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Helping Your Teen Transition Back to School Year Mode

by Jennifer S. Rowe | August 29th, 2014 | School, Teens

teen and parentSo here it is folks, it’s that time of the year again! Summer is coming to an end, and those words that your kids just love to hear “back to school” are weighing heavily on their minds. As a parent, I have to try and remember how I felt when it was time to return to school and leave summer behind. I do remember, especially as a teenager, some of the worries I had, such as would I see all of my friends and would we be back together in the same classes? I also have to remember that as you move up to a new grade, the classes become more difficult and challenging, which for my children is a good thing, although I am sure they would disagree!

Let’s remember as parents, teenagers are going to react in a different way when they return to school because they are adding a new dimension of issues to their already busy plates! There will be new social protocols to be concerned about, and everyone changes in some way over the summer. My son grew to a whopping 5 feet 9 inches and now wears a size 13 men’s shoe, and he is only 13 years old! How in the world did that happen? For the reasons I have stated, and I am sure many more, parents should be mindful of any anxiety our teens are feeling about the upcoming school year, and keep the lines of communication wide open.

If you happen to have a teen that is not exactly communicative, you, yes I am talking to you the parent, should take the initiative and open the conversation with your son or daughter. Let him know that you care and want to help in anyway, even if it is to just listen. Assure him that you were once a teenager (don’t get upset if they laugh and call you ancient) and had some of the same feelings and had to deal with some of the same issues. Even if you don’t think he is listening, believe me he is!

A great way to connect with her, is to have a night out to dinner or dessert. She will feel relaxed and grateful for some one on one time, and may just open up to you without you having to ask any questions. I know this approach doesn’t work with every teen, but it is worth a try. You know your teen better than anyone, so find an approach that works and make that connection!

I want to encourage all of you out there with teens to be an active and relevant part of your teenagers’ lives. These years can be a challenging time for our kids, and it is up to us to safely guide them through the shark infested waters of being a teenager. Will they make mistakes? Yes. Will we, the parents, make mistakes? Yes, yes, we will. It is how we handle those mistakes that our children will be watching for, and that is why it I cannot stress enough that keeping the lines of communication open is imperative. If you have something that works really well for your teen in any situation, please share it.

I wish all a safe and happy school year!

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