BONDING AND MANAGEMENT SKILLS WITH YOUR PRETEEN

BOND WITH YOUR CHILD THROUGH VOLUNTEERING

April 22 is the 39th anniversary of Earth Day.  This is a time when many community activities take place to encourage all of the Earth’s citizens to do their part for our planet.  Two days later, April 24, marks the first of three days named as Global Youth Service Days for 2009.

       Why not commit to at least one act of service with your child?  It’s not how big or small your effort. It’s that you’re making the effort.

Here’s what to do:

- Call a family meeting to discuss volunteering. 

- Talk about any type of service family members may be doing right now.  This includes volunteering at school, through a house of worship or through a charitable group.  Is there a way the whole family can join in?

- Make a list of projects your family members might like to do.  If you are stuck for ideas, you can ask your child’s teachers for suggestions.  You can also do an Internet search for volunteer activities in you area.  Your local newspaper may be a source, too—many have “volunteers needed” sections.

- Make your choice.  You can even try a one-time activity, such as a park clean-up day.  This will give you a “taste” for a certain type of service.  Then you can decide
 
Source:  Peter L. Benson and others, What Teens Need to Succeed:  Proven, Practical Ways to Shape Your Own Future, ISBN: 1-57542-027-9 (Free Spirit Publishing, 1-800-735-7323, www.freespirit.com).  Reprinted with permission from © 2009 The Parent Institute



ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO BUILD TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Most preteens could use some help when it comes to managing the clock!  To improve her time management skills, remind your middle schooler to:

- Separate have-to’s from want to’s.  In other words, get your preteen to understand the difference between things she must do and things she’d like to do.  Her have-to’s may include hanging out with friends, playing on the computer or watching TV.

- Make a time budget.  Have your preteen write down how many free hours she has each day.  Next, work with her on dividing up those hours between her have-to’s and want-to’s.  (Obviously, the have-to’s come first.)

- Evaluate the situation.  After a week or so of suing her time budget, ask your preteen how she’s doing.  Is she better able to handle her time?  If not, brainstorm ideas for getting her schedule back on track.
 
Source:  “Time Management: You Vs. The Clock,” PBSKids.org, http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/school/time.  Reprinted with permission from © Copyright 2009, The Parent Institute