No one is perfect. But everyone can learn You want your teen to do his best in school. But that's different than demanding that he BE the best. Aiming for excellence is healthy and motivating. Insisting on perfection is unrealistic and stressful. Learning a new skill with your teen is a great way for each of you to put mistakes into perspective. They offer valuable opportunities to learn about a topic…or yourself!
1 day ago, Mike Schartiger
Support your teen by showing you care Nothing supports teens like knowing that their parents love them. And nothing gets that message across like showing them. Try to do a few special things for your teen each week. Tuck a treat in her backpack where she'll find it at school. Give her a copy of her favorite magazine. Put your love in writing on a greeting card. And schedule some time to spend together one-on-one.
2 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Your teen is not too old for a bedtime The last thing your teen probably wants right now is a regular bedtime. But getting enough sleep is critical to doing his best in school. Loss of sleep for two or more nights in a row can affect your teen's mood, his alertness, his attention span and his ability to perform on tests. Help your teen stick to a regular, healthy sleep schedule that lets him get eight to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
3 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Compliment specific actions you want your teen to repeat You know that praise from you can motivate your teen. But vague compliments, such as, "You're great!" may do little to inspire her. Instead, praise your teen's actions. If she's done a fabulous job on a presentation, don't say "How wonderful!" Instead, say, "You backed your points up with great examples. I can really understand your argument!" Knowing her actions have merit encourages your teen to repeat them.
4 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Active listening encourages teens to open up Teens need to know that their parents are there to listen to them. One of the best ways to show this to your teen is with a technique called active listening. To listen actively, create opportunities to let your teen talk without distractions. Concentrate on what he says, and restate what you hear to confirm your understanding. It is important to show respect for your teen's ideas, even if you don't agree with them.
7 days ago, Mike Schartiger
We’re thrilled to announce Webster County Board of Education’s new app! It’s everything Webster, in your pocket. Download the app on Android: or iPhone:
8 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Specific questions improve conversations about school Talking to your teen about school reinforces its importance. It also helps you know what's going on. Instead of "How was your day?" ask your teen specific questions. "Which class do you do best in?" "Do any classes seem too difficult?" "How do teachers show interest in your ideas?" "Who could you go to at school with a problem?" "What would you tell a friend from another school about your school?"
8 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Let your teen experiment with homework task order One strategy that helps students stay organized is to make a homework to-do list each day. But what task should your teen do first? Many teens tackle the toughest assignment first, when they are freshest. Others find starting with an easy task gives them a feeling of confidence and accomplishment that helps them take on the more challenging work. Have your teen try both ways and decide what works for him.
9 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Issue a challenge to encourage responsibility Being responsible means actually doing what we say we're going to do. In order to behave responsibly toward others, we have to learn to follow through on promises we make to ourselves. To get this lesson across to your teen, take a challenge with her: Each of you choose one thing that's been on your to-do list for at least a week and do it today.
10 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Turn passive screen time into active learning Many teens watch TV shows and videos passively, with their minds disengaged. To use screen media to get your teen thinking critically instead, watch together. Afterward, discuss these topics: Is the conflict in the show similar to one your teen has faced? What perspectives did the main characters bring to the conflict? How did they respond? What were the consequences? Were there other alternatives?
11 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Share a study process to boost reading recall Every teen needs to know how to read to understand the meaning of a detailed passage. Teach your teen to think of the letters PQRST. P is for Preview to identify the main points. Q is for Questions to ask himself about what he can learn from the passage. R is for Reread to find answers to his questions. S is for Study the passage and summarize facts to remember. T is for Test himself and be sure he understands all the answers.
15 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Short chats add up to meaningful conversation A teen who longs for independence may not have any interest in a long talk with you. But you can still talk with her about issues that matter. Just figure on five or six short talks instead of one long one. Talk about something for five minutes, then, as she disappears into her room, press the "pause" button. After dinner, pick up where you left off. Over time, you'll cover the issue, just in short bursts. Short chats add up to meaningful conversation A teen who longs for independence may not have any interest in a long talk with you. But you can still talk with her about issues that matter. Just figure on five or six short talks instead of one long one. Talk about something for five minutes, then, as she disappears into her room, press the "pause" button. After dinner, pick up where you left off. Over time, you'll cover the issue, just in short bursts.
16 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Sign a safety contract with your new driver Responsible students take safety seriously. If your teen has just gotten a driver's license, creating a contract can help him take responsibility for driving safely. In it, spell out exactly what is and isn't allowed. For example, "No one who has had even one drink may drive the car" and "No texting or even looking at your phone while driving." Lay out consequences clearly. Then require your teen to continue to practice driving with you.
17 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Expand your teen's experience by reading aloud When children hit adolescence, many parents stop reading to them. But reading aloud offers benefits to teens. Choose books or articles that let your teen experience someone else's mistakes or discoveries. Read things that help her realize she is not the first person to deal with a difficult situation. Ask a librarian for help choosing titles. Another bonus: If your teen likes what she hears, she may read more herself!
18 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Help your teen see how math's pieces fit together Much of math is like a puzzle. It can be hard to see where the new piece fits until you look at the existing pieces. Don't let your teen lose too many pieces of the puzzle. Even if he has no math homework due the next day, encourage him to work at least a few problems every day. This will reinforce the concepts in his mind, and it can help him see how the next assignment fits in.
21 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Enrich your conversations with your teen Most days, teens and parents talk about topics such as schedules, meals or homework. This is necessary talk, but it's not what brings families closer. At least once a day, make time to ask your teen about something that doesn't involve the tasks at hand. Ask her about a feeling, an interest or an idea she might have. You may learn more about your teen, and she'll know you care what she thinks.
22 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Share personal safety tips for teens on the go As your teen earns more independence, make sure he knows the steps to take to stay safe. In addition to following COVID protocols, remind him that he should travel with a friend or in a group. He should always let someone responsible know where he's going and when he'll be back. He should never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker. And when he's home alone, your teen should keep doors and windows locked, and never open the door to strangers.
23 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Respond productively to a poor report card It's natural to feel upset if your teen brings home a bad report card. But showing frustration and anger isn't productive. Instead, start by talking about what your teen has done well. Next, ask her what she thinks the problem is behind the poor grades. Is it poor study habits? An overloaded schedule? If needed, contact the teachers for their views. Then together, set realistic goals for improvement.
24 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Mentoring gives teens a chance to be role models Children need good role models, and teens can make great ones. Mentoring a younger child can bring out caring and responsibility traits in your teen, and it may even count toward a school service requirement. Help your teen find mentoring opportunities, such as coaching a sports team, joining a scouting program or tutoring at an area school. Have him ask teachers for ideas, too.
25 days ago, Mike Schartiger
Add a writing activity to family screen time Here's a way to make your family's screen time more productive and give everyone some writing practice at the same time. Fill a three-ring binder with paper to make a "family review log." Each time someone watches a new show or video, plays a new game or downloads a new app, have that person write a review. Family members can then check the log to help them decide how to schedule their viewing time.
about 1 month ago, Mike Schartiger