You can give your teen a strong trouble-free start this school year by following these five back to school steps:
1) Organize your family's time. As appointments and daily schedules for the year form, take note of them and write them down. Place a weekly schedule for each person on the refrigerator or other prominent place in your home. All changes and additions to this weekly schedule should be made on the family calendar which is kept in the same place. This is your ‘what’s going on at a glance’ center. Make a habit of checking it twice a day - in the morning and at night. Teach this habit to all of your family members.
2) Purchase new school clothes. Take advantage of all of the back to school sales to purchase what your teen will need for the school year. Don’t forget gym and practice clothes. Your teen will feel good about himself/herself when he/she is sporting the new duds. While you don’t want to spoil your teen, or turn him/her into a shop-o-holic, the new clothes will give his/her self-confidence a much-needed boost on his/her first day of school.
3) Buy and organize school supplies. In high school your teen is going to need everything from a sharpened #2 pencil for all computerized tests to deodorant for gym class. Use your teen’s school list as your guide and sit down with your teen to make your shopping list. Be prepared to have to go out and purchase something else the night of the first day of school. There is always one teacher who requires a certain supply but doesn’t let their students know until the first day of school.
4) Set goals and expectations. The start of the school year is a wonderful time to re-examine school performance – both academically and extra curricular activities. Remember to set doable goals and try not to over stress your teenager. Be sure to set the time for homework.
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5) Get emotionally ready. A new school year can mean a lot of stress for a teen and parents alike. Take some time before school starts to relax and enjoy an activity together. Talk to each other about the school year coming up and reaffirm with your teenager that you are there to help whenever help is needed. Be sure to tell him/her this and don’t assume he/she already knows. It is easier to handle stress from outside sources – like school – when you know someone is on your side.
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