I saw a teenage patient recently and it reminded me about the need for good habits.  He had started his freshman year and his first semester did not get off to a great start. 

Now, this is a great kid and he is typically a good student. But for some unknown reason (hormones, attitudes, better things to do) he just decided that he didn’t need to study. School had never been too difficult for him and he just thought he could “sail through” his first semester of high school without a lot of effort. Guess what, he didn’t sail, the headwind was stronger than he thought. 

So, when he was in for his check up we started talking about how he could get back on the right track for his second semester. The consensus was, he needed good habits. 

Whether we are discussing good study habits, or good eating habits of good bedtime habits, it is much easier to start off with good habits rather than to try and undo/change bad habits. 

If I am discussing starting good habits, it really doesn’t matter if it is parents who have a 1 year old or a teenager the premise is the same; try to begin with good habits but if they lapse regroup. 

So, in this case, the teenager and study habits, he had forgotten his good habits and he needed to get back on track. We sat down during the check up and planned the best time for him to study, where to study and how to prioritize his subjects.  We figured out that he needed to tackle his hardest subjects first. Secondly, he felt as if he studied better at school than at home, so it was agreed that he would stay for an hour or so after school in the library to try and get his homework started.  We discussed turning off all of the outside distractions while he was studying (and maybe he would get his cell phone privileges back too). 

He agreed that we would see how the next 6 weeks went and that he would check back in. His parents agreed to try and let him get his own good habits started and I am ready to bet that he is ready to set sail again!!