The countdown has begun! Even if your teen has lamented being bored lately, school’s start brings a mix of emotions. Transitions can be tough. Teach your children these steps to ease the transition process.
- Honor emotions involved. Check in. Explore the perceived losses and benefits/joys this transition offers. Ask what will be missed about the summer. Explore what is hoped for this school year. Share bittersweet transition you made.
- Look at possible anxiety. Is your adolescent starting at a new school? Shifting friendships? Gently identifying the underlying concerns raises awareness. Playfully creating the worst case scenario: “What is the worst thing that could happen if you get Mr. Smiley for math again this year?” adds reality to a larger-than-life fear. Proactively creating possible solutions helps. “What are some things you could do if Tony isn’t friendly?” Stress can lessen when we shine light on it and problem solve in advance.
- Plan a fun activity. We all enjoy anticipating a happy future event. A weekend in Portland? A Seahawks pizza party with friends? Create a plan. School is just one part of life. Put it back in perspective.
Helping our youth check in on emotions, look realistically at concerns, and create anticipated activities provides strategies for dealing with life’s transitions. You may want to apply these steps to YOUR life. Parenting teens is a challenging undertaking! You deserve to take care of your well-being, too.
Here’s to a wonderful and smooth start to the 2015-16 school year. Join us at Thursday’s Open House if you are looking for the right fit for your teen’s middle or high school experience. We want all youth to thrive and be well prepared for college and beyond!