Parenting Teens: You have WHAT due tomorrow??
I don’t work with teens, but I DO work with their parents!
Another tip from Lisa Damour’s excellent book called “Untangled.” I highly recommend this book if you have teen girls or preteen girls I also think it’s great for boys too but that’s my opinion
Another tip is what to do when your preteen or teen comes to you at 10 o’clock at night and says “Oh my god I have a project due tomorrow” or “I have a paper due tomorrow and I want your help”. Now I will say that this has happened in my household multiple times, not just one time, actually, with my younger daughter who is not the best about doing her science projects well and has often announced in the past at 10 o’clock at night that one is due tomorrow and I’m like “Oh my god! This is a crisis situation now!”
I am so happy to have his book because what she says to do is say, “Oh well I am headed to bed because I have a big workday tomorrow but I am sure that you will handle getting that done and I don’t have to tell you that you know starting earlier probably would have been to your benefit.” All right, that may be really hard for some parents to do. I know that I did not do that the first time this happened with my daughter and her science project but the second time I did. I was like “Well, it is 10 o’clock at night. I am headed to bed I think you should get to work you know. I’ll wake you up in the morning for school at whatever time you get to bed.”
Now this may sound harsh which is what she says in the book but it also over time will teach them that you’re not going to rescue them at the last minute. They have responsibilities that they need to do and over time they’ll begin to do those responsibilities earlier because they don’t want to be up at 10 o’clock at night doing the science project either.
Believe me, they’re in a panic generally at that point so over time they’ll remember “Oh mom and dad are not going to rescue me here. I better get on this at 7:00 or the day before or the week before or you know whenever that is.” So it also takes you out of the nagging because nobody likes to be a nag as a parent, I know, don’t let me speak for myself. I don’t like to be a nag as a parent so it takes you completely out of that position.
“Your schoolwork is your responsibility and I’m sure that you will meet those responsibilities. I’m here to help and support you when the time is appropriate but 10 o’clock at night when the project’s due the next day is not the appropriate time.”
All right, hope that helps and again I recommend her book. I don’t work with teens or kids but I do work with their parents so if you’d like some help and you want to come in and see me you can schedule an appointment over at my website.
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