Trying to encourage your teenage daughter or son to study is near impossible with their phone glued to their hand.
There’s no doubt they’d rather scroll through Instagram than memorise quotes from Macbeth.
However, with their end of year exams just around the corner, it is time for them to focus, step away from Snapchat and start revising.
If your tween or teen is permanently attached to their phone, consider the following tips to help them along:
Ban mobile phones during study periods
Study time should be just about that – study. There is no place for a mobile phone here, so you need to implement and stick to that rule. While it might seem harsh at first, and they may kick up a fuss to begin with, reason with your child and assure them they will get their phone back once study time is over. They WILL get used to it.
Create the right study environment
It’s important that your child doesn’t feel like they’re locked in a prison cell while studying – being without their phone is bad enough! Set up a positive and comfortable working space for them, away from noise and distraction, stocked with the materials and sustenance they need. Make some concessions, too – some people work better with soft music playing in the background, for example.
Set a schedule with breaks
Your teen is much more likely to settle down and get some work done when they know they are working to a set schedule with breaks. It’s a good idea to help them set their homework/ study schedule around these breaks, establishing mini-goals for each period. Each time they complete a task, get them to cross it off so they can tangibly see what they are achieving.
Get creative with break time
Scheduled and structured breaks are a great time to introduce a different kind of distraction for your tween or teen, away from the TV and their phones. Agree that they will take the dog for a 20-minute walk, help you out with a cooking or baking project, or meet a neighbour for a chat during break time. Getting air and headspace away from the books is important, and human contact beats technology every time - they might even start to look forward to doing something a little different.
Set goals with them
Set goals with your child, depending on their age and stage in education. So, if your tween has an exam coming up, draw up a study schedule that will help them to achieve their optimum grade. If your teen is doing their Leaving Certificate or A Levels, discuss their future goals and how study will help to achieve them. This might just give them a more positive perspective on study and what it can do for them, encouraging them to get the head down.
Support them when it all gets too much
There will be times when it will all get to be too much for your child; they will get frustrated, and they will want to throw in the towel. At times like these, they will need your support and comfort to keep pushing ahead. Encourage open and honest communication about school, monitor their progress, and be as supportive as possible. Acknowledge, too, that sometimes they just need to pick up the phone and have a rant with their best friend.