After a summer of play, trips, and adventure, it’s time for the kids to go back to school! Of course, going back to school can be stressful – a new grade, a new teacher, a new class, maybe even a new school. Middle school students have new experiences with class schedules, combination locks, and after school activities. And of course the teenagers face all the challenges associated with high school!
So, it’s very helpful for parents to talk with their children – listening to any concerns they have, providing guidance, and offering encouragement. Here are a few ideas to discuss with your middle schoolers and teens:
The first day of school can be a great day to make a new friend. So plan to smile and say hello to some of the new kids.
Usually, it only takes a little while to become comfortable with a new experience. So give yourself a little time to learn your way and ask for help when you need it.
Reviewing the school’s student code of conduct is important in order to know the school’s rules, expectations, and consequences in relation to matters including behavior, dress, use of cell phones, bullying policies, and so forth. So plan on reading through it together and identify any questions you may have.
Plan for success!
In planning for success, it’s important to go to bed on time, eat well, exercise, and put your heart into performing your best. So commit yourself now to what it takes to enjoy success.
In planning for success, it’s important to be organized. So plan now on making a daily to-do list that includes homework, chores, and other activities.
In planning for success with homework, it’s important to be disciplined. So develop a plan for homework now that includes a schedule and a commitment to turning off phones and other social media while completing assignments.
As the school year progresses, parents can talk often with their children about their experience in school. While making eye contact, listen carefully, ask open-ended questions, and try to generate interesting conversation. Your children will know that you are interested in their experience at school and are able to help them with any academic or social concerns they may have.
So, best wishes to everyone for a great school year! And remember, when children and teens have concerns with school performance, social skills, or emotional adjustment that persist, counseling can also be helpful in formulating interventions and providing support.