More Tips for the Tips For Military Parents with Teens # 27

Tip # 27 – Prioritize

In my experiences with teens, they are very poor at prioritizing and identifying what is urgent and important.  I believe that part of the problem is that they don’t always recognize what and who is important to them (those things can often be the last on the list because they didn’t take time to look at what should be a priority).  It will be important for you to know what is a priority to them and share with them what you consider the family priorities are so that you can accomplish shared and independent goals.

Suggestions:

* Make a list of things that you consider to be family priorities and then talk about these with your family so that they understand what you are thinking too (it may be a priority to you that on Sunday night everyone cleans out their ‘areas’ and prepares for the week – let them know why this is important to you and point out the benefits to the family)

* Have your teen make a list of things that they have to accomplish each week/month and get them to put a star next to the ‘must do’ and circle to ‘want to’

* Compare each list together so you can merge shared goals and help each other accomplish them

* Teens can suck the life out of you so make sure that you don’t try to do too much and ‘wear too many hats’ – you’ll end up wearing yourself out and not getting any of your priorities handled

* Let people know what the priorities are by posting the lists in a high traffic area

* Go over yours and your family’s priorities regularly as, with teens especially, they will change quicker than the seasons do

* When looking at your priorities also look at what resources (time, money, support, etc.) you have and whether or not it is realistic

For more information about our blog, books or resources go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org

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