Tips on Preparing Your Teenager for the First Day Back to School

Post by: Kelly Murphy

For many, the first day of school is a stressful, but exciting time. Listed are a few ideas on how to make the transition easier:

The day before….

If your child walks to school, walk the route she/he will be taking, with her/him  to familiarize both of you with the areas or cross walks you want him or her to take, and chart the time it will take to get to school. This will help your  teens know exactly when he or she will need to be walking out the door of your house, not just when she or he should arrive at school.

If possible, visit the school beforehand to familiarize her/him with the school. Do a walk-through of the class schedule to alleviate anticipation of getting lost, or being late to class.  This is especially important if this is a new school for your child.

Locate each classroom he/she will be attending. This helps reduce any embarrassment or stress many junior high students may feel and helps with time management.

Locate her/his locker.

Next, complete any tasks which can be done the night before.  Some of these may include, but are not limited to:

Shower/Bathe  (Any shaving, nail painting, or hair-washing should be to previously completed to make for a less-stressful and speedy departure.)

Go to bed early.   A teenager may not actually go to sleep early, but it will provide time to unwind, listen to favorite music, and relax.

Spend 20 minutes with your teen. Be open to encourage and listen about any concerns or comments.

Lay  out clothes (Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C (if girls)

Pack the lunch or snacks and refrigerate.

Pack and place school bag with essential supplies by the front door, or the car trunk  (if you are taking all school supplies at once).

Put a note on the school bag, or front door reminding you to get the lunch out of the refrigerator!

Charge cell phone

Share a blessing, encouragement, or a prayer with your teen. Let her/him know you can’t wait to hear how great her day will be when you see or talk to each other the  in the evening.

The morning of the first day of school:

  • Get up a little early
  • Allow a 15-minute warning before walking out the door.
  • Make sure you and your teen eat a simple and nutritious breakfast! (Yes, even a granola or cereal bar is nutritious!)
  • Smile, hug, and kiss your teenager before she/he leaves. (They may not love it, but you will feel much better).
  • Say a prayer for your teen. This can be done aloud or silently. Even having a moment of silence but standing there with your hands on your teen will be good.  (Again, they may not love it, but you will feel much better.  P.S. Do this before you leave the house, and not in the school parking lot. You may love it but they won’t feel better).
  • Be willing to listen when she/he gets home!

Now, get out there, and have a great first day back to school!

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