5 Ways to Make Your Teen’s Back-to-School Awesome
An e-mail arrived from my mom titled “Your Last First Day of School.” It was my senior year of college and I about to head off to the first day of classes. But I would leave a few minutes late and wiping my eyes.
My mom wrote so beautifully of her memories of my first days of school, from kindergarten to middle school to sending me off to college. She talked about the ways she tried to help me adjust to each new year. And she gave me her hopes for my last year of school and my future.
It was one of the best emails that I’ve ever received. I don’t know how long she worked on it, but it was a piece of art. I wish I could say that I still had it – I don’t. It was lost long ago. But I do remember what she said and how it made me feel. (Like she was giving me a big hug.)
My mother was an integral part of my education and she helped me ease into each new school year. And you play that role with your own child. While you can’t make new friends for them, find that history class, or pick a lunch table, you CAN help them start the school year off right with a few tips!
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Make Your Teen’s Back-to-School Awesome
Talk to them
Most kids are nervous about the new school year. It could be a new school, new teachers, new classes, etc. Getting them to talk out their concerns is key.
However, I know that teens are not known for wanting to talk to mom or dad. Some great times for having conversations – in the car, on a walk or hike, cooking together, at dinner. Notice a trend? These are all situations when you are alone with your teen and doing something that allows for conversation. Keep the phones away to keep the conversation flowing.
Some questions you may want to consider:
- What are you most looking forward to this year?
- What do you think might be a challenge?
- If you could wave a magic wand and change 2 things about school, what would they be?
- How can I support you this school year?
Also, model the behavior you want to see. Share with them your concerns about your own work AND how you address those concerns. Explain what actions you are taking and why.
Having new supplies always creates some excitement for the new school year that can lighten your child’s mood. New supplies make me feel like it’s Christmas morning 🙂
Clearly, your kiddo needs basic supplies for the new school year. This is especially important if the class has specific requirements for a certain type of notebook, calculator, or other equipment.
- Routine charts, especially for younger teens
- Using drop zones
- Lunch-making station
- Homework time
- Bedtime (teens need even more sleep than adults!)
This can be so helpful for your kids! Create routines for mornings and evenings that help them get ready for the day and complete work. These might include:
For more ideas about Back-to-School routines, check out my post here!
Be familiar with teachers and classes
You should definitely know what your child is taking and who is teaching them. If you can, please attend Back-to-school night and meet those teachers. Conversations with your teen will go better if you have some idea who they are talking about!Pro Tip: If you have negative feelings about 1 of the teachers, please keep it to yourself. Let your child form his or her own opinion of the teacher.Click To Tweet
Do a dry run
For kids who are attending a new school, try to visit the school before school starts. Find all their classes (preferably in order) and their locker. Be sure to find the cafeteria and the gym! If they are taking the bus, scope out the bus stop, too!
Make it fun!
One of my favorite parts of Back-to-School was getting my hair cut and picking out my outfit for the first day. If pampering is your teen’s thing, consider getting a mani or pedi together. If that’s not in the budget, do it at home! That outfit doesn’t have to be new, either, just a favorite.
Each fall, my social media feed blows up with adorable pictures of kids smiling and excited for school. That picture taking (even of high school kids) can make the day feel special. The night before you can also look back at old pictures!
Make or buy a fun breakfast – donuts, maybe? If there’s no time in the morning (pictures after all), make a favorite dinner or get ice cream for dessert.
Hopefully these ideas will help your teen ease into the new school year and make this Back-to-School awesome!