Helping Your Tween Get Through a Tough Week at School

The school week can be long and tedious for many middle school students, but there are tricks to making it through the week. Here's how to minimize stress, stay organized and make it to Friday. Yes, you can help your tween get through the week and keep your sanity. Here's how.


Stay Organized

children eating breakfast while mother ties father's tie in the background
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One of the secrets to making it through a tough school week is to stay organized and to keep to a schedule. Your child should have an established bedtime and curfew for the week and he or she should fall into the week's routine easily.

Develop a schedule for homework, bed, activities, chores, and downtime and then try to stick with it so that your child can depend on the regularity of the week's schedule. You can keep the schedule on the refrigerator or on your child's phone. Just pick a format that your tween will follow, and stick to it.


Don't Overcommit

Extracurricular activities are great and children should be exposed to enrichment outside the classroom. But it's easy to overcommit your child and that can lead to stress and put unnecessary pressure on both you and your child.

Pick one or two activities a week, but avoid stressing the family out by over-scheduling your child. Remember, you need to leave room in your schedule for unexpected events such as last-minute projects, trips to the doctor, or family or work emergencies.


Make Family Time a Priority

Family time shouldn't be given the short shrift during the school week, no matter how busy you and your tween might be. Believe it or not, many tweens enjoy spending time with the family and they may even use that time to unwind or de-stress.

Be sure your family has time together every day to relax with one another. You could ride bikes, watch television, or enjoy family dinner together. Try to find an activity you and your tween can do together, even if it's just cooking dinner, and make it a priority.


Be Smart About Homework

During the school week, your child will encounter any number of stressors, including bullies, mean teachers, annoying siblings, fickle friends, and homework. Homework doesn't have to be painful, and if you and your child plan ahead, you can figure out how to work homework into the daily schedule without it being so painful.

For starters, be sure your home is stocked with all the school supplies your child will need for homework and class projects. That will eliminate last-minute trips to the store. Secondly, find a place in your home where your child can work without interruption. Finally, figure out when your child tackles homework the best. Is it right after school or after dinner? Whatever works, stick with it.


Be Safe

A discussion about making it through the school week should include a mention of school safety. Make sure your child understands the safety issues surrounding the bus and staying home alone.

If your child encounters a bully at school, he should understand how to ask for help from you or another adult, and he should know that physical bullying should never be tolerated. In addition, discuss safety issues surrounding school sports, or other after-school activities.


Stay Active in Your Child's School

One way to help your child enjoy and make it through a tough school week is to stay involved in your child's academic life. Let your child know that you think school is important by helping your child with homework challenges, volunteering at the school, or supporting the school through fundraising programs, at sporting events, or by chaperoning dances or field trips.

Your support may be just what your child needs to get through his school week and regroup for the next one.

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