The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all. (Josiyah Martin).            

– Desiree Panlilio


        It is a new year, a new opportunity. As your teen starts back to school it is the perfect time to examine what the second half of their school year will look like. Take a moment to look at what the successes were from the first half of the school year. What was working well, and is there any way to improve on the skills that were working well? Your teen may be a straight-A student, but do they have study skills, organizational and time management skills that will help them continue their success as the academic workload increases? It is a great time to see if any of those skills needs to be discussed, taught or coached to optimize the skill?

      Next, does a teaching opportunity exist to look at areas of concern, or is there a need for some structure or skill training to create the success that your teen would like to have? Make sure the conversation focuses on a plan of action that your teenager is agreeable to. Create goals that are SMART. Once you have the goal, create objectives that are small and easily monitored and achieved by your teen. For example if you teen struggled with turning in homework assignments for math and that negatively impacted the grade, a SMART goal may be: to have a 3.0 GPA in Math by the end of the 3rd quarter. An objective may be to turn in every homework assignment on time. How will you and your teen monitor the ongoing success? Lucky for us that today we have our teen’s grades and assignments all electronically and at the end of the week you can measure the success and create an objective if your teen is encountering any hurdles.

      However, look beyond your teenager’s academics and their role as a student. Your teen has many roles and many opportunities where they may want to improve or create goals. Have a conversation on what your teenager would like to improve over the next 5 months or focus on. Is it communication skills? Is it learning to cook? Whatever it is, create a goal and a pathway to achieve the goal.

     Each day is an opportunity for your teen to write their own story and to create the pathway to success that your teen wants. Encourage your teen. As their parent, you are their biggest advocate, mentor, cheerleader and coach. It is our responsibility to empower our teenagers to see their strengths and to encourage and build on those strengths while nurturing and building the areas and skills that are not as strong. Creating a well-rounded adult that goes out into the world and makes a difference takes time. Children are our most precious gift and one in which we as parents help to shape the future.

      I am looking forward to a year full of growth and new opportunities. I would enjoy hearing how Encouraging Teens has encouraged you. Drop us an email at