – yes, that means putting away the electronics, or turning off the Wi-Fi… just for a little while! It will help your teen pay attention to the task at hand and in the end the job will be done in half the time. They might not like it very much at first, but you could write it in to the rules at the very beginning, and they’ll get used to it soon enough. Stand strong!
- Lead by example – if you have a task that you need to complete for work, or even a pile of laundry waiting to be done, set a deadline for yourself and get it done. Setting double standards for ourselves and our children is not right, and sends a very confusing message.
- Most importantly – praise. Once your teen has completed an assignment, or finished reading a book and written the accompanying book report, tell them how proud you are of them. Everyone enjoys receiving a compliment, and what I’ve seen is, next time, my daughter works just a little bit harder.
Well, there you have it. I hope you can come to a happy arrangement with your teen regarding their summer workload. Have a wonderful vacation!
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