Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Building a Foundation for Educational Success for Your Middle School Teen

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (2007) lists the following ways that parents can help their middle school teen:

Identify Your Teens Interest: Your teen is becoming their own person. As a parent you should encourage and support your teen’s interests, and you can do so in several ways:

Spend time with teens and listen to what they talk about
• Look at what they read for fun
• Watch TV with teens and listen to their reactions
• Encourage them to participate in after-school activities
• If they like music, consider private music lessons
• If they like sports, encourage sports in and/or out of school
• Make time to attend concerts and athletic competitions
• Talk about the importance of developing and sustaining friendships through extracurricular activities. Helping them learn more about what they enjoy shows them that you value their interests and, by extension, that you value them. This will help you better communicate with your teen.

Communication: Some parents and teens complain about their inability to communicate with one another. It doesn’t have to be this way––Here are some tips that might help:

Spend time together (i.e., playing games and outdoor activities)
• Find time to talk and listen, over meals, in the car or while watching TV
• Talk about risky and responsible behavior
• Discuss the importance of having and honoring values
• Ask other parents how they communicate
• Be a good role model when communicating with your own friends
• Listen and do not judge
• Ask teens what they think about certain issues
• Independent of what grades teens receive, always ask them what they think.
You learn more when you ask questions

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The Middle School Years

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