If experience has taught me anything about these waning years of hands-on parenting it is that there is very much a time and a place for parents to help. The area where parents can do their kids the greatest service is in time management. Even the most mature teens would be hard pressed to recognize at the outset the huge demands on their time as the wind through the final years of high school. Our role, I believe is not to do things for them, but to help them envision the process, its demands and how they will squeeze it all into their busy lives.
Here are some suggestions to help them on their way:
1. Help your child plan out their academic life
Sit down with your 9th grader or 10th grader and their high school course catalogue and plan backward from 12th grade. Together, think about what they hope to accomplish academically over their high school years. Help them pick the most challenging classes they hope to take in the subject areas they enjoy. Have them look at the prerequisites for these classes and the paths they are going to take to reach their goals. Granted interests change and so do school schedules, but but kids with a plan have goals for themselves.
2. Ask your child to select one activity in which they will try to excel.