TIPS ON TEENS
PROMOTING STUDENT SUCCESS
Parents play a key role in ensuring that their child or adolescent achieves school success. When parents, students and staff work together, the student will obtain their academic goals. Some of the actions that parents can take to promote school success are:
* communicate with school staff to be aware of homework assignments
* review your child’s homework
* encourage child to be friends with positive role models
* try to do something enjoyable with your child at least once a week
* set clear expectations for students about homework
*get acquainted with your child’s teachers
*monitor where your child goes / information keeps your child out of trouble
* communicate with school staff when there is a concern with the school
* attend school functions such as conferences, programs and athletic events
* encourage students to participate in school-related after-school activities
* consistently enforce household rules
* set aside a time when the whole family reads
* encourage students to talk about school, social activities and their interests
* teach standards of right and wrong and demonstrate these standards
* provide a quiet place where your child can study
* support school discipline policies
* talk to your child about tobacco, drugs, alcohol, gangs and violence
* monitor your child’s choices of TV programs, video games and music
Using common-sense approach
When your child was little, you thought his headstrong streak was cute. But now that he's in middle school? Not so much.
Raising strong-willed preteen can be challenging. If you make it work at home, the results will show in how he behaves at school. The key is to use common sense in your approach to discipline. Here's how:
· Be Clear. Let your child know what's expected of him-from how much TV he can watch to how clean his room should be.
· Focus on the positive. Instead of telling him what he can't do, remind him of what he can do.
· Be consistent. When you do make rules, enforce them. If you don't follow through, your child won't take rules seriously.
· Offer choices. As much as possible, let your child take responsibility for his own behavior and actions. Don't weigh him down with rules.
· Keep your cool. Try not to get angry when disciplining your child. Discipline is about teaching him right from wrong. It's not about punishment.
· Criticize the behavior, not your child. "I'm upset that you forgot to clean the kitchen is better than,"You always forget!"
· Focus on the big picture. Setting limits now will help your preteen throughout his life. Your efforts will pay off.
-Kathleen McCoy, Ph.D, "Disciplining Your Teen with Love and Common Sense, " Parentsplace.com, www.tnpc.com/parenttalk/adolescence/teens47.html
6 ways to build character in your preteen everyday
· Boost his awareness of his moral obligations.
· Teach him to want to do the right thing.
· Help him to see the "big picture" with the choices he makes, and how they affect others.
· Be consistent. If you want him to do the right thing, do it yourself Your words, actions and attitudes must be consistent. For instance, if you believe that lying is wrong then don't tell "little white lies."
· Be Straightforward. make morality real, concrete and relevant. Don't bother lecturing your child about vague, hard-to-understand moral lessons. Things like cheating, greed and violence are wrong because they're wrong-end of lecture.
· Use your imagination. Teach morality lessons in creative ways. If a movie character does something awful, put your child in the character's place. What would he have done? Find teachable, character-building moments where you can.
-"Parenting (with character-building in mind)." Character Counts! www.charactercounts.org/parents.htm
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES FOR OVERCOMING TEST ANXIETY
We all experience some level of anxiety before a test. A little nervousness can actually help motivate us to perform our best. However, too much anxiety can become a problem if it interferes with your performance on tests. Listed below are some strategies for dealing with test anxiety:
BEFORE THE TEST:
· Be prepared. Study the material in advance; do not leave cramming for the day before your test. Do not do a last minute review.
· Get plenty of sleep. It is hard to function at your best when overtired.
· Avoid any use of drugs and alcohol. They can interfere with your mental ability
· Exercise. This may help to increase your alertness and sharpen your mind.
· Have a moderate breakfast. Fresh fruits and vegetables help reduce stress; avoid caffeine, sugar and junk foods.
· Allow yourself plenty of time. Arrive at the test location early.
· Choose a seat where you will not be easily distracted.
· Use abdominal breathing to help reduce anxiety. Place one hand on your abdomen, right beneath your rib cage. Inhale through your nose and feel your abdomen fill like a balloon…count to three on your inhalation and then slowly exhale, counting to four, feeling your abdomen contracting with the exhalation.
· Do a reality check. How important is this exam in the grand scheme of things? Keep in perspective.
· Use positive affirmations. Say a phrase to help keep things in perspective, “I’ve done this before, I can do it again,” or “I have all the knowledge I need to get this done.”
DURING THE TEST TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO:
· Review the entire test. Read the directions carefully.
· Work on the easiest portions of the test first.
· Place yourself. Do not rush through the test.
· If you go blank, skip the question and go on.
· Multiple choice questions: Read all the options first, eliminate the most obvious.
· Essay questions: Make a short outline. Begin and end with a summary sentence.
· Take short breaks, tense and relax your muscles throughout your body.
· Pause, do a few abdominal breaths, say your positive affirmation.
· Stay in the present moment.
· There is no reward for being the first done.
AFTER THE TEST, REWARD YOURSELF:
· Try not to dwell on your mistakes.
· Indulge in something relaxing for awhile
If these test taking anxiety strategies do not work for you, visit your school counselor or other health care professional.
Freedom from Fear – 718-351-1717 x24 – 308 Seaview Ave., Staten Island, NY 10305 – www.freedomfromfear.org