Tweens and teens are like saplings who need tender care and attention to grow well. Just like the crooked growth in a sapling cannot be straightened once it grows into a tree, changes in the attitudes and character after adulthood become very difficult. To make the teens, a responsible member of the family and good citizen of the country, it is important to inculcate in them values and attitudes at an early age itself. Such a molding alone will instill in them a sense of responsibility and the ability to be sensible in different situations.
Proper time management
Time is the most important resource that has been made available to every human being. In order to inculcate the value of time in the tweens, it is important that the parents should value and respect time. Be punctual and demand the same from the tween. To build into them the importance of time-management, buy an organizer. Teach the tween the way to use an organizer and keep a track of daily assignments and tasks. The tasks should include self-care, commitments at school, family care, house care in the kitchen, laundry, bedroom and pets. It is important to set aside a quality time for all the different activities and chores. Homework is one among them. The tween should realize that managing homework alone is not enough.
Apart from the organizer, it would help if the tween was taught to adhere to a regular schedule. Scheduling is an important quality of time-management that the tween must learn. Moving from primary to middle school and then to high school, leads to changes in the schedule. Managing these changing schedules can be learnt only through practice. Offer rewards for their success and encouragement for failures. It is important to maintain a positive frame of mind. Let them know that you are on their side. It would be good to breakdown the tasks into specific and direct instruction. Rather than telling them to clean up the room, it would be better to state what that means.
Understanding the utility of resources available
While time is a very important resource, the tween has a host of other resources at his/her disposal. Teaching the value of the basic ones becomes an integral part. These include food, water, money and energy. Set a budget for the tween. Better would be to reward the tween with money for some of the tasks done. This will help to appreciate the effort that goes in to earning money and thus, the tween will be careful about not wasting it.
Food and water are such resources, the value of which has to be indelibly etched in the tweens. Many parts of the world suffer from acute food and water shortage. Wasting them is a sin. A sensitivity towards all resources in general should be brought about by allowing the tween to yearn and earn those same resources. Never pamper the tween just because you have the means. You would then be gifting him/her something trivial that would snatch away the great lessons of life.
Realizing the importance of acquiring quality education
Acquiring quality education is of paramount importance for the tween. It is useful not only to fetch a living but also for the journey of life. As parents, you must realize that education is not a process of stuffing things into the child but of eliciting out whatever is latent. Of course, studies, classwork and homework are important. And for this, a conducive space must be created at home. Some tweens need an absolutely silent space to concentrate while some others need a little background noise to do the same. Ensure that all the essential supplies like pen, eraser, books, glue, tape, scissors etc. are present at the study desk. Highlight the importance of focus by making clear that phone calls and text messages would not be allowed during the study hours.
Reviewing assignments and classes are good. But let the child derive the joy of learning. Do not get over-eager and do the tween’s work yourself. The child should tackle the work and assignments by itself. Though there needs to be emphasis on the academic excellence, realize that your child is unique and thus, needs to be trained and judged in specific ways. Show the child that you value his/her talents. Some may be good at singing, some at dancing, some at writing while some others at playing. Encourage the tween to develop his aptitude and interests. This will have a positive rub-off on the academics too.