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Assets In Action: Help ease the pressures, tough decisions in a teen's life

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

This week, we look at planning and decision making skills, in the Asset category of social competencies.
The role of adults needs to be to guide students and assist them with their planning and not just make all of their decisions for them.
Now is the time when sixth through 11th grade students pull out the registration booklet and decide what they want or need to be doing academically, for the entire school year next year.
Personally, I believe that small decisions related to electives need to left up to the youth. Students need something to float the boat and lift the spirits when in other areas of life; the pressure may be on overdrive.
The hard decisions of which math class to be in can become a battleground for some and we need to realize the additional pressures each grade level brings and realize that it isn’t just one class from their perspective.
On March 27, student Tessa Snyder will be doing a community showing of the movie, “A Race to No Where.” There will be a host of opportunities to provide details, but for now, I’m hoping you will save the date.
The movie shows the pressures put on students academically by both sides of the coin. It is a fascinating look at what we demand of our youth and we occasionally forget the fact that they need a balance in their lives that we need to help them set.
The balance often needs to be mirrored for them, so it becomes a habit and a skill developed over time and not just a “do as I say, not as I do” situations.
Now back to planning and decision making, when it comes to schedules and registration.
If your student needs some help in becoming a better student, consider a life skills class, if they need a foreign language, try not to pick it for them. If they aren’t making successful strides, or even happy to be in the building, your troubles are just beginning.
One of the most hilarious stories I know is where two brothers took a foreign language that neither parent could speak. Now the boys converse in a world of their own, much to their mother’s chagrin. It makes me chuckle every time I think about it.
The memories they are creating with each other are priceless and the amount of practice they receive is probably far greater than the average student. The truth is they probably aren’t talking about much more than the weather.
So relax and don’t worry that if they aren’t taking Latin 5 by senior year, that they won’t get into the college of their choice and are doomed forever. Remember, something has to float the boat.

Assets In Action is sponsored by the JJAB and the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation.