How to Get Teenagers to Remember

By Tiffany Raiford
You may think your teen is simply flighty, but her inability to remember things might be something else entirely.
You may think your teen is simply flighty, but her inability to remember things might be something else entirely.

When you forget your keys or a birthday or your wallet on the way out in the morning, you might attribute it to your distracted, aging brain. When your teen forgets something, you might attribute it to her lack of responsibility and care. However, your teen’s problem remembering to do things may not have anything to do with her being irresponsible or careless. Outside factors and lifestyle choices have a big impact on a teen’s ability to remember things, from where she put her phone to what day it is.

Ensure your teen gets at least nine to 10 hours of sleep each night. When a person is sleep-deprived, her brain begins to function like someone who has had too many alcoholic beverages.

Eliminate distractions in your teen’s life. According to the National Safety Council, too many distractions can negatively affect memory. When a teen is doing too much at once, her brain does not fully engage, understand and store information. Create a rule that requires her to turn off the television, radio and phone while working on a specific task such as studying for a test or working on homework.

Encourage your teen to practice visualization to help improve her memory, advises the Women's and Children's Health Network. For example, if you are helping her study for a test, ask her to read her notes thoroughly and then quiz her on the notes. When and if she has trouble answering some of the questions, ask her to close her eyes and visualize seeing that particular vocabulary word on the page in her notes. This may help her to remember what was written next to that word so that she is better able to define it.

Inspire your teen to laugh. When your teen laughs, whether she is laughing at a joke or something embarrassing she encountered, she is engaging multiple areas of her brain, notes Encourage her to read humorous books, watch silly movies, spend time with funny people and play with kids, who are naturally amusing.

Make sure your teen eats right. According to Cherri Straus, MPH, of PsychCentral, a healthy, well-balanced diet is a key ingredient to a good memory. Incorporate foods such as salmon, tuna and cold water fish in your teen’s diet for the omega-3 fatty acids, as they are good for brain health. Include fruits and vegetables such as spinach, apricots, mangoes, watermelon, broccoli and romaine lettuce in her diet for the antioxidants, which offer protection from damage to brain cells.

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.