Guidance Information for Parents

The following articles are reprinted with permission from Parents Still make the Difference!® a parenting newsletter.

For more information or to view other articles check out the Parents Institute website.

This Month's Articles:

Questions & Answers
A Study Group Can Help Your Teen Build Important Skils
Share Healthy Ways Teens Can Reduce Stress
Make Sure Your Teen is Motivated to Attend School
Are you Helping your Teen Prepare for the Future?

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Q: My daughter has always been shy. I thought she'd grow out of it but, if anything, it's getting worse. She's a good student and a great artist. But put her with a group of teens and she just freezes up. What can I do?

A: Your daughter is not alone. In fact, some studies show that most students are shy--at least in some situations.

Experts tell us that shyness doesn't go away. So the way you help your daughter deal with her shyness is critical. Help her accept herself the way she is, while still giving her the skills she needs to get along in the world.

Accepting a teen's shyness is key for parents. Some kids really are born shy. So focus on the positives. Your teen is probably a great listener. She may have good insights into people. Emphasize those strengths.

Many shy kids think they're the only person in the world who has trouble in social situations. Assure your teen that she's not alone. Two out of every five people she meets are probably shy, too.

To help her cope:

  • Have her practice looking people in the eye and smiling when she meets them.
  • Tell her to prepare a question or two to ask when she meets someone new.
  • Find ways for her to work with other kids in small groups. Is there an art club she can join? Could she paint the sets for the school play?

As she works with her strengths, she'll grow in confidence. She may never be the center of attention. But she'll grow up to be a confident, if quiet, young woman.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2014 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (High School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2014 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc.

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A STUDY GROUP CAN HELP YOUR TEEN BUILD IMPORTANT SKILLS

You may not believe your teen will be very productive if she goes over to a friend's house to "study." However, studying with others can actually benefit teens.

A study group can allow your teen to share her strengths and bolster her weaknesses. It is also great practice for adulthood, when she may have to collaborate with others on work projects.

The key is to form a study group in which the members really study. Share these tips with your teen:

  • Choose a size for the group. Between four and six people usually works best.
  • Think carefully about members. This is an important part of forming a study group. Members should be serious about studying and want to do well in school. Teens who have personal relationships--such as a boyfriend and girlfriend--may not do well in a study group together unless they are skilled at separating work from social life.
  • Consider how to divide the work. Usually in a study group, each person handles one part of the project. It is helpful if members get assignments that play to their strengths. Then they can share more easily and explain their sections to the rest of the group.
  • Keep it professional. Have a set day and time for meetings and stick to the schedule. This reinforces the idea of a serious study group. Members may also want to pick a chairperson (rotate this position) for each meeting. Part of the chairperson's job is to keep the studying on track.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2014 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (High School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2014 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: R. Fry,How to Study, Thomson Delmar Learning.

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SHARE HEALTHY WAYS TEENS CAN REDUCE STRESS

Talk to most high school students and they'll tell you they're under stress. There's pressure to do well in school, to get into college and to be popular.

To help your teen cope, suggest that he:

  • Get active. Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Being active also increases the amount of brain chemicals that make teens feel better.
  • Eat right. When teens are under pressure, they may want to live on caffeine and junk food. Offer water and healthy snacks instead.
  • Get some sleep. Many teens stay up late doing homework or texting friends. Getting plenty of sleep can reduce anxiety and stress. Set a regular bedtime and stick to it!
  • Keep a journal. Sometimes, just writing about a problem can help your teen see it in a new light.
  • Help others. When teens help someone else, they see their own problems aren't so big.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2014 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (High School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2014 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc.


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MAKE SURE YOUR TEEN IS MOTIVATED TO ATTEND SCHOOL

The older some kids get, the harder it is to motivate them to go to school--and the more important going to school becomes.

If your teen skips class, she may just think she's getting herself out of that day's work. But what she should know is that she may be getting herself out of much more--such as future opportunities she might want. Coming to school is not just about today, this grading period or even this school year. It's an investment in your student's future.

To reinforce school attendance, be sure you:

  • Check your teen's whereabouts. Call the teacher or the school if you suspect she may be skipping school or classes. Review the attendance marked on her report card.
  • Make school attendance a priority. Tell your teen that you expect her to be in every class every day. Talk about why you think it's important.
  • Avoid having your teen babysit younger children during school. And try to schedule medical appointments outside of school hours.
  • Set a good example. Go to work--despite that headache. Don't pull your teen out of school for haircuts or shopping.
  • Provide incentives. These can be weekend outings or special time with you. Make sure they're things your teen views as rewards.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2014 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (High School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2014 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc.

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ARE YOU HELPING YOUR TEEN PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE?

It can be scary for teens to think about life after high school. Should they go to college? What should they study? Answer yes or no to the questions below to find out if you are helping your teen prepare for the future:

___1. Have you encouraged your teen to take advantage of the career-planning services available at school?

___2. Have you talked with your teen about careers that interest him and the education or training required?

___3. Have you suggested that your teen shadow a person in a job that interests him?

___4. Have you helped your teen draw up a résumé that lists academic achievements, job experience and community service?

___5. Are you and your teen making plans for how he will spend his summer? He could take a class at a local community college or get a summer job related to a potential career.

How well are you doing?

Mostly yes answers mean you're giving your teen lots of support as he prepares for the future. For no answers, try those ideas.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2014 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (High School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2014 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc.

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