Back to school for teens top 5 tipsIt is that time of year again when we are planning for our kids to return to school. Some of you dread this time of year knowing that routines and that dreaded lunch preparation time is at hand. Some of you, of course, are jumping for joy knowing the kids are getting the heck out of your house!

I always found getting teens ready for back to school is a much different process than when they were younger. High School is a different baby all around than middle school from my experience. Mornings in our house were much harder because as teens they stay up too late and getting up in the morning was not their favourite thing to do...especially for ugg school!

Here are my top 5 tips to preparing yourself and your teens for back to school:

#1 Don't overstress about school supplies. I found that they did not need nearly as much as when they were younger especially those first days. some basic supplies of loose leaf paper, a binder, pens, pencil and eraser. Wait until they are a few days in and have been to class a few times, then they will know what they actually need for each class.

#2 Organize your kitchen so they can easily prepare their lunches and snacks for the day. Have all the lunch supplies together in a cupboard or drawer. As well, have a basket in fridge with the regularly used lunch and snack supplies. This not only makes it easy for them to prepare their own lunches (and by preparing I mean for them to throw something together as they run out of the house) but it also makes it easy for you to see what you need when grocery shopping...when the basket is empty you need to refill!

#3 Talk to your teens and include them in decision making...I cannot tell you how often I went ahead and bought stuff or made decisions for my teens only to find out they did not like what I bought, did not need it or resented me not asking their opinion. So we have learned the art of talking to each other, me asking them what they need/want and discussing what is possible and what is not. Sorry no big back to school Iphones in this house even thought they thought that was on the mandatory supply list for survival at school haha, that is something they have had to buy on their own. My youngest had very definite tastes and likes for backpack and clothes, so I would give her a budget and she had to get what she needed with that or add her own funds to it. I am happy to say she is now a high school graduate with exceptional financial skills.

#4 Teach them time management skills. I think this is one of the most important skills we can teach our kids. How to prioritize their time, break things down into manageable bites, How to use a calendar to manage their school, extracurricular time, play time and get themselves organized.

#5 Try to understand the craziness that is going on in their brain. The teenage brain is a fascinating thing, it can feel like they are aliens invading your home. Watch this documentary on Surviving the teenage brain to get a good understanding of why they are so crazy and do the things they do. This helped us survive these years, I am not saying it is easy but at least understanding why helped us to be logical in our guidance and support as they navigated these years. Hold on to your hats and pray! YOU CAN DO THIS! Surviving The Teenage Brain: https://vimeopro.com/user13599767/docs/video/154086074

 

My theory on parenting has always been that my job was to teach my kids how to live without me ,because I don't want them to live with me forever lol. High school is the time to help them learn adulting skills , give them some independence, let them learn to look after themselves and start making decisions for themselves (and sometimes make mistakes too - that is part of life). Talk to them, respect them for where they are in their life right now and help them adapt to the adult world by training them to think and do for themselves with the guidance of you as their 'coach' in this crazy world we live in!

Wishing you all a great school year...may you all survive the teenage brain days!