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Parenting Your Teenager: 7 Tips for Back to School Success

Blink. That's all we did, blink, and summer is ending and a new school year is beginning.

Parents have mixed emotions. Relief that the kids are going back and dread that another school year, and the battles that come with it, is right around the corner.

Here are tips for a successful school year for students and parents.

Tips for Students

Get a good start. If you start out behind, you dig a hole that you will spend the rest of the year digging out of, if at all.

Get a good finish. Even more important than getting a good start is getting a good finish. Keep doing the positive things you began the year and semester doing. Follow through and finish well.

Duck the personality conflicts. Sometime in your school life, you will run into a teacher with whom you do not get along. Instead of blaming your poor performance on "the teacher doesn't like me," take it as a challenge to learn how to succeed even when someone in authority does not like you. It's good training for the real world.

Beat the procrastination monster - The next time you are tempted to procrastinate, just put it off. Procrastinate about procrastinating and do it now.

Tips for Parents

Promote a love of learning. At some level, most teens are very obedient, in that they will model and copy our behavior and attitudes, the good, the bad and the ugly. Do your kids ever see you reading? Learning something new? Discussing the issues of the day with them? If they get it that learning is held in high esteem in their family, it sets them up to value their own learning as well.

Go to your kid's school. Walk through the halls between classes, walk through the cafeteria during lunch. You need to see that it is not like it was when we were kids.

Some parents find that the car is the best place for this conversation. You have a captive audience and are not staring at each other. Other parents have found that scheduling a 15-minute break during the week to talk about school works well for them.

For many more tips and tools for a great school year, visit Tips for Back to School Success

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