Routines and teens: how you can help
12 - 18 years
The teenage years are a time of significant change for your child. Good routines can help your teen to feel grounded and secure, as well as helping them plan their time more effectively so they can manage the demands of school, friends, work, play and study.
Why routines are good for teens
Some teens like and need routine more than others, but in general, having an organised and predictable routine can have the following benefits:
- routines at home can help teens to feel safe and secure, and can provide stability during a time of change
- routines that include time for fun or spending time together can strengthen your relationship with your teen
- having a regular bedtime can help set your teenager’s body clock so their body ‘knows’ when it’s time to sleep
- having an important job to do in their daily routine (such as feeding and walking the dog) can help teenagers to develop a sense of responsibility
- routines can help teenagers to develop basic work skills and time management.
How to create a good routine
So how do you create a good routine for your teenager? The key is to involve them in the planning so they feel ownership. Here are some tips:
- set a daily schedule with the same wake-up times and bedtimes for each school day—and stick to them
- make study time part of your teenager’s daily routine, with more time allocated for study when assignments or exams are coming up
- factor in time off—knowing there’s a reward for all that hard work is a great motivator
- make it visual—draw up a chart, keep a day planner on the fridge, record the routine on your teen’s phone or computer
- include your teenager’s deadlines for school assignments and exams on your calendar or planner so they can see what is coming up
- practise, practise, practise—it might sound obvious, but the only way to make a routine stick is to be routine about it!
- don’t worry if you miss a beat, no one’s perfect. If the day does not go to plan, just smile, stay positive and start again the next day.