It’s nearly back to school time and parents everywhere are looking forward to a return to normalcy. Summertime with teenagers can be a challenging time for parents. Without a daily routine or schedule, many teenagers take advantage to stay up late, sleep in, and hang out with friends. That leaves the parents scrambling to find activities to keep their kids busy.
While back to school may be a welcomed relief, it comes with its own unique challenges as a parent. Any kind of transition involving teenagers is never easy. Believe it or not, the first day of school will be just as stressful for them as it is for you. So what can you do to relieve some stress and make this an easier transition?
Get organized: Make a checklist with you teenager and schedule times for the both of you to accomplish everything they will need before school starts. Back to school shopping for clothes and school supplies should be done well before the first day of school. Last minute shopping for supplies or clothes will only add stress.
Start new routines at least a week before school starts: Don’t wait until the first day of school to establish the new morning routine. Begin the new routines, including new bed times and mealtimes, at least a week before school starts. This will help your teenager’s body adapt to changes in sleep and schedule.
Set goals with your teenager: A new school year is a perfect time to set goals with your teenagers regarding school grades and activities. Research together what after school activities he or she may be interested in. When considering after school activities, look at quality instead of quantity. You teenager will benefit more from one program than trying to accomplish too much.
Set the tone on schoolwork: After school, review class syllabi with your teens to familiarize yourself with test dates, project due dates, and other important dates. Set the tone early by setting a daily homework time. Be consistent with expectations for homework and study time.
Be supportive: The first day of school after a long summer break can create a lot of anxiety in teenagers. They are only on day 1 of getting accustomed to a new schedule with new teachers and new classmates. Acknowledge how stressful this situation can be on them and that it might take a few weeks for them to settle into the new schedule.