Parents of teenagers are faced with the challenge of teaching them to be organized and efficient. Parents can teach these qualities by simply showing their teen how to use a planner.
Make It Fun
The first step in getting a teenager to do just about anything is to make it fun. Stores such as Target or HomeGoods have a large variety of fun and easy to follow planners. Take your kid to pick out the planner so that they will be more likely to use it. Even a basic planner can be turned into a work of art with stickers or pictures of them and their friends or favorite celebrities. Pick up fun markers and themed stickers for different events they will be marking down in their planner. For example, soccer stickers for scheduled practices or games.
Short and Sweet
While many adults keep very detailed planners, with important dates and reminders for all members of their family or for work purposes, teenagers really shouldn’t have the need for all of that. When trying to get a teen to keep a planner, short and sweet is the way to go. Encourage them to pencil in reminders for school projects due, meetings for clubs and even family events so that they don’t miss out on anything. In this case, the simpler the better.
When first starting out with the planner, encourage your child to use it and follow through on items listed within the planner. You might even want to create a reward system for a job well done. For example, if they go the entire month without missing deadlines for school by writing them in their planner consider offer up a reward for this endeavor. Think back to the days when they were younger and how you could use a simple reward for good behavior, follow this same theory when teaching responsibility.
Probably the easiest way to get your teen to keep use with a planner is to sit down and do it together weekly or even monthly. If you use your own planner, you can compare and contrast important event reminders or even chores that they must do. This will be also a good way to help them keep track of household items. For example, if Thursday night is family pizza night and you would like to allot them the responsibility of picking up the pizza, then have them put that down as a typical Thursday reminder.
Encouraging your teen to use a planner may seem like a basic and menial task. But, you are really setting them with habits they can carry over once they are off to college or out of the house. Paper planners are often more effective than those on our phones or laptops because the process of actually writing things out can help trigger memory. Also, the upkeep of a planner in itself is a responsibility that can teach them important life lessons that they can carry in other areas of their life as well.