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5 Ways to Help Your Teen Get Great Marks at High School

5 Ways to Help Your Teen Get Great Marks at High School

Graduation Day

    Studying is usually defined by the same, old, boring methods – reading, writing study notes, and rote learning.

    While these tasks should take up the bulk of your teen’s studying time, there are certainly other less well-known methods that effective studiers use to make sure they get the grades they’re aiming for.

    The five methods below are all things YOU can encourage them to do and help them with, and will contribute massively to your teen’s studying success.

     

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    1. Help them make a study timetable

    Your teen’s study timetable only needs to be very simple, yet the benefits of having one (and using it!) are huge:

    • Your teen is much more likely to complete the study they need to if it’s planned in advance and written down. A timetable achieves both these things immediately.
    • By marking out when they will study each subject, your teen will ensure they study everything they need to in time for each exam.
    • Quite simply, having a study timetable = more study done

    Making and sticking to a timetable is Organization 101, and being organized does absolute wonders for stress levels. By helping your teen get organized, you’re helping to keep their stress levels down… something the whole family will benefit from!

     

    2. Implement incentives where appropriate

    Many teenagers need a good kick up the bum leading up to exams. If this sounds familiar then we suggest using a few simple incentives to give them the boost they need.

    But, they need to be the right kind of incentives…

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    Harvard Educational Professors have shown that incentives based on a child’s inputs [work done] are far more effective than those based on their outputs [grades].

    This means you should base your incentives on the number of hours of study done, rather than the grades your teen ends up getting.

     

    3. Introduce them to handy websites.

    The web is a goldmine of fabulous free resources designed specifically for high school exam study, of any schooling system.

    To get you started here are a few of our personal favorites:

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    • Khan Academy: This site has thousands of free videos covering everything from math to chemistry to finance at a level that’s perfect for high school students.
      It also has a ‘Practice’ section that acts as a personal math tutor. All free!
    • GCSE Bitesize: Based on the British curriculum, but a fantastic website bursting with resources for any high school student anywhere.
    • YouTube: Yes, it is one of the best tools for procrastinating, but if your teen can resist their browsing urges, YouTube probably has at least 10 videos explaining any topic they could ever need to master.

     

    4. Past exam papers

    We credit a lot of our own exam success to studying from past exams. Not every teacher will provide them, but it never hurts to ask.

    They’re a wonderful study tool because:

    • The questions and format of the exams this year will probably be very similar to those in previous years.
    • They’ll give your teen the best idea of what to expect in the exam, and they’ll want to avoid any nasty surprises!
    • Going over past exams will very quickly show your teen what they need to brush up on.

     

    5. Test them

    A great tool for studying is getting someone to test your knowledge.

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    As a parent, you may not know what protein synthesis or differentiation is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help your teen memorize those definitions.

    As long as you can read, you can ask questions from their study notes. Flash cards could also fit in very well here.

     

    As you can see, just because your teen is growing up and studying for subjects you haven’t thought about for 30 odd years, it doesn’t mean you have to be a spectator of their success.

    Behind every successful high school student are very proud and supportive parents. We hope that the tips we’ve outlined here help you help your teen reach the level of academic achievement you know they’re capable of.

    It’ll be YOU they thank first at their high school graduation.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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