Heading Back to School: Tips for Teens

Getting organized is half the battle when a new school year begins.

Help your teen get ready for the back-to-school season.
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Every school year means more changes for your teen. Not only might the classes be getting harder, but your teen is also getting closer to becoming an adult. That can be very stressful as teens often feel a lot of pressure to know what they're going to do after high school.

So it's important to give your teen a little support. Helping him get organized and helping him make plans for the year can be quite helpful.

And it can also help your teen to be more responsible throughout the school year. 

So put in a little extra effort during the late summer and early fall to get your teen prepared for the school year. It could be a good investment of your time and it can be key to setting your teen up for success

Get Organized

Create a weekly schedule for everyone in the family. Place it in a prominent location, such as on the refrigerator. Make it your teen's responsibility to communicate when he has practices, games, after school activities, and other plans. 

You may also find it is helpful to create an electronic schedule. There are plenty of apps and online calendars that can maintain everyone's schedule and that are available on mobile devices. You can even set up alerts and reminders.

Getting organized now can reduce a lot of the chaos later. Encourage your teen to check the calendar and keep everyone informed of his schedule.

Buy School Supplies

Sit down with your teen and make a list of school supplies. Make your teen responsible for thinking of things he's going to need this school year, like a new backpack or new binders.

It could be a good time to teach budgeting skills as well. Consider setting a clear budget for back-to-school supplies and clothing.

Then, give your teen some freedom in how she wants to spend the money. Does she want to buy designer clothes and have fewer outfits to wear? Or she willing to buy less expensive clothing so she can have more outfits? 

Set Goals and Expectations

The start of the school year is a wonderful time to re-examine school performance–both academic and extracurricular activities. Ask your teen what his goals are for the school year.

Then, discuss how he can meet those goals. How much time will he need to devote to school work? How will he manage his time? What did he do well last year? What does he want to do better this year?

Hold open and honest conversations. And help your teen set himself up for success this year by planning ahead and committing to goals. 

Get Emotionally Ready

Talk about any fears your teen may have about starting a new year. Is he afraid he won't fit in? Is he worried he won't be able to keep up with his work? Is he worried about sports? 

Validate your teen's feelings and make it clear that you trust that he's a capable and competent kid. But at the same time, make sure he knows he can talk to you at any time when he's struggling. 

Talk about how to handle uncomfortable emotions and make sure your teen has plenty of healthy coping skills.

Discuss strategies for managing stress. 

It's a good time to review the life skills your teen has and consider any areas that may need some additional work. Make it your goal to continue to prepare your teen for all the challenges he's likely to face in life after high school. 

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