Teenagers are experiencing an interesting stage of life. They are beginning to experience more freedom with their time and can begin to choose how they manage that time. Time management is an important life skill, but for many teens, it’s not something that comes naturally. Creating good habits is the foundation for building life skills, and a schedule is a great place to start for teens.
Benefits of Having Structure for Teens
For many teens, their day is packed from wake up to bedtime with school, homework, extracurriculars, family obligations, and time with friends. It’s easy for things to slip and get left behind when teens get busy, and chances are, if they are given the choice between finishing their homework and chatting with friends, they are going to choose the latter. Creating a schedule helps teens manage their time so that responsibilities don’t fall through the cracks. For example, if they have a big project due at the end of the week, working on it in 30 minute increments through the week can keep them from feeling overwhelmed by having to do everything all at once at the last minute. A schedule can also teens work toward their goals. If they are hoping to make the first string of the basketball team, adding practice time into their weekly schedule can help them stay focused on their goals.
Having a schedule can also help alleviate feelings of anxiety in teens. When teens feel like there isn’t enough time in their day to complete all their tasks they can feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even defeated. Teens struggling with mental health issues may feel irritable or withdraw from activities they previously enjoyed. A schedule can keep these teens engaged and could potentially keep those symptoms at bay while the structure may help minimize worries about what will come next or how they should be spending their time.
Helping Your Teen Make a Schedule
When helping your teen create a daily schedule, have them list out everything they need to do with their home life, school work, extracurriculars, and friends. They can then categorize those tasks into things that need to happen daily, weekly, and monthly. This can help your teen visualize when tasks need to be completed. They can use a daily planner, the calendar on their cell phone, or an old fashioned calendar. It is important for teens to be a part of the process of making their schedule. When they have input, they are more invested in actually keeping their schedule. Ideally, you may want them to clean their room every day. But if they decide that they would rather do one big clean at the end of each week, and they prove that they can complete the task as scheduled, giving them the power to decide shows them that you trust them and believe in their ability to build those life skills. This in turn builds their confidence and belief that they can succeed.
Solstice East Can Help
Solstice East is a groundbreaking residential treatment center that emphasizes the mind-body connection in our unique approach to holistic healthcare.
We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, and physical fitness. We also offer accredited, engaging academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve. For more information please call (828) 414-2980.