3/7/14

Helping Your Teen Cope With Stress

I wouldn't want to be a teenager in these times. I thought life was challenging in the 70s and 80s when I grew up, but today's teens have much more to worry about. As a parent who recently survived raising 3 teenagers, I know that parents of teens are always looking for great advice.

A recent study by the APA found that teens are more stressed than adults and their levels of stress tend to peak during the school year. Of the teens surveyed, 42% feel that they are not doing enough to manage their stress. Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Tutor.com has tips to help teens experience less stress at school and during homework time after school.

Schedule homework time. Just like you schedule time for soccer practice or dance lessons, schedule in homework time for your child every night to form a routine. It should be at a time that fits both of your schedules. The best time is right before or after dinner—early enough to stay focused on tackling tough subjects like algebra or chemistry.

Create a homework zone. Set aside a space in your home where your child can work on homework without major distractions (i.e. TV, video games and siblings who may already be done with their homework.) A comfortable spot for both of you is best, that way you can catch up on your own reading or work and still be available to answer questions your child may have.

Set goals and prioritize. Your child probably has assignments in different subjects from different teachers each night. Have your son or daughter review their list of assignments (if they don’t usually write them down, now is a good time to start) and estimate how long each will take. Then, help them prioritize which ones to do first. There’s no right or wrong order to completing homework assignments, but having an action plan can help your child stay focused.

Know when to get help. If your child is taking longer than expected to finish one problem or is getting frustrated, encourage them to take a break by working on something else for a while. If they come back to the problem and still can’t figure things out, don’t stay confused–Tutor.com can help get them back on track in just a few minutes.

Wrap things up each night. At the end of each homework session, have your child walk you through their completed assignments. Acknowledge the small accomplishments they made to keep them motivated.
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