Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sue Scheff: Family Time Out

School is opening in many areas of our country and soon kids and teens will be getting back into their academic schedule.

As a parent we need to be sure our teens are prepared not only with school supplies, but more importantly, with the self-esteem and motivation to have a fantastic academic and social year.
Parents and their teens need to take the time to open their lines of communication and turn off technology. Creating a “family-time-out” as part of your evening schedule can help you become more in tune to your child’s life; both at school and socially.

Take at least 15 minutes each evening and turn off all electronics. Including TV, cell phones, Computers, telephones (don’t answer), radio, Ipods, etc. Many families find that doing this in the later evening is easier; around 8:30-9:00pm after dinner when parents are home from their jobs and have had time to unwind.

Ask your teen how their day was? Did they meet any new friends? How are their teachers? What are they studying? I am amazed that many parents are so busy with their own work and lives, they are not aware of what subject a child is studying in school. With today’s technology, I always encourage parents to ask about virtual friends and where your teen is surfing online. Remember, being an educated parent can help you be a better parent.

Part of family-time-out is also sharing your day. Many teens are not aware of what their parents do or how they feel. Once your teen realizes that you are human too, with feelings that can get hurt by friends or co-workers, they will be more open to share their feelings with you.As school opens, let’s start opening the lines of communication at home too.
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