Are you a parent of a teen who is getting ready to head back to school? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! The back to school season can be a stressful time for both parents and teens alike. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! We’ve gathered 12 tips to help your teen achieve back to school success. So, buckle up, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to laugh and learn your way through this back to school season.
Use These Tips For School Success
Did you know that the teen brain is wired to get lost in social media and gaming for hours on end? It’s not their fault, it’s just the way their brains are wired! But fear not, there’s a simple trick to help them break out of their screen-induced trance. Instead of relying on their phone alarms (which won’t work), try using external cues like a stove timer or an alarm clock. This will force them to change their body state and shift their brain state, making it easier to switch to a different activity. And don’t worry, you don’t have to do it for them! By empowering and equipping your teen to take control of their own screen time, you’ll be setting them up for success.
The 5 Minute Rule
Do you have a teenager who struggles with procrastination or feels overwhelmed when it’s time to start a homework task? Here’s a simple trick to help them overcome that initial hurdle: break the task down into small, manageable bites. Not only will this make the task feel less daunting, but it will also give your teen a sense of accomplishment as they tick off each completed mini-task. And to make it even more fun, try using a timer and celebrating each 5-minute increment! This will help boost your teen’s self-esteem and confidence without triggering any additional anxiety. Give it a try and see how much easier homework time can be!
External Pressure Won’t Cut It
As a parent, it can be frustrating to watch your teenager struggle with motivation. But here’s the hard truth: you can’t force them to feel motivated. It’s an internal process that only they can summon up. When you try to push them, it can come across as imposing your own idea of success onto them, and that can feel like you only love them conditionally. That’s the last thing you want, right? So instead of focusing on external measures like grades, try encouraging your teen’s character, attitude, and efforts. Celebrate their unique strengths and passions, and watch as their confidence and motivation naturally begin to soar. It may not happen overnight, but with your support and encouragement, your teen can achieve great things!
Be Their Best Ally
Is your teenager acting out or struggling to stay focused in school? Instead of getting upset or pointing fingers, try taking a more compassionate approach. Start by asking them, “Tell me what’s going on for you” or “Help me understand.” Then, listen without interrupting and try to really hear what they’re saying. Once you have a better understanding of what’s causing the issue, you can move into problem-solving mode. Ask your teen, “How can we help make this work for you?” Do they need help talking to the teacher or maybe a tutor to get back on track? Would it help to work in a different environment? By offering support and solutions instead of criticism, you’ll create a safe and supportive space for your teen to thrive.
The 50/10 Focus Strategy
If your teen is drowning in a sea of homework and assignments, it’s time to break out the 50/10 rule! Here’s how it works: your teen works for 50 solid minutes, then takes a blissful 10-minute break to stretch their legs, grab a snack, or chat with a friend. It might seem counterintuitive, but taking regular breaks can actually help improve focus and productivity. When you move your body, you’re also giving your brain a chance to clear out and reset for the next round of work. Plus, knowing they have a break coming up can make tackling those big tasks feel a lot less overwhelming. So go ahead and give the 50/10 rule a try – your teen (and their GPA) will thank you!
What’s the Best/Worst Case Scenario?
If your teen is feeling overwhelmed with social anxiety or stuck in a cycle of catastrophic thinking, it can be tough to know what to say or do, but the best thing you can offer is a listening ear. That’s right, sometimes all it takes is a little empathy and understanding to help your teen feel heard and supported. If you’re not sure where to start, consider joining my FREE 10 Day Listening Challenge. It’s packed with practical tips and techniques to help you be a better listener and build stronger connections with your teen. During your conversations, resist the urge to downplay their feelings or dismiss them as “overdramatic” or “sensitive.” Instead, ask open-ended questions like, “Wow, that sounds really tough. Can you tell me more?” Then, gently guide them through a series of questions to help them explore the worst case scenario, best case scenario, and most probable outcome for their situation. This exercise can help their brain work through the problem and gain some much-needed perspective without feeling judged or criticized. So give it a try – your teen will appreciate your support and understanding more than you know!
If your teen is feeling swamped with schoolwork, help them take control with this simple hack: have them write down every assignment on a sheet of paper. Then, create two more columns where they’ll estimate how long each task will take and when it’s due. But here’s the real kicker: that third column is the secret sauce to help them prioritize their tasks and take on one assignment at a time. With this clear roadmap, your teen can tackle their workload with confidence and ease.
Does your teen struggle with anxiety? Are you looking for ways to support them? One effective strategy is preparation. Encourage your teen to plan ahead, whether that means laying out their clothes and packing their backpack the night before, or reviewing the next day’s schedule with you. If there’s a big change coming, like a new school or a different teacher, attend an open house together so your teen can get a feel for the environment. Remember to let your teen lead and make choices that feel right for them. With your support, they can tackle their anxiety and face new challenges with confidence!
Make Your Own Lunch
Empower your teen this year by encouraging them to take charge of their lunch! Not only will this help build their self-esteem and independence, but it will also give them a sense of ownership and accomplishment every day. And the best part? Making lunch doesn’t have to add to their already busy morning routine. Instead, try teaching them to prepare their lunch the night before or after dinner when the ingredients are already out. By making this small change, you’ll be helping your teen develop essential life skills that will serve them well in the years to come.
Sleep is Essential
As a parent, you know that your teenager needs a good night’s sleep to function at their best. But with their natural sleep cycle shifted two hours later, it’s tough for them to hit the hay before midnight, let alone rise and shine in the morning. That’s where some simple tech tweaks can help. By gradually reducing their access to Wi-Fi and apps as bedtime approaches, you can help your teen wind down and prepare for restful slumber. And don’t forget to talk to them about the science behind it all! By approaching this as a team effort, you can help your teen get the sleep they need to thrive.
Stop the Micromanaging
Are you a micromanager when it comes to your teenager? Sometimes, our desire to protect and control can actually hinder their growth and development. It’s important to reflect on our own fears and anxieties that might be driving this behavior. Take a step back and let your teen take charge – after all, they’re capable of more than we often give them credit for! Empower them to make decisions, take risks, and learn from mistakes. By doing so, you’re showing them that you trust and believe in them, and that you’re there to support them every step of the way.
Celebrate the Wins – Big and Small
No win is too small to celebrate. If your teenager manages to stick to the 5-minute rule, take a moment to acknowledge and praise their achievement. The key is to be genuine and heartfelt, because teenagers are pretty savvy at spotting insincere praise. Remember, parenting is about more than just correcting bad behaviour – it’s also about building a positive relationship with your child and supporting them in their journey.
If the back-to-school season is a source of stress and frustration in your household, I’m here to help. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, at your wits’ end, or simply out of ideas, you can book a one-on-one Zoom call with me and get the support you need.
During our call, I’ll listen to your concerns, provide personalized strategies to help you navigate the challenges of school, and give you a recording of our conversation so you can refer back to it later. Remember, you don’t have to face the ups and downs of parenting alone.