Parenting Tips

Pete’s Tips for Raising Early Adolescents

At Pete Price’s October 2008 Dad’s Lunch Meeting, one of the father’s asked Pete Price, O. Henry’s Principal, “What are three recommendations you have for raising early adolescents?”

Below is Pete’s response:

(1) Understand Adolescence.  When you have a decent grasp of what’s going on inside and outside your middle schooler’s body, you can be more tolerant with the erratic behavior they exhibit.  As your child undergoes the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual changes of adolescence, you will sometimes witness strange, often bizarre, actions. …

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Checklist for Success

  • Check your child’s agenda every evening for homework. The child should have something written for every class, every day, even if it is “No Homework.”
  • Check your child’s binders regularly. Make sure there are NO LOOSE PAPERS. Organization is one of the most significant challenges in middle school.
  • Reward your student for success.
  • Set aside at least one (1) hour every night for completing homework. Make sure you are home with your child during this time. If they have no homework, then they are to read a book (any book). For example, 6:30pm – 7:30pm every weekday night is for reading and studying. No exceptions. This practice will develop life long habits that lead to intelligence and success.
  • Be sure your child gets plenty of sleep and eats a nutritional diet. A standard bedtime is 9:30pm since most experts recommend nine (9) to ten (10) hours of sleep for middle school students.
  • Be supportive of teachers as they try to carry out natural consequences for disruptive behavior or incomplete academic work. For example, be willing to suspend your child’s after-school activities so s/he can attend tutoring and/or detention. Be willing to live by the motto: Academics First!

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