As parents look toward summer, be sure to dedicate time for your up-and-coming or current high school student’s checklist or to-do list. Some things that your student(s) may consider throughout summer vacation are:
Thoughtful Parenting: Youth Services
This weekly column about parenting issues is written by area youth-serving professionals. It publishes on Mondays in the Steamboat Today. Read more columns here.
• Staying active with volunteering and work, full or part time: This is important from a community standpoint.
• Reserving attention to other academic or extracurricular resume builders such as band, church, any athletic team or individual camps: This is important from a merit standpoint.
• Researching college choices, in addition to SAT and ACT enhancement.
• Exploring career options complemented by a job-shadow or two.
• Becoming familiar with study tips that will help your student and your family avoid the “I forgot” syndrome.
• Stay organized: Review your checklist monthly.
• Set priorities: “Things I want to do” and “things I should do.”
• Sleep: The single most important thing you can do as a student and learner is get enough sleep. The average 16-year-old's brain needs more than eight hours of sleep to function at 100 percent, and that’s exactly where you want to be.
Other considerations for parents
• Allocate time to help your teenager maintain balance early in life with regard to their mental, physical and emotional well-being. Teenagers face stressors in today’s world with peer pressure in social media that most of us never had to deal with. Have them share their day with you.
• Is your student planning for college, trade or technical school? These big decisions parlayed with the financial aid process can be an overwhelming and exhausting experience for any family. Imagine having to plan for multiple children, or even twins. It is important to reach out and connect with teachers, counselors and academic professionals in your community to start this process. They will be happy to share their life experiences and offer direction and guidance for your journey. While it is never too late to think about higher education, early, concise preparation can help smooth the way.
• Understand and get ready to have a student leave home. What is it really like? How much homework will there be? What about partying, drugs or alcohol, and budgeting your finances? Is a car allowed? Will they need a computer?
School is a student’s job, and with a positive attitude and the proper tools and support, we as a community will produce a product that we strive for: success.
George Avgares is the executive director for Colorado Student Care in Steamboat Springs. He’s been involved in the youth educational nonprofit sector for 15 years. Avgares is a member of the Routt County Youth Services Coalition, whose website can be found at www.youthinroutt.org.