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Day By Day:  Time Management for Teens

Modern life is full of opportunities for learning, recreation and entertainment.  If our teens are to get the most out of these opportunities, and not become ill due to sleep deprivation in the process, they must master the skill of time management.  The first step to helping them do this is to help them select the type of calendar they are most comfortable with.  This could be either traditional paper or an online or phone version.  Make sure they have a voice in the choice so that they will be comfortable using it.

Once you have the calendar, sit down with your teen and help him block out the everyday necessities of life.  This includes sleep, school and any extracurricular activities he is involved in.  Be sure to set aside time, too, for family priorities such as eating dinner together or a game night.  Once these items are blacked out, help him find time for studying.  As a general rule he should allow an hour of study per day for any academic class.  Point out the this time does not have to be all at once, and encourage him to find small bits of time to study, such as while traveling back and forth to school or other activities.

With all the necessities blacked out, show your teen what time he has left for things like video games, hanging with friends, etc.  Take the time to ask him if he feels that his life is in balance, and really listen to what he says.  Chances are he'll see that there is still plenty of time for other activities,  even while keeping up with his other interests.  If not, work with him to decide what he should eliminate in order to place things on a more even keel.

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