Juggling Acts [Teen Article]

Maria Elena is a 16-year-old from Wilmington, DE. She enjoys dancing and cooking and her favorite subject is Math.

            There are 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, and 8,736 hours in a year, but somehow that’s not enough time for teens today. We go to school for 35 hours a week, have extracurricular activities for almost 10-12 hours a week, homework takes up almost 15 hours a week, does the list end there? The answer is no.

Teens are often sleep deprived and over worked. Not only do we have our schoolwork, but also we have our practices and activities, our household chores, and not to mention our social life. Many parents respond to this with, “Well, welcome to the real world,” which may be true, but teens are not concerned with what the real world may or may not be, we are concerned with making it through the week.

A lot of schools and parents stress how teens are so horrible at managing their time, but are we really? The answer to that is yes. Social networking sites as well as instant messaging play a major role in procrastination among tweens and teens today. Time management is a tough skill to master and is something that needs to be instilled in children when they are younger. It is hard to alter your work ethic after it is what you have been used to since you were little.

How can you help your teen? It is easy. Many websites suggest restricting your teen’s extracurricular activities, taking away their phones and TV time, and even changing your teen’s diet. If my parents ever tried any of the above-mentioned methods, I would consider not talking to them. Some realistic ways of helping out your tween or teen are:

  1. Talk to your teen about responsibility and how it is important to have as they get older.
  2. Encourage your teen to prioritize their schoolwork and activities. 
  3. Support your teen through their schoolwork and activities to show that you care and understand how hard they are working. 
  4. Take notice of their sleeping habits and explain to your teen the importance of getting enough sleep each night. Sleep deprivation is pivotal to a teen’s daily performance and mood during the day.

My parents normally let me do my own thing when it comes to doing my schoolwork and getting things done, but sometimes I wish they were stricter when it came to managing my time. I have more than learned from my mistakes of incorrectly managing my time and now I motivate myself to do my work on time. Good luck and happy time managing! =)

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