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How to Help My Daughter Handle School, Boyfriends & Friends

by K. Nola Mokeyane

Adolescence is a time of significant growth, maturation and development. And it also brings more responsibilities. While school may seem like the most important aspect of your adolescent daughter's development, social and romantic ties are essential to helping her form and cultivate healthy relationships, according to the Office of Adolescent Health's website. Learning to effectively balance responsibilities and a social life will help improve your daughter's productivity -- and keep her sane in the process.

Time Management

If your adolescent daughter has a boyfriend, friends, schoolwork and other interests and responsibilities on her plate, she'll need to learn how to manage her time effectively. There's no "one size fits all" approach to time management, counselor Donna M. White says on "Psych Central." Your daughter will have to choose an approach that works best for her. Encourage her to create a monthly calendar detailing when homework and class projects are due. She can also use it to mark dates when she can spend time with her boyfriend and friends. Encourage your teen to follow her calendar as closely as possible -- and to be flexible with necessary, unforeseen changes -- to keep her organized and to minimize stress. Other time management tips include creating daily to-do lists to help her meet homework deadlines and eliminating distractions, such as social media and texting, when it's time to do her work.

Prioritize Appropriately

Effective time management includes prioritizing tasks. Not only is it important for your daughter to choose her homework over posting a response on a social media thread, she'll also need to learn to prioritize schoolwork over hanging out with friends or going out with her boyfriend. It benefits your daughter to learn to balance these tasks and her relationships. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation website states that setting priorities helps teens eliminate worry and stress. When your teen creates her calendar or to-do list, her most challenging tasks should be listed first before allotting time to engage in social activities.

Avoid People-Pleasing

Your daughter may occasionally be pressured by her friends to ignore tasks marked on her calendar so she can hang out with them. Encourage her to feel comfortable telling others "no" in order to keep her life organized. Author and social psychologist Susan Newman says at "Psychology Today" that people aren't actually dwelling on a person who says "no" to them as much as the person who says "no" thinks they are. They usually move on to other things or people after a rejection, Newman said. Teach your daughter that it's not wise to break her focus and dismiss her responsibilities in order to go to the mall or movies. Remind her there will be other opportunities to hang out with friends and her boyfriend. And she'll be able to fully enjoy herself during these times without worrying about incomplete assignments.

Don't Be Afraid to Let Go

On the Harvard Business Review website, Tony Schwartz, author of "Be Excellent at Anything," says there is much to gain in letting things go. In your daughter's case, this can mean letting go of her desire to attend certain social outings, her negative thoughts about assignments that need to be completed or her friends whose work ethic and long-term goals don't align with hers. If your daughter is asked to go out with friends but has to complete an assignment and becomes frustrated with her workload and commitments, encourage her to think about what she stands to gain from her hard work, such as good grades and potential acceptance into the college of her choice. Remind her that holding onto negative feelings about her commitments only makes the assignments more difficult to complete and keeps her from truly appreciating her learning experiences.

About the Author

K. Nola Mokeyane has written professionally since 2006, and has contributed to various online publications, including "Global Post" and Modern Mom. Nola enjoys writing about health, wellness and spirituality. She is a member of the Atlanta Writer's Club.

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